Good day, dear readers!
Well as we all know, a new year usually signals the time to get back to proper eating and for me, it’s no different. As many of you know, I’m an avid follower of the South Beach Diet (SBD) and am the first one to promote its wonderful, healthy way of eating, but over the past
few months several months year an a half, I’ve completely slipped off the wagon as if it were covered in grease.
When I was following it back in 2010, I managed to lose 28lbs. I felt great, I dropped 3 sizes, I had more energy, my clothes weren’t tight and it wasn’t a struggle to bend over and tie my sneakers! I hit a plateau in my weight…something I’m sure all of us who have ever dieted before knows all too well about. After a while I slowly started to eat things I shouldn’t have and the weight has slowly crept back on to me and I managed to gain back 20 lbs….sigh.
Most of last year I kept telling myself that I needed to get back to proper eating (I never refer to it as going on a ‘diet’) and would always say I would start on Monday. Obviously, that never happened as Monday would roll around and I’d be repeating the same mantra again. Each time I stepped on the scale; maybe once a month or so, my weight would increase by a pound or more. Sometimes it would actually stay the same and I would be quite thankful.
As the recent holidays approached, I started psyching myself up that I was going back to SBD after the new year and I have kept that promise to myself. I didn’t start exactly on Jan 1, but on Jan 5 as I wanted to make sure I had all the proper foods in the house and also to get rid of all the junk such as all the crackers, cheese, canapes and especially the chocolate.
In the past two weeks, I’ve lost nearly 5lbs. and even though it’s a slow start, at least the numbers on the scale are going down and not up!
Many of us try to lose weight in the new year, and even though I’m sure you’ve heard most of the following before, it’s always good to get a refresher as it becomes engrained in our brains and hopefully stays there! Breaking old eating habits can be tough, but here’s a few tips to help you on the way and hopefully keep your (and my) motivation high…
* Get rid of everything that will tempt you into unhealthy eating. This includes cakes, cookies/biscuits, pies, chips/crisps, chocolates, candies, sweets and any other junk food you might have sitting around.
*Have some healthy snacks handy. An apple with a small amount of sugar-free peanut butter or low-fat cheese, some wholegrain crackers with low-fat cheese, a few spoonfuls of fat-free Greek yogurt with some berries and artificial sweetener. Celery sticks with a small amount of low fat cream cheese. A small handful of nuts; almonds and walnuts are great choices. You get the idea.
*Try to find a friend who also wants to lose weight and you can do it together. Going along with a friend will help you achieve your goal as you are there to push each other along.
*Start an exercise program if you haven’t already. You don’t need to spend hours (or money!) at the gym. Put on a pair of walking shoes and head outside. Start slow if you’re not used to doing a great deal of walking. Even 10-15 minutes of walking is better than sitting down in front of the TV. Get yourself a pedometer and aim for 10,000 steps a day and work your way up to that. A 10-minute walk is around 1,000 steps. Remember, the more you move, the more calories you burn. You need to burn 3,500 calories to lose one pound of weight.
*Be realistic. Keep your ultimate goal at the back of your mind, but focus on the small bites that will help you get there, such as a certain amount of weight to lose each week.
*Keep focused and motivated by reminding yourself why you want to lose weight. Whether it’s for health reasons or to fit into your wedding gown or swim suit this Summer, it’s easier to do something when you’re clear about why you’re doing it.
*Lower your sugar intake. Many foods have hidden sugar such as ketchup, peanut butter, canned soup, bread and salad dressings. Try to avoid ‘light’ products such as mayonnaise as they compensate for the lower fat by adding more sugar. Too much sugar can play havoc with your blood glucose levels and increase your risk for diabetes. It may also cause obesity, and increase your risk for high cholesterol and heart disease. It has even been linked to cancer.
*Avoid white foods: potatoes, rice, pasta and bread. A sweet potato is actually better than a white potato, swap white rice for brown or wild rice and go for whole wheat pasta and whole grain breads. They all provide more fiber which is digested more slowly and doesn’t give you that sharp spike in glucose levels which leaves you feeling hungry. You can also replace rice with grains such as whole wheat couscous, bulgar wheat, quinoa or barley. Oats are a great way to start your day, but avoid the instant oats.
*Try to limit your eating of the starchy vegetables such as green peas, parsnips, beets, corn, pumpkin, turnips and carrots as these all contain a higher level of carbohydrates than other veggies.
*You should also limit yourself on the following fruit for the same reason as the starchy veggies: canned fruit, all fruit juice, raisins, pineapple and watermelon.
So there you go. There are so many more ideas and thoughts that go along with all of this, but I figured this is enough for now.
Maybe it’s time to go build a snowman….