By Judy Scott Welden, B.A.Sc, Nutritionist
With summer just around the corner, is weight loss on your mind? I know the 5-pound drop is on my list. In fact, I just got a brand-spanking new weight loss and activity journal to track foods and activity.
We’re all working on this one so we have to put together a plan that works. Remember, you have to change what you are doing. After all, keep doing what you are doing and as Dr Phil says, “and how’s that workin’ for you”?
Simple small changes you can help you lose weight
Remember to break any overwhelming task into a “one-bite-at-a-time” approach and keep at it – this is the real secret to change.
- Shop smarter. Stick to the outside aisles of the store and fill your grocery cart two-thirds full of these foods. Think about it – this is where most foods in Canada’s Food Guide are found. Include fat-free dairy, fruits, vegetables, seafood, chicken and leaner cuts of meat. Don’t forget to hit the beans, peas, lentils and rice aisle as well!
- Cut the fat. Prepare foods using lower-fat cooking methods like baking meats on a rack, broiling, grilling, roasting or steaming instead of frying. When sautéing, use broth or add just 1 tablespoon of oil for every four people. This only adds a conservative 4 grams of fat per person.
- Choose good quality protein. Always pick leaner choices like white breast meat of poultry (without skin); pork loin; lean beef; legumes such as black beans, lentils or split peas; and seafood.
- Make fibre your really, really good friend. Good sources include fruits; vegetables; whole grains such as barley, oatmeal, whole-wheat products and brown rice; and legumes. Aim for lots and lots of servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
- Tune into emotions and hunger cues. Learn to feed hunger and try to really pay attention to whether you’re eating to relax, to cure boredom or to overcome depression. If you are, instead take a walk or call a friend (and take a walk together).
- Make exercise fun. Try a new fitness class, walking, bike riding, swimming, running, hiking, softball, etc. and aim to work out aerobically for at least an hour a day, five or six days a week. Exercise should make you feel good! Remember you will never finish exercising and say, “I shouldn’t have done that. “ No matter what, you will always feel great afterwards. One fun exercise I have started fitting in to my schedule recently is line dancing. Who knew? I Just love it and after two hours you do break into a bit of a sweat. It’s much better than sitting on the couch and I love the music.
So instead of the old ‘I will just starve myself until I drop 5 pounds’ approach, try to fill up on fewer calories. Choose what I call the good foods. These are foods that are minimally processed, high in fibre and low in fat and sugar.
This really is the bottom line and these simple small changes are guaranteed to produce a slightly smaller bottom, too..
Fun, Food, Friends, Family and Fibre are all you really need.
Until next time, keep well,
Judy Foodie (Judy Scott Welden)