Corporate Fitness and Active Aging

Employee Weight Loss and Nutrition: Quality Over Quantity?

employee food choicesIf you’re skeptical like me, you may have questioned some of the weight-loss methods you’ve seen in the media. After all, any diet that requires you to substitute steak for fruit salad is sure to be a hit, but how healthy can that really be?

Amidst all the confusion a simple question remains: When looking to lose weight, what matters more? What you eat, or how much you eat? Here are some thoughts to share with overweight employees looking to make a change.

Tell Employees to Burn More Calories Than They Consume

Dr. David Katz, director of the Yale Griffin Prevention Research Center, seems to offer a simple answer. Dr. Katz points out that “The fundamental truth is that energy balance, calories in versus calories used, determines weight.” Put even more simply, the only way to lose weight is to burn off more calories than you consume. There’s really no mystery about calorie balance.

But it’s not quite that easy. How do you know if you should cut out carbs, pump up the protein, or follow any one of the many other suggestions out there along with eating less?

Nutritionist Mark Haub, an associate professor of nutrition at Kansas State University, answered these very questions with a unique experiment. For one month he ate a high-fat, high-sugar, low-nutrient diet consisting of Twinkies, Nutter Butters, canned or frozen vegetables, a protein supplement, steak, and milk averaging 1,800 calories per day. Believe it or not, he lost weight--15 pounds in the one-month experiment.

Tell Employees to Eat Less but Also Eat Healthy

So how much you eat has more bearing than what you eat--unless you actually want to lose weight in a healthy way.

The major problem with any diet is that you go on it, but eventually must come off of it. So unless you plan to maintain a diet the rest of your life, the odds are you will regain the weight you lost once you resume your normal eating habits.

The long and the short of it? Eat just enough of foods that are good for you and get on with the rest of your day!

Topics: employee health overweight employees nutrition