Nutrition & Strategies

There is a secret to being fit. Once you know what it is, there is no hardship or pain. No longer must you buy bulky, winter clothes. Or starve yourself in the Spring to fit into your bathing suit. You can walk a flight of stairs without huffing and puffing. You will never feel deprived. You can be proud of your physique throughout the year. The secret is change. Change requires desire. And if you really want to lose weight and be healthy, start today. Your first step is to make better choices. Softball, baseball, and golf, are fun activities but play these in addition to a solid aerobics program. If you want to have outstanding results getting fat off and keeping it off try walking, jogging, or cycling. And you do not have to work out hours a day. Thirty minutes every other day is all you need. One of the most frequently asked question is, "Which aerobic exercise is best?" There is no one preferred aerobic workout. The best choice is the program you will do on a regular basis. If you enjoy your training you will rarely miss a workout. Steady state exertion is your respite. Look forward to the peace and quiet of a power walk or jog with your buddies. Working out is easy because it is natural. It should be unusual to skip a session.

Around every corner is a saboteur. A friend wants to chat moments before your scheduled three mile walk. She cajoles you into ordering pizza. But pizza's acceptable and so is gabbing. Go on a talk/walk and order a vegetable pizza with extra sauce. Then splurge on a bite of non fat yogurt. Your friend laughs. But soon she is jealous of your waist line. Most Americans eat red meat, chicken, turkey, pork, potatoes, salads, fruits, rice, beans, peas, and grains. Lean folks eat the same foods they merely prepare them differently. They choose round steak instead of hamburger, chicken and turkey breasts instead of dark meat, pork loin instead of bacon, baked potatoes, rice, and beans, instead of french fries, fried rice, and refried beans. They trim the fat and bake, broil, and grill rather than fry. Low fat does not mean dry, baked potatoes and tasteless, cottage cheese. Low fat, low calorie can be as appetizing as turkey burgers and baked fries. It is in the preparation. Substitute applesauce, non fat cremes, and egg whites for high fat items such as oils, creams, and egg yolks. Create non fat delicacies that taste like the real thing. Choose low fat over high fat and you should lose inches. But we do need some fat. Experts suggests we eat between 15 and 25 percent fat. For men that is about 60 grams of fat on a 2500 calorie diet. And women should take in about 40 grams of fat on a 2000 calorie diet. Your activity level helps determine the amount of calories and fat to consume.

The more you exert the more food you need. Sometimes it is better to correct a habit. Television binging on low fat chips can be a disaster. Scrounging those last few crumbs out of an empty bag is not being a good role model. The same applies to non fat cookies. Non fat hardly means no calories. Work crossword puzzles or play catch with your child but beware of mindless gorging in front of the television.

Your final step is to respect healthy routines and end bad patterns. No more dieting. Remember the last time you dieted? You gave up all of your favorite foods. Then after a month, you were blindsided by a pizza commercial. You decided to eat just one slice of pepperoni pizza and save the leftovers. The last thing you remembered was devouring the entire pizza and thinking, "I blew it so I might as well indulge in a carton of ice cream." And you proceeded on a Blue Bell frenzy. Days later your pants were tight. You fell off the wagon, gained all your weight back, and a few pounds more. The same foods you abandoned when you started your diet were the ones that precipitated a binge. You thought it was your fault that you couldn't resist cravings. You blamed it on lack of willpower.

But you didn't fail. Your diet failed you. It is less painful and more fun to exercise daily, drink water, and eat low fat. But if you cannot eat just one, don't. Whether you are addicted to chocolate, chips, or you just love to binge, don't give in. Examine your schedule. Figure out when you get hungry. Have appropriate snacks available such as bagels, fig bars, Graham crackers, fruit, energy bars, pretzels, non fat yogurt, and non fat popcorn. Beware of celebrating or drowning your sorrow in edibles. A recent study in the February issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that stomachs actually stretch after a humongous meal. Dr. Allan Geliebter suggests, "packing in huge amounts of food in one sitting is the culprit. Many overweight people skip breakfast and have a very small lunch. That's probably not enough time to shrink stomach capacity. And, by the time dinner rolls around, they're ravenously hungry and swallow huge volumes of food. Night after night following this eating routine might eventually increase stomach capacity. The now-larger stomach requires more food to feel full." Strive to keep your blood sugar level. Consume several small mini meals throughout the day. Feed your muscle. Starve the fat. Stay on a tolerable eating and exercise program all of the time rather than depriving yourself and then doing a food fling. Be patient. You lose fat in ounces not pounds. Develop healthy habits and soon you won't obsess about food.