(Via Ho’okele News)
An increased emphasis on resiliency and readiness has led Airmen to potentially extreme or harmful measures to quickly shed extra pounds. However, personnel at the Hickam Human Performance and Rehabilitation Center recommend that Airmen choose quality over quantity when it comes to losing weight.
“Airmen should pair exercise with eating the proper amount of calories to lose weight,” said Tech. Sgt. Lamarr Coleman, HPARC NCO in charge of health promotion.
“This does not require a diet. A diet is temporary, but a lifestyle change will permanently help to lose the weight and keep it off.”
Coleman said “yo-yo” dieting or fad diets may seem like an easy alternative but usually do more harm than good.
“When you remove something from your diet, it will lower your calorie intake which will likely cause you to lose weight, but eventually you either reach a goal or get tired of the diet and incorporate the foods back in and that’s when you gain the weight back,” he said.
“Nobody wants to gain the weight back. Ask yourself if this is a diet that you [can] live with every day forever. If the answer is no, then it’s not a realistic eating habit and the results will only be temporary.”
Additionally, Coleman said fad diets are unhealthy because they rob the body of key nutrients.
“Making healthier choices and providing the body with nutrients could actually help Airmen with their fitness assessment by increasing energy, repairing muscles, shortening recovery times, so Airmen can train harder and more frequently and reducing body fat which will improve abdominal circumference.”
Coleman said having a healthy diet can also help Airmen avoid health complications by reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, blood pressure, cholesterol and certain cancers.
To help Airmen struggling to lose weight, Coleman suggested a lifestyle overhaul including a balanced diet coupled with cardio and strength training.
“Lifestyle changes can include eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, low fat dairy and healthy fats,” Coleman said. “Preparing your meals instead of eating out and baking, broiling or grilling your foods instead of frying them are all ways to improve your overall diet.”
Coleman also suggested eating breakfast, tracking calories with a food diary, exercising portion control, eating smaller meals more frequently for appetite control, and drinking lots of water.
“Long-term success comes from making a permanent lifestyle change,” he said.
“Losing weight should not be hard, but some people are just unaware, or underestimate, how much they eat. Read food labels to make smart choices and set realistic goals like drinking more water and less soda. If you lose weight the correct way over time, the weight will stay off.”
For more information on nutrition or healthy lifestyle choices and class schedules, contact the HPARC staff at 448-6170.