A recent visit to the Doctor’s office and my subsequent 50th Birthday was the double whammy. I decided enough was enough! Wishing for a smaller waist line while doing nothing of significance to effectively change the number that shows up on the tape measure is delusional. I know that I can do anything I put my mind to. However, It helps if you have an accountability partner, luckily my husband and I came to the same conclusion at approximately the same time. It is great having my husband walk this walk with me each and every day. We are there for one another and can cheer each other on through our successes and failures.
Together we decided to “cut the sugar” out of our diet. Well, not all of the sugar but most of it. You know what that means, we have to give up the white stuff; rice, pasta, potatoes and processed sugar. We are also giving up sodas, chips, sweet tea, almost all processed pre-packaged foods and a whole list of other wonderfully delicious things we love to eat.
I also joined a Women’s Study Group that is using the DVD study by Lysa Terkeurst “Made to Crave”. We are digging a little deeper into why we use food as a crutch in our lives. It is great to have a handful of women to lean on and to share my “junk-food” cravings with and to find out I am not alone in my struggles. Not that I thought I was the only person struggling with making healthy food choices. But more accountability partners and a couple of close friends who will pray for me through this journey is just what this girl needs.
My first trip to the grocery store took two hours. I read every label on every package. I avoided the center aisles of the store as much as possible. It is true that the best way to shop when trying to eat healthier is to shop the perimeter of the grocery store; produce, meat and dairy sections. We have done really well this first two weeks. However, we are coming up on the 4th of July weekend and I am thinking we need to schedule a “cheat day”. (Did I hear a collective AMEN!?)
Have you ever noticed when you finally decide to go on a diet, take on the challenge of a 10 day cleanse or even fast for personal or spiritual reasons every TV commercial is advertising just the things you are giving up. It is almost like someone told on you and now you are being personally taunted by the big media box. It doesn’t help that the screen is a 50″ and everything is digitally enhanced by HD and now the cupcakes are larger than life.
Just when the rules and the label reading were beginning to overwhelm me I found a little reprieve. While surfing the net I was happy to stumble upon this article posted on yahoo. This might quite possibly help me to stick to my new healthy eating plan. This is not a diet…this is a new way of eating. Results to follow so stay tuned…
The 5 Diet Rules It’s OK to break.
#1: Don’t eat after 7 PM.
Why it’s OK to break this rule: There’s nothing magical about avoiding eating at night. The key to weight loss success isn’t when you eat; it’s taking a close look at what you eat and staying within your daily calorie allotment, says Mosier. “It’s very helpful to keep a food diary and look at your eating patterns.” A study by Kaiser Permanente’s Center for Health Research found that people who maintained a daily food diary had double the weight loss of those who didn’t keep any records. Writing down what you eat helps curb the urge to overindulge, by making you mindful of your dietary patterns and caloric intake, regardless of what time of day the food is consumed.
#2: Eat five to six small meals during the day.
Why it’s OK to break this rule: Although the theory behind this rule is that frequent eating keeps your metabolism stoked, the reality is that having more opportunities to eat often results in overeating, resulting in weight gain instead of weight loss. What’s more, new research from Purdue University founds that eating three regular-sized meals that include lean protein, such as chicken or tofu, made people feel more full than eating smaller, more frequent meals. The researchers also reported that eating three high protein meals also decreases late night eating and food cravings.
Avoid the worst fitness trends of all time.
#3: Stick to fat-free or low-fat foods.
Why it’s OK to break this rule: The American Heart Association recently reported that low-fat and fat-free foods can contribute to obesity, because these foods often contain as many or more calories than the full-fat versions, yet trick people into thinking that these are good choices for weight loss. Always check the nutrition facts on the label and avoid low-fat products that are loaded with sugar. Everyone, regardless of size, needs some fat in their diet to transport fat-soluble vitamins, such as A and E, around the body. Good fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids, also play a role in heart health and may aid immune system function. The AHA advises limiting fat intake to less than 25 to 35 percent of total calories, with less than 7 percent of calories coming from saturated fat. Choose unsaturated fats, such as olive oil, nuts, or oily fish.
#4: Eat breakfast within 30 minutes of waking.
Why it’s OK to break this rule: It’s true that studies consistently show that people who eat breakfast tend to weigh less and are more successful at maintaining weight loss. In fact, having breakfast daily is one of the habits that 78 percent of the “successful losers” who have enrolled in the National Weight Control Registry share. All of them have sustained a weight loss of 30 pounds or more for at least one year and some for up to 66 years. But that doesn’t mean you have to force yourself to eat first thing in the morning if you’re not hungry. Consuming breakfast later in the morning, perhaps after a workout to rev up your appetite, is equally effective. One study found that eating a big breakfast that’s high in protein and low in carbs helped overweight women lose an average of nearly 23 pounds.
#5: Cut out certain food groups.
Why it’s OK to break this rule: This “rule” recycles every few years. Some years we’re told to cut out red meat. Other years we’re told to avoid dairy or fruits. And we are always told to shun sugar. However, even with the willpower of iron, it’s hard to stick to a diet that leaves you feeling chronically deprived, which can set the stage for bingeing, Mosier points out. Instead, eat your favorite foods in moderation, and tweak recipes to cut down on calories. Understanding nutrition and taking a flexible, balanced approach to weight loss helps you make the smart food choices, without saddling yourself with the stress and frustration of a rigid diet that’s impossible to sustain over the long-term.