Why And How To Avoid Tempting Fad Diets

 

How to avoid fad diets

It’s January, it’s a new year, and almost every magazine or health related email you open this month will have advice on what you should and shouldn’t be eating.

It can be really tempting to try the latest fad diet that the fitness and/or diet industry is promoting.  It’s a normal human response to be intrigued by all the marketing that these industries roll out in January… especially if you’ve gained a few pounds over the holidays.

While I completely understand the desire to want to lose weight quickly, research continues to  show us that restrictive dieting is not very effective long term and can potentially do you more harm than good.

Some of the reasons diets fail you are:

  • They slow down your metabolism
  • They cause you to store fat, not burn it
  • They’re unsustainable for most people’s lifestyle
  • They are a means to manipulate bodies to become a size they were never designed to be
  • When you stop starving yourself and go back to normal calorie-consumption, you WILL gain weight
  • Lack of energy due to being hungry
  • Some diets ask you to eliminate entire food groups and key nutrients
  • They can cause binge eating due to a scarcity mentality
  • They can cause stress which is known to cause belly fat due to hormonal changes in the body

There is nothing wrong with wanting to lose unwanted weight.  I recently lost a few pounds after recovering from a broken foot.  What’s important to remember is that long term, sustainable, weight loss happens when you focus more on health and less on the size of your jeans.

Healthy weight loss is not about counting calories just to reach a number on a scale.  It’s about feeling good, having plenty of energy, feeding your brain properly, creating balance in your life, being happy,  and allowing your body to settle into it’s own natural and healthy weight.   Things like eating the appropriate amount of food, cutting back on the foods and or liquids that you know are excessive,  avoiding overly processed foods, and meal planning are all considered healthy eating, not starvation diets or skipping meals entirely.

HERE ARE Seven TIPS THAT WILL HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT WITHOUT DIETING

1) Eat enough food.  It absolutely amazes me that there are still diets out on the market today that recommend dangerously low calorie meal plans when the science says otherwise.  Your body will get really good at storing what it doesn’t get enough of.  For example, if you eliminate fat from your diet, your body will not want to burn fat. It will want to store fat.  Sound nutritional research tells us that you need to eat fat in order to burn fat.  I am a firm believer that the low fat and low carb craze has contributed heavily to the weight issues in the United States.

Instead of restricting what you eat, you’ll find more success when you focus on a balanced diet that is centered around whole foods.   A balanced diet includes carbohydrates, proteins, fruits & vegetables, healthy fats, and water.  Any diet that cuts one of these important nutrients out should be avoided.

2) Exercise.  One of the most effective ways to lose weight for good is a combination of eating well AND regular exercise.  However, there are many other reasons we should all be exercising regularly besides a desire to lose weight.  Research shows that exercise can help with depression, lower the risk for heart disease and cancer, reduce the risk of diabetes, and even grow new brain cells.  Exercise is an excellent anti-aging tool!

3) Eat in.    Cook at home as often as you can and bring your lunch.  When I make our food, I get to choose how much butter, oil, salt, and sugar I add.  Sometimes I add more than the recipe calls for and sometimes I cut it back.  I can also make substitutions that I think are healthier for us like swapping out more refined grains for whole grains, adding more veggies, and choosing oils that I believe are better than others.

4) Cut back on liquid calories. Try substituting alcohol, sodas, and other higher calorie drinks with water. Try adding lemon or cucumber for some variation.

If cutting out liquid calories sounds extreme, take a more moderate approach and cut down to half or even a quarter of what you usually drink. You can always go back to your normal consumption if you want to.  This is about figuring out what works for you personally.

5) Get plenty of rest.  Substantial medical evidence is telling us that a lack of sleep affects hormones which are linked to an increase in appetite. Your body becomes less satisfied and you are tempted to eat more food than you may actually need.  Sleep deprivation can also affect your hormones in such a way that your metabolism will literally slow down.  The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night.

6) Tell guilt to take a hike.  First off, guilt should never be associated with food ever.  When I go into a restaurant I order what I want and I do not feel guilty about my choices.  Guilty thoughts that attempt to beat us up usually come from a desire to be perfect.  And, even though most of us know that perfection is impossible, much of the”professional” advertising we see focuses on displaying perfection as a form of happiness or acceptance.  Thank goodness for social media!  Live raw video helps to remind us that nobody is perfect and to give ourselves a break.

7)  Be yourself.  It’s really important that you know what’s most important to you.  Not everyone wants to be or was designed to look like the models on the cover of fitness magazines.  If challenging yourself to reach an elite athlete status is fun for you and you can achieve it in a healthy way, then by all means go for it!  However, if you know in your heart you’d just like to live a long healthy life, fit in your clothes, and have the stamina to do the activities you enjoy without a whole lot of restrictions in your life, then general health and fitness is for you so please don’t beat yourself up because you’re not “doing whatever it takes” to try to look like a fitness model.  Perfection is overrated and impossible to achieve.  Even fitness models don’t look like their photos all of the time.

Instead of dieting, I recommend you pick as many things from above that you can realistically implement without stressing yourself out and then stay consistent.  Diet and exercise are very personal which is why a canned approach rarely works.  We all have different lives, different goals, and different needs. 🙂

Here’s to a happy and healthy 2018!

Shared with love,

Jennifer

Ten Tips To Cooking Easy Healthy Meals

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Eating at home is one of the key ingredients to maintaining a healthy diet. When you know what’s in your food, you have more control over the portion sizes and the quality of the food you consume. However, with today’s fast-paced lifestyles, it can be difficult to carve out the time to cook.

HERE ARE TEN QUICK AND EASY COOKING SHORTCUTS FOR HEALTHY EATING

These tips come straight to you from my personal kitchen.

As a wife, homemaker, fitness coach, and doggie mom, I have a limited amount of time I can spend in the kitchen. Here are some shortcuts I use to help streamline the meal preparation process.

1) Use cookers that need no supervision.  I use my rice cooker all week long.  I make rice, quinoa and steamed vegetables in it.  While one part of the meal is cooking, you can prepare the rest.  Slow cookers and crock pots are perfect appliances for the  busy person that wants to cook healthy meals.   The food is cooking while you are doing other things like working, running errands, exercising, or spending quality time with friends and family.

2)  Choose recipes that take twenty minutes or less.  I recommend choosing simple recipes for busy weeknights.  Save the longer “project” meals for nights you can take your time.

3) Use pre-made sauces.  I usually make my own pasta sauces and salad dressings but there are times that I will substitute healthy pre-made sauces in recipes instead of making them all from scratch.

For example, I make lamb burgers that call for a “raita” sauce. The recipe isn’t hard. However, Trader Joe’s sells a yogurt cilantro sauce that works well in place of it. If you add up the time and cost of buying the ingredients and making the sauce, it is worth the few dollars I paid for Joe’s version. Just be sure to check labels when buying pre-made sauces. Make sure you recognize each ingredient and avoid things like partially hydrogenated oils, soybean oil, and high fructose corn syrup.

4)  Become a great assembler.  Years ago I complimented one of my friends on what a great entertainer and cook she is.  Her response to me was “I don’t really cook, I just know how to assemble food well.”  That stuck with me.  If cooking seems like too daunting of a task, try grilling a piece of meat or buying a pre-cooked chicken and add some healthy sides like a salad made with pre-washed lettuce, frozen veggie combos,  or precooked organic grains.

5) Speed up the veggies.  Pre-washed and pre-cut organic vegetables are a great way to save time.  Check the frozen section for a great variety as well. Frozen veggies are better than canned because they preserve more of the nutrients without preservatives.

6) Prep well. Do all of your cutting, chopping, and mixing before you start cooking, including a side salad. This will save you time, and your meals will come together seamlessly.

7) Recruit in-house.  My husband and I have a lot of fun cooking together. We open a nice bottle of wine, turn on some music and enjoy quality time. The families I work with turn cooking into family time. The kids look forward to working in the kitchen, and mom and dad get to teach their children while getting a little help.

8) Create a meal plan.  Plan your meals one week in advance with the groceries in the house. If you have to stop at the store multiple times per week, you will lose a lot of time shopping. And this can tempt you to eat out. If you are not sure how to meal plan, check out Meal Planning Helps You Lose Weight for detailed steps.

9) Have a back up.  I always keep a few easy meals in our freezer and pantry just in case the day does not go as planned. Frozen organic pizzas and a fresh salad make a great last minute dinner. By making your own pizza, you have more control over the ingredients than if you went to the local pizzeria. Dry pasta and minced canned clams make an amazing linguini and clams dish. Add a salad on the side and your family will think it’s gourmet all the way!

10) Buy freeze dried herbs.  Freeze dried herbs become “like fresh” when they are moistened. Use these to avoid all of the chopping without sacrificing flavor. They are great in the winter when your herb garden isn’t producing, and it saves having to buy an entire bunch of herbs just for a couple tablespoons.

Please let me know which strategies are the most helpful, or share your own time-saving tip below.  I love to hear from you!

With Love,
Jennifer

Lose Weight For Good By Creating A Healthy Lifestyle

Have you struggled with losing weight, staying on a diet, or sticking to an exercise program? If the answer is yes, you are not alone. Forty five million Americans diet each year. We spend a whopping $1-2 billion per year on weight loss programs. Yet, Americans are still struggling to lose weight and keep it off for good.

A 95% Failure Rate!

 

So why aren’t these weight loss plans working? The answer is simple. Diets have a 95% failure rate and new research is telling us that exercise without nutritional intervention shows minimal to no weight loss either.

I am not here to discourage you. However, I want you to know the truth because the media tries to sell you a bunch of garbage and hype around health and fitness on a daily basis.

Now for the good news!

 

The way you lose weight and keep it off for good is by creating a healthy lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle is created by adopting a healthy habit one step at a time. Once a habit becomes as natural as brushing your teeth, it has become a part of your lifestyle and is very hard to break. It’s simple. However, it does take effort.

The top habits for weight loss and a healthy lifestyle!

 

1) Baby Steps.  It’s important to remember that this is a journey for life and not a sprint. Be conservative when setting weight loss goals.  Under-promise and over-deliver to yourself. One habit will lead to another, which leads to weight loss and management you couldn’t even imagine existed. To learn more about setting successful weight loss goals, read Baby Steps Lead to Permanent Weight Loss.

2) Meal Plan.  If you want to guarantee your success and remove the stress, then plan! In the beginning you may think you just don’t have time. Meal planning will save you time and is a critical part of successful weight loss. Not sure how to meal plan for weight loss? Refer to Meal Planning Helps You Lose Weight for  an easy step by step guide.

3)  Eat Out Smart. I encourage you to eat out and enjoy a great meal. Unfortunately, eating out often can sabotage your weight loss efforts! The average American eats out 4-5 times per week. Eating out this often can add an additional 670 calories to your weekly consumption. That’s an extra 10 lbs per year!

Eating out used to be a treat when I was growing up. However, with today’s fast paced lifestyles and global business market, it has become a major part of our diet. If it’s impossible for you to avoid eating out you, can avoid gaining weight if you follow some simple guidelines.

Start off by using sites like healthydiningfinder.com. Type in your current location and review the nutritional information for restaurants in the area. Or, try an on line app if your restaurant is not listed. Most apps will have general guidelines for restaurant meals. Stick to lower calorie meals and beverages that have little to no calories  unless it’s a special occasion.

4) Ignore the outside chatter! Stick to what works for you. There will always be some new diet or pill, a well-meaning friend, and Lord knows the magazines waiting to tell you that your plan is not ambitious enough. Or, that their way is better. My favorite is the person posing and asking “don’t you want to look like me?”

Now, I’m not saying to be closed-minded on a better way of doing things. I’m saying you should always question if a health or fitness idea fits into your life and values.

5)  Speak Success! Tell your body what you want, not what you don’t want. When you look in the mirror, use phrases like “I am losing weight,” or “I have a flat stomach.”  In the beginning this can be tough. You tend to think “you are lying.” However, you are not. In my favorite success book, The Bible, it says “speak as if it is already.” This is called faith my friend! You are believing you can accomplish your goals!

Negative thoughts will enter your mind. That’s normal. You’re human! Just don’t let them leave your lips. Replace each negative thought with a positive statement. If that’s tough in the beginning, use one of my favorite personal quotes. If you don’t have anything nice to say about yourself, don’t say anything at all. You wouldn’t say something that mean to a friend, so why say it to yourself?

Leave notes around the house as reminders to speak positively about yourself. This will help you build the mental muscles you will need to make success talk a habit.

6)  Don’t Quit! One of the number one reasons people fail is they give up. They don’t see results fast enough so they quit. Consistency is key. Use your “baby steps” to create healthy habits that you are able to maintain long term.

These really are the secrets to my clients and my own personal success with personal weight loss. As you can see, there is nothing exceptional about them. You just have to get started and stick to it. I believe in you and I know you can do it!

Have a question or healthy habit you’d like to share? Please leave a comment below. I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

With love,

Jennifer