Many people I know make resolutions every New Years to lose weight. Have you also made this resolution?
The question I get most often from repeat resolutionists is “what diet works best?”. The first answer I give is “don’t diet”. I believe in healthy lifestyle changes, not in diets. To me this means researching tips and tricks for improving the way you eat and exercise and permanently adding each improvement to your daily regimen one step at a time. This way it becomes part of your life, not a temporary diet that you eventually end and will more than likely result in gaining your weight back.
If you are anything like I was when I was younger, you may say….”but, I need something more structured than that!”, and that may be true. If that’s the case there are programs I feel give good guidelines you can learn and apply ongoing for a simple healthy lifestyle. The initial learning is the hard part, but isn’t a long term healthy lifestyle worth it?
Do you remember the USDA Food Pyramid? The USDA recently did an upgrade which is now called My Plate. The website is available for use. To me, this is the basics of nutrition and really is the basis for long term weight loss. No deprivation, just a healthy balance of foods with a variety of fruits, vegetable and grains, adequate protein and dairy with fats, sugar and salt in moderation. The trick is to eat 4-6 small meals a day (no deprivation) and get a balance of food in to make your body work for you.
You may not have diabetes, but The American Diabetes Association follows similar guidelines and has a lot of good information free on their website as well. The American Dietetic Association (for us dieticians) also has great information.
If you are truly looking for a fully structured, consumer based weight loss program that has long term capabilities, I feel Weight Watchers is the closest to your medically prescribed diets. They even have a website program too. It may cost you a little, but it’s money only spent once if you commit to stick with it. It more likely costs less than paying for multiple programs and diet aides that just don’t work long term.
Of course, before you start any weight loss program, you may want to check with your doctor. They may have other suggestions, or if you have special needs, may prefer a different approach.
If you have a weight loss resolution, good luck with your weight loss goals this year! And hopefully next year you won’t be making this same resolution, but making a new one to take a trip to some tropical island wearing a new bikini you only dreamed of wearing last year!
Happy New Year!