By Michael S. Mall, MD

Michael S. Mall, MD
What does it really take to get healthy? The two most common ways to get healthy revolve around diet and exercise. By diet, I mean what foods you put into your mouth, not the latest fad to lose weight. People don’t become overweight overnight, so why expect to lose so much right away. To affect a truly meaningful healthy weight loss, you must commit to a lifestyle change that you can stick with day in and day out. To not only lose unwanted fat pounds, but actually sustain that weight loss, there are several secrets to that success.

First, you need to control portion size. Eat balanced nutritious meals with protein, fruits and vegetables while avoiding processed carbohydrates such as sweets and starches beginning with breakfast. Eating a gluten free diet tremendously decreases caloric intake on a daily basis of 440 calories on average. One of the best kept secrets to effective sustainable weight loss is stopping the evening snacks with nothing to eat for at least 12 hours after dinner which will reset your Leptin receptors responsible for not feeling hungry.

Although the word “exercise” is often a four-letter word to many of us, call it activity to soften the blow. Do something that you like doing so that you can include that activity in your healthy lifestyle routine. It can be anything from walking the neighborhood to Wii Fit to a busy gym work out. Building muscle increases metabolism as every pound of muscle burns around six calories per day.

To further encourage your body to increase its metabolism, you need adequate rest and sleep. The average person needs to sleep between eight to nine hours per night to recharge, repair and restore our bodies. The best motivation for change is looking at yourself naked in the mirror. If you don’t like what you see, then commit to making changes that will get you where you want to be. Every time you are too tired to exercise and pick up a brownie to eat think of the picture of yourself in the mirror. If that is not motivating enough then there is a slim chance of change.

Get a medical checkup. Getting healthy encompasses many aspects such as BMI (body mass index), lab values, disease management, nutritional assessment and hormone replacement therapy. To complete the conversion to a healthy lifestyle, you need to work with a doctor with the expertise and time to evaluate your nutritional and hormonal levels to optimize your fat burning capacity. Hormone replacement therapy, if appropriate, can optimize fat burning and muscle building potential while increasing motivation to do all the things necessary to get healthy.

Why wait until after the holidays to start getting healthy? Prepare yourself before the holidays to make the conversion easier with less pounds to lose by not gaining them in the first place. Write short, medium and long term goals down to make them real and hold yourself accountable to those goals once they are written. To get the entire process started make an appointment now with a doctor who cares about you, to get you properly tested and educated so you commit to a healthy lifestyle before the holidays take their toll on your long term goals.

Michael S. Mall, MD is the owner of New Image Advanced Laser Skin Center, located at 7455 W. Washington Ave., Suite 400. For more information, call (702) 697-7991 or visit