Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Make fad diets what’s going out of style…

Do you find yourself every year making a resolution to lose those extra lbs and by February you are back to your old ways? Fad diets, cleanses, detox diets, and other fast fixes are definitely tempting, but not sustainable.

Why have you done a good thing?

Fad diets may be effective for large amounts of weight loss in the short term due to water loss. But this weight loss is temporary, as you are going to return to your old eating habits when you go off the diet. Your weight will be right back where it was before the diet. By making lifestyle changes instead of following a diet, you are more likely to maintain your weight loss rather than yo-yoing all year long.

Here are our Secret Ingredient hints to start your weight loss and maintain a healthy lifestyle:

1) Set a realistic goal. Aim to lose 1-2 pounds per week until you reach your goal weight. This means you need cut back on 500 calories per day so cut back on portion sizes, eat more frequently, and only eat when you are truly hungry.

2) Stay hydrated. If you are questioning if you are hungry, try drinking some water first. Our brains get thirst and hunger signals confused. Stay well hydrated throughout the day.

3) Keep a food log. Writing down when, how much, and what you eat makes you think twice about your choices.

4) Don’t eat anything that sounds more like dish cleaner. If it sounds like a chemical, it can’t be good for you. Basically don’t eat anything that your great grandmother wouldn’t recognize.

5) Eat with good company. Try to eat structured meals and snacks at a table with others as much as possible to slow down your eating.

6) Avoid foods with labels containing more than 5 ingredients. Sometimes the secret ingredient is too avoid too many! The more ingredients a food contains, the more processed it is.

7) Don’t be too hard on yourself. Allow yourself to enjoy an occasional treat or day of laziness. Having a sweet treat while trying to lose weight is actually a good thing; this keeps your metabolism on its toes, preventing your body from getting too comfortable.

8) Cook your meals. We know this is hard to do but it really will help you control what is going into your meals. Look out for our recipe ideas!

So this year, make a resolution not to sell yourself short. Give yourself the time and patience to do this right. And we’ll be here to help you through it!

--Amy Santo, MS RD

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