veggiesWant to know my biggest diet pet peeve? When people explain why I am lean by saying I was born with good genes. As anyone over the age of 30 who is fit knows, it takes constant work to stay fit and lean in our culture! What do nutrition pros do to stay fit? First off, the big difference between those who keep the weight off and those who don’t is that the “pros” stop drawing the arbitrary distinction between dieting and their normal lives. You must be willing to revise your life for good, adopting weight-loss strategies you can live with forever. If all you want is to lose weight fast, then go back to your old ways, then forget it.
But what are those strategies? Permanent weight management is not just a matter of eating less. If you’re serious about reaching and sustaining a realistic weight, then Commitment becomes your middle name. The ‘pros” also plan everything. There’s a saying that “failing to plan is planning to fail.” No where does that apply more than with weight management. Fit folks have learned how to set realistic expectations and limits on themselves. They pay attention and self monitor. They even have a plan for when you slip off your plans. They also are honest about what and how much they eat and exercise. The most important predictor of whether or not you will succeed at permanent weight loss is physical activity. Successful losers are very active, expending about 2,800 calories a week in physical activity, which is the equivalent of walking four miles every day. They also watch their intakes of calories and fat. Calories are the main focus, with fat being important only because it is a concentrated source of calories. Fit folks are confronted with the same high-risk situations as their diet- challenged cohorts. The difference is diet failures fall victim to the situation, while diet successes control these situations by creative problem solving.
A few of my tricks include:
1. Make exercise fun. Listen to books on tape, walk the dog, read a book on the exercycle, vary your workouts with the season,
2. Eat two fruits and/or vegetables at every meal and one at every snack. You’ll meet your daily quota of 5 to 9 servings, feel full, and automatically cut back on fat and calories.
3. Turn off the tube. Hours of television watching are directly proportional to weight gain. Go for an after-dinner walk, ride the exercise bike, do laundry, or paint the living room instead.
4. Challenge yourself. If you’re comfortable walking at a moderate pace, go up a short hill during your next walk or pick up the pace.
5. Eat less. Cut your typical portions of everything except vegetables and fruit by one-quarter.
16. Hang out with exercisers.