My wife and I were sitting at the breakfast table recently when I noticed she wasn’t having her usual morning toast. She needed to lower her carbs, she told me. Last week it was fat. What fad diet will it be next week?
You’ve heard all the trendy advice on weight-loss diets. Drop the fat! Slash the carbs! Cut the calories! Even if you haven’t started pulling your hair out over all the conflicting advice and confusion, how do you know which diet will help you lose weight, trim the body fat, and still be balanced and healthy? AARGH! It makes you want to scream.
Slooowly put down the frying pan, take a deep breath and get some expert nutritional advice from, well, the experts.
It is not too uncommon for adults to find themselves in their 30’s and 40’s with widening middles and a larger size hanging in the closet. This weight gain is brought on by a slowing metabolism, sitting at a desk all day and by the stress of daily life. For woman there is the added weight gain of having children.
When you finally realize that your size is increasing year by year, it is a hard reality to deal with. You have to look at all the options and there are many. Unfortunately, none of the fad diets work permanently, but some can jepodize your safety.
To really fix the weight gain issue you need to take a good look at your life. Are you at a desk job? Are you home with kids all day? Do you pack a lunch or eat out? Do you eat on the road while traveling to work and running errands? All these factors play into weight gain for adults.
The solution is easier than you think. You have heard it before to eat less and exercise more. Combining exercise and diet to lose weight doesn’t have to be a chore. You don’t have to join a gym or buy a scale to weigh every bite of food you put in your mouth. You just need to make some simple lifestyle changes.
Take a look at the foods you are eating and drinking. Turn over the labels and read what a serving size is and how many calories are in each serving. If you keep in mind that you want to consume around 1500 calories a day, then by following the label you will do fine.
The next thing you need to do is to get up and move. Remember you don’t need to join an expensive gym or invest in dozens of exercise tapes. Just get up and move. Start by parking farther away from the office. Then put a leash on your dog and go for a walk after dinner. If you don’t have a dog, do your neighbor a favor and walk theirs. Don’t overdo it at first. Start small and work your way up. If you stick to it for a few months, you will be walking a few miles a day with no problem.
Eat a balanced diet with plenty of natural foods. By natural foods, I mean the foods that would have been eaten by your primitive ancestors: plenty of whole vegetable foods for vitamins, minerals, and fiber; modest to small portions of meats, fish, seafood with sensible portions of fresh whole fruit in season. This is the diet on which the human race evolved, and the diet which, for the huge majority of people, makes for optimal health.
So the next time you are dining out and are about to order a meal with fries and sugary soda, consider how it might be improved. Swap the fries for a salad, and the soda for mineral water, and you’ve already made considerable progress towards a healthier, balanced meal.
At home, seek out recipes that make use of whole, fresh foods, with the least amount of processing. Be sure your meals contain natural unprocessed foods, with lots of healthy vegetables, both cooked, and raw in salads. Keep away from processed fats and processed low-fiber foods.
But above all, don’t get frustrated. Safe weight loss isn’t an option, it’s vital. How you look and feel is just as important as what the scale says.