Health Team

Whole food diet helps woman lose 50 pounds

Posted August 15, 2013

The problem with diets is that they begin and end. Then, in many cases, the weight comes back. That's why nutritionists preach lifestyle changes that last a lifetime.

Michelle Brown adopted a "whole foods" approach to escape the diet cycle.

Brown said a love of food, and a love of cooking, were a weakness. "I grew up in the South where you fried everything and there was a gravy with everything," she said.

She tried many diets, including diet shakes.

"I'd lose a little bit of weight and when I stopped doing the shakes, I would gain the weight back," Brown said.

Then she came to a bariatric physician Dr. Deirdre Batch for help.

salad bar Whole foods feed healthy lifestyle

Batch recommends a "whole food" approach to eating.

"What I really do is help people develop a relationship with food," she said.

Brown described it in non-scientific terms. "If you can't tell what it is by looking at it, don't eat it," she said.

Brown sticks to lean beef or poultry that is unprocessed. She keeps her portions small by buying them that way.

"You could buy one chicken breast as opposed to a whole pack," she said.

Batch also has a warning about ingredient labels, and Brown has taken it to heart. 

"If you can't pronounce it, I really don't want to eat it. Does that sound like Dr. Batch," Brown laughed. 

Brown stays away from processed and canned foods. She spends most of her time in the produce aisle and loads up at the salad bar.

By shopping and eating this way, including plenty of water and regular exercise, she's 50 pounds lighter.

"It's been over a year," she said, "but it took a while to get it on, so it takes a while to get it off. It's not something that you can do fast."

WRAL's Dr. Allen Mask shared these tips to get the best value when buying organic foods, which can be more expensive:

  • Organic food is good because it's not complicated by pesticides, chemicals or preservatives.
  • Dr. Batch suggests using a good source of locally grown vegetables or poultry. Those are likely fresher.
  • If you can't get fresh, don't turn to canned vegetables that contain preservatives. Buy frozen vegetables.
  • If you plan to eat out, make the healthiest choice available. You can still eat all the foods you love most, but Dr. Batch suggests finding ways to make them healthier. Instead of fried, choose grilled or baked. 

This story is closed for comments.

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  • swoodley Aug 20, 2013

    Chemicals in non-organic food can disrupt one's hormones and cause weight gain:

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Aug 19, 2013

    Congratulations! Eating right will be easier in Durham, now that the fried food king restaurant, Honey's, will be closing.

  • claygriffith01 Aug 19, 2013

    albegadeep! You are spot on. I'm sure before she wasn't eating the same foods just "not organic". Switching from hug portions of junk food to smaller portions or healthy food and adding excercise is the key info here. PS: I'm happy that she lost the weight, just not on the spin put on the article to try and further this "organic" movement.

  • zProt Aug 19, 2013

    "Why is it that so many people who post comments on WRAL articles just can't be happy for anyone else?"

    That's easy blahblahblah, they can't be happy for anyone else because it would force a reckoning for their own miserable lives. If you're looking for that on the forums here, you'll be unhappy too.

    BTW - great job on the 50 pounds, regardless of where you started from!

  • blahblahblah Aug 19, 2013

    Why is it that so many people who post comments on WRAL articles just can't be happy for anyone else? Can't you just say, "good job" and move on? It doesn't hurt to be happy for someone else or have a positive attitude every once in awhile. Give it a try. You might like it.

  • LordHelpUsAll Aug 16, 2013

    haven't our family doctors been telling us this since the beginning of time!? duh.

  • Xiaoding Aug 16, 2013

    How much does she weigh? This basic information is left out of this poorly written article.

    Fifty pounds out of, what, 250? NOT MUCH.

    She could lose more, if she stayed away from the salads, ate more meat. Lean meat is not neccessary, fatty meat is just fine.

  • albegadeep Aug 16, 2013

    "Whole" and organic foods have little, if anything, to do with this. Read the article carefully: "lean beef or poultry", "keeps her portions small","spends most of her time in the produce aisle and loads up at the salad bar", "plenty of water and regular exercise".

    In other words, eat plenty of veggies, eat lean meat (and not too much), and exercise regularly. The same things doctors have been telling us for decades.

  • hollylama Aug 16, 2013

    Great example of lifestyle change!