Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Tipster: 6 tips for easing into a diet

Today's Workout:
5 mile run with strides on the last mile

Hello everyone! Throughout my journey of weight loss, I have encountered many frustrated dieters that quickly lose hope of losing weight. As I heard people venting their emotions, I began to wonder why they give up so quickly and completely lose faith in their ability to lose weight. First, I asked myself what were my thoughts when I started the Weight Watchers diet about 8 years (that's when I first got serious about losing weight). Then, I pondered about my frustrations and the things that set me back. Here's what I came up with:

  • People don't like being told what to eat because they feel like they're losing control.
  • People don't like restrictions because they feel like they're being inhibited.
  • People don't like being told to eat in portions because they feel like they're losing their freedom.
  • People don't like dieting because they feel excluded when they are in social gatherings.
  • People don't like saying NO to people who are offering them food because they don't want to appear as rude.
  • People don't like dieting because they think that they can't eat junk food.
  • People don't like dieting because they have a misconception about what dieting entails.
  • People don't like dieting because they think they don't know how to do it.
  • People don't like feeling like they have to be disciplined with themselves because they feel it's a punishment.

The list goes on and on. I created this list from the thoughts and perceptions that I had a few years go. Believe me when I say that these perceptions were all wrong. It's taken me many years to realize that, but it's never to late to change your thoughts on dieting.
Here are 6 tips for easing into a diet (I speak from experience):
1. Start with one meal at a time. Don't start your diet from cold turkey, but rather take it one meal at a time. Pick one meal on one day. Whether it's breakfast, lunch or dinner, change it to a healthy meal. Slowly add more meals until you have changed all of them. And don't be too strict with yourself; Allow one cheater meal a week.
2. Reduce grazing one snack at a time. If you're a chronic muncher, change this habit one snack at a time. This change can be as simple as alternating an apple for a cookie. The process of switching from junk food to natural food is the first step to weight loss, so don't fret, you CAN do it.
3. Write it down. Create a food log or journal and write down your meals for the day. This is a good way to keep track of your progress and to hold yourself accountable for what you eat.
4. Eat breakfast. Just like a car needs fuel first thing in the morning when you drive it, so does your body. Eating breakfast boosts your metabolism and it keeps you satiated longer.
5. Reward yourself. Don't be too hard on yourself and don't lose faith. Losing weight is a process and a journey. It will take time, but the weight will come off. Give your body some time to adjust to the new regimen. Trust me, the weight will come off if you stay on track. So, reward yourself when you reach your goals. The reward should be pleasurable, such as a massage or an outing with a friend.
6. Do activities that hide exercise. A lot of people feel discouraged when they hear the word "exercise." They think it's monotonous, tedious and time consuming. So, do any activity that mimics exercise, such as hiking, playing softball with your family, taking a walk along the beach with some friends, etc.
So, do you want to eat healthier, but don't know where to start or what to eat? Start by choosing foods from the following list each day:
apple                    oranges
banana                  peaches
blackberries          pears
blueberries            pineapples
cantaloupe            plantains
cherries                 plums
cranberries            pomegranates
grapes                   prunes
kiwi                      pumpkin
mango                  raisins
nectarines            raspberries
strawberries         tangerines
alfafa sprouts       artichoke
asparagus             bean sprouts
bell peppers          bok choy
broccoli                brussels sprouts
cabbage                carrots
cauliflower           celery
collard greens       corn
cucumbers            eggplant
garlic                    green beans
kelp                      lettuce
lima beans            mushrooms
okra                      onions
parsley                  peas
potatoes                radishes
spinach                 sprouts
squash                  sweet potatoes
tomatoes              turnips
yams                    zucchini
Grains, Meats & Dairy
fish                                       chicken breast
turkey breast                        tuna
almond milk                        eggs
Greek yogurt                       shellfish
low-fat cottage cheese        tofu
lentils                                  bulgur
barley                                  beans (red, black, garbanzo, black-eyed, kidney, navy, pinto)
brown rice                           whole wheat pasta
whole grain bread               whole grain bagel
whole grain pita bread        whole grain crackers
What have your dieting experiences been like?
Don't forget about the Newton Running Gear Giveaway!!!
I'm grateful for the random
encounters I make. 
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  1. I really like your approach/advice to start with one meal at a time. My BF has been looking for ways to change his diet/eating habits and I think this is a great approach. Start with breakfasts, then make lunches better, and we can definitely make healthier meals when we have dinner together! :)

  2. I really like this approach too because it doesn't place too many restrictions all at once. It's an easy way to ease into a healthier lifestyle without feeling too much pressure. Good luck to your BF.