This is a very common problem. As with any problem, you need to step back to get some perspective on the situation. First, wouldn't you agree with me that we are constantly bombarded with information about dieting and appearance? The pressure and stress that the media creates forms the basis of a self-help industry that creates these trendy or fad diets. In fact, there is a current NY Times bestseller, (there always is a diet book around this time of year), dedicated to losing weight through a trendy new diet. These trendy diets are usually a variation on a theme. Some details are tweaked just slightly, a new book cover is designed, and voila!...You have a new "diet."
At Chillfit, I focus on the basics of a proven regimen of exercise programs, tailored to each of my clients. Now, with that said, one of the things I cannot control is what and how much each of my clients eat once they leave the fitness studio. I am not a nutrition specialist. However, there are some common sense approaches to healthy eating that will support the goals you are trying to reach in losing weight. I am not promoting a book...And, remember, I used to weigh 315 pounds. I can personally testify to what nutritional practices personally helped me. (Always see a doctor before changing your diet and nutrition program or before beginning an exercise program).
1. Always include a protein source such as egg whites, white meat chicken, or turkey, or fish, (or soy if you are vegan), with every meal. Keep the portion size between 4 to 6 ounces.
2. One, maybe two, starch based carbohydrates such as brown rice, oatmeal, potatoes, or, sweet potatoes.
3. Add a fiber rich carbohydrate vegetable such as broccoli, green beans, or a salad.
4. Control your portions of each of the above. Particularly the protein and starch vegetables. If you need a bigger portion of any of the above, choose the fiber rich carbs.
5. Avoid processed foods. Shop around the edges of the grocery store instead of the aisles. Processed foods have high levels of sodium and fat. Buy foods as fresh as possible. Increase your variety by shopping at local farmers markets. Minimize trips to fast food restaurants. Fast foods are low in nutritional value, (that is one reason you have food cravings three to four hours after you eat fast food), they are high in fat and simple carbs that spike your blood sugar and send the calories directly to stored fat. And besides, it makes you feel bloated and horrible!
6. Be mindful of how you prepare your food. Avoid using saturated fats. Increase flavor through products like Mrs. Dash, along with fresh herbs and spices. Also, cook with healthy oils and vinegars to add flavor. When your taste buds have been satiated, you will give yourself a better chance of sticking to your new nutritional plan.
7. Follow the nutritional guidance offered at the United States Department of Agriculture's, (USDA), website, "My Pyramid". Another resource is my friend, Pam Smith, RD, LDN. Pam is a nationally recognized nutritionist. She has a great website. Pam doesn't buy into that don't buy into the diet trends. Click here to visit her site: Pam Smith.
8. Manage your stress and turn on the fat burning switch through an organized and tailored exercise program that I manage. I can help you reach your goals of personal fitness. Meeting these goals will encourage you to achieve greater personal success in other areas of your life.