Diet is a four letter word…yes I know it is literally a four letter word. However, when I usually think of four letter words I think of the ones that I don’t say in front of my mother and the ones I try not to say when I am cut off in traffic. Sometimes the word Diet is said with such contempt that it carries the same weight as profanity. As many times as individuals have tried and failed at dieting it is no wonder the word carries such negative connotations.
If you have stopped by over the past few weeks you have probably read a post or two on my new eating regime. I refuse to call it a diet…diets conjure up mostly negative thoughts. Thoughts of things I will have to give up or go with out. The biggest negative that comes to mind when I think of dieting is that I must admit that I am not in control. I have to admit that I have gained weight and I am out of shape. (Hey, pear is a shape!)
If you google diet you will get 575,000,000 results; everything from diet plans, pills, recipes and tips. WebMD.com lists the facts on the most popular diets so you can decide which one is best for you. There are at least 90 popular diets listed on their website.
My husband and I are on this journey together and we talk entirely too much about what we are going to eat. However, in order to eat right, that is eat foods that are good for us, it takes planning. We must discuss the weekly meal plan, look up recipes, find alternative ingredients to stay on our chosen eating plan of low to no sugar.
Foods that are easy to prepare or are quick fix meals usually are packed with plenty of empty calories. Oh but they do make the taste buds dance and sing. However, these empty calories are the reason Americans, this one included, are overweight!
I have read more articles, followed more tweeters and liked more Facebook pages in the past 3 weeks on healthy eating than I have read in my entire life. It is no wonder the health and fitness industry is a multi-billion dollar industry.
I especially enjoy reading the articles that go against the grain. The ones that offer up tips on breaking the rules or articles that suggest a few sneaky tricks that can help shed the pounds with just a minor adjustment in your eating plan or your exercise routine.
Recently on Shine, the Yahoo on-line community for women, posted under the Healthy Living tab just such an article. To read it in its entirety and see the visuals follow this link or for the condensed version.
Here you go, the meat and potatoes, the cookies on the bottom shelf, everything in a nutshell…ok, enough of the food references. Here is the readers digest version:
Limit your liquids to herbal tea and water only. Drinking even light juices or diet coke will still pack on pounds over time, says Borden. If you need a sweet fix, eat your fruit, don’t drink it. You’ll get more fiber and less sugar that way.
- Eat with chopsticks. “People who use chopsticks tend to eat way less and get fuller quicker because it takes longer to eat — [chopsticks] slow you down,” says Borden. This is one of the biggest rules of thumb when it comes to eating right. If you eat too fast your body doesn’t register that it’s full, so you’ll keep eating unnecessary calories.
- Take your workout to work. No time to exercise before or after work? Burn a few calories during your lunch hour instead. Borden likes the virtual jump rope for this purpose (try Airope Original, 34.95). It’s easy to tote, you won’t whip any colleagues, and two simple minutes of jumping will get you out of your chair and help to burn a few calories. Bonus: It’ll give your back a much-needed break from hunching (and hurting), she says.
- Avoid low-fat diets. “Fat is your friend, it will help you get fewer calories cravings,” says Borden. Find good-for-you fats in avocado, olive oil and fish.
- Do an activity that jumpstarts your lymphatic system, says Borden, like running, jump rope, and rebounding (jumping on a mini trampoline). These activities boost your circulation to help release built-up toxins, which in turn speeds up your metabolism. And you know what that means: More calories burned without any extra effort.
- Sprinkle on the cinnamon. Flavoring your oatmeal, cereal, coffee — you name it — with cinnamon may actually control the insulin spikes that often occur after you eat, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture finding. These spikes can make you feel hungry, which isn’t exactly ideal if you’re trying to cut calories.
- Avoid creamy foods. Example: Dairy or creamy dressings like ranch have more unhealthy fats and are harder to digest than olive oil-based fats found in vinaigrette-like dressings.
Add more weight to your weight-training workout. It’s a myth that women “shouldn’t lift more than three pounds,” says Borden. “The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism will be,” she adds. So, don’t be afraid to pile on the pounds (to your weight room routine, that is) and don’t worry, contrary to popular belief, it’s actually hard to add bulk. If you can do 15 reps of an exercise easily, add more weight until your last rep is an effort, she says.