That age old question, “Does Diet work?” My answer to that is, “depends on what circumstances you are using it.” Let me clarify….
If you are dieting for a short term goal/event but know that once the event is over you will slowly go back to your start out weight. Then, yes, diet is the way to go. For instance, diets work great for any sports competition like wrestling or boxing when your weight determines the class you will be competing. Or, if you compete in figure or bodybuilding competitions and need to lean down to get your physique in its tip top form. But “diet” is a short term weight loss with the risk of possible extra weight gain in the near future.
I will often have potential clients ask me, “So will you be putting me on a special diet?” I reply, “Absolutely not!!! My goal is for you to have a healthier lifestyle and long term weight loss.”
Let me explain how………..We are creatures of habit, ruled by patterns and certain choices. If we were to go to the grocery store once a week, your shopping cart would have different items in it than mine or your neighbors. And each week, you would most likely have the same items in your cart as the week before. In order for you to get long term weight loss you need to make small changes in the choices you are making in your food items. Baby steps! Make one change and do it for one to two months until a new habit is created, then choose another change and do that for the next couple of months. By the end of one year you will have made at least 6 major changes in your eating habits which in turn will lead to body changes. But don’t try to do too much too soon, be patient, work on one change at a time. This will lead to long term weight loss and a much healthier lifestyle.
Suggestions on changes to make:
- Minimize your eating out. If you are someone who eats out often, then you take away the control of what is being put in your foods and calories you are in taking. Try to bring prepared food from home more often and check the nutritional guidelines on the places you frequent out to make better choices. (often available online)
- Minimize your gluten intake - You can familiarize yourself with foods that contain gluten by doing research online. There is now amply amounts of gluten free food items being sold in all major grocery stores, from Walmart, Target, local grocery stores, etc. You can substitute pasta for rice pasta, cooks and tastes the same. Rice crackers, gluten free bread, gluten free pancake mix & muffin mix, etc. Also, many of your restaurants are now offering gluten free menus, you just need to ask.
- Stop drinking soda - Find other beverages to quench your thirst. Even diet soda is harmful to our bodies, they contain aspartame. You are better off with drinks being sweetened with cane sugar or organic sugar, it’s all natural and the body metabolizes it better. Most of all make WATER your favorite and common fluid. If the body does not get enough daily water your metabolism will slow down. Half your body weight in ounces of water is optimum.
- Keep your daily SUGAR intake to 30/40 grams - Sugar that is not burned off throughout the day will turn to fat. This means all sugar! Not just sugar put in your coffee or in sodas or desserts but all sugar needs to be accounted. This is to include, fruit, fruit juices, sugar in food items, etc. This is when reading your label comes into place. Look at the “nutritional fact” labeled on your foods and see how many grams of sugar are in each serving.
- Try to choose organic foods – Foods that are organic are easier for your body to metabolize. The fewer chemicals put in your body the better. Buy organic fruits and vegetables, buy meats & dairy that are not given antibiotics or hormones
- Try not to use your microwave – Try to cook foods from scratch or fresh, reheat food in a skillet or pot on the oven or with a toaster oven. Microwaveable foods are highly processed and chemically induced, leaving very little room for nutritional value. Make dinner in a crock pot, for time efficiency. Use old fashioned rolled oats that you cook on the stove or steel cut oats.
- Make sure that you are always marrying a protein with a carbohydrate in all meals - If you are not sure which food is protein or carbohydrate, then do some research on the internet. Keeping a good amount of protein married with your carbohydrate keeps the sugar levels in your body more balanced and sustaining. Meaning you will be less hungry throughout the day.
- Be sure to eat SOMETHING for BREAKFAST- Breakfast literally means “breaking the fast”, your body needs food after going many hours since your last meal. Eat something every morning to get your metabolism going. It can be as little as a piece of fruit with a string cheese, sliced apple with peanut butter, eggs with gluten free toast, Greek yogurt with a fruit, gluten free toast with peanut butter, etc.
- Try not to eat after 7 pm – Dinner should be a light meal, mostly consisting of protein and vegetables. Try not to have a heavy, complex carbohydrate late in the day.
This is where it all begins……….pick ONE thing to change and work on it, stick with it, be disciplined for 1 to 2 months. This will get you on the path to a better, healthier life.
Remember Baby Steps……..But make a change!