For Immediate Release March 12, 2018

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Trena Williamson:

Mary King, registered dietitian at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown

Early March is that time of the year -- after the holidays but before spring -- when many people decide they need to take off a few pounds.  But it’s a struggle and most become frustrated and give up. In observance of March as National Nutrition Month, Mary King, RD, LD, CDE, of Nutrition Services at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown, shares some suggestions for weight reduction and healthy eating that can last a lifetime.

“I hear so many people say, ‘I can’t lose weight,’” King says. “Most of the time they aren’t going about it in a way that is likely to succeed. But there are strategies that will work for most people to lose one to two pounds a week, which is a healthy rate of weight loss. If you lose too much too fast you can easily regain it back.”

First of all, says King, stay away from fad diets, such as low carb/no carb diets. As she explains, “People need at least 130 grams of carbohydrate in their diet for their brain and body to function properly. Carbohydrates provide energy and energy is needed for brain function and for exercise.”

However, she recommends you be sure to choose healthy carbs, such as whole grain breads and cereals, vegetables and fruit, yogurt or skim milk, dried beans and peas. And of course, it’s important to limit simple sugar such as regular soda, punch, lemonade, sweet tea, fruit juice, candy, cookies, cake and pies.

King also recommends making sure there’s enough protein in your diet, as she explains, “Protein helps keep you feeling satisfied so you’re not hungry all the time.” Lean protein includes: eggs (and the whole egg is okay now), poultry and fish (but not fried), nuts and nut butters, low fat cheese, lean beef and pork, and Greek yogurt (low sugar).

Her other tips include getting plenty of fiber in your diet and starting a regular aerobic and strength-building exercise program. “Weight loss is very difficult without exercise,” King points out. “Choose activities that are reasonable for your age, physical ability and lifestyle, such as dancing, hiking, Zumba, yoga, Pilates, swimming – anything that you enjoy and will look forward to. Some people are more motivated to exercise if they do it with a buddy. Check with your primary care provider before starting any exercise program.”

Finally, don’t feel you have to go it alone. “Ask a dietitian for help,” she says. "Shore Regional Health hospitals have dietitians who are more than happy to help you with weight loss. You can contact a dietitian and we will help get you a referral for nutrition counseling.”

To reach a dietitian at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown, call 410-778-3300, ext. 2295. To reach a dietitian at either UM Shore Medical Center at Dorchester or Easton, call 410-822-1000, ext. 5351.