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Health Team

Doctors: Simple changes can create healthy lifestyles

Posted July 31, 2013
Updated August 2, 2013

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— Losing weight can be difficult for some, and the daunting task of simply starting the process often keeps people from reaching their long-term weight and lifestyle goals. 

But according to dietitians at WakeMed, making a few changes, or even just one, can add up to better health in the long run. 

Ginny Wolf, who works with patients looking to get healthier, says choosing to exercise three to four days a week can make a big difference for people who struggle to get started. 

Thirty-five to 45 minutes of cardio and weight-bearing exercises three to four times a week are how Alan Sterger has started losing weight. His goal is to lose weight and help control his blood sugar and cholesterol.

"I like to sit at the computer," Sterger said. "I lose track of time when I do that."

Wolf says exercise acts like a free pill for people with high blood pressure, high cholesterol or high blood sugar. 

Doctors at WakeMed also recommend dietary changes, but Wolf said it's no longer as simple as counting calories. 

"We try to deal with what you are able to change," Wolf said. 

Small lifestyle changes add up over time Small lifestyle changes add up over time

Staying away from sugary soft drinks or sports drink is one easy way to cut back, and avoiding add-ons like butter, cheese and sour cream can have a huge impact. 

"You've taken this 80-calorie potato and turned it into 300 calories," Wolf said of many popular additions to baked potatoes. 

Along with those tips, Sterger has also cut back on his red meat consumption and tried to pick low-carbohydrate foods.

"I've just sort of become more in tune to chicken and fish," he said. "I can see it in myself now, on the scale. I've lost about 10 pounds."

Doctors at WakeMed Raleigh will go over many similar techniques Aug. 8 when they hold a simple nutrition and lifestyle changes class from 5 to 7 p.m. The class will be geared toward people with diabetes who want to put their health first.

People interested in registering for the class should call 919-350-7292.

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  • swoodley Aug 1, 2013

    I have lost weight on a non-GMO, less processed/more whole foods diet combined with eating mostly organic food & eating out less to avoid GMO oils/GMO meat.  Midtown Farmers Market at North Hills offers fresh, locally-grown, affordable organic produce.  "Food Babe" (who lives in Charlotte, NC and has appeared on Dr. Oz and GMA) has a website with good tips and recipes for healthy living.

  • CestLaVie Aug 1, 2013

    Barely: That's a great start....the more low carb veggies, the better.

    Sterger should re-think cutting back on RED meat consumption; it needs to be eliminated. Chicken & fish aren't much better. Think growth hormones, herbicides for the chicks. Think of the world's POLLUTED waters where fish come from.

    You are what you eat EATS!

  • Barely Aug 1, 2013

    I have started eating steamed or raw veggies, and that is really kicking me into gear.