I’ve just read another batch of good advice for people fighting obesity and, as usual, I’m not quite agreeing with all of it.
Here is some of my “weight” wisdom, based on my own experience.
Your experience might be different, who knows?
Control how much you eat, especially when you don’t eat at home
“If I go to a buffet, I just can’t control how much I eat.”
Don’t rush to fill your plate like you haven’ t eaten for days. Anyway, it’s not “elegant”. Select from the buffet what looks healthier and arrange small portions on your plate, artistically, following the rule: a quarter of the plate some proteins, half the plate veggies and fruits, a quarter of the plate starches or, much better, beans or nuts. Take your time. Eat slowly, don’t rush for a second serving, or if you do, try other foods. Better be only proteins and veggies or nuts, the second time, they’ll cut hunger. Remember, art on your plate is the key!
Cook at home for a healthy life
“I usually grab something on the way home from work because I am so tired, I don’t feel like cooking.”
Cooking your meals, if you’re not used to do it, it’s a very, very difficult change in your life. But not impossible and the reward might be huge.
Start simple: salads, stir-fried lean meats, mushrooms, canned beans, canned egg-plant or favorite veggies.
Take your time to shop once a week and fill your fridge with healthy vegetables, fruits, lean meats, cheese a.s.o.
Even if you’re dead tired, it takes less than an 1/4 hour to fix a healthy sandwich and a salad. Add a fruit, an yogurt, a handful of nuts.
Then learn to make a soup. Any soup. You can make enough meat and vegetable stock to last a week and use it to prepare quickly soups. Add tomato juice and a handful of cooked pasta or par-boiled rice and you have tomato soup. Or, add a handful of cooked par-boiled rice, an yogurt and a whisked egg and you have a “Greek” soup. Add a bit of spinach and broccoli and you get a “green” soup.
Or don’t add anything else, just a squeeze a lemon in it and sip it with some wholewheat bread or toast.
You can learn more recipes, whenever you have time. Just keep it simple.
Cut your cravings for sugar and salt
“Cravings for sweets and salt is a bit difficult to get rid of, but you can do it in two weeks if you’re determined to change your lifestyle.”
Mmmm, this is tricky. First of all, before jumping in this wagon, check your health status.
Here’s one way to get rid of sugar and starch cravings , but you might need to repeat this once a year. I repeat it, this is not for people with serious health problems.
Don’t even think such a drastic diet without a doctor’s advice, especially if you have heart problems or diabetes.
Don’t expect wonders, this diet might not work for you. Don’t be too happy, the first pounds you’ll get rid of are just plain water and if you’re unlucky some of your muscles.
A lot of variations of this diet can be found, like South Beach Diet or Montignac Diet.
For two weeks, cut foods with high or medium glycemic index like sugar, starches, fruits (with the exception of lemon juice and 1 handful of raspberries a day), vegetables like pumpkin and beetroot, potatoes, chickpea flour.
Check this site for information on glycemic index of different foods.
You can eat foods with a low glycemic index, like meats, cheese, eggs, fish, veggies, beans, nuts, diary, plenty of. Avoid processed food, eat fresh.
You need to drink more liquids than you usually do.
Expect fatigue, don’t plan exams of physical work, other than a stroll in fresh air.
After two weeks you can add one fruit portion to your daily menu, after one more week you can add one more fruit and a starch portion, after one more week, you can have 3 fruit portions and 2 portions of starches. In a month after the two weeks diet, you can have 3 portions of fruit and 3-4 portions of starches.
From this point on, start to personalize your diet, see what new addition might fatten you.
There’s a lot of talk about GI and a lot of controversy since Dr. Jenkins first introduced the Glycemic Index of foods.
It worked for me wonderful and for other people though. To this day, I won’t eat a doughnut and this says something.Salt is a different story. It’s an acquired taste and it’s almost impossible to eat less salty then you are used to without spitting like a cat.
You have to change it slowly.
First of all, you have to read carefully the labels and skip very salty foods, at least for a while.
Try to avoid processed meats. No salty chips – cut them out.
If you’re cooking your own meals, change your recipes. Add less and less salt. Replace at least part of the salt with spices and herbs. Lemon juice is a great replacement.
Don’t add salt to a green salad, but lemon juice. It’ll be more crispy.
Don’t give up the good things in life
“I love dessert. I can’t give it up!”
Who says to give it up? Just don’t eat it daily.
Several times a month in a diet for life won’t fatten you. Take care what else you eat that day and exercise a bit more the next day.
Besides there are deserts and deserts and the good old dark chocolate.
“I don’t like working out. It’s boring.”
Oh, come on! What do you want your life to be like when you’re old? Or in ten years? I like that Glasbergen cartoon: “What fits your busy schedule better: exercising 1 hour a day or being dead 24 hours a day?”
Of course you can find some exercise and make it less boring. Just walking half an hour a day in fresh air can make the difference. Invest in a music player or a camera or a dog, to make walking more interesting. Invest in a pedometer and compete with others. Try swimming. Any physical activity is better than sitting all day long. “Any” is the magic keyword.