Posts Tagged ‘meals’
Clean Eating is more than just a trendy catch-phrase. In fact, it’s something we can all benefit from whether or not we’re trying to lose weight. And the tenants for clean eating are easier than you might think — but certainly this helpful infographic from Skinny Mom helps break down the Do’s and Don’t’s in an easier-to-understand way.
Keep in mind, you need to adapt these tips to your own body and your individual lifestyle. For example, I find that eating 3 meals a day (with a healthy snack or two when needed) works much better for me than eating 6 smaller meals (as the infographic recommends).
The road to a healthier and happier you is an individual one. You want to make healthy choices that serve your needs. This might mean visiting your doctor and discussing your goals. But certainly clean eating can factor into anyone’s health regimen (no matter what their goals) and provide lots of benefits — not to mention surprising amounts of flavor. (Since switching to farmers markets for most of my produce, I find vegetables and fruits bought at traditional grocery stores to be pretty tasteless).
Yes, buying fresher, more organic (clean!) produce and food products can be a little pricier. But as my own personal physician recently pointed out to me, the cost savings benefits in terms of overall health far exceed the costs of clean eating. To find a farmers market in your area, click here.
Photo Source: Skinny Mom
Sure, when preparing meals at home, we can pull out our measuring cups, tablespoons and perhaps even a digital food scale (not that we necessarily do… But we could!). But what about exercising portion control when out at a restaurant or even when traveling? I’ve known some hardcore dieters who carry their measuring tools with them and even pull them out when dining out. But fact is, we’ve already got the best portion size measuring tool attached to us. (Who knew?)
Checking out this handy infographic from Guard Your Health will show you that your hand and fingers can be a great aid when trying to decide how much is just right when it comes to eating outside of your home. Take a minute to study this hand-y (yeah, I went there) graphic and commit it to memory. After all, portion control is key to getting to and maintaining a healthy weight. Sometimes even more so than what we’re actually eating. Arming (or hand-ing) ourselves with simple strategies like these really can make a difference in our winning the battle of the bulge. (Plus, no one we’re dining out with has to know what we’re up to when comparing a teaspoon-portion-size of butter to the tip of our finger!)
Note: You can click on the image for a larger view.
Photo Source: Guard Your Health
Weight loss. Why is it so hard? The never-ending desire to lose weight no matter how much or how little. It seems so elusive and difficult for so many. No matter who I speak with, when I mention that I am a nutritionist, someone will always say, “I need to lose weight”. What I find so interesting that most people know what they need to do to lose weight. The problem is they just can’t do it. Here are 3 obstacles that usually keep people stuck and 3 solutions on how to move past them.
OBSTACLE #1: Mindless Eating
I find that most people lack an awareness of their habits and behaviors around food. Think about it. Do you know how many times you walk into the kitchen and open the pantry or refrigerator and grab something to eat, especially after dinner when you are no longer hungry? How about how many times you eat what’s left on your kid’s plate after you’ve finished your meal? Or how many times you walk by your co-workers desk and grab a handful of M & M’s, pretzels or whatever happens to be in the jar? These mindless acts of eating are often the stuff that people don’t even pay attention to and can’t understand why the weight is either coming on or not coming off.
Solution: Pay attention to whether you are experiencing HEAD HUNGER or STOMACH HUNGER. Do you think you are hungry or are you hungry? We all know what hunger feels like. Create an awareness of what goes in your mouth during the course of the day when its not an actual meal or planned snack. Once you start to become aware of how much extra goes in on a daily basis it will be easier to change this behavior and eliminate potentially hundreds of extra calories by the end of the week.
OBSTACLE #2: Restrictive Dieting
Going on a restrictive diet is the worst thing you can do to try to lose weight. Just thinking about possibly feeling deprived sends most people running for the nearest buffet table. These diets usually involve low fat or worse, fat-free processed foods. Restrictive diets are not maintainable long-term. This is a huge reason why people fail to stay on a diet plan and yo-yo diet. Low calorie diets or diets that remove food groups will, no doubt, set you up for an eating disaster because at some point you will go off the diet plan that you went on to lose weight.
Solution: Eat! Eat whole, unprocessed foods. Eat 3 meals and 1-2 snacks a day depending on how long your day is. Find good-tasting, healthy whole foods that you like and make you feel good both physically and mentally since our brain plays a huge part in our satiety. Be sure not to wait longer than 4-6 hours between meals and snacks. Buy a great cookbook and find ways to make your favorite foods healthy and delicious!
OBSTACLE #3: You Think it’s About Willpower
I hear over and over again “I have no willower” or “I wish I had willpower. If I did I would be able to stick to a diet and lose weight.” I am here to tell you that weight loss has little or nothing to do with willpower. Willpower, even if you did have it is short-term. It doesn’t last the rest of your life.
Solution: Change your way of thinking about food and eating. Focus on creating maintainable healthy habit changes that you can incorporate into your everyday life. The definition of a habit is: an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary. Once you adopt healthier habits you will never have to worry about having willpower.
[Lisa will share 3 more obstacles and 3 more solutions in a future post]
About the guest columnist: Lisa Goldberg is a nutritionist and weight loss coach with a Masters in Clinical Nutrition from NYU. You can register for Lisa’s FREE Right Mind, Right Weight Online Summit by clicking here. Lisa is a Certified Nutrition Specialist and a Certified Dietician/Nutritionist licensed by New York State since 2001. Lisa specializes in personalized weight loss coaching, emotional eating, mindful eating, lifestyle and habit/behavior change. She helps her clients create the changes they desire so they can lose weight for good. Lisa also counsels clients on overall wellness, restoring health from chronic disease states, sports nutrition, and vitamin supplementation. Lisa has her private practice in New York City.
Confession time… There are some days when something as simple as a green bean can really piss me off.
Sure, I’m committed to healthy eating – and for two main reasons. First, to stay, well, healthy. Second, to keep the 250 pounds of excess weight (that I got rid of) from ever creeping back on. Because I was overweight for a large part of my life, eating healthy foods in healthy portions is something I find I always must think about. I liken it to riding a bicycle. The minute I stop peddling, I fall down, skin my knees and potentially gain 250 pounds.
This all amounts to a whole heck of a lot of self-regulation. And there are many rewards for doing so: Wearing a pair of jeans without being in total misery until I disrobe… Not accidentally realizing that I’m using my stomach as a makeshift shelf to rest my hands or other objects on (yes, I’ve done it)… Not being out of breath just from talking on the phone… And more.
But even with all of these great rewards, there are days I resent what’s required of me to stay fit and healthy. And on certain days, the targets of this resentment are green beans.
Yes. You read that right. Green beans.
I target green beans in particular because they have become a staple of my healthy eating regimen. A typical dinner for me consists of a medium to large-sized chicken thigh, sliced cherry or grape tomatoes and steamed green beans. And most times when I have this meal, I enjoy it greatly. Afterwards I’m satisfied and full – but never stuffed or in pain from eating too much. And I know it’s these ‘stricter meals’ that allow for ‘treat meals’ when special occasions or big time cravings call for it. It’s all about balance after all.
Still, there are times that green beans really piss me off. I resent having to clean them, steam them and having to sprinkle a little balsamic vinegar over them before sitting down to my typical Gregg dinner. I wonder to myself, ‘Why can’t I be having pizza instead? Or maybe a pile of mashed potatoes smothered in butter?’
There are occasions during which I’m convinced that green beans are out to get me. I see them, all bunched together (a gang, if you will) – smugly mocking me from the safety of the plate, as if they’re saying, “You have no choice but to eat us.”
Of course, the joke is on them – mainly because I remind myself that I do have a choice. It’s absolutely my choice to have the green beans. Or mashed potatoes. Or an ice cream sundae or a… Well, you get the idea. I can eat anything I want for dinner.
It’s at this point that I must think about what I really want. ‘Really’ being the key word.
Sure, I could forego green beans all together. I could replace them with another healthy vegetable that I can steam and enjoy (on most days) without added salt, butter or other substances that would make the vegetables less healthy. The fact is, green beans provide an affordable and healthy meal staple for me. And by eating them, I get all the benefits of looking good and feeling great. Isn’t that worth a little resentment from time to time?
As dieters, we often think we’re being denied certain things in life. And for most of us, those ‘things’ are food related. But here’s where we can all benefit from a shift in thinking. It’s not about what we’re being denied, but what we get in return for the choices we make: Smaller waistlines. Healthier heart rates. Clothes that fit. And knowing we look good when we walk into a room. Isn’t that worth the occasional harassment from a gang of spiteful green beans? I think so. And I’ll bet you do, too.
So next time you feel mocked by your healthy food choices, put a fork in them and chew them up gleefully. In other words, remind ‘em whose boss. After all, it’s the healthy choices we make today that benefit us tomorrow.
Do green beans or another healthy food staple sometimes piss you off? If so, I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.