Weight : Permanent Weight Loss Requires Attitude Adjustment

Losing weight is about calorie deficit, and one pound of fat is equal to a 3,500-calorie deficit, said Junelle H. Lupiani, a nutritionist and registered dietitian at Miraval Life in Balance wellness resort north of Tucson.

But Lupiani encourages "mindful" eating and says that people losing weight need to be careful about being too extreme. The idea is developing good long-term habits, she said.

Similarly, Dr. Nicole Gullick, a family practice physician by training who for the past three years has operated Transformations by M.D. in Tucson, warns her weight loss clients away from diet programs.

"Diets are the worst thing for you," Gullick said. "The goal of a lot of these diet programs is to get your money. It's a revolving door because it's fine if you gain the weight back. It's about quick loss."

The key to losing weight is a changing one behavior at a time and getting rid of the concept of losing a certain amount of weight, Gullick said.

"My goal is teaching people to make permanent changes in their attitude towards food and nutrition in general," she said.

Among other things, Gullick advises cutting down on refined sugar -- she's eliminated it entirely from her own diet. And as for the low-carb craze, it's not one she supports. She noted that whole grains have many benefits, and she doesn't support any program that advocates staying away from certain vegetables.

She does advocate enrolling in a healthy program or having some kind of other support. "Most people don't have the self-discipline to make these changes themselves," she said.

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Copyright © 2010, The Arizona Daily Star, Tucson

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