Nutritionist gives tips and tech 'cheats' for weight loss

Nutritionist gives tips and tech 'cheats' for weight loss

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – There are right and wrong ways to lose weight.  If you don't break certain habits that are keeping you from shedding those extra pounds, they may never come off.  If you're looking to lose weight, nutritionists and technology can help you get off to a good start.

Grand Strand Medical Center Clinical Nutrition Manager Kelly Snow can give you two weight loss tips: don't skip meals and learn how to correctly read a food label.  First off, hunger pangs are miserable and if you're trying to drop a few fast pounds, not eating will work against you.  Skipping a meal plummets blood sugar levels.  Low blood sugar levels can make you feel tired and sick.  It will also slow your metabolism, which can lead to weight gain.

"The problem is [clients] not doing it the right way, they're not educated on the proper way so they do what kind of makes sense to them," Snow said.

Reading food labels is important because it explains exactly what you're putting into your body.  Calorie needs differ depending on a person's size and activity levels.  What may be too much food for your caloric needs, may be not enough for someone else.  If you want to learn how to read a food label, click here.  That link leads to the FDA's full explanation of how to read the labels.

Snow says the general rule for serving size is to fill half of your plate with fruits and veggies, a 1/4 protein and the other 1/4 with starch.  However, she says bread isn't necessary.

There have been mixed reviews in studies examining the long-term effect of smartphone apps and weight loss.  But they do help you realize your daily intake.  The app's helpfulness in that respect will help you long-term.  Snow says most people don't realize a single serving of wine is a little more than half a cup and you probably don't know how many calories are really in that handful of chocolate.  Knowing exactly what you're eating can help you make minor diet changes to lead to weight loss.

There are many informative food weight loss apps you can download from your smartphone for free.  Some of the most common are MyFitnessPal, Lose It! and Fooducate.  Other apps exist aimed to encourage work outs and provide exercise ideas.  7 Minute Workout, Endomondo and Fitness Buddy are a few suggestions.

Losing weight is easier said than done, but setting goals may help you get there faster.  Whether it's lifting a certain amount of weight or running a mile without stopping, Myrtle Beach has two fun opportunities coming up.

The first is the Run Like a Diva 5k or half-marathon.  It's on May 1 in North Myrtle Beach.  This race is different than most because you can actually dress like a diva, and receive boas and tiaras during the run.  For more information and registration click here.

The next is the Dirty Myrtle Mud Run on May 28th.  This one is for solo runners, teams and kids.  The three-mile race is amplified with obstacles and, of course, you can't be afraid to get a little dirty.  Click here for information and registration.

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