Stop FAD Dieting, Choose a Healthy Lifestyle
So here comes January again! The majority of people will have at least one health related resolution on their list. So what is the best way to finally reach that healthy weight and body that you have always wanted? First step, stop FAD dieting! The first two red flags of a diet are if your calories are so low you can’t exercise, and the diet doesn’t fit into your lifestyle. Don’t lose the weight fast, just to put it back on even faster. Here are the 3 tips I give all my clients to help them achieve a healthy lifestyle and see the pounds shed each week.
Breakfast counts, in many ways.
Yes, yes, yes, we have all heard “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” If you start off your day healthy, chances are you will want to continue that path. If you start your day with no breakfast, or an unhealthy breakfast, you get this mindset of “oh well, I will start tomorrow.” According to a study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, those adults who ate breakfast regularly tended to exercise more and ate fewer calories than those participants who did not eat breakfast.
Another important aspect of breakfast that must be considered is the type of meal consumed. Not all meals are created equal! Breakfast is the perfect time to get in a good fuel source for the day, so opt for things loaded in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and a little protein to hold you through the day. A breakfast loaded with carbohydrates (example: pancakes) and no protein (tip: add some eggs or egg whites) is a sure recipe for disaster. You will be hungry in an hour or so and feel very sluggish. You need both carbohydrates and protein to fuel each meal and snack you eat during the day! Fresh foods and whole grains are loaded with these components, are low in calories, and are quick and easy to prepare.
Keep this rule in mind when consuming breakfast:
“Strive for Five”: At least 5 g fiber and 5 g protein (aim for 10 or more)
(20 g or more at meals and at least 10 at snacks is a great goal for your entire day)
Exercise is just as important, and it does not mean you can eat more.
Many people just don’t realize how important exercise is in reaching their goals. You can only eat so few calories, so you must burn some off! Furthermore, it’s a stress reliever and will just leave you feeling better and healthier. One recommendation is don’t set your calories too low, set them higher so exercise is doable and enjoyable. Women stick closer to 1400-1600 and men 1800-2000 (1200 and lower is just not realistic). Now just because you exercise doesn’t mean you should eat those calories back. This will make you maintain rather than lose. You must make sure you are exercising enough — 2 days of walking will not cut it. Your ultimate goal should be 4-6 days, with 40-60 minutes of cardio or a combo of cardio and weights.
Buy yourself a heart rate monitor.
It doesn’t have to be a fancy one, but one that has a strap. It can tell you your calorie burn, specifically by how high your heart rate gets (this will make you push harder). Many people walk for an hour and only burn 100 calories. Make your time worth it. Your goal should be to burn 300-500 calories a session. Mix it up, cardio and weights. The harder you push the faster you burn!
Estelle L. Benoit, RDN, LDN is a Graduate of UL, Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Consultant at Red Lerille’s Health and Racquet Club.