After decades of dieting, I’ve discovered the REAL Secret to Weight Loss for everyone…find out what it is!
As someone who has “dieted” basically my entire life, my views and opinions on food have dramatically swung like a pendulum over the years. As a kid, there were no “diet” or “light” products. The food was what it was. Butter was butter, mayo was mayo and the only way to decrease your caloric intake was to decrease portions. Period. There was a total of 3 products I can think of on the market that targeted people looking to decrease calories. Tab (ewwwww), Carvel Thinny-Thin ice cream (who remembers the pistachio flavor?) and oil free (not labeled as fat-free) Italian salad dressing which my grandmother used due to her gallstones. If anyone remembers others, please share in the nostalgia.
Then came the late 80’s-early 90’s which I called the “Entenmann’s or Snackwells era”, basically because fat-free cake became diet food. Let’s be real, did anyone actually think it tasted good? And soft serve frozen yogurt became an acceptable meal choice. My uncle owned a frozen yogurt store and I happily worked there serving the line out the door at lunch where folks ordered a large 16 fluid ounce yogurt with 2 toppings as their whole lunch for $2.50. Sigh. And we wonder why everyone started to gain weight.
We didn’t know what we didn’t know at the time. As I trained to become an RD, I was taught that any fat for a breast cancer patient was ill-advised but sugar was fine. We counseled patients with heart disease to minimize eggs, nuts and shrimp but sugar was deemed harmless. We know better 20+ years later but this all comes down to finding a balance and what works for your own body.
At this point in my career after counseling people for over 20 years, I’ve distilled The REAL Secret to Weight Loss down to WANTS vs. NEEDS. Similar to budgeting for your home, there are things you NEED like clothes and shelter and things you WANT like vacations, video game systems, dinners out and trips to the movies. You may WANT French fries or cake but your body NEEDS fruits, veggies, nuts, beans, seeds, whole grains and lean proteins. The tricky part is truly identifying where the WANTS and NEEDS cross over to find the right plan for you. It’s especially tricky when dining out. Having an enormous menu of tempting dishes to choose from requires willpower, but does it? If you train yourself to look for what your body NEEDS and out of those options, pick one you WANT, your health wins.
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I have found that so much time is spent worrying about what we CAN’T have, that people lose focus on the much more important issue of what we NEED. Sugar-free, fat-free, gluten-free, dairy-free and grain-free are all irrelevant if they are not foods you need for nourishment. Sometimes these things overlap. There can be nourishing foods that have these attributes, but in spite of them, not because of them.
For goodness sake, from a lifetime dieter, please don’t consider going on a diet if you need to lose weight, lower cholesterol, blood pressure or blood sugar. Think about the foods you NEED, out of those, identify the ones you WANT and you’ve found the winning strategy for healthy living.
Make sense? Please share your thoughts in the comments below: