There seem to be a million different ways to lose weight these days. With all of the diet books, weight loss supplements, portion controlled products, fitness centers, and diet gurus out there, one would think weight loss was easy.
Unfortunately, most people find weight difficult and it can be even harder to maintain over time.
As ShopRite's dietitian, I am here to help you make your weight loss journey simple and successful. Try following my 5 keys to weight loss success and see if it can work for you!
1. RECORD. RECORD. RECORD. No, I am not a broken record. I just want you to record three simple things.
- Your food intake
- Your daily activity
- Your weekly weight
Figure out a method of recording that works best with your lifestyle. Some people prefer to write everything down in a notebook. Make sure the notebook is small enough to carry around with you so you can record at any point during the day.
Record your food intake directly after the meal or snack is consumed. Record your daily activity in the evening so you can account for all of the activity accumulated throughout the day. Record your weight once per week. Pick the day, time, and location for this weekly weigh-in. Use the same scale and try your best to wear similar clothing. I like to pick Monday morning so that I can get motivated for the full week ahead.
2. USE MEASURING TOOLS. While this may not sound like the next big weight loss secret, using measuring tools can make a huge difference in your total food and calorie intake.
Measuring tools are simply tablespoons, teaspoons, and measuring cups. To avoid the hassle of carrying measuring tools in your pocket all day long, measure most foods ahead of time.
After buying a big container of almonds (for example), whip out the 1/4 cup-measuring tool and scoop the almonds into small seal-able bags. You can also use everyday objects as a method to estimate serving sizes. A deck of cards is about 3 ounces of meat. Make your hand into a fist and that is about 1 cup. A tennis ball is about 1 medium piece of fruit. You get the picture.
Just by including regular measurements throughout the day, you become more aware of your food and beverage consumption, which will lead to a reduction in total calories.
3. USE SMALLER DISHES AND UTENSILS. People really do eat with their eyes. If your plate appears full, your eyes will signal to your brain that you are eating a big portion of food.
Take the same amount of food and put it on a larger plate and instantly it appears that you are eating a small portion of food. Try to get into the habit of eating most meals off of the salad plate.
Also, try to use smaller utensils because you will eat slower and consume less food in one bite. Slowing down your eating also helps you to feel fuller and more satisfied compared to eating the same volume of food but at a faster rate.
4. DON'T DRINK YOUR CALORIES. That fastest way to consume calories is through beverages. While they may taste great, drinking sugar-sweetened beverages will not help you achieve weight loss success.
Rather than drinking a cup of orange juice with breakfast, eat an orange instead. By doing this you will cut down on half of the calories, eat more fiber, and you will consume those calories at a slower pace.
Instead of drinking soda with lunch, simply drink sparkling water with added lemon and lime. You will still get the carbonation of soda, but drastically reduce your sugar and calorie consumption.
Drinking smoothies are also a big source of calories, especially during the summer months. If you make a smoothie, remember that it should be thought of as a meal or snack replacement.
5. AIM FOR WHOLE FOODS. Whole foods are foods that are in their natural form. This means eating an apple rather than apple pie, eating cheese rather than Cheez-It crackers, or eating oatmeal rather than a granola bar.
By striving to eat foods that most closely resemble their whole food form, you will be eating the way nature intended. Whole foods are packed with vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and fiber. The act of processing foods can destroy these nutritious properties and create "empty calories."
Aim for meals and snacks that are loaded with vegetables, whole grains, fruits, dairy, legumes, seeds, meat, and seafood. Avoid convenience items that may be laden with sugar and fat. By following this rule, you will feel satisfied eating less food, reduce your cravings, and meet all of your nutrient needs.
Now, put these tips into action! For more information on weight of if you need nutrition counseling, please contact me to schedule an appointment. Just call 410-560-7071 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. I will be hosting a free weight loss supermarket tour on Friday, August 10th at 5:00 p.m. Meet me in ShopRite's Bistro Lounge for the hour-long tour. I hope to see you at the Timonium ShopRite!