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Tis the season to be dieting

January 16, 2012 - Kathie Evanoff
If you are like most people, you have probably already broken your New Year’s resolutions to eat healthier and perhaps lose some weight. Or maybe you just haven’t gotten started yet.

Changing a lifestyle is not something that can happen overnight. Erasing bad habits takes time and getting used to new habits can be challenging. Many experts advise to take baby steps when deciding to make changes in our lives.

You might want to think about changing one thing. When that one thing becomes a good habit, then change a second thing. For example, instead of agonizing over what you’re supposed to be eating, try giving up, let’s say, sugary soft drinks. Be careful when you do this not to substitute something equally as sugary, such as juice or canned iced tea that isn’t sugar free. Just because it doesn’t have fizz doesn’t mean it isn’t filled with sugar.

Try water.

I know, I know. Water has no flavor. It’s boring and doesn’t quench your thirst. Well, it’s not your thirst that isn’t getting quenched when you drink water. It’s the habit of downing something filled with all that sweetness that isn’t satisfying. Sugar-free pop isn’t much better. Although it doesn’t have the calories of sugar, the sweetness of the artificial variety can trick your body into craving even more sweet stuff.

I find that when I cut out things with a sweet taste, after a few days, I don’t crave sweet things. You can make water a habit. Like any other habit, it takes time to acquire and it takes time to break. Patience is the key.

And don’t add things like lemon or lime. These flavors will only make you want to add sugar. Go cold turkey and drink your water plain. Try your water at room temperature instead of filling your glass with ice. Sometimes water that isn’t ice cold is easier to drink than if it is freezing your tonsils on the way down.

Water helps curb hunger as well. The best way to feel full from a meal is to eat foods that have a high water content, such as fresh fruits and vegetables. These foods tend to fill us up faster. Combined with moderate servings of protein, fat, and whole grains, you’ll find you are not only eating less, but you aren’t hungry between meals either.

This doesn’t mean you don’t have to watch those serving sizes. They are equally important. But don’t worry about that just yet. Right now, just change one thing, and once you get away from the sugary soft-drinks and their disguised sugar-free cousins, then you can work on changing the next thing.

Baby steps.


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