The best way to make long lasting changes is to start small. This seems to go against everything that I have read in popular media. I see headlines “lose 10 pounds in 10 days”, or adds for the biggest loser. This is tough on someone who has at least 10 sets of 10 pounds to lose. Having a lot of weight to lose can seem like an impossible task and many give up before they even begin. Here are some tips that I have found to be simple and easy to implement.
- Switch from soft drinks to water. This may seem too simple to even be included but it is amazing at how hard it really is. Sugar is addictive and is in almost everything. There are also other chemicals in soda that cause cravings. I would also go as far as stop all diet soda and drinks as well. If water just sounds too boring jazz it up by adding lemon or lime juice, or fruit. If the bubbles are what you crave soda water is for you.
- Choose whole grains Whole grains add so much more nutrition than just bleached white rice or flour. It is higher in fiber and vitamins. Some “wheat four” may seem healthy but they are not. Any wheat bread with sugar 3 grams or higher should be placed on the I am really colored white bread. The best choices whole wheat pasta or bread, oatmeal, and Graham flour.
- Always eat breakfast This is a must. I have noticed that days that I am late to eat breakfast I am the least productive. I have also noticed it with my children’s behavior on days that breakfast was missed or not well balanced they acted up more and easily distracted. My goto breakfast is a poached egg on toast and on cold days oatmeal and fruit.
- Avoid Processed and junk food I combined these two because they are very similar. Processed foods tend to be very high in calories and low in nutrition. Junk foods are high in fat, sugar and salt. My favorite snack is an apple and cheese stick.
- Track food and exercise The biggest thing for me that helped lose weight was tracking my food. I had no idea that I was eating far more than what was appropriate. My clothes and scale knew I was eating way too much but I didn’t. There are many fitness tracker apps out there to help aid in getting healthy. I can’t live without my fitness tracker. I freak out if I don’t have it on during the day because it is not counting my steps.
Change doesn’t happen overnight it can be slow and tedious. Just choosing one of these changes could have a big impact on health. The hardest one for me to do was avoiding sugary drinks. I thought I was okay since I was drinking diet soda but it was just making me crave more sweets. It took a while getting used to just ordering unsweetened ice tea or just club soda and lime.
Bass III P. 5 Steps to Better Nutrition. contemporypediatricts.com (July 2017)