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It’s always a good time to start your wellness journey and we’re here to help! We’ve scoured the web and asked customers what questions they might have before tackling a lifestyle change. We saw a lot of similar questions and wanted to get to the bottom of these topics.

We knew we had to call in our experts—Publix Dietitians. Each of our retail and corporate dietitians are Registered Dietitian/Nutritionists through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. In addition to a bachelor’s degree, they have each passed a rigorous registration exam and continue to complete continuing education. They were excited to help us answer some of your questions!


Jamie StolarzQ: What is a healthy rate of weight loss?

Jamie Rametta, MS, RDN, LDN, CDE, Retail Dietitian, #890

A healthy rate of weight loss is different for different people. The reason is that each person has different calorie needs depending on their height, weight, sex, age and physical activity level. To lose weight, we need to create a calorie deficit (which means coming in under our body’s calorie needs) and/or increase our physical activity. For some people, ½ lb. per week is safe and healthy and for others up to two lbs. per week is safe. To lose one lb. per week, a deficit of about 500 calories per day would be needed. To lose two lbs. per week, a deficit of about 1,000 calories per day is required. Talk to your dietitian or health care provider about a healthy rate of weight loss for you.


Holly_LongQ: Does BMI matter?

Holly Long, RDN, LDN, Retail Dietitian, #006

First things first, BMI stands for Body Mass Index and is one way to determine if your weight is appropriate for your height. Based on your BMI, you fall into 1 of 5 classifications: underweight, normal, overweight, obesity grade I, obesity grade II or obesity grade III. The BMI is then used as a tool to identify your risk for disease such as high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease and some types of cancer. A BMI in the normal range falls between 18.5-24.9 kg/m2. This means, someone who is 5’5” and weighs between 112-150 lbs. will have a BMI within the 18.5-24.9 kg/m2 normal BMI range, indicating that their weight is appropriate for their height and potentially at a lower risk for developing disease than a BMI that is classified out of the normal range. Overall, BMI is a tool, but it is not the only factor to consider when assessing your health status. Physical activity, tobacco use and eating patterns should also be taken into consideration. BMI does not take into account race, sex, age and many other factors. BMI is not appropriate for some athletes, those with edema and, in some cases, the elderly.


Anastasia_KyriakopoulosQ: Can I lose weight eating on the go? Is there a way I can keep a healthy weight and eat out?

Anastasia Kyriakopoulos, RDN, LDN, Retail Dietitian, #1341

It is 100 percent possible to lose weight on the go! You don’t have to cook from scratch all the time! Yes, eating out or for convenience will often put you at the mercy of higher sodium and higher fat foods. However, with many healthier or “fresh” focused restaurants popping up, you have more options to choose from. Portion control is what it comes down to but also being strategic to ensure fullness. Anything you do with consistency will get you a result. Knowing the portions for your weight goals, whether that’s to maintain or to lose, is key and everyone is different. My #1 tip for eating out – to keep goals in perspective – is eat your portion but also eat for fullness. Make the menu work for you. Always look for a lean protein option, a good choice carb and load the veggies! Most people double up on the carbohydrate and leave off either the protein or vegetables. The protein and fiber will always help you feel full and satisfied. If you have to create your own meal via the menu then do it! Keep the perspective that if you were to make or build this meal at home, what would be the best options? It’s not about perfection, but learning from yourself and seeking ways on how you can change it up for the best, the next time and the next!


Ashleigh_FabianQ: Supplements touted for weight loss, do they work? Are they safe?

Ashleigh Fabian, RDN, LDN, Retail Dietitians, #640

Garcinia Cambogia, Raspberry Ketones, Hydroxycut…. sound familiar? These are some of the most popular weight loss supplements on the market. These products among many others make claims for weight loss, energy and appetite control, but do they work? And if they do, are they safe? Dietary supplements are not approved by the FDA, have not been confirmed effective or safe and should be treated with caution. Some weight loss supplements may aid in short term weight loss, but this is not without safety risk. Most weight loss supplements make big promises without the science or trials to back them up. In fact, most of these supplements have not undergone large scale studies. There have been reports of serious medical issues while taking some weight loss supplements like heart problems, stroke, thyroid dysfunction, increased blood pressure and even death.  Unlike prescription or O-T-C medications, supplements receive far less governmental oversight and regulation when it comes to safety, efficacy, contamination and product labeling. The Food and Drug Administration warns against using “miracle” weight loss supplements, even the ones that claim to be “natural.” The reason for this is that some of these products have been found to contain hidden active ingredients that you can also find in prescription drugs. For long-term sustainable weight loss, realistic behavior changes, including eating mindfully and increasing activity, work best. Fueling our bodies with balanced, nutrient dense meals and snacks helps to keep us satisfied, keep our energy levels up and reduce the risk of chronic disease.


Shannon McManus Corp DietitianQ: How can I control my cravings and lose weight at the same time?

Shannon McManus, RDN, LDN

Food cravings can be triggered by environmental, psychological, physical or emotional cues such as a stressful day at work. Cravings are natural, but when they cause you to consume more calories than your body needs, it can sabotage your weight loss efforts. Managing your reaction to these cravings is key.  The tips below may help curb your cravings:

  1. Eat every 3-4 hours. Skipping meals often leads to overeating through larger portions and increased calorie foods.
  2. Keep healthier snacks on hand. If you keep ice cream in the freezer at home, it is easier to indulge when the craving hits. Instead keep alternatives such as fruit, low-fat Greek yogurt or frozen fruit bars on hand.
  3. Eat plenty of protein. Include a source of protein at each meal and snack. Some research has shown protein to be more satisfying than carbohydrates or fat.
  4. Control your portions. All foods can fit into a balanced diet. For an indulgent treat, choose a small portion and enjoy every bite.
  5. Check your hunger cue.  Ask yourself, are you hungry or stressed or bored? If it’s not hunger, go for a walk, read a book or choose to do something relaxing instead.


Jennifer Patzkowski corporate dietitianQ: Do I really have to work out?

Jennifer Patzkowsky, MS, RDN, LDN

Regular physical activity is one of the most important things people can do to improve their health. Moving more and sitting less have tremendous benefits for everyone and, even better, benefits can start accumulating with small amounts of physical activity.

Remember that all activity counts. Think about what you do during the day, and build in ways to increase your movement. Here are a few ideas:

Keep track of your steps. If you have a smartphone, download a free app that will help you monitor how many steps and miles you travel on foot each day.

Make shopping count. Get some mileage out of your shopping trip to Publix by parking farther away from the store. Take an extra walk through the grocery aisles before you check out.

Take the stairs. If you work several floors up, opt for the stairs rather than wait for the elevator. Or take a few laps around your office after lunch.

Play outside. Make your family time active. Go on a long Sunday stroll. Take your dog on regular walks through the neighborhood. Play ball with your children in the yard or at a park.

Be creative and discover new ways to get more activity into your daily routine. You’ll be well on your way to achieving greater balance in your life. Once you start to move, it’s hard to stop!

Disclaimer: Always check with your physician before starting a new fitness routine.


Kalee McGee Corporate DietitianQ: Does my metabolism really slow down as I age? And how much does it?

Kalee McGee, RDN

You may have heard something along the lines “you can’t eat like that forever” or “just wait until your metabolism slows,” but what does that mean and is it true?

Metabolism is the process by which our bodies convert what we eat and drink into the energy we need to survive and function in our daily life activities. Our bodies burn a certain number of calories at rest; this is called basal metabolic rate. Contributing factors to the number of calories an individual needs and burns can include, but are not limited to: genetics, age, gender, height and weight, sleep duration and muscle mass.

That may seem like a long list of influencers, but it’s a complex process. A link to the slowing down of our metabolism can be caused by muscle mass decreasing as we age. In fact, most of us start losing muscle around age 30, with a 3 to 8 percent reduction in lean muscle mass every decade thereafter. Remember, no one person is the same and lifestyle differences (activity levels and diet) also play a part in the metabolic rate for individuals.


Do you have more questions for our dietitians? Sign in to your Publix Account and ask them in the comments below. They will gladly provide nutrition expertise and useful ideas that can help you achieve your health and wellness goals. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.




Sasha W.

Written by

Sasha W. began her career at Publix in 2007 as a cashier and has since gained experience in both Event Planning and Social Media – which is perfect, because the combination of those two interests are what drive the writing behind her favorite blog posts! A New England girl turned southern belle, Sasha loves taking her puppy on tropical adventures all throughout Florida. Describing herself as fifty percent manatee and fifty percent flamingo, Sasha hopes to bring fun and unique ideas to your future events!

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