When it comes to nutrition, your plate should look like a rainbow | PostIndependent.com

When it comes to nutrition, your plate should look like a rainbow

Kay Vasilakis
Post Independent Correspondent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

NEW CASTLE, Colorado – People who exercise regularly to improve health and lose weight may benefit from a registered dietitian, who can help clients develop personalized eating plans. Registered dietitians assure nutritional adequacy and address lifestyle, environment, habits, family dynamics, and health conditions. For clients training for a specific event, a registered dietitian with expertise in sports nutrition can customize the nutritional plan specific to the sport.

A registered dietitian is a health care professional who has completed a nutrition-related degree. All dietitians must pass a national board examination before receiving the R.D. credentials. They must complete continuing education courses to keep their registration current.

Jeanne Luetke, R.D., M.S. in Health Administration (nutrition services focus) and CLT (certified Lifestyle Eating and Performance) and Rosalind Fowler, R.D. from Valley View Hospital’s HMR (Health Management Resources) program are well-respected local registered dietitians.

“How much weight can I lose with your program and how fast can I lose it?” is the most-asked question Fowler encounters. “People are also concerned about whether or not they will be able to follow the diet because they may have experienced previous diet failure. We have helped people lose from 20 to over 100 pounds and have helped them keep it off long-term.”

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“The HMR Program is a “Meal Replacement-based diet,” said Fowler. “We use healthy pre-packaged meals and snacks to help people lose weight quickly and safely. We combine the diet with weekly classes for support and coaching, record-keeping and physical activity.” Contact Rosalind Fowler RD, HMR Health Educator, at 945-2324.

Luetke is the registered dietitian who helps with nutrition issues for the Greatest Loser contestants at New Castle Family Fitness. She works part-time for Glenwood Medical Associates and owns the EveryBody Nutrition Counseling office in downtown Glenwood. She can be contacted at 309-0784.

“The most important thing to remember is to fuel workouts,” said Luetke. “After working out, many people don’t replace important nutrients in fear eating will defeat the workout. Consciously-smart decisions should be made to introduce healthy food back into the system. The idea is to eat more food throughout the day to help fuel the metabolism causing fat to be utilized, and weight loss to be achieved.”

Both dietitians believe all vegetables and fruits are healthy alternatives to high-fat, high-calorie foods. Fruits and vegetables will help you to feel full, enable you to eat more without gaining weight. Eat vibrantly-colored veggies and make sure your plate looks like a rainbow.

Vegetables, fruits, milk, yogurt and grains are all nutritious sources of carbohydrates, which are essential for human health and proper brain function. Reducing the intake of refined and processed carbohydrates such as candies, sweets, baked goods, refined flours and starches is recommended.

Make lean protein choices and add fish and beans often to your diet. Use low or non-fat dairy food and reduced-fat cheeses, and eat whole grains, including whole grain breads, tortillas and pasta, and explore the world of brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat and barley.

Drinking water helps the metabolism work more efficiency in exhausting fat for energy. Remember coffee, tea and many soft drinks act as a diuretic causing the body to lose more water, resulting in inadequate hydration.

Because men’s bodies contain more water, they tend to lose weight very fast in the beginning of a weight-loss program, which can be very frustrating to the women in their lives. After a time, that levels off and there is little difference in speed of weight loss. Muscle definition is more visible when they weight-train, and they “bulk up” more than women do normally. Women will gain very obvious muscle definition with time and targeted weight-training exercises as observed in competitive female bodybuilding.

Luetke said research indicates a ceiling of approximately 30 grams of protein is used by the body to build new muscle tissue in any given meal, which is true for young adults as well as for the elderly. The typical American diet, which consumes the majority of protein at night, is inefficient for building muscle. A more efficient strategy would switch some of the usual protein intake to earlier in the day, improving mental alertness and building more muscle protein.

Encouragement is crucial in any dietary regimen, and local weight-loss hopefuls have several support opportunities. Luetke is renovating a space downtown into a comfy office with a demonstration kitchen and a large meeting room for classes and groups.

“We have a highly-trained professional staff and are supported by the HMR national program,” said Fowler. “We offer a long-term program to help people develop healthy lifelong skills to keep their weight off long-term.”

“The older you get, the more you understand the importance of balance in your life, and your diet is no exception,” concluded Luetke. “Hypertension, diabetes, and obesity are some of the common health problems nutritionists work to alleviate. Nutritionists are motivated by a concern to improve the quality of life.”

Stay tuned to the last article in the Greatest Loser Competition series, including a wrap-up and the announcement of the winning team.

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