It’s January, and
according to reputable polling companies, weight loss tops the list of New Year’s
resolutions.However, statistics also
confirm that between 80% and 90% of those resolutions fail by the middle of
February.Like many of us, I admit to indulging
in more goodies during the past month than I normally do.However, as I’ve maintained a weight loss of
120 pounds for the past decade, I have found some common pitfalls to dieting
that will interfere with long term success.Let me share them with you to help you incorporate a firm foundation
upon which to begin your weight loss journey this year.
1.ADOPTING AN ALL-OR-NOTHING
Too many people
embarking on a weight loss journey adopt an all-or-nothing attitude.This way of thinking is truly detrimental in
the long run.It’s not realistic to
think that you will not eat a piece of birthday cake this year while
celebrating with loved ones.But it is
realistic to learn to eat a small piece and perhaps skip the dinner roll at
that meal.Rather than believe that you
must be deprived of all foods that you enjoy, learn to incorporate them in a
healthy lifestyle.If you love pasta, instead
of smothering it in creamy sauce, toss whole wheat pasta lightly with olive
oil, herbs, and fresh vegetables.
2.FOCUSING ON WHAT YOU CAN’T EAT
than playing a record in your head that says, “I can’t eat that”, or “that’s
not on my diet,” focus on all the tasty foods that you can eat.Instead of saying, “I can’t have sugar,
bread, cheese, dessert, etc. get used to telling yourself that you’re choosing
to eat fresh and light because it makes you feel healthy, strong, and happy.
3.NOT HAVING A SOLID PLAN
work for different people, but not having a solid, realistic plan will
definitely set you up for failure.Whatever your plan is, make your goals specific and measurable.Perhaps you may choose to commit to planning
weekly meals and shopping ahead, or you may commit to getting some form of
physical activity five days per week.Those goals will become habits, and those actions will create a
sustainable lifestyle change. There’s no way to reach a goal that hasn’t been
4.CUTTING OUT AN ENTIRE FOOD GROUP
Diets are like
clothing - fads come and go and styles change.But weight loss is a simple equation between calories in and calories
out.However you choose to decrease
calories and increase activity, your body must have three macronutrients to
function efficiently – protein, carbohydrate, and fat.Presently the popular belief is that
eliminating all source of carbohydrate and existing on only protein and fat is
the answer to a healthy weight.Not only
is this way of eating not sustainable for life and not promoting the adoption
of healthy lifestyle habits, it is highly likely to lead to nutrient
deficiency.The grains of the earth
provide an essential source of B-complex vitamins.Most importantly, never restrict
still-developing children and youth from essential carbohydrates.
5.REPLACING MEALS WITH LIQUIDS
Another popular fad of today is juicing fruits into smoothies
and replacing meals with green drinks.Taking only the juice of a fruit removes the fiber and concentrates the
calories.Smoothies and green juices
lack fiber and protein, key nutrients in helping you feel full and allowing you
to obtain all of your nutritional requirements.Smoothies are typically very high in calories due to the concentrated
sugars from the fruit and oftentimes contain large portions of healthy fats
from nuts and seeds.
6.EATING TOO FEW CALORIES
One of the biggest
pitfalls of maintaining a successful weight loss program is excessive calorie
restriction.One need only look on your
phone or laptop and a program to micro-manage every calorie you eat will be at
your fingertips. Our diet culture is hung up on calorie counting.It is not necessary nor is it advantageous to
restrict your calories to the point of feeling like you’re starving all the
time.Many times people try to get by on
a mere 1200 calories per day while wondering what they can do to avoid feeling
so hungry all the time.The answer is to
EAT MORE!Restricting calories to an
unrealistic level will result in depriving your body of essential nutrients
that will actually help you lose weight. If you are choosing moderate portion sizes of nutrient-rich
foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein you are not likely
to be getting excessive calories.
7.ELIMINATING HEALTHY FATS
significant increase in the obesity epidemic came right after the fat phobia
days of the 1980s.We erroneously
believed that eliminating fat was the answer to weight loss.Nutritionists now know that healthy fats from
nuts, seeds, fish, avocados, and some liquid oils are essential for heart
health and many other body functions.Small amounts of healthy fats will support satiety, helping you feel
satisfied on your weight loss journey.
8.DITCHING FRUITS AND VEGGIES WITH HIGH SUGAR CONTENT
Do not make
the mistake of believing that nutrient-rich vegetables such as carrots,
peas, and potatoes should be eliminated from your diet due to their high
sugar content. While these foods may be a bit higher in natural
sugars, they are also abundant in fiber, which helps to counterbalance
the effect on blood sugar. Fiber is essential in regulating blood sugar
and helping you to feel full.
9.NOT DRINKING ENOUGH WATER
dieters often mistake thirst for hunger.Staying hydrated helps prevent headaches, which can lead to stress
eating. Drinking water or eating a water-rich salad or broth-based soup before
a meal can help decrease how much you eat during the meal. A thermal water
bottle will keep your water fresh and cold throughout the day. If you have it
readily available you will reach for it more often.
Happy New Year and healthy, happy
Culinary Nutritionist, Reams
About the author
Nancy Hintze, originally from St. Louis, Missouri, began her career as a Foods and Nutrition teacher in Lehi, Utah in 2003. At the time she began teaching middle school students about nutrition, she weighed 286 pounds. She quickly became aware that if she expected her students to believe her, she had to be an example of what she taught. Over the course of the next several years, as she eliminated 125 pounds by changing what she ate and how she cooked, Nancy became passionate about sharing her healthy lifestyle keys with her students and their families. Along the journey of her transformation, she also became an avid chef with a zest for good old fashioned food preparation with a modern twist – healthy ingredients and ease of preparation.
Nancy is a licensed Family and Consumer Sciences teacher as well as a certified L.E.A.N Health Coach. She has developed and produced Community Nutrition Fairs, mentored students in the Fuel Up to Play program and accompanied one of her students to represent Utah in the National Fuel Up to Play summit in Washington, D. C. In addition, she has coached individual clients to achieve greater levels of personal wellness. And now we have the privilege of announcing Nancy as our very own Culinary Nutritionist here at Reams.
When she’s not sharing her passion for great eating with others, you can find her in her vegetable garden, or knitting or sewing, reading a great novel, hanging out with one of her 21 grandchildren or on the road in the RV that she and her husband love to travel in.