Tuesday, April 9, 2013

VDA Annual Meeting: Nutritional Sound Bites

This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend the Virginia Dietetic Association's Annual Meeting in Richmond, VA. I have to say, I was so impressed by the speaker lineup and how applicable the lectures were! So, I'm here to share with you the highlights of what I learned.

Highlights from Day 1:

On Sunday I attended the Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes seminar. The lecture turned out to be an endurance event in itself: 5 full hours! Normally it's near impossible for me to sit still that long, but this time I was just a tad bit enamored with every word coming out the speakers mouth. We talked about nutrition periodization, supplements, protein and carbohydrate needs, weight loss and more. I plan on dedicating an entire post to this topic, so here's a few key takeaway points:
  • "Proper sports nutrition will set you apart from the competition at the starting line."
  • "Changes regarding weight management/ weight loss should always occur in the off-season."
  • "Focus on low-fat, low-fiber foods prior to a competition to prevent GI upset."

Highlights from Day 2:

WE ARE WHAT WE GROW: The opening speaker for the conference was dietitian Diana Dyer, who is a two-time cancer survivor and in 2009 decided to focus her efforts on establishing her own organic farm (Dyer Family Organic Farm). She had this to say about sustainable agriculture:
  • On buying local: "You can't buy happiness but you can buy local and that's pretty much the same thing."
  • Putting food budget into perspective: "American's spend almost 20 cents of every dollar managing chronic disease while only spending 10 cents per dollar on food."
Really I wish I could dedicate an entire post to recapping her talk (and I just might!)

OVERCOMING BARRIERS TO FRUIT AND VEGETABLE CONSUMPTION: This speaker was a representative from the Produce for Better Health Foundation and discussed strategies for promoting greater fruit and veggie consumption (to consumers, kids, stubborn spouses, etc)
  • "McDonald's, Pepsi Co, Nestle, Kraft and Unilever have the largest food-related marketing budgets all which are $1,000,000,000 +" (that's a lot of zeros). <-- This is what we're up against when it comes to promoting whole foods and a healthy diet.
  • "All forms of fruits and vegetables count towards your daily servings!" Yes, fresh is ideal, but also try frozen, canned and dried forms to increase consumption. Draining the liquid and rinsing with canned products can reduce added sugars and sodium to as little as 1-2%. 

WHY IS IT SO DIFFICULT TO LOSE WEIGHT?!: This was a must see lecture for me. Since I counsel many individuals for weight loss, it's important to know what obstacles to overcome and strategies to do so:
  • The bottom line: "Weight loss leads to decreased BMR (basal metabolic rate), increased appetite and decreased satiety." The result: we plateau, get frustrated and return to our 'set point.'
  • Proven strategies for successful weight loss: (1) Exercise 1+ hrs/day (2) Follow a diet low in calories and fat (3) Eat breakfast every day (4) Monitor yourself regularly (food journal, weigh ins) (5) Make little deviation from your weight loss habits and (6) Set goals to stay on track!

I'm really happy that I had the opportunity to attend this conference and I hope now you learned a little bit too!!

1 comment:

  1. I'm eager to hear your post on We Are What We Grow. Diana Dyer is a valued Hunger and Environmental Nutrition DPG member. Glad you enjoyed her talk.


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