A Happy and Healthy New Year
Did you make a resolution to begin a new diet or exercise program this year? If so, congratulations! Research shows that people who make a resolution are more likely to achieve their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions. If you have made it this far, you are part of the 15% who reach the one-week hurdle, and you are well on your way to being one of the 52% who are going strong after one month.
Improving your diet and fitness are important lifestyle changes that can pay huge health dividends. But if you take medication for a chronic condition such as heart disease, diabetes or depression, speak with your physician first to make sure your new diet or fitness program is safe for you.
Diet and Medications
There are so many diets out there all claiming to help you lose weight fast. While some of these diets can help jump-start weight loss, a diet that excludes certain foods or focuses only on one food group is not a sustainable solution and could interfere with the medications you use. For example, grapefruit or grapefruit juice can cause severe interactions with several medications, including some cholesterol, blood pressure and antidepressant medications. Take caution before changing your diet.
Also, dark, leafy greens are great for your immune and digestive systems, and are a rich source of vitamins —particularly vitamin K. However, too much vitamin K can interfere with blood thinning medications, such as Coumadin (Warfarin). Patients using a medication like this may want to avoid changing the amount of leafy greens (adding or deleting) in their daily diet.
Instead of starting a “diet,” consider making lasting, healthy changes to your nutrition. Reduce portion sizes and limit high-calorie, high-sugar and high-fat foods. Eat well-balanced meals following Health Canada’s recommendations for fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy and protein.
Fitness and Medications
Ever wonder why your doctor makes you step on the scale before each physical? It’s not to embarrass you. Doctors need to know your weight so they can prescribe the proper dose of medication. Therefore, it’s important to inform your doctor and your pharmacist about any significant weight fluctuations since you last filled your prescription.
And if you started a new fitness program or joined a gym, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about your new workout to make sure it’s not too strenuous.
The best way to stay on track with healthy lifestyle changes is to plan for success, and a quick phone call to your doctor or pharmacist can give you important information about changing your diet or starting a fitness routine. Those few minutes can help prevent obstacles to reaching your health goals and keep you on the right path to a lasting healthy lifestyle.
Happy New Year!