What? You’re on a diet! As unthinkable as it sounds, it is to some people who are not food conscious and who do not wish to think about the word “diet” at all!
So, what is a diet? In relation to food, the web defines it as follows:
1. What person eats, the food that a person usually consumes;
2. Controlled intake of food and drink designed for weight loss, for health or religious reasons , or to control or improve a medical condition; and
3. Regular intake of something .
Among the three descriptions cited above, let’s focus on #2. The said meaning suggests that there are various schools of thoughts why people opt to go “on diet”, it’s either for healthy, athletic and aesthetic purposes. Either way, would- be “dieters” need to pay closer attention to their eating and exercise habits. Some people play sports and want to be in excellent physical condition while others would think that they will look and feel better if they lost a few pounds. However, there are some of us who feel pressured to lose weight and try different types of diets . It’s unfortunate though that improving your eating habits (i.e. dieting) is not just the sole reason for losing weight. If you’re dieting and weight loss is your target , it will take you much easier if you diet plus exercise. Now, it makes more than an extreme challenge especially for people who have drastically chosen to change their lifestyle for the better. According to experts, going on a diet and losing weight is a lifetime commitment. You have to go into it 150%! I know it is hard to resist the sumptuous meal with all kinds of desserts served on the table, particularly during parties and holiday seasons . Here in the U.S., it may be hard for most of the people, to be slim as food is cheap relative to the earning capacity of the people. This is why obesity epidemic continues to rise in the U.S. compared to other countries.
Still, it is not too late or impossible to “hit the mark”. You just have to have the determination, patience and perseverance to gradually undertake the steps and ultimately reach your goal. It’s a long term process – it’s not just for a week, a month or so , otherwise, you will just be gaining back the pounds you’ve lost for a while, thus defeating the whole exercise! Ouch! I am beginning myself to feel guilty!
The Diet Tips
Enjoy three meals and grab one snack each day and eat on schedule – It appears we are still on track, right? But wait, there is a collatilla to this – as much as possible you have to get away from salty and sugary foods. Salty eats promote bloating. Cutting, reducing or not adding sugar to your food intake will save you from considerable calories. As mentioned in my previous blog article about morning routine tips, having breakfast in the morning is a good habit. Based on research, people who eat breakfast do better in school or in the workplace, tend to eat less and are less likely to be overweight.
Drink lots of water (at least 4 to 6 8-ounce glasses) throughout the day, including water alternatives. Other liquid options are tea or coffee (with 1% or skim milk only), sparkling water, and water with lemon/lime/orange wedges. For alcohol and soda drinkers, you will have to fast from these drinks. Alcohol and soda are a no-no in a healthy balanced diet. Based on research, alcohol adds a lot of empty calories to your diet while a can of soda has 150 calories of sugar and no other nutrients at all.
Start lunch (that is if you had a light breakfast) /dinner with a healthy appetizer such as fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are perfect diet foods –loaded with fiber to help you feel full and packed with vitamins and nutrients to help prevent disease. Example would be a tossed salad with a veggie soup or any plain vegetable (e.g. cucumber, beans, etc.). Unfortunately, potato chips don’t count as veggies!
Engage in 30 t0 60 minutes of exercise everyday – Exercise is a must! Look for a sport you like, walk to school/office or subway and bus stops, or ride a bike or go for a swim a few times per week. For parents, it is important that your children learn the importance of being and staying healthy. The more physical activity can be for children, the better. Not all children who get home have the option to got outside and play. If they have Physical Education, at least they are guaranteed with a minimum amount of exercise.
Consult the experts – As I said, it would still be advisable to coordinate with your doctor, nutritionist, registered dietician, or a personal trainer to help you figure out what’s best for you. If you have a bit of reservations about consulting the experts due to budgetary constraints, you might wish to check with students who are studying nutrition-related courses at your local college/universities and for sure they will be available to assist you on this.
With all these in mind, I trust you will now have the option of whether or not to keep your weight under control and enjoy life at the same time. Remember the key words in any diet, “Eat in Moderation” and “Embrace Exercise”. Adopting a healthy balanced diet coupled with an exercise and a positive attitude will leave you feeling refreshed, energized and slim! Come on, YOU CAN DO IT!