By Melinda Maryniuk, MEd, RD, CDCES
Many people try to overhaul EVERYTHING when they’re trying to lose weight, but that almost always ends up failing. Why? It’s too much all at once and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. We suggest an alternate approach– choose one thing to focus on. Here’s why it makes sense. Almost everyone can identify ONE thing in their eating pattern that is causing the most problems in terms of managing their weight. If we focus on that, and do that one thing consistently, it can save a lot of unwanted calories. Read the following examples to see how this approach works…
|Soft Drink Overload
Jake drinks a lot of regular sweetened soda. On most days he downs 4 cans of a cola beverage.
|At 150 calories a pop – that’s 600 calories a day.||· Omit the soda.
· Swap for water or a non-calorie alternative.By just omitting the regular soda, Jake is saving 4200 calories a week which can help him lose more than a pound a week!
|Poor Breakfast Choices
Lee leaves early for work each day and doesn’t have time to eat at home. On the way into work he grabs a tall Caffè Mocha (made with 2% milk) and a plain bagel with veggie cream cheese).
|This 5-day a week habit costs about 750 calories a day. The food choices don’t include any good-for-you choices and there is minimal protein – leaving Lee starving (and overeating) at lunch.||· Pick up an egg-white, spinach and turkey-bacon on whole wheat English muffin.
· Sip a non-fat cappuccino sprinkled with cinnamon.This small change in breakfast choices will save you about 500 calories a day!
John enjoys rice at dinner every night. It’s tradition. His wife places a large bowl of it on the table so it’s easy to self-serve.
|The rice can easily take up ½ of John’s plate… and when he finishes that, it is common to take a few more scoops from the bowl. That can add at least 300 calories to each meal.||· Have a smaller serving of rice. Limit it to what fits in a quarter of the plate (not half)
· Keep the serving bowl off the table (to avoid temptation for seconds)· Switch to brown rice (for a little more fiber).
Mari keeps hearing about the benefits of nuts as a healthy snack. She buys peanuts and almonds. While watching TV at night, she is eating out of the jar and going thru them much too quickly!
|Mindlessly eating peanuts can pack on the pounds. At 425 calories per ½ cup, it’s best to portion out a small snack of 10-20 nuts.||· Plan ahead and put small portions of nuts in snack bags. 15 peanuts is about 100 calories.|
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