When you’re striving to attain a healthier weight, which diet is best for you? What should you avoid? How many calories should you consume? Sometimes people focus too much on restriction of food and calories and not enough on balance. When in doubt, go back to the basics of a portion-controlled meal plan.
Focus on what you can have. Get excited about healthful eating. Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean meats and low fat dairy do the body good. They give you stable energy and provide you with essential nutrients that help strengthen your muscles and bones.
Keep your weaknesses in check. You do not have to write down everything you eat every day, but keep track of your weaknesses. If you struggle with desserts, then set a goal and allow yourself to have a realistic number of desserts per week. Then, stick to it.
Be conscious of what goes into your mouth. No more mindless eating. Eat at a time when there are not any distractions around you, so you can focus on the food on your plate. If craving chips or cookies, allow yourself to have one serving. Set yourself up for success and avoid eating out of the bag or container.
Reward yourself. If you achieve a goal, set aside time for yourself to do an activity you have wanted to do, such as read a magazine, take a bath or see the latest movie. Try not to reward yourself with food; this can fuel bad habits.
Losing weight and maintaining it require dedication and willpower. Many times, accountability plays an important role in successful weight loss. For more guidance on appropriate foods and individualized meal plans, contact the Rush Nutrition and Wellness Center at (312) 942-DIET to meet with a registered dietitian, who can help on your journey toward better health.
Laura Oliver is an MS clinical nutrition candidate and dietetic intern at Rush University Medical Center.