This sounds familiar doesn’t it? It’s exactly what we said last time, but here you are with no real results. I have found that the best intentions, if not reasonable will not work. If you are 20 pounds or more overweight, start slowly so it won’t be such a shock for you.
Emptying your fridge, throwing out all your goodies, and replacing them with cottage cheese will last about a week. You want to create a foundation with your weight loss efforts so they will endure the long run. Without chucking all the food out of your cabinets, start here and you will see big results.
Don’t drink your calories. This step cannot be stressed enough. Have you ever looked at the sugar content in one can of soda or glass of juice? These beverages can make or break weight loss progress. Try added no sugar flavor mixes to your water. Pick flavored seltzer waters if you need carbonation or real juices with no added sugar. Diet sodas are a last resort if you need to stair step your way off sugar.
There was a time when all I would drink was soda all day long. Once I removed it from my diet, I saw dramatic results.
Reduce your portion sizes. In a super-sized world, this can be very difficult, but this is where preparation is key. Start with smaller plates (I am not kidding) and fill most of the plate with veggies. If you make a large portion of any food, separate the food into portions and put them away in the fridge or freezer as individual servings.
Do not wait until you are starving to eat because you will be more prone to overeat. Creating little baggies of food, that you can take with you during the day will keep you from feeling too hungry.
Limit sugar. We all love the sweets but lets be honest, do we need all the extra snacking and seconds on desserts? Moderation is key, when you want to kick start your weight loss program. Snack on fruits that will relieve your sweet tooth as often as possible. If you trade in a juicy piece of fruit for those m&m’s in the afternoon five days a week, it will help your progress. Sugar calories add up very quickly and have no nutritional value. I have dessert once a week, but it has taken years for me to get on this track. I really do not miss the daily sweet indulgences, instead I look forward to a savory lean steak or fresh fish.
Get up and moving. In the beginning, it takes as little as walking to start seeing results. Start at 30 minutes a day and keep pushing up the time as the weeks go by. If you want to start with gym but can’t afford it, there are many fitness shows or videos that you can follow in your own living room. My philosophy is that activity is important, not choreography.
Dance around like a maniac in your living room for a half hour and have fun! Once the weight begins to fall off, we can begin to fine tune your fitness goals.
Trade your white foods for brown foods. Nowadays whole grain foods are very easy to find. Pick brands that are highest in fiber, compare and read labels. The great thing is that almost all white foods like rice, breads and pastas all have very tasty brown alternatives. Try brown rice, whole grain pastas, whole wheat breads or bagels. With trial and error you can find a type or brand that fits your tastes. These slowly digested carbs will keep your blood sugars steady and help you feel full.
Fiorella DiCarlo RD, RDN, CDN
Meals for One Prep: Grains