Un-fad Your Diet
People like to believe in something and belong to something, and in the weight loss industry that feeds into a series of fad diets, each one with its die-hard fans. They’re vegans or Atkins people or South Beach skinnies. But a book published earlier this year, Diet Cults, claims that there’s no single “healthiest diet.” Author Matt Fitzgerald writes that any one of these diets may work for you, but eating with some common sense may work just as well. Despite loads of research that has gone into verifying the value of fad diets, Fitzgerald says that if science has proven anything it’s that no diet is perfect.
There’s also a distinction between a weight-loss goal and a long-life goal. If living into your 90s is what you’re trying to achieve, the ongoing 90+ Study conducted by the University of California at Irvine is discovering that people who were overweight in their 70s make it to their 90s in greater percentages than people who were normal weight or underweight!
If you want to achieve or maintain a healthy weight without following a diet, try these 10 Healthy Hairdresser suggestions:
- Eat a lot of good stuff. Portion control doesn’t apply when it comes to vegetables and, to some extent, fruit. Eat all you want! You can have both soup and salad, each overflowing with veggies. Cook your meats and fish with herbs rather than sauces. This is probably the easiest way to watch the pounds drop, because you’ll be getting enough protein and you won’t be hungry.
- Really stop the “white” food. Read labels to make sure the bread, pasta and rice you’re eating has the word “whole” in the first ingredient. You can’t trust what’s on the front of the package.
- Learn about legumes. You can use different types of beans, lentils and other legumes to replace meat or a side dish. They’re high in protein and fiber and can be really tasty.
- Go zero-calorie with drinks. Water is best, but any zero-calorie flavored drink is better than a sugar soda. Coffee and tea are fine, but don’t add sugar or cream!
- Identify some great restaurant meals. Eating out doesn’t have to be a disaster. Many restaurants offer dinner-size salads and selections such as a chicken breast with vegetables. Learn to ask for substitutions—extra veggies instead of rice or potato, or a marinara sauce instead of a cream sauce.
- Let yourself be “bad.” Allow yourself a few of your favorites that may not fit into the healthy category, but here’s where portion control comes in. One slice of bacon at breakfast, a small bag of chips, a few squares of chocolate or a weekly pizza lunch can fit into your plan. You’ll start looking forward to these little cheats rather than letting them rule you.
- Eat slowly. Take at least 20 minutes to finish a meal by keeping portions reasonable but enjoying every bite. Your body will tell you when you’re full, which it doesn’t do as well when you chow down quickly.
- Sleep more. A longer snooze cuts the hours you’re available for snacking, and your body handles food better with more rest.
- Move! Yes, work out, but if you’re not there yet you can still get your body moving. Take the stairs. Bundle up and walk around the block between clients. Keep supplies in high places so you’ll have to reach and in low places so you’ll have to bend. Get on the floor and do some stretching while you watch TV.
- Be honest with yourself. Whether it’s checking the scale or trying to fit into those great jeans from three years ago, look yourself in the eye and acknowledge how many pounds or inches you really would like to lose. Don’t make excuses. Your bones aren’t any bigger now than they were earlier in your adulthood, and pregnancy weight can come off.