I offer these steps as a guide if you are interested in changing your eating habits. Please also remember that I am not a dietitian or a doctor and what I am offering you is my opinion and only for your information and consideration. If you are interested in learning more about losing weight in a healthy manner, please talk with your doctor.
Little steps lead to big changes....
- Portion size is important to watch when managing your food intake....whether you are at home or eating out portion size is important...smaller portion sizes will help to control food intake...when eating out keep in mind that most restaurants give you more food than what is a "normal" portion size...try taking half of your meal home with you...when preparing your meals at home...keep in mind the suggested serving size that is represented in the nutritional value chart on the packaging of all foods
- When you feel you are full stop eating...we often eat till our plates are empty but that also means our stomachs are over filled...when your body says its full..listen to it and stop eating...I also took the step that when I no longer felt hungry I stopped eating...this helped me to stop the over eating
- Eliminate fast food...I know our world moves fast and life in the drive-thru makes it easier to feed the family but it also costs more to eat out and you can't control the amount of sodium and fat that is used in preparing your food...a lot of preservatives are also used in commercial foods
- Eliminate pre-packaged processed foods as much as possible...most pre-packaged foods contain a lot of sodium and other preservatives...many foods such as TV dinners, canned pasta, even foods labelled heart healthy can have high fat and/or high sodium counts
- Incorporate more veggies into your meals...I'm not a big fan of veggies but I found when I cooked them in with my meat sauce for spaghetti, I didn't notice them
- Take the skin off the chicken...I love the skin on my chicken but it is unhealthy for me...now I only have boneless skinless chicken
- Cook your food without the grease...frying foods can add increased fat into our diet...prepare foods healthier...whether its eliminating salt or grilling instead of frying, how you prepare your foods can also eliminate a lot of fat and sodium from your diet
- Buy snacks that your family likes but you don't...if it's not in the house you won't eat it
- When you feel the cravings for the foods you know aren't healthy....remind yourself all of the reasons why you are making different choices now....often what we say to ourselves will either empower our choices or defeat them
- Plan to have treats in your diet too...have something special you really enjoy to look forward to when you have accomplished a goal...rewarding your efforts is important...you've worked hard and you deserve the treat
- Get comfortable reading the labels that are on the foods you buy...if your food doesn't come with a nutritional value table it probably means the food has no value and is not a healthy option...compare the value tables between products and select the product with the lower "bad" values and higher "good" values...bad being fat, sugar, carbohydrates etc and good being vitamins and minerals
- Don't go grocery shopping hungry...have you ever noticed when you're hungry certain smells seem more powerful and enticing? being in a grocery store when you're hungry is overwhelming to the senses and we end up making impulse purchases based on our hunger and desires instead of what is healthy for us
Now I need to admit that I still have a thing for chocolate but instead of eating a whole chocolate bar I only have one of the small snack size bars. It soothes the craving for chocolate without all the fat of a full size bar. The key is moderation to what we eat. You can still eat your favourites but you have to be smarter about it. Eat a slice of pie not the entire pie! Have a handful of chips instead of a full bag. Little ways you can cut back will be a good start. Little steps lead to big changes. You will find you are more successful with life-style changes when you take little steps instead of giant leaps.
One thing the diabetic team recently told me was to treat myself to one day diet restriction free. Meaning I could have one day out of the week where I could eat whatever I wanted without counting my carbs and fat intake. Now if that isn't something to look forward to and make changing habits easier, I don't know what is. Don't give up going out for dinner with friends or family...you still can! Just make smarter choices about what you eat and how much you eat.
Not only does our food intake need to be considered but so does our activity level. What you eat needs to be equal to how active you are. If you're eating without activity, the results will be weight gain. There is a balance we all need to have in our lives that will enable us to live healthier. I know activity can be difficult when living with pain. I can also say that without activity you will feel more pain. It's a no win situation really. Each day challenge yourself to move more than you did the day before.
I don't know everything there is to know about eating healthy and I know I don't always make the healthiest choices sometimes, but I do keep trying. I have also learned that you have to stop and enjoy life every once in awhile too. You can make the changes you need for you but you also need to reward your efforts...even the little steps you take. The little steps will lead you to the big changes you need for you....you just have to take them.
take good care of you ok?