Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Dietitian's Dilemma...Progress as the New Year Approaches

As we all get ready to say farewell to 2011, we are also thinking of what's to come in 2012. All good things, I hope! Since I have already started my New Year resolution, I felt that I should share my exciting progress, and hopefully encourage you to go for your goal, no matter what it is.

A few weeks later and a few pounds lighter! My Dietitian’s Dilemma seems to be all the motivation I needed. I have been eating healthy, exercising regularly, and even indulging in some of my favorite holiday treats! It’s been a few weeks since my first entry and I am down 5 pounds- only 2 pounds away from my usual weight. I am now able to run 20 minutes- just about 2 miles- only 1 mile away from my (somewhat small) goal! See how easy it is? Ok, you got me. Not so easy. But totally worth it- trust me.

Why Have You Done a Good Thing?

Setting goals and actually accomplishing them can be all the motivation you need to succeed in any area of your life. However, mix this sense of accomplishment with feeling and looking your best and you have a winning combination! Here are a few problems that I have encountered along the way and how I solved them in the moment.

Holiday party. Usually if I am going to a holiday party I like to have a bite to eat first. However, since this party was at 6pm I did not have time. When I got there, I found beer, meats, cheeses, bread (white), fried foods, and cake…for sure a dieter’s dilemma!

Solution: Although it is tempting to arrive and dig right in, the first few minutes are when the empty calories often add up. So, I found the bowl of walnuts and craisins and munched on small handful (about 4 walnuts and 5 craisins) and passed on the first round of drinks. After an hour I decided to have a glass of red wine (for the antioxidant effect of resveratrol, of course). Finally, I indulged in one piece of bread with meat and cheese and passed on dessert. *Hint- this could be a good one to keep in mind for New Year’s Eve J

Girls Day. Although this sounds innocent enough, from a dieter’s perspective it may not be. This particular day included lunch of pesto pasta and frozen sugary drinks (calories galore).

Solution: Offer to bring a dish to the party and make something low-cal and full of fiber to keep you satisfied. I brought a black bean and quinoa salad, ate mostly that with a small portion (about ½ a fist) of pesto pasta. Have 1 fruity drink as to not offend the maker/host and then quietly switch over to seltzer or even a low-cal alcoholic beverage such as wine, light beer, or a more figure-friendly cocktail such as a vodka soda

Florida. I know it doesn’t sound like a problem, but if you have been to Boca West (where my beautiful grandmother lives) you know that it is all about food! Buffet after buffet, I swear the dessert table was a mile long.

Solution: Exercise! Although I was ok with having a healthy breakfast and lunch, and maybe even going easy on the buffet, I was not ok with skipping dessert. So instead (motivated by my cousin the Marine Officer) I did PT (physical training) including a daily 15-20 minute run and a 300-600 meter swim, plus we even hit the gym a few afternoons for strength training (or observing of his).

Any more tips on dieters' dilemmas and solutions? Please tell us your stories so we can share them with our readers!

Starting to think about that New Year’s resolution? I hope this motivates you to get started. It is so simple once you have the right mind set, I promise. Making a resolution to shed a few pounds in 2012? Stay tuned for our next blog…100 ways to save 100 calories!!

Happy New Year everyone! Have fun, be safe, eat healthy, and splurge a bit!

--Samantha Jacobs, MS RD CDN

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