If you hit that point when you feel like your jeans are fitting a little too tight, the scale is tipping in the wrong direction or you’ve gone up a few belt notches and it’s time to make some changes. I ask you to think twice about how you try to lose the weight. Is that program you’ve been looking at really too good to be true?
With weight loss tips and diet programs flooding the internet and TV these days, it is easy to be confused when trying to find what works. I’ll admit it can be different for each individual. What may work for your lifestyle may not work for your neighbor’s. That said, regardless of how much you need to lose, my biggest suggestion is to opt for real food choices. Have the long haul in mind. What will be something you can do for years? That said, I encourage you to steer clear of ‘diet foods’ out there.
Here are my reasons why:
- ‘Low calorie’ foods like 100 calorie packs aren’t necessarily healthy. Most of them are still just 100 empty carbohydrate calories- which won’t be satisfying enough for you. Translate that to- You will want to eat more! This is why many of us reach for more than one ‘100 calorie pack’… Then guess what? It’s no longer a 100 calorie or low calorie snack.
- Avoid ‘fat free’ products that normally have fat. The reason- when the fat is removed it is often replaced with refined sugar. Something has to give it flavor right? Contrary to our 1990’s beliefs, this trade off isn’t a healthy one. What is fat free cheese anyway?
- Avoid ‘weight loss cereals’. One reason- you need a lifestyle change. You also want whole grain when selecting cereals, and a lot of cereals aren’t. Plus, who wants to eat cereal 2x a day forever?! Our bodies function best when we eat a variety of foods because we get a variety of nutrients. Of course you may lose some weight because you are only eating a few hundred calories for a meal- but without your protein/fiber you’ll feel hungry soon after and be starving before your next bowl.
- ‘Diet and protein bars’- Yes, I said protein bars too. Why, because most of them are glorified candy bars. Aka: a candy bar with a vitamin..maybe some protein added. Others labeled as ‘Energy bars’ will give you energy, because they are usually mostly refined carbohydrates. Giving you that burst of a sugar high then crashing a bit later. I will say there are a few bars that can still have a place in a healthy diet- those made with real food ingredients like Lara bars or other nut bars.
- If you do choose to use a meal replacement program make sure you are also learning how to eat properly after you stop using the replacements. I’ve seen this many times! People use these tools or strict diets and go back to their old habits after… soon to realize they are gaining back all the weight they lost.
The moral of the story is before you decide it’s time to lose weight again, take stock in your choices. Make one that will be something you can do for the rest of your life. Yes, that can sound intimidating but this way it isn’t just a fad you’ll only stick to for a few days. If it still sounds to scary to commit. Make it gradual by only changing a few things at a time. Once you’ve mastered those things build on them.
I hope you find this helpful!
~Gretchen Leigh Wellness