Weight Control Without Feeling like You’re Losing Control

Posted: March 17, 2017 in Blog, Food, Nutrition
Drink a smoothie

Yup, you get it. If losing weight was easy, we’d all be rail thin. But does it have to always to involve things that are so against your groove?

Here’s a couple examples of what we mean. You know you need to watch your calories if you’re ever going to lower your weight. But every diet you come across either tells you to eliminate (Eliminate? You’re always starved as it is, how the heck are you going to ‘eliminate’ anything?) the foods you love or substitute them for a slice of avocado and a whole-grain roll.

And then there’s all the advice, including from the government, about getting more ‘physical activity”. Like up to two and a half hours of moderate to vigorous exercise a week. Say what? That’s not just more ‘activity’, that’s darn close to torture.

The main stream ways of losing weight and living a healthier lifestyle are often so daunting, even when you build up the courage and motivation to get going, you’re defeated before you start.

Even worse, doing things like drastically changing your diet, or eliminating food groups, or jumping into a rigorous exercise program can have the opposite effect to what you expect. Instead of healthily losing weight and keeping it off, you can end up heavier than when you started and potentially injuring yourself.

Start with a Healthy Approach to Sustainable Weight Loss and Better Health

That last point is very important. Many fad diets and are simply unhealthy. They can put you into a dangerous cycle of ‘yo-yo’ dieting, where your body initially loses weight, then gets it all back when the diet is over, then repeats the cycle in another fad diet. And starting an exercise program without your body being ready for it – especially if you’re on a calorie-reduced diet – can leave you in pain and without energy.

Instead of focusing on weight loss, think about your physical and mental health first. With that as your main goal, you can begin taking steps towards a healthier weight and lifestyle, without as much worrying about side-effects or feeling like you’re losing control of your life.

Those simple, smaller dietary steps are much more effective in the long term than wholesale changes to your diet and exercise. Here are some steps to help you get started.

1. Add to Your Diet Instead of Eliminate

If you come home at night ready to eat everything in the house, have a healthy snack in the afternoon. If you simply can’t live without pizza, have a salad or piece of fruit before you dig in.

2. Have one piece of fruit and one vegetable with every meal

Don’t change anything on your plate, but just add one serving of fruit and one of vegetables to every meal – yes, breakfast, lunch and dinner. This way, you get all your favourite foods and, if you do nothing else, at least you’re getting good nutrition with every meal.

3. Start the Switch to Whole Grains

Speaking of pizza, try it with a whole-grain crust. Or start making sandwiches with whole-grain bread. Whole grain foods, including pasta and rice are more tasty (when you get used to them, you’ll never go back) and filling than their processed versions.

4. Start Reducing Sugar and Salt

If you take two teaspoon of sugar in your coffee, try one and give it a bit of an extra stir to better dissolve and distribute the sugar. Instead of salt, look for other tasty shots of flavour from things like black pepper, oregano, lemon peel, garlic and onion powder.

5. Smoothies & Yogurt for Breakfast

Your body’s systems work better when they start the day off right. A veggie smoothie is fast and filling, while greek yogurt keeps your stomach healthy and it’s a good source of protein. If either one of them needs more flavour, add some fresh fruit.

6. Portion Control

It’s been a while since we discussed portion control here on the Herbal One blog, but it’s a very effective way to start eating healthily. Instead of changing how and what you eat across the board, start with one meal per day. For that meal, don’t overload your plate and make sure the food on your plate is made up of one quarter proteins, like red meat (or, even better, lean protein like poultry or fish); one quarter starches, like whole-grain rice, beans, chick peas, etc.; and one half non-starchy vegetables, like carrots, peas, green leaves, tomatoes, cucumbers. Try to have your vegetables as raw as possible and keep salad dressing to a minimum. When you get the hang of it, start using portion control in other meals.

7. Do More of What You Already Do

To start increasing activity, without increasing your activities, simply ‘amplify’ anything you do each day. Toweling off after a shower gives you a great opportunity to stretch your arms and legs. Park your car further away. Do some arm curls with the grocery bags. Open the door for someone.

Get support for yourself.

Regardless of how easy it might sound here, this is just a start. Losing weight and making lifestyle changes is never easy. Get the support you need to make it happen from the nutritional consultants at your nearest Herbal One centre.