The D Word
Lately I have been asked a lot about dieting. Not necessarily general guidelines for weight loss, how to prepare healthy meals, or even my take on particular fad diets. I’m talking about cornered in the hallway, give me your lunch money or I will hack into your Facebook account, kind of asking. Desperate asks for conclusive, proven, and easy ways to lose weight. Starting now!
My views on nutrition and weight loss are not black and white. Most Registered Dietitians would agree that there are many approaches to achieve a healthy and optimal weight. I would caution anyone against an individual who promises you nutritional nirvana by following ONE diet. In the same vein, I do not believe in dieting EVER. Instead of focusing on foods to avoid, I like promoting foods to eat. Did you know that the number one predictor of weight gain is intended weight loss? Yes, friends. Dieting.
So as we embrace the summer with our iced tea and beach towels in hand, there are still those among us, or close to us, who are not rushing to put on a bathing suit because they are not pleased with their weight. So while I don’t believe in dieting, I do believe that small and relatively simple steps can bring about grand results. I assure you, this won’t be my last post where I share weight loss tips. And I have complete faith that these (tips) can be embraced by any and all.
1. GET MOVING. Pending medical clearance, you have ZERO excuse not to be active (or very active) this summer. Walk the dog. Play soccer with the kids. Jog along the beach. The list is endless and you should relish in getting creative. No nutritional plan is fully realized unless you jack up your heart rate and your metabolism and burn some calories. Aim for 45- 60 minutes each day.
2. DRINK (lots and lots of) WATER. The truth= More times than not when you believe you are hungry, you are actually thirsty. Try this: Begin your day with a filled water bottle and I encourage you to finish this before your morning coffee. You may be surprised at how good you feel 🙂 . Don’t like the flavor of water? Add fresh lime and basil (my favorite), or cucumber or lemon or anything you like. As an alternative to fresh, my family loves Mio. (Keep in mind that water should taste like water, not juice.) Be proactive and hydrate throughout the day this summer and minimize false messages of hunger between meals and snacks. [Recommended amount of fluids = 30-35 mls fluid x your weight in kg.]
3. EAT MORE FRUITS & VEGETABLES. We all know this. But to be successful, plan IN ADVANCE what you will be eating. i.e., Blueberries at breakfast, pack plums, grapes, celery & carrot sticks, and mini peppers for your day (at work), sautéed kale and broccoli with dinner. I truly believe this to be the foundation for healthier eating. Prioritize these fiber-filled nutritious and colorful foods FIRST to help fill you up and displace the calories of a potentially oversized meal. You may ultimately consume less of the turkey club sandwich, chicken Caesar salad, or the seemingly convenient pretzels. If unaccustomed to eating vegetables specifically, you will slowly find joy in rediscovering the flavors of these plant-based foods. Raw peas, snap peas, red peppers are actually very sweet!
I could write a book on how to have a love affair with fruits and vegetables (and perhaps one day I will). Until then, please undiet. This summer please move more. Drink more. Eat more fruits and vegetables. And for goodness sake, please ENJOY.
Cheers & Peace