What if you could enjoy a lifetime of delicious food and look
great at the same time?
In my new column, I'll show you how to make your diet and fitness
dreams come true. That's my area of expertise. As a nutritionist,
exercise physiologist, and weight-management specialist, I assist
people of all sizes, shapes, and ages in reaching and maintaining
their ideal weight and their fitness goals. Over the years I've
helped my clients by explaining their best food choices and creating
personalized diet plans. I've also provided them with customized
exercise programs and pertinent nutritional information for a
At least 55 percent of Americans are overweight or obese (20-30
percent above the average weight for a person's age, sex, and
height). Obesity is more than an aesthetic issue; it is a major
risk factor for heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke,
some cancers, hormonal imbalances, arthritis, and type II diabetes.
Most experts agree that Americans' sedentary lifestyle and propensity
to overeat -- and the fact that so many calories are devoid of
nutritional value -- are causes of obesity.
To accompany these bad habits, there is a multibillion-dollar
diet industry full of conflicting and misleading information,
alleged magic pills and potions, diet aids, and seductive eating
programs all promising a quick fix: instant, painless weight loss.
Hollywood, the fashion industry, and the media are all guilty
of conveying images of extreme thinness. This has created a false
standard of an ideal physique. On the opposite end of the spectrum,
a segment of the population suffers from eating disorders such
as anorexia nervosa and bulimia.
Weight loss gimmicks always seem so much easier and
quicker, but they are detrimental in the long run. There
are no magical pills or potions for losing weight or
maintaining a healthy weight.
The good news is that studies continue to show the conventional
prescription for attaining and maintaining your best weight is
still the healthiest -- by modifying your lifestyle, eating a
balanced diet of carbohydrates, protein, and fat; and cutting
calories and exercising more (i.e., expending more calories than
you take in). Weight loss gimmicks always seem so much easier
and quicker, but they are detrimental in the long run. There are
no magical pills or potions for losing weight or maintaining a
It's been said that knowledge is power. I hope that my columns
will provide you with the knowledge to sort through the myriad
diet and fitness information out there, and the power to embark
on a healthier path. In addition, I'll share the latest and most
helpful advances and trends in diet, healthful eating, exercise,
and weight management.
I've spent years helping my clients and readers achieve their
wellness goals through consultations and seminars as well as columns,
articles, and books. Lately, I've been able to reach out and help
an even larger global audience through the Internet, with monthly
interactive weight-management chats, online classes, online articles,
and even a weight-loss support group. I look forward to sharing
the expertise I've gained in all these arenas with you, and to
helping you reach and maintain your diet and fitness goals.
Send feedback on this article.
Elaine Gavalas is an exercise physiologist, nutritionist, and weight
management specialist currently earning her Ph.D. from Columbia
University, where she also received her master's degree. Elaine
is a contributing editor and columnist for a number of online consumer
health and beauty sites.