If you're like me you hate rules. I make them up as I go along and justify why they needed to be changed in the first place. I found this article "The Golden Rules of Weight loss" interesting in this month's Runners World. As always I want the best for my clients and this seems to be simple and would be fun for some of you! Oh, and if you are not trying to lose weight this article will still apply. =)
Rule No. 1
Food Journaling (I was what? Yes I was right!) I know how tedious food journaling can be but it's so important in you reaching your health goals. Write down everything you eat or drink. It makes you a more conscious eater and will help curb those cravings once you know you have to jot it down. It helps you to become a more responsible eater too, responsible to yourself for what you are striving for.
Rule No. 2
Measure your food intake. Things in our society are bigger, big gulp, triple with cheese, double with extra bacon supersize it, mega fries etc. We don't use the small cereal bowls anymore, we use buckets for our cereal (and don’t get me wrong I love cereal – but com’on). Look at the label to see what the correct serving size is and use a measuring device to get the correct amount and then look at how that measurement looks in the bowl. Take a mental image of what that looks like. The next time you eat cereal it should look the same. Do this for everything you eat and drink. Sodas can be very deceiving. It looks like there are only 23g of sugar in the whole 20 oz, but that is not the case. That is only for an 8 oz bottle. There are 20 in what you’re drinking. So actually there is more like 52g of sugar in the pop you just drank. If you are a pop drinker make that your next challenge. Go ONE week without a single pop and see the extra pounds slip away.
Rule No. 3
Turn up the Protein Intake. Now I agree with this one to a point. Since we are using the MET Test I am a little leery of having you all jump start your diet with more proteins. The only reason is if your body doesn’t need them then they will also be stored as fat. But if you are not eating enough then by all means increase them. This is when you would use your pie chart and your MET test results and see what would be a good amount for you. Proteins are used for muscle repair and are essential for a healthy body. Proteins are also great for making you feel fuller longer and help stabilize sugar levels so you don’t feel like your starving and then eat the entire house.
Add color to every meal. Now this one I like. I have had meals before (pad thai for example) that is a very bland dish and acts as a not very good conversation starter. So by adding a yellow squash as side dish and snap peas and carrots mixed in, it adds not only more nutrients but also a variety of color. Now this doesn’t mean eating red wine with Lucky Charms for rainbow of colors. Be creative but not like that. Also veggies have more fiber and fiber is linked with better weight loss. Makes you feel fuller longer and aids in lower appetite.
Rule No. 5
Stop Grazing! Grazing started a long time ago when someone suggested that you eat 6 small meals in a day rather than 3 large ones. But now grazing has lead to people mostly eating unhealthy foods. Like peanuts, crackers and cheese, animal cookies and fast foods. Eating this way leads to weight gain. Plan your meals and times you eat them. It has shown that eating 3 small meals each day with 2 healthy snacks is best. But choose your meals wisely. What are you putting in your body that can help you with what you are trying to achieve? Cadbury eggs though SOO yummy do not help you with training for the M22 Challenge (in case you wanted to know).
Rule No. 6
Have a plan. Planning can be a daunting task but once you get in the rhythm of it and can make it fun you will be better off and closer to your weight loss goals. Picture this; “Honey what’s for dinner?” “We don’t have anything for dinner.” “Wanna just order Jett’s then?” “Yea that sounds great!” If there was proper planning then you could cut a ton of calories then by winging it (with emphasis on wings)
Rule No. 7
Slow Down! Eating fast can make you eat more leading to weight gain. Talk more, laugh at the table (but don’t spit milk out of your nose). Take time to converse with your fellow table mates. Enjoy your meal. Time yourself. I have tried this in the past to take at least as long to eat it as it did to make it. It doesn’t always work but I will tell you that the closer it takes me to eat as it did to prepare, I always have leftovers. =) It takes time for your food to hit your stomach and tell your brain that you’re full. So the faster you eat the chances of your overeating increases.
And last but not least
Rule No. 8
Don’t rush weight loss. Having the best attitude and tools for you can make or break your success. Losing weight is a process. You are changing habits and that takes time. You want to create lifelong habits not “quick-fixes” We all want things to happen fast but I will tell you the more patient you are the longer your success will last.
~Success is a journey not a destination
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