Having a hard time with weight loss? Maybe the rules you are following are flawed or just plain impossible to follow.
Julie Enga and Dana Lemberg, both registered dietitians at Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, each provide two rules they encourage their clients to NOT live by.
Why you can break this rule: Skipping meals or not allowing yourself to eat will lower your metabolism, slowing down weight loss. Plus, skipping meals will make you more likely to overeat later.
Dana’s tip: “Eat when you are hungry — not starving — and stop when you are satisfied.”
Action plan: Focus on eating slowly and mindfully. When eating, avoid distractions such as your computer, phone or television.
Why you should break this rule: Changing all your habits at once will lead to failure.
Dana’s tip: “Healthy change is about taking small steps in the right direction.”
Action plan: Work on one thing at a time. For example, during the first week, focus on eating a nutritious breakfast every morning. During the second week, focus on getting more vegetables at lunch or adding a satisfying snack to your afternoon. During the third week, focus on drinking more water. Keep moving forward.
Why you should break this rule: An occasional indulgence is necessary — and delicious.
Julie’s tip: “Eat healthy foods 80 percent of the time. Indulge a bit 20 percent of the time.”
Action plan: Craving chocolate? Carrot sticks and apple slices are not going to fit the bill. Chances are, you’ll end up consuming more calories than if you’d just let yourself enjoy a few squares of chocolate. The trick is to know when to stop.
Why you should break this rule: Carbs can be part of a healthy diet.
Julie’s tip: “Unless you have a medical condition that restricts a certain food group, be wary of any trend that tells you to completely avoid a certain food type, or to only eat one particular food type. Variety is part of a healthy diet.”
Action plan: Consider your favorite carb-heavy foods and how you can occasionally incorporate them into a healthy diet. Split a sandwich with a friend. Eat one pancake instead of a stack. Add a large side of vegetables with a small portion of fettuccine Alfredo. Try a thin pizza crust. If you prefer thick crust pizza, top with lots of veggies and keep your serving size to one slice.