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When loss is a true gain

Written by Leigh Neely

Weight loss has become a booming industry with the high rate of obesity.


Many people feel they spend most of their day thinking about what they’re going to eat, how much to eat, what foods to mix together, and so on.

This is the result of burgeoning obesity among adults and children in the United States. More than one-third of U.S. adults are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, the options for weight loss are numerous, and it seems there’s a new pill, drink, meal option, or fitness plan hitting the market every day. Money spent on weight-loss products is so high, it changes every second on worldometers.info, a virtual, real-time website that provides updated world statistics.

The Global Food Chart from Nielsen Marketing Company shows the variety of diets people tend to follow, from low- fat and low-sodium to flexitarian and gluten-free. Other ways to lose weight include ordering meals to prepare at home. According to a Nielsen report, this method is more popular with families (31.7 percent) than with millennials (10.4 percent). However, 81 percent of Americans believe using meal kits is healthier.

Nationally, there are several ways, including Jenny Craig and Nutri-System, to get meals so there’s no measuring or calorie counting, and each has its own stable of celebrity spokespersons who have achieved success. Weight Watchers introduced its Freestyle program, which is built on the successful SmartPoints system, according to a recent press release. Because of the flexibility and the increase in the number of “free” foods, participants are reportedly having fewer food cravings and problems with hunger.

If you’re looking for behavioral changes in your diet, there is an assortment of local programs that will not only outline a specific weight-loss program for you but teach you what is needed to keep the weight off—a true problem for most dieters—after you’ve achieved your weight-loss goal. Some of these local programs are Doctors Weight Control in Clermont; Transformation Weight Loss in Mount Dora and Clermont; Metabolic Research Center in The Villages; Total Nutrition and Therapeutics in The Villages; and Health & Wellness Practice in Mount Dora.

According to another Nielsen study, lunch has become a key meal of the day, and it appears consumers are focused on fresher, healthier options; however, they haven’t forgotten convenience. They still want to be able to fix a sandwich and go. With whole grain breads and organic meat, most “grab and go” lunches now are motivated by health.

Many people opt for bariatric surgery for weight loss, and Sean Daly, chef and director of food operations at Rational Foods, along with Dr. Jonathan Thompson, a bariatric surgeon, have created “food pouches” to help patients.

“Bariatric patients must adhere to a strict diet of liquid and soft foods pre- and post-surgery before they can eat solid foods again,” Dr. Thompson says in a recent press release. “We believe a convenient, non-shake option has the potential to disrupt the weight-loss recovery market.”

Organic food pouches are available at rationalfoods.com and are similar to the fruit and veggie pouches children enjoy. Rational Foods is a spinoff from the Thompson Center, an entrepreneurial division of the University of Cincinnati.

Aside from proper nutrition, fitness is a key element in weight loss. Sine Wallace, at Wallace Fitness in Mount Dora, says, “We believe in and encourage long-term results. Overall healthy living is our approach.”

Sine is a certified health coach, a certified weight management specialist, and a certified senior trainer. “Exercise after a certain age is different. You don’t want to hurt yourself,” she says. “We take the individual approach to weight loss, too, and we offer free consultations.”

During these consultations, Sine says they access lifestyle, habits, ability, and limitations to create a custom training program for each client. They use a body composition machine to analyze to the seminal level how weight is being lost.

“When people lose weight, they often lose muscle instead of fat. That makes them feel weak,”

Sine says. “The scale looks good, but they are not losing the right weight. We focus on fat burning so they lose fat, not muscle.” Sine says Wallace Fitness uses a scientific, functional, and individualized plan for each client. The small, family-owned business knows its clients are friends and neighbors and wants to offer the best care.

Losing weight is a constant battle for most Americans. The amazing number of plans, programs, books, pills, and fitness styles sometimes make it difficult to choose what is best for you. Keep in mind, your goals, your age, and your body’s abilities all are important when you’re ready to live healthier.

About the author

Leigh Neely

Leigh Neely began her writing career with a weekly newspaper in the Florida panhandle, where she not only did the writing but delivered the papers to the post office and dispensers. She has been writing ever since for a variety of newspapers and magazines from New Jersey to Leesburg. With her writing partner, Jan Powell, Leigh has published two novels as Neely Powell.

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