Monthly Archives: September 2016

Why Diets Don’t Work

Most fad diets will not do much for your health and in fact, may even harm your health.

One of the reasons that these diets attract people is that they are a fast way to lose some unwanted pounds. Even the worst diets lead to weight loss, at least at the beginning, mainly because they restrict calories. Not because they are a long term solution to weight issues.
Fad diets not only fail to produce long term weight loss, but they can also lead to feelings of deprivation, discouragement, and weight gain. Many people who go on an unrealistic diet that has restrictions become frustrated and give up. This can lead to feelings of failure, which can then make the person feel worse than they did before they started the diet. It can be a never-ending cycle that people get trapped in and causes them to lead unhealthy lifestyles.

When it comes to diet plans, there is no one right solution for everyone. The key is to find something that fits your lifestyle that you can realistically commit to for the long term.

A successful eating plan should focus on balance and variety. There should be no foods that you cannot have. Instead, there should be foods that you should be mindful of and eat only on occasion and in moderation.

Don’t worry about “being on a diet”. Instead, think about healthier ways to satisfy your hunger by eating more vegetables, fruit, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats.

A simple tip:

Think of what your weakness is (snacking, eating out of bags/boxes, large portions, too much alcohol/sugary drinks, too many sweets, etc.) and work on that weakness. If you feel that you eat large portions, be mindful when you serve yourself and portion out your meals. If you have a snacking problem, just make sure to provide healthy snacks for yourself, such as fruit or veggies, rather than cookies or chocolate. Or if you do have chocolate, just have one small piece of chocolate or half of a chocolate bar rather than the whole bar, and save the other half for later.

Choose one small thing to change to begin with, and once it becomes a habit, move on to the next change until you establish healthy habits that you can sustain long term.

Just Remember:

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Portion Size

Not only should you be mindful of the types of food that you eat, but being aware of portion sizes is important as well.

Here are some easy ways to estimate appropriate portion sizes:

Palm of hand or deck of cards = 3 ounces meat
Use for cooked chicken, beef, pork, fish, and seafood

cards

Fist or cupped hand = 1 cup
Use for cereal, baked potato

fist

Baseball/Tennis Ball = 1 cup
Use for salad greens, 1 medium fruit

½ of a Baseball/Tennis Ball = ½ cup
Use for pasta, rice, fresh fruit, ice cream

baseball tennis

Golf ball = 2 tablespoons
Use for peanut butter, jelly, ketchup, barbecue sauce, dipping sauces, and condiments

golf

Thumb tip or 1 dice (½ inch by ½ inch) cube = 1 teaspoon
Use for butter, margarine, sugar, honey, or condiments

dice

4 stacked dice or 2 slices = 1 ½ oz
Use for cheese

dice stack

1 handful = 1 ounce
Use for candy

handful

2 handfuls = 1 ounce snacks
Use for nuts, chips, pretzels, and other snack foods

handful2

Build a Salad!

salad

Follow these simple steps to create your own salad recipe:

1. Start with some greens
a. Romaine Lettuce
b. Spinach
c. Kale
d. Spring Mix
e. Green or Red Leaf Lettuce
f. Arugula
g. Etc.

2. Add some vegetables (chopped, sliced, shredded or whole)
a. Carrots
b. Cucumbers
c. Tomatoes
d. Cabbage
e. Broccoli
f. Cauliflower
g. Bell Pepper (All colors)
h. Peas
i. Beets
j. Corn
k. Radishes
l. Sprouts
m. Etc.

3. Add some Fruit
a. Grapes
b. Cranberries
c. Raisins
d. Mandarin Oranges
e. Apple
f. Strawberries
g. Melon
h. Etc.

4. Add some Beans
a. Black
b. Kidney
c. Garbanzo
d. Edamame
e. Etc.

5. Sprinkle on some cheese
a. Feta
b. Cottage
c. Blue
d. Mozzarella
e. Cheddar
f. Parmesan
g. Etc.

6. Sprinkle on some nuts
a. Cashews
b. Almonds
c. Peanuts
d. Walnuts
e. Etc.

7. Add some extras
a. Avocado
b. Olives
c. Pumpkin Seeds
d. Sunflower Seeds
e. Etc.

Or, for a main dish salad try:

1. Tuna
2. Chicken
3. Egg
4. Shrimp
5. Tofu
6. Salmon
7. Quinoa
8. Pasta
9. Etc.

Experiment with different recipes until you find one that you enjoy!

Popcorn!

popcorn-boxes

Depending on preparation and portion size, popcorn can either be a healthy snack or a source of added sugar, fat, calories and sodium.

Popcorn is a great source of whole grains and fiber. And at 40 calories per cup and a serving size of 3 cups, popcorn is definitely a good snack choice.

Try making your own popcorn by:

  • Placing ¼ cup of popcorn kernels in a brown paper lunch bag. Add a teaspoon of vegetable oil, coconut oil or butter. Fold the top twice and place bag in the microwave for 2-3 minutes.

    or

  • Add a teaspoon of vegetable oil, coconut oil or butter to a pot on the stove top and wait for it to heat up. Add in ¼ cup of popcorn kernels and cover. Shake continuously until the popping stops.

Once popped, try adding some flavor by using your favorite seasonings. You can try:

• Nutritional or Brewer’s yeast
• Garlic Powder
• Cayenne Pepper
• Black Pepper
• Cinnamon and brown sugar
• Parmesan cheese
• Kirkland’s Organic no-salt seasoning
• Any of Mrs. Dash’s seasonings

Or any other seasoning that you can think of. Make it your own!