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Dieting isn’t the answer to your weight loss problems

ANGEL BALICHOWSKI, MyToba.ca

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the amount of “diets” out there? Do you wonder which one is going to work for you? Or maybe you’ve tried a bunch of different ones, and never found that one that “stuck”? In my opinion the best diet out there is the “No Diet” diet.

As soon as you embark on a weight loss journey with a start date and an end date in mind, it sets you up for failure. It gives you the option of quitting once that end date passes, if you make it there. Most people don’t, because diets deprive you! You commit to depriving yourself for a set period of time, knowing you can make it through because well…..it’s not forever. If you’ve ever gone through a diet, you will all know one thing: the weight loss doesn’t last forever either.

First of all, there are essential nutrients our bodies need every day, and our bodies need food on a consistent basis. So cutting out one type of food group isn’t the answer, nor is skipping meals. What you need to do is have an actual lifestyle change, which will involve changing your habits.

Now don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of “programs” out there that I love that are 21 to 90 days that teach you how to workout and how to eat. Those are great platforms for real change to happen.

What I’ve found over the years is I can work out and put in the effort, but if I don’t watch what I’m eating, and more importantly HOW MUCH I’m eating, the weight just doesn’t come off!

So this is where portion control comes in. Transitioning to a portion-controlled lifestyle isn’t the easiest thing to do, and can take a few weeks of getting used to. This is coming from someone who LOVES food. The idea that I couldn’t eat as much as I wanted to of everything made me sad! In my 20s I always said I worked out so I could eat….when I reached my 30s I realized that wasn’t working for me anymore.

It’s amazing though how when you give your body what it needs, as often as it needs it, you aren’t hungry. Instead of food having control over you, you have now taken control and you will view food more as fuel for your body. (Except for those times that you do splurge, which I think everyone deserves!) Food is so good; we need to enjoy it, not feel guilty about it or obsess over it.

The best way to eat is five small meals/snacks every three hours. I’ve tried this, and it works great, but honestly, as a busy mom, and with a family that eats supper together every night, that doesn’t fit into my life right now. I’m sure most busy moms can relate.

However, we can control how much goes into our mouth. Like I said in my last article, having a super nutritious shake for breakfast is a great way to start the day, and it is quick and easy. If you’re using the proper shake, you shouldn’t be hungry again until lunch. That leaves figuring out only two other meals. Easy!

When I was honest with myself and looked at how much I was eating, it was pretty obvious where my problem was. Spaghetti shouldn’t fill the whole plate – one cup is all you need. If you’re going to indulge in chips or ice cream, or any snack, keep it within the 150 calorie serving size. So instead of eating out of the bag, count out the chips first, and put them in a bowl. If you’re going to order a salad when you’re out, order the dressing on the side and use roughly two tablespoons. Or, if you’re using dressing out of the package when out, look at the back and likely only use half of what is in that package. If you’re out for some cocktails, keep the calorie content low. Have only one or two full-size drinks and then move on to something less sugar-filled (and always drink a glass of water in between).

Speaking of water, make sure you’re drinking your fair share. This keeps your metabolism up and can keep you from feeling hungry. You should be drinking half your body weight in ounces. So a 130-pound woman should drink around 65 ounces -or about eight cups – of water per day.

Some other quick ways you can make some changes now, is to remember some of these rules:

1. A serving size of chicken (or steak) should be three ounces, which is the size of a deck of cards.

2. One cup serving = size of your fist or a tennis ball

3. One ounce of cheese = size of a domino

4. One medium fruit = size of a baseball

5. One teaspoon of butter/margarine = size of a dice cube

6. One potato = size of a computer mouse

7. Two tablespoons of peanut butter = size of a golfball

8. One ounce of chocolate = One After Eight (chocolate compared to chocolate? I might have a slight chocolate problem) Roughly a one inch by one inch serving 🙂

If you go out for a meal, it’s OK to indulge, however if you order a 12-ounce steak, make sure you are adjusting your other meals accordingly, so that your daily calorie intake isn’t off the charts. I’m sure there have been some meals I’ve eaten while out that put on a pound in just one sitting!

The key is to keep these things in mind and make it a habit, and soon knowing how much to eat of everything will become second nature. You can always eat off smaller plates, or there are portion control plates that you can buy which divide out the food for you. Or if you are more committed to change, there is a workout program that I know of that also gives you portion-controlled containers and teaches you how and what to eat for your body type.

There are so many ways you can encourage your weight loss efforts without dieting. If you need any help or have any questions, make sure to get in contact with me at fitwithangel@outlook.com.

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