I’ve read every diet book from the Martini Diet to South Beach Diet to Eat to Live. I find them interesting and I try to keep up with the latest trend so that when my clients bring them up I can talk about them. I have seen, and sometimes taken part in the fat free craze, the carb free craze, and the no sugar craze. Yet, 34% of Americans are obese. Something is not working.
Americans want an easy way out. We want to hear that if we stop eating bread we will lose 5 pounds in a week. We don’t care that the weight that we lose is mostly water and that as soon as we have bread again, it’s coming right back on. Quick results in as little time as possible. I always remind my clients to not get so frustrated with gradual weight loss. It didn’t take you a week to gain 10 unwanted pounds, it took you a year. Therefore, it’s not going to go away after only 4 days of healthy eating and exercise.
I invite you to stop thinking as weight loss as a diet you need to be on. None of us needs to diet. The word makes me feel deprived just typing it! Yes, you CAN eat bread, and have dessert, and yes, even fruit. You just need to make healthier choices everyday. You also need to get some exercise.
Simple Tips for a Healthier Day
1. Eat breakfast, a healthy breakfast. I like coffee and tend to drink coffee as my breakfast some days. When I do, I have an earlier lunch. The days I do eat breakfast I have fruit, or a tofu scramble, granola, and sometimes I saute a few vegetables. Eat what you like for breakfast but make sure it is healthy, doesn’t always come right out of a box, and is not something you microwave, and please don’t buy it out of a fast food window on your way to work.
2. Drink water. Half of your weight in ounces. Water cleans you from the inside out. It gives you energy. It allows your bodies cells to do the work they need to.
3. Have a salad for lunch. Make a salad that contains lots of greens, and at least 3 vegetables (not including onions). Make the salad as colorful as you can. Top the salad with lean protein or beans. If you need cheese add Parmesan, it’s lower in fat than most other cheeses at the salad bar. Dress that salad with a low fat dressing or for extra points Balsamic Vinegar and a little oil.
4. Have an afternoon snack. At 4pm I always get slightly hungry but I’m not usually ready for dinner. Have an apple with Peanut Butter, carrots with hummus, whole wheat crackers and a slice of cheese, fruit and almonds. The snack should contain some protein to keep you feeling full. No chips, Doritos, or cookies. In fact, if you have them in your cupboard I invite you to look at the ingredients and google them. You might think twice next time you are snacking on them.
5. Your dinner plate should contain a carb (whole wheat or a grain such as quinoa, wild rice, or brown rice), a protein (vegetarian or non- vegetarian, and a vegetable. The vegetable portion should take up half the plate and the others only one quarter of the plate. Corn should be considered a carb on your plate.
6. Exercise everyday. Exercise does not always mean going to the gym. You can simply take a 20 minute walk before work work, at lunch, or after dinner. You can do a Yoga video at home. Ride your bike. Take time to move your body everyday in a way that feels good for you. Dance, Swim, Pilates, Run, Hike, Skate….
7. Find a pair of jean, a skirt, or a great dress that is already in your closet that fit at a point in your life that you felt good. Not at the point you were the thinnest. The dress you were on a date that doesn’t zip all the way, the jeans that make your butt like great but you can’t get up over your thighs. Put that item on your closet door and take a picture of it to put on your desk, or in your planner, or somewhere to remind you why you are making healthier choices that day.
8. Enjoy life! This one is important. Stop thinking of what you can’t have as you eat healthier and think of all the things you CAN have! Fresh, whole foods that aren’t processed. Buy a new cookbook that has healthy recipes so you don’t get stuck in a rut. Go out to dinner but order the salad or the soup and split an entree. Enjoy food, it’s such a great way to socialize.