Time to Weigh Your Diet Options
By Karyn Brodsky
“It’s all fun and games until the shorts don’t fit.”
So says Kathy Kennelly, Certified Family Nurse Practitioner and owner of Institute of Health Promotion (IHP) in Plano. The moment of truth occurs when the kids are out of school and summer arrives. “All of a sudden we realize we need to lose weight,” she says.
Kennelly says it’s important to shed pounds safely with medically supervised weight loss programs. “New patients should have lab work done, a body analysis and an electrocardiogram (EKG) to make sure their heart is strong,” notes Kennelly.
A customized diet plan can help with success, as Kennelly says it’s all about what works for each individual. If an appetite suppressant is recommended, Kennelly warns, “There’s no magic pill for weight loss; the pills don’t do it alone,” she warns. “You still need to diet and exercise to lose weight.”
So how much of weight loss is what you eat versus exercise? Shannon Rene, founder of Fit N Pilates Studio in Plano, says many factors control weight gain or loss. “Regular exercise can help people lose weight,” she says. “However, there are many factors that influence whether or not individuals become obese, as well as whether they are able to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight.” These factors include diet, exercise, genes, learned behaviors, cultural and socioeconomic factors and motivation.
According to the American Council on Exercise, most adults could gain substantial health benefits from two and a half hours of weekly, moderate-intensity exercise, such as brisk walking or gardening. For more physically fit adults, 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity, such as swimming laps, hiking uphill or race-walking can offer similar health benefits in half the time. (acefitness.org)
One form of exercise that is beneficial, gentle on the joints yet challenging, says Rene, is Pilates, as it contributes to developing a strong core, flat abdominals and back. It also helps gain long lean muscles and flexibility and creates an evenly conditioned body, improves sports performance and prevents injuries.
As patients slim down, they need to be closely monitored to be certain they are losing weight safely. “You want to lose fat, yet protect muscle,” Kennelly explains. Also, patients’ primary care physicians and specialists should be informed and involved in the process, so that all health issues are addressed.
Many women and men suffer from hormonal issues that impact their ability to lose weight. For women, this includes the effects of menopause, and Kennelly recommends plant-based bio-identical hormone replacement therapy to treat these symptoms. Similar to human hormones, Kennelly says bio-identical hormones are the safest, most effective and most convenient. “Hormone deficiency is one of the leading causes of accelerated aging,” she says. “If patients’ hormones are managed, weight loss becomes easier, and they can enjoy life more. Hormonal balance means improved sleep, mood, mental clarity, libido, decreased hot flashes and night sweats.”
Male patients have benefited from customized testosterone replacement therapy,” says Kennelly. “The testosterone replacement increases their mental acuity, muscle strength and yes, their libido.”
Editor’s Note: For more information on IHP, contact Kathy Kennelly at 972. 832.4610. For information about beginning a Pilates program, reach Shannon Rene at ShannonZRene@gmail.com.