We All Want to Manage Our Weight But
Where to start?
How about if we change the way we think about food all together? Figure out what we are eating, how much, why and when are we eating in the first place. If we can get a handle on those four things, do you think it would be possible to change a little bit at a time until for the majority of the time the foods we are eating are healthier and more beneficial for managing weight?
How fantastic would it be if you just had a way to eat say for four or five days out of the week that you knew wouldn’t hurt your waistline? Then if you wanted to eat out on the weekend or have a glass of wine or a beer you could go ahead and enjoy it, knowing that in the morning, you were going to continue to eat in a way that would get your weight to continue to slide down gradually over time.
It has been shown that weight loss is more likely to be successful if the things you do about the foods you eat are a permanent change and not a short term fix.
Start with calories
Of course, we want to enjoy our meals and not feel as if we are being punished by what we eat. No one likes to diet; the very term implies that whatever we eat will be bland, tasteless or difficult to follow for any length of time. Which is why a diet lasts for a short amount of time and then we return to the way we were eating before we said ‘OK enough of this.’
Diets or pills that promise a quick fix do not work long term because let’s face it; we all love to eat! Food isn’t just something we like to do; food is what our bodies need to live. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) stresses the fact that healthy weight is about changes long term, that we need to balance the food we eat with the activity we do. What does that mean? We must look at the amount of calories we are eating and make sure we are burning more calories than we are taking in.
Counting calories does not have to be a matter of agonizing over every morsel of food. There are many websites that allow you to set up a page of your own and count calories. Choosemyplate.gov, Livestrong.com, Myfitnesspal.com, Sparkpeople.com, Thecaloriecounter.com are all sites that allow you to track what you eat while you find ways to decrease the calories a little at a time until you are eating within your caloric limit. And it's fun to see your weight go down gradually and not be hungry or feel as if you are on a desert island with nothing to eat!
Answering the what and the how much
Figuring out the ‘what’ and ‘how much’ is the first step. What you eat does not mean meat and potatoes. What you are eating means protein, carbohydrates, fats, sugars and salt. What you eat determines how well your body uses what you give it for your health. If you set up an account on choosemyplate or myfitnesspal and start typing what you eat you will see a graph come up that separates the food into all its different parts. How cool is that? Now you know exactly ‘what’ you just ate!
As for the ‘how much’ you will be surprised, perhaps even dismayed at the amount of calories you have been consuming on a regular basis. This is because our bodies are very accommodating. Our bodies will accept whatever we give it and over time what used to make us feel like we had just eaten two turkey dinners doesn’t even bother us anymore. Don’t get discouraged though because your body will accommodate itself as you change the way as well as the amount you eat! All you have to do is make sure you have the amounts correct before you plug the food into whatever site you are using.
And then you will say 'WOW'
After a while, and that is just a few days, you will be able to notice where you might need to make adjustments. Add something green; take away a bit of the brown, put in more reds or blues! And, if you can, slowly start the calorie burn that will really help you lose from a half a pound to two pounds of weight a week! Of course, everyone is different, of course everyone’s metabolism might be either faster or slower than else’s’ but what it really comes down to is just can we eat less calories than we burn every day? Start slow, start with just one day and do not get discouraged! You can do it! The little changes you do will grow on one another and soon, you will be looking back to the day you first started writing down what you eat and go ‘Wow! Look at this! I have dropped my BMI this many points and I feel better than I have in a long time!’
- Free Calorie Counter, Diet & Exercise Journal | MyFitnessPal.com
Free online calorie counter and diet plan. Lose weight by tracking your caloric intake quickly and easily. Find nutrition facts for over 2,000,000 foods.
More by this Author
It is easy to become complacent about documentation. Here are a few tips to remember as you write up your patient notes at the end of your day.
The signs and symptoms, causes, treatments and common medications of COPD.
A brief overview of edema, how to manage it, signs you need to go to the doctor, as well as a few reasons why edema occurs in the first place.