As the outpatient dietitian at North Kansas City Hospital, I constantly get consults, phone calls, and emails of patients wanting to lose weight. They want a quick, easy “diet” that will magically get the weight off. The bad news? Losing weight is not quick and easy. The good news? There is absolutely no food that is completely off limits.
Losing weight takes hard work and determination and unfortunately there is no “quick fix diet”. I actually never use the word “diet”. People go on and off diets and often times lose weight initially but can’t maintain the weight loss. Losing weight has to be a lifestyle change that you are ready for and committed to for life. The best way to stick to this lifestyle change is by incorporating all your favorite foods in moderation and making no food completely off limits.
Follow some of these simple lifestyle changes to help begin your weight loss journey to a happier, healthier life!
1) Avoid skipping meals. When you skip meals metabolism decreases and energy levels goes down. Skipping meals also make you more prone to binge eating at your next meal.
2) Eat a healthy breakfast- everyday. Eating breakfast kicks starts your metabolism to help you burn more calories throughout the day, increase energy level and may help curb appetite throughout the day. Trying to include at least 3 foods groups is one of the best things you can do for your body.
3) Pick lean meats, reduced-fat cheese, and skim or 1% milk instead of higher fat/higher calorie choices. As much as you can, pick “fins and feathers” (turkey, fish and chicken). If you do choose beef or pork, look for the words “loin” and “round”. Always trim visible fat off of meat before cooking and remove the skin from poultry.
4) Limit intake of sugar sweetened beverages (soda, juice, sports drinks, energy drinks, etc). These drinks contain extra sugar that your body simply doesn’t need. Drink more water and low fat milk instead. Try using Crystal Light or lemons/limes to add variety.
5) Using smaller plates and bowls. Try eating off of salad or dessert plates instead of dinner plates to help control portion sizes. Generally the larger the plate…the larger the portions.
6) Treat yourself, but do it consciously. If you have an intense craving for a not-so-healthy food, choose exactly what you really want to eat and then eat slowly and enjoy a small portion. Don’t try to eat around your craving with an array of foods that don’t really satisfy you. Instead, allow yourself to have a small but really delicious treat and put the craving to rest.
7) Eat Mindfully. This means pay attention to your body. Take 20-30 minutes at meal time. Put your fork down between bites, sip on water and enjoy your food. Also be aware of what’s full and what is too full. At the first sign of fullness, stop eating and get the food out of site