With more and more Americans being over weight and obesity rates on the rise there seems to be more “diet gurus” and diets plans out there then we know what to do with. So what should you do? Here are a couple of things to think about. Should I diet? Please no! Don’t do it! If your idea of a diet is eating rice cakes, salads, and swallowing a gust of air for dessert then please don’t. Instead of “dieting” learn how to eat.

Three things to think about.

1.) Eat Breakfast

2.) Eat consistently and maintain normal eating patterns

3.) Weigh yourself on a regular basis, meaning once a week, not every hour on the hour.

How should I avoid gaining weight?

1.) Avoid watching as much TV. Seems simple enough but sit less, get up and move.

2.) Drink less alcohol: 1g of alcohol is 7 calories, 1g of carbohydrates is 4 calories and 1g protein is only 4 calories. Classic response! “No, its ok I drink liquor drinks… like vodka sprite.” That’s great but lets be honest when you are drinking those drinks at your favorite bar how many times is it followed by the late night drunk munchies?

3.) Sleep: Don’t avoid sleep! Studies have shown that people who lack sleep actually eat more, mistaking being tired with being hungry

4.) Don’t Diet: Don’t do something you cant keep up with. In other words if you are on a 1,000 calorie a day diet, how long can you really do that?

5.) Exercise: Enough said

6.) Eat for physical not emotional reasons: If you are eating 800 extra calories because you have that 13 mile race tomorrow good!! If you are eating 800 extra calories because your boyfriend/girlfriend didn’t Snapchat you back, and Ben and Jerry want to share their pint and watch The Bachelor with you then NO GOOD!! Eat for your body not for your emotions.

Build Skills That Lead to Weight Loss Learn how to eat, what to eat, and when to eat.

Chew slow it takes our bodies 20 minutes to signal to our brain that we are full. Slow down and enjoy food. Still eat what you like but budget those foods. Remember if you constantly deny yourself your favorite food eventually you will crack and instead of eating one it will turn into three or four. Eat less processed foods and more wholesome foods. Unprocessed foods will equate to lower blood sugar, and make you feel more full. Think about eating more protein rich foods, as you will feel more full.

Cutting Calories

When cutting calories don’t think about it as starving yourself. Listen to your body. If you cut too many calories you can actually eat more by feeling hungry later. It is always best to overeat during the day for two reasons. 1.) It will give you more time to burn off the calories. 2.) You will feel less hungry at night, and will be less tempted to eat before bed.

Even with all the information available today I have found that for many people it is still hard to know exactly what to do and how to achieve good eating habits.

Here are 10 steps that I think are important when it comes to achieving a healthy balanced diet.

1.) Write it down: Write down what you eat, the amount you eat, when you eat, and what kind of mood you were in when you ate it.

2.) Front load: Eat most of your calories earlier

3.) Eat slow: Remember it takes your brain 20 minutes to tell you that you are full

4.) Eat your favorite foods, but put a budget on them

5.) Avoid Temptation: Avoid going places or doing things that will make you eat more

6.) If you are a “bored eater” make a list of things to do when you get bored that don’t involve food

7.) Make a realistic plan

8.) Schedule exercise and make it a priority, not just something to get around to every now and then

9.) Sleep!

10.) Mentally Prepare. Think about what you need to do, what you want to be like and how you want to look. Stop putting yourself down. If you eat something bad think about the next day and what you are going to do about it.

 

Facts

1.) Is a carbohydrate fattening? NO, excess calories are fattening

2.) Should I eat high protein less carbohydrates for weight loss? No it seems that way because carbohydrates hold in water weight. These diets are hard to finish, and keep up with. Don’t start something you cant finish!!

3.) Do I lose muscle when I lose weight? You can, if you are worried about this create a small caloric deficit and lose weight slowly.

4.) Does eating fat make you fat? Back to point one, only if you overeat it and create a plus caloric diet. Excess calories make you fat.

5.) Should you exercise on an empty stomach? No most people will under perform during training.

Brett Cummins, CSCS, USAW, CSAC

Trainer at Forge- RX