Monday, January 10, 2011

Tips on Dropping Pounds in the New Year

Have you ever wondered why some diets work for others but not for you? Or why there are so many diets out there?

It's because there is no one size fits all diet that will work for everyone. Yes, exercising more and eating less makes everyone lose weight but that doesn't mean it will stay off unless you realize what your main issue is.

The first step in losing weight is to use a food journal. You can use a website like to make counting calories, fat, protein and carbs a little easier. I would do this for at least a week.

Analyze the results. Are you eating way too many carbs? Not getting enough protein? Eating too many calories?

Here are some tips for some common issues.

1. You are hungry all the time. This is me. I eat really good. I love vegetables. But I eat way too much. I'm hungry all the time. The best tip for hungry people like me is to eat smaller meals every 3 hours. I lost the weight from baby number 3 by writing out a food schedule and literally eating every 3 hours (ending at 7pm). As the day went on, the carbs got less and protein or fiber more. Because you are eating every 3 hours you are never really "hungry" so you have alot of control of what you eat. Also eating things full of fiber like beans will help keep you feeling full.

2. You are a junk food junkie. If your problem is eating junk food, sweets and fast food I think the best tip is to allow yourself a set number of calories for each day. Think of the calories as currency. Do you really want to spend 300 calories on a few M&M's or a whole plate full of healthy foods? Sometimes getting a visual of how many french fries you can have as opposed to a large salad or cottage cheese, fruit and almonds will help you make better choices. Especially if you are really hungry. Are you going to go with the order of fries that will still leave you feeling hungry or the big plate of healthy food.

3. You don't get enough protein/too many carbs. I think this is one of the most common problems. The average American diet is low in protein. Think about it. Say you wake up in the morning and you are rushed for work. You grab a donut at home or at the office, then have a diet coke and salad for lunch and then come home and have spaghetti and garlic bread for dinner. Later you have a slice of cake for dessert. You just went the whole day without eating a lean source of protein. If you are not getting enough protein you can add a scoop of protein powder in your oatmeal in the morning. Hard boil a carton of eggs for the week and eat only the egg whites (great source of protein and only 15 calories each). Try to have one lean source of protein and one healthy carb each meal. I love to eat veggie sausage, turkey bacon or egg whites at breakfast. Lunch/dinner could be grilled chicken, tuna or fish. Great carb choices are brown rice, sweet potato, whole wheat bread and oatmeal. And of course veggies and fruit are fine anytime.

4. You freak out and eat more when you think you are on a diet. I do this as well. Don't think of yourself being on a diet. Think of it as changing your eating habits. Take baby steps and change your meals one at a time. First work on cleaning up your breakfast. Then work on lunch etc. Drink alot of soda? Try each day drinking one less can of soda and experiement with healthier, low or zero calorie drinks until you find one you really like. Change things one at a time so you are not so overwhelmed.

5. The little things add up. Take a look at the little things. The trips to Starbucks, the butter, gravy, juice, coffee creamers, syrup etc. I have switched to natural peanut butter as opposed to regular and now regular taste too sugary to me. I also switched to sugar free syrup (saves a ton of calories). I can eat a salad now with hardly any dressing at all. I have also realized I love green tea. Next up, switch out the sugar in my coffee for stevia. I also have a recipe for protein pancakes, way less calories than real pancakes..they won't hurt your diet at all. I'm use to the protein pancakes and now prefer them over fattening pancakes. Topped with zero calorie spray butter and sugar free syrup they are great for your diet.

There are many many more like having issues with portion control (measure out your food), bad habits, consuming high calorie drinks etc
What is your main issue? Leave a comment and I will try to help.

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