Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Dietitians' Advice for "Resolved" Dieters

Dawn Jackson Blatner, a registered dietitian at Northwestern Memorial Hospital Wellness Institute in Chicago, gives tips for keeping that weight loss resolution:

•Write your resolutions down on paper and keep them in a prominent place. Seeing your goals written down will definitely help keep you on track and mindful. Consider putting them up as your screen saver.

•Make your resolution specific. Instead of saying "I will eat healthier," say: "I will eat at least one piece of fruit and 2½ cups of vegetables each day."

•Visit a grocery store once a week. You can eat only as healthfully as your last trip to the grocery store. Do a cart check before you get in line. About 50% of your cart should be produce.

•Keep the fruits and vegetables at eye level in your fridge. If you open your fridge and see colorful veggies, you will be more likely to reach in and grab them.

•Talk to yourself before you eat anything. Ask yourself, "Why am I eating this?" Many times you may find you are eating because you are bored, thirsty, frustrated, tense or tired. If you aren't eating because you are hungry … try to do something else.

Dawn Jackson Blatner, a registered dietitian at Northwestern Memorial Wellness Institute in Chicago and a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, answers questions over at USA Today. Here's one for sweet-eaters:

Q: How do you curb cravings for soda and sugar that often sabotage weight loss?

A: Oh, that dreaded sweet tooth. Three things seem to help:

•Have regular meals and snacks. Meals should be about every five to six hours with snacks in between.

•Have protein foods such as yogurt, tuna, beans, or chicken for most meals (so you feel full longer).

•Include naturally sweet foods such as fruit and yogurt as your snacks.

If your chocolate tooth is getting you, try diet hot-chocolate packets. The packets are only 25 calories, a source of calcium, and they hit the spot for chocolate


Camy Tang said...

Those are good tips! I'll have to incorporate more yogurt into my diet. I have discovered that an alternative to salty snacking is veggies with a salty dip, and having a variety of dips available.


Anonymous said...

Here's my 2 cents.

No "diet" will ever work if looked on as an exercise in will power and self-deprivation. Eventually one tires. Bad food habits have to be treated like other addictions, and lifestyle changes made. E.g. less TV. Exercise is HUGE. Without enough exercise, the best one can hope for is frailty. With enough execise one can eat pretty much anything one wants. This includes weight training and cardio. It's the large muscles that burn calories. Build large muscles. I'd almost say developing good exercise habits is more important than developing good eating habits. High octane fuel is of no use if you don't drive the vehicle to use a cheesy metaphor. Anyone can exercise. E.g. it is extra important for those with medical conditions like asthma. Cardio improves lung efficiency.

Start easy. Careful. Often. Find ways to enjoy, not torture yourself. Regular small workouts are better than killer guilt trips. Just like w/ eating where many small meals are better than a one huge one.

Mirtika said...

I would agree that exercise is essential (I hate to exercise), but I'd disagree that it allows you to eat what you want.

When my appetite has no guard (ie, I just eat what I want) I can easily consume 5000 calories. I'd have to exercise like 6 hours a day to burn the bulk of the excess off.

I spent 8 months when I exercised 90 minutes, 5 x a week, three of those days with a personal trainer. I did weight lifting, Pilates, and cardio. I ate a controlled but not low-calorie diet (ie about 2500 to 2800 calories, lots of lean protein and veggies). I lost ONE pound.

And I'm talking working out hard--I lost a big percentage of body fat and gained a big percentage of muscle. The scale didn't much budge.

So, exercise is important--vital--but calorie control is the key to weight loss. It's a partnership, but the key one for weight loss is "energy in".


Anonymous said...

Yeah, you're right about muscle weighing more. So initially your weigh can even go up when you start to exercise. If all you care about is weight just move to a smaller planet, or to a much higher altitude on this one.

That's one hell of an exercise regime! Nothing wrong with your results either it sounds like.