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. Many people can identify ONE thing in their eating pattern that is causing the most problems in terms of managing their weight. Focus on improving that – consistently. Read the following examples to see how this approach works…
|Example:||Effect:||“Do One Thing” Approach:|
Soft Drink Overload
Jake drinks a lot of regular sweetened soda. On most days, he drinks 4 cans of soda.
|At 33 grams of sugar per can, that’s over 100 grams per day.||· Instead of four sodas a day, limit it to one.· Swap for water, tea, or a no-sugar soda alternative.|
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 large Caffè Mocha and a bagel with veggie cream cheese.
|This 5-day a week habit increases Lee’s sugar intake immensely (from the beverage), and the food choice isn’t the most nutritious option. Also, there is minimal protein, leaving Lee hungry and overeating at lunchtime.||· Pick up an egg-white, spinach and turkey-bacon on whole wheat English muffin. Or, make peanut butter & jelly toast at home on whole wheat bread.· Sip a cappuccino with no added sugar or syrups.|
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 normally takes 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. Put on your plate what fits in a quarter of the plate.· Instead of white rice, try brown rice or wild rice (for a little more fiber).|
Mari hears about the great benefits of eating nuts. While watching TV at night, Mari eats out of the jar and goes through them very quickly.
|At 425 calories per ½ cup, it’s best to portion out a snack of up to 20 nuts.||· Plan ahead and put small portions of nuts in snack bags. 15 peanuts is about 100 calories.|
While this article provides guidance about healthy eating, it’s important to stress that for many people, diet and exercise alone aren’t enough to reach a healthier weight. The good news is that there are safe and effective medical treatments available that can address the biological issues that make sustained weight loss difficult. To find a physician near you who specializes in weight management, click here.
To sign up for our free online class that covers the basics of how to reach a healthier weight, click here.