Make It Stick: Strategies for maintaining a well-balanced diet by Amia Freeman

Saddle bags, love handles, bra overhang, all areas of opportunity; this also applies to what goes in your mouth.

Saddle bags, love handles, bra overhang, all areas of opportunity; this also applies to what goes in your mouth.

Rule #1 STOP CALLING IT A DIET!

It’s been said that the biggest problem with the word diet is the first three letters. Anytime we feel like we are depriving ourselves, we set ourselves up for failure. Instead, consider this an opportunity to try something different; after all, the way you were doing it wasn’t working RIGHT?

My rule of thumb to my Personal training clients is always to see opportunity; it translates into a positive change that brings a positive result. Saddle bags, love handles, bra overhang, all areas of opportunity; this also applies to what goes in your mouth. And that doesn’t have to be some foreign root or mush disguised as Sunday dinner.

Rule #2, Make it simple. Force feeding is not necessary! Choose foods you know you’ll eat, and don’t cook twice. As my mom would say, don’t become a short order cook. If you are cooking for more than yourself, prepare healthy meals for you and your family. Find healthier ways to make your favorite meals healthier. Now that more people making nutrition a priority, resources for savvy shopping, cooking and tracking healthier foods are easily accessible.

Calorie King, a web based health and nutrition tool, claims to helpreverse the continuing unhealthy American trend toward obesity, diabetes and other undesirable health conditions. The user friendly database provides nutritional information, healthier recipe alternatives and several tools for guiding you through your healthy journey and your hunger.

Speaking of which, a favorite site of mine is www.hungry-girl.com. HG as she respectfully calls herself, gives subscribers the top ate list a rating on favorite foods, and the clever Chew on This column which makes note worthy news of wacky food holidays like hot fudge brownie day. She even gives you a healthier alternative for the celebration. HG makes the disclaimer that she’s not a nutritionist just a girl who’s hungry. Amen sister!

Rule #3, EAT MORE. No, you haven’t set into some form of deliria as a result of lower calorie intake. You read this right, EAT! I use the analogy of a physician prescribing medication for the flu or respiratory infection. The doctor gives you the proper dosage to cure your ailment. If you decide that you will write your own prescription and take your recommended dosage, you will never get better, in fact, you may get worse.

Food is your prescribed medication for a healthy body. The more you eat, of the foods you need, the healthier you are, the better you feel and the less likelihood of you binging on the foods you don’t need. When you begin to crash diet and eliminate eating all together as your solution to weight loss, your insulin levels begin to slide and you start to crave sugar, which eventually starts the vicious cycle of “yo-yo-ing” all over again.

Rule #4 Stay off the scale. Most people begin eating properly as a support to a fitness regimen. More than 75% of the results you will see will come from what you eat. However, understand that you are burning more calories, thus your body requires refueling. As you begin losing fat and toning muscle, the scale can become your enemy; the muscle you are building weighs more, therefore the scale may not change for the time being. Do not fret! Grab a tape measure instead and your favorite pair of jeans.

Use these handy tools to let yourself know that you’re doing well. Even better find a friend that will be honest with you, help you to keep things in perspective and not let you become a fanatic. By the way, if you are sticking to your program at least 80% of the time, by all means go easy on yourself and treat yourself moderately. Don’t go undoing what you’ve done in one sitting ie: an entire container of ice cream is not a treat! Again I say tips & tricks for hungry chicks is only a click away www.hungry-girl.com

Rule #5 THE GOLDEN RULE. Be SMART when setting your goals.

  • Specific: What exactly are you trying to achieve? Better heath, weight loss, body fat percentage, etc.
  • Measurable (renamed Moderation) How much? How many? Is enough?
  • Attainable: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Set your goals and know what you plan to do to get there.
  • Realistic: It is as realistic as you believe it to be.
  • Tangible: Tangible is evidence. We walk by faith and not by sight but the word tells us that we will be known by our fruits.

In the meantime, enjoy life, live boldly and prosperity will find you.

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