Getting ready for a summer physique

Published on April 3, 2018 in Pacer Times, University of South Carolina Aiken’s college paper

Summer is only a few months away, meaning it’s about time to start diving into a healthier lifestyle for the perfect swimsuit body, but, more importantly, for an able-body.

David Gaitonde, an endocrinologist at the Eisenhower Army Medical Center said that reducing the number of times you go out to eat and taking in less calories than you expend would be beneficial.

Gaitonde also that that eating less processed foods, which have preservatives and artifical ingredients, as well as being aware of the amount of calories in sugary drinks are a few ways to shed pounds.

“It is advised that you spend around 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity a week. I think Brad Pitt said it best in “World War Z,” ‘Movimiento es vida,’ or ‘movement is life,'” Gaitonde said.

Gaitonde, who’s been board certified since 2001, frequently receives patients worrying about their thyroid because of weight gain. But he said that the weight gain is usually due to their lifestyle choice, not a thyroid problem.

“There are some endocinopathies (disease of an endocine gland) that can lead to weight gain, but that’s probably not more common than activity level, diet and genetics,” Gaitonde said.

Both Gaitonde and Eric Clubb, registered nurse for Aiken Regional Medical Center, alluded to “The Biggest Loser” and stated that most participants gained their weight back after leaving the show.

“They reverted back to the same behaviors. If you really want to lose weight, see a nutrionist and get a diet tailored to you,” Clubb said.

This is much like adhering to a well-known diet like Atkins or Weight Watchers for only so long, expecting to keep the weight off. But the regimens are difficult to maintain for an extended amount of time; tailored diets are not.

“We teach in tandem,” said Clubb. “It’s both food choice and working out.”

Clubb said exercise helps maintain your body, even at 30 minutes of light exercise a day.

Being overweight can lead not only to diabetes but also high blood pressure, which can then turn into heart disease.

It’s not just a summer body you should be worried about. Your physiological health is on the line.

“Plaque builds up in arteries and makes the heart work harder,” Clubb said.

Jonathan Johnson, who is certified to counsel for nutrition and who has worked many years as a chef, is on a strict diet himself. He’s lost over 50 pounds thus far.

“Dieting takes a lot of meal planning and perparation. On sundays I have to take three to four hours to get food ready for the week,” Johnson said. “I can tell you it works, but exercise is key. Dieting alone does nothing.”

Cody Hayes, who once lived in North Augusta, is now stationed in California. Since joining the Navy, he has experienced quite the lifestyle change. Hayes has lost over 30 pounds since December 2017.

“I’ve been to a ton of nutrition and exercise science-type courses because of the Navy,” Hayes said. “I exercise at work (command physical training) at least twice a week. Other than that, the biggest factor has honestly been just watching my intake.”

Being aware of caloric intake is key to weight loss, paired with regular exercise. Those tips could be the ticket to lounging by the pool, no longer insecure.

Johnson said ever since losing weight he’s had more self-confidence.

Exercise is often prescribed for depression, according to Clubb. “Exercise makes you feel good,” Clubb said.

But according to a new study published in the journal Plos One, losing weight may actually cause negative psychological effects; maintaining the new weight is where the positive mindset comes in.

“Mood may improve once a target weight is reached and the focus is on weight maintenance,” said Dr. Sarah Jackson, one author of the study.

Preparation for the summer could be the starting point to a happier, healthier life, but maintaining it into the later months of the year, and for years to come, is important.

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