Making Diet Resolutions? Try Diet Changes Instead

Skip the cookies and try fruit for dessert.

Planning your diet resolutions for the New Year? Try making a few small changes every month – all year long.

When January 1st comes around, it’s time to dust off that list of diet resolutions you made last year (and perhaps the year before that?) and vow to tackle them again.

It’s in our nature to look upon the New Year as a time to start fresh. It’s a time of promise and hope. We promise ourselves we’re going to eat right and get into shape, and we hope we can stick with our resolutions. But we often don’t. A lot of times it’s because our diet and lifestyle “to-do” list is a mile long, and it’s just too hard to make many changes all at once. We’re creatures of habit, and it just takes time for new habits to take hold.

Diet Resolutions for the New Year – A Step-Wise Approach

Make a Few Small Changes Every Month

Here’s a suggestion for you. Go ahead and make that to-do list, but just don’t try to make all your changes at once. In fact, I’m going to suggest that you tackle just three small changes in January – another three in February, three more in March, and so on until the end of the year. And here’s why. If you work on establishing just three new habits for a month, you won’t be overwhelmed with trying to focus on too many things at once. By the end of the month, the three new habits will be part of your routine, and you’ll be ready to take on three more changes in the following month.

Keep Your Diet Resolutions Going All Year Long

Suppose that those three changes you make in January cut out a total of 100 calories a day from your diet. That might not sound like a lot, but let’s say the same thing happens in February and March and April and May. Five months into the New Year, you’ve made a total of 15 small, sustainable changes to your eating habits, and you’re now saving 500 calories a day – enough to lose up to a pound a week.

Think about what you’d like to work on first. Maybe you’d like to cut your fat or sugar intake. Maybe your portions are just too large, or your problem is that you don’t eat enough fruits or vegetables. Maybe you’re an emotional eater and you want to work on that. Then determine the three things you plan to do in January and get to work.

Three Small Diet Changes a Month

Let’s say you want to cut back on your sugar intake. Your diet resolutions for January might be:

  • I will have fruit for dessert instead of cookies
  • I will cut my soda intake in half
  • I will switch from pre-sweetened yogurt to plain yogurt

Maybe eating too much fat is your problem. In that case, your January diet resolutions might be:

  • Instead of chips or fries with my lunch, I will have a side salad instead
  • I will switch from regular salad dressing to low-fat
  • I will have my coffee drinks made with nonfat milk instead of whole milk

If it’s portion control you need to work on, your January resolutions might look like this:

  • I will use smaller plates when I eat at home to control my portions
  • When I go out to eat, I will ask the server to put half my meal in a take-home container and serve me the rest
  • I will weigh and measure my food portions a few times a week to make sure I’m staying on track

Maybe this is the year to take a different approach to your diet resolutions. Make a few changes, give them a month to settle in, and then build on those changes month after month. True, this step-wise approach isn’t the complete diet overhaul that you may attempt every January (and abandon by February) – but what have you got to lose?

Find out more at: http://www.DiscoverHerbalife.com

3 diet ideas to help you drop weight … easily

3 diet ideas to help you drop weight ... easily | Herbalife Nutrition AdviceSmall diet changes add up: part three. A few small changes in your diet every month could help you cut some calories and also make it easier to keep weight off.

Read part one and part two of this series to discover how small changes to your diet can add up to big results and help you meet your nutrition and weight loss goals.

Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been recommending that you make a few small changes in your dietary habits every month. The thinking behind this strategy is pretty simple.  Often when people are eager to get some weight off, they try to tackle too many big changes at one time – and they simply can’t do it.

Instead, I’ve been recommending a slower, gentler approach – one that calls for a few dietary tweaks every month.  The reasoning is simple: over time, small dietary changes become a part of your everyday eating habits, which means they’re more likely to stick – and, when added together, the calories you save from a handful of small changes can make a big difference.

Making Small Changes in Your Diet

Over the past couple of months, I suggested some ways to save calories by decreasing your sugar intake, or your fat intake, or by controlling the size of your portions.  Hopefully, you’ve found a few small diet changes that you’ve been able to incorporate into your daily life – and that they’re working for you.  If you’re ready to tackle a few more, here are three more small changes you can think about working on this month.

Small Change #1: Eat More Slowly

Eating more slowly allows you more time to really enjoy your food – and your digestive tract will probably thank you, too.  But for people who eat quickly, learning to slow down can be really difficult.  When clients tell me that they usually finish their meals long before everyone else at the table, I ask them to work towards taking at least 15 minutes to finish a plate of food – which, to them, is an eternity.  But as they keep working at it, they often find that longer, slower meals often help them to control their intake.

Why it Works: There are several reasons why this strategy may help.  When you eat more slowly, you’re eating more “mindfully” – that is, you pay more attention to your meal and all the pleasurable aspects of it.  When you eat mindfully, your meals may be more satisfying, which means you might be able to eat less and enjoy it more.  Also, when you eat quickly, it’s often a sign that you’ve allowed yourself to become overly hungry – and hungry people tend to dig into the highest calorie foods on their plates first.  If you take your time and focus on what you’re doing, you can start with the lowest calorie foods in your meal (your salad, a broth-based soup, or the veggies) and fill up on those first.  Overall, you may end up eating less.  Another thing that slower eating allows you to do is to consume more water between bites – which may also help to fill you up.

Small Change #2: Aim for Two (or two more!) Fish Meals Per Week

It’s often recommended that you aim for a couple of fish meals per week, in order to get the health benefits from the omega-3 fatty acids that fish and seafood contains.  But, many people don’t eat fish nearly that often (See my post on “how to eat more fish” for tips on how to get more fish into your diet).  Eating more fish, including seafood not only helps to improve the quality of your diet, it might also help you save some calories, since fish are typically lower in calories than other protein sources.

Why it Works: As long as it’s not cooked with a lot of fat, most fish and seafood have fewer calories per serving than meats or poultry – trading a serving of steak for some grilled seafood could save you a couple hundred calories.  One study1, has even suggested that fish – when compared with other animal sources of protein – may have more “staying power”.  So, eating fish instead of beef or chicken might not only save you calories at that meal – it might also help you to eat less at your next meal, too.

Small Change #3: Switch from Refined Grains to Whole Grains

Whole grains (foods like quinoa, rolled oats, brown rice, whole wheat pasta and 100% whole grain bread) – offer you more nutritionally than refined grains like white bread, white rice and traditional pasta.  That’s because whole grains naturally contain fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that are mostly stripped away when the grains are processed.  But switching from refined grains to whole grains could also help you control calories too, since they are more filling.

Why it Works: There are several reasons why eating whole grains rather than refined grains can help with weight management.  First, whole grain foods may be more filling than refined grains, since they generally have a higher fiber content.  Higher fiber foods also take longer to digest than refined carbohydrates, which gives them more staying power. And, many whole grain foods tend to have fewer calories per serving than their refined counterparts – a one-cup (140g) serving of cooked whole wheat spaghetti has 175 calories, but the same amount of “white” refined spaghetti has 220;  a cup of cooked white rice (150g) has about 200 calories, while the same amount of brown rice has about 155.  While those amounts may not sound like much, when you make these changes consistently, they can add up to significant savings over the course of a week.

1Borzoei S et al. Eur J ClinNutr, 60, 897, 2006.

Written by Susan Bowerman, MS, RD, CSSD, FAND. Susan is a paid consultant for Herbalife.

Find out more at: http://www.DiscoverHerbalife.com

A Few Small Diet Changes Can Add Up to Big Results

A Few Small Diet Changes Can Add Up to Big Results | Herbalife Nutrition AdviceMaking a few small dietary changes every month can add up to big results.  Taken together, this month’s suggested changes could save you enough calories to drop nearly 25 pounds in a year !

You might have heard that it takes only a few weeks to establish a new eating habit – which would suggest that those diet and lifestyle resolutions you made at the beginning of the year should have taken hold by now.  But in reality, there’s no hard and fast rule when it comes to forming new eating habits – for some, a new habit may well be established after a few weeks, but for others it could take much longer for dietary changes to comfortably settle in.

My guess is that those who take the ‘baby steps’ approach to dietary changes probably do a bit better than those who try to tackle too much at one time.  That’s one reason I suggested at the end of last year that you might try making just a few small changes every month throughout the year – rather than taking on a lot of big changes at once.  The idea is simply this: taken together, many small changes over time can lead to big results.  And, since little dietary changes are easier to practice every day, you’ll always be reinforcing those new eating habits for a lifetime.

Did you Stick to New Year’s Resolutions?

If you made diet resolutions in January, how are you doing? Are you sticking with your plans? Or did you try to do too much at once?  Did you just fall right back into your old habits?  Do you even remember what you promised yourself you were going to do?  If you haven’t made the progress you’d hoped you would, there’s a good chance that you either tried to do too much at once, or the changes you tried to make were too drastic.

Making Diet Changes – A Few Small Steps for This Month

Sticking with the idea that “small changes add up to big results”, here are my suggestions for  three small changes you might want to try this month.  Taken together, they could add up to some pretty impressive results.

Small Diet Change #1: Leave a few bites of food on your plate.

The practice of leaving a few bites of food on your plate is designed to help you get in touch with your ‘fullness’ signals.  Training yourself to stop eating when you’re comfortably satisfied will help you learn how much food you actually need at a sitting.  One way to do that is to leave a few bites on your plate so you can practice paying attention to your internal signals.  Too often, we rely on an empty plate to tell us we’re finished eating – and by then we may have eaten a lot more than we should.

Big Result #1: It’s been estimated that a single bite of food averages about 25 calories.  Let’s suppose you leave 2 bites of food on your plate at two meals every day.  That’s a daily savings of 100 calories – and in a year’s time, that could add up to a 10-pound weight loss.

Small Diet Change #2: Double the veggies and cut the starch.

If most evenings you sit down to a typical meal that consists of a protein, a vegetable and a starch, try making this change just three times a week. Simply omit the starchy portion of your meal – the rice, the noodles, the potato – and double up on your vegetables.

Big Result #2: A cup of cooked rice, noodles or potato has well over 200 calories, while the same amount of cooked vegetables has about 50 calories.  Every time you make this change, you’ll save about 150 calories.  Make this change three times a week for a year, and you’ll save enough calories to lose almost 7 pounds.

Small Diet Change #3: Switch from fruit juice to whole fruit

If you’re counting on fruit juices to help meet your recommended daily fruit servings, you could shave quite a few calories if you switch to whole fruit instead.  One problem with fruit juice is that it lacks the filling fiber that you find in whole fruits.  So, a typical glass of fruit juice might contain the equivalent of several pieces of fruit, but it won’t be nearly as filling.  While you may not eat 2 or 3 oranges in a sitting, it’s not difficult to drink the calorie equivalent in glass of orange juice.

Big Result #3: Let’s say you eat a whole orange instead of drinking a 12-ounce (375mL) glass of orange juice in the morning.  Every time you do that, you save about 100 calories (and you’d pick up about 3 grams of fiber, too).  Now suppose you make that swap 5 times a week.  That one little change could save you enough calories to drop 7 1Ž2 pounds in a year.

Did you make some small changes in January that are still working for you?  Please share your success!

Written by Susan Bowerman, MS, RD, CSSD. Susan is a paid consultant for Herbalife.

Find out more at: http://www.DiscoverHerbalife.com

How a few small diet changes can add up to big results

A Few Small Diet Changes Can Add Up to Big Results | Herbalife Nutrition AdviceMaking a few small dietary changes every month can add up to big results. Taken together, this month’s suggested changes could save you enough calories to drop nearly 25lbs / 11kgs in a year !

You might have heard that it takes only a few weeks to establish a new eating habit – which would suggest that those diet and lifestyle resolutions you made at the beginning of the year should have taken hold by now.  But in reality, there’s no hard and fast rule when it comes to forming new eating habits – for some, a new habit may well be established after a few weeks, but for others it could take much longer for dietary changes to comfortably settle in.

My guess is that those who take the ‘baby steps’ approach to dietary changes probably do a bit better than those who try to tackle too much at one time.  That’s one reason I suggested at the end of last year that you might try making just a few small changes every month throughout the year – rather than taking on a lot of big changes at once.  The idea is simply this: taken together, many small changes over time can lead to big results.  And, since little dietary changes are easier to practice every day, you’ll always be reinforcing those new eating habits for a lifetime.

Did you Stick to New Year’s Resolutions?

If you made diet resolutions in January, how are you doing? Are you sticking with your plans? Or did you try to do too much at once?  Did you just fall right back into your old habits?  Do you even remember what you promised yourself you were going to do?  If you haven’t made the progress you’d hoped you would, there’s a good chance that you either tried to do too much at once, or the changes you tried to make were too drastic.

Making Diet Changes – A Few Small Steps for This Month

Sticking with the idea that “small changes add up to big results”, here are my suggestions for  three small diet changes you might want to try this month.  Taken together, they could add up to some pretty impressive results.

Small Diet Change #1: Leave a few bites of food on your plate.

The practice of leaving a few bites of food on your plate is designed to help you get in touch with your ‘fullness’ signals.  Training yourself to stop eating when you’re comfortably satisfied will help you learn how much food you actually need at a sitting.  One way to do that is to leave a few bites on your plate so you can practice paying attention to your internal signals.  Too often, we rely on an empty plate to tell us we’re finished eating – and by then we may have eaten a lot more than we should.

Big Result #1: It’s been estimated that a single bite of food averages about 25 calories.  Let’s suppose you leave 2 bites of food on your plate at two meals every day.  That’s a daily savings of 100 calories – and in a year’s time, that could add up to a 10lb /4.5kg weight loss.

Small Diet Change #2: Double the veggies and cut the starch.

If most evenings you sit down to a typical meal that consists of a protein, a vegetable and a starch, try making this change just three times a week. Simply omit the starchy portion of your meal – the rice, the noodles, the potato – and double up on your vegetables.

Big Result #2: A portion of cooked rice, noodles or potato has well over 200 calories, while the same amount of cooked vegetables has about 50 calories.  Every time you make this change, you’ll save about 150 calories.  Make this change three times a week for a year, and you’ll save enough calories to lose almost 7lbs / 3kgs.

Small Diet Change #3: Switch from fruit juice to whole fruit

If you’re counting on fruit juices to help meet your recommended daily fruit servings, you could shave quite a few calories if you switch to whole fruit instead.  One problem with fruit juice is that it lacks the filling fiber that you find in whole fruits.  So, a typical glass of fruit juice might contain the equivalent of several pieces of fruit, but it won’t be nearly as filling.  While you may not eat 2 or 3 oranges in a sitting, it’s not difficult to drink the calorie equivalent in glass of orange juice.

Big Result #3: Let’s say you eat a whole orange instead of drinking a 12-ounce (375mL) glass of orange juice in the morning.  Every time you do that, you save about 100 calories (and you’d pick up about 3 grams of fiber, too).  Now suppose you make that swap 5 times a week.  That one little change could save you enough calories to drop 7.5 lbs / 3.4kgs s in a year.

Did you make some small changes in January that are still working for you?  Please share your success!

Written by Susan Bowerman, MS, RD, CSSD. Susan is a paid consultant for Herbalife.

Find out more at: http://www.DiscoverHerbalife.com

Making diet resolutions? Try diet changes instead!

Making diet resolutions? Try diet changes instead! Herbalife Nutrition AdvicePlanning your diet resolutions for the New Year? Try making a few small changes every month – all year long.

January 1 is right around the corner – which means it’s time to dust off that list of diet resolutions you made last year (and the year before that?) … and vow to tackle them again. It’s our nature to look upon the New Year as a time to start fresh. It’s a time of promise and hope – we promise ourselves we’re going to eat right and get into shape… and we hope we can stick with our resolutions. But we don’t. Often it’s because our diet and lifestyle “to-do” list is a mile long – and it’s just too hard to make that many changes all at once. We’re creatures of habit, and it just takes time for new habits to take hold.

Diet Resolutions for 2014 – A Stepwise Approach

Make a Few Small Changes Every Month

So here’s a suggestion for you. Go ahead and make that to-do list – but just don’t try to make all your changes at once. In fact, I’m going to suggest that you tackle just three small changes in January – another three in February, three more in March and so on until the end of the year. And here’s why. If you work on establishing just three new habits for a month, you won’t be overwhelmed with trying to focus on too many things at once. And by the end of the month, the three new habits will be part of your routine, and you’ll be ready to take on three more changes in the following month.

Keep Your Diet Resolutions Going All Year Long

Suppose that those three changes you make in January cut out a total of 100 calories a day from your diet. That might not sound like a lot, but let’s say the same thing happens in February and March and April and May. Five months into the New Year, you’ve made a total of 15 small, sustainable changes to your eating habits, and you’re now saving 500 calories a day – enough to lose up to a pound a week.

Think about what you’d like to work on first. Maybe you’d like to cut your fat or sugar intake. Maybe your portions are just too large or your problem is that you don’t eat enough fruits or vegetables. Maybe you’re an emotional eater and you want to work on that. Then determine the three things you plan to do in January and get to work.

Three Small Diet Changes a Month

Let’s say you want to cut back on your sugar intake. Your diet resolutions for January might be:

  • I will have fruit for dessert instead of cookies
  • I will cut my soda intake in half
  • I will switch from pre-sweetened yogurt to plain yogurt

Maybe eating too much fat is your problem. In that case, your January diet resolutions might be:

  • Instead of chips or fries with my lunch, I will have a side salad instead
  • I will switch from regular salad dressing to low fat
  • I will have my coffee drinks made with nonfat milk instead of whole milk

If it’s portion control you need to work on, your January resolutions might look like this:

  • I will use smaller plates when I eat at home to control my portions
  • When I go out to eat, I will ask the server to put half my meal in a take-home container and serve me the rest
  • I will weigh and measure my food portions a few times a week to make sure I’m staying on track

Maybe this is the year to take a different approach to your diet resolutions. Make a few changes, give them a month to ‘settle in’, and then build on those changes month after month. True, this stepwise approach isn’t the complete diet overhaul that you may attempt every January (and abandon by February) – but what have you got to lose?

Tell me in the comments if you’re willing to join me in making small diet changes and working to make eating well an everyday habit!

Written by Susan Bowerman, MS, RD, CSSD, FAND. Susan is a paid consultant for Herbalife.

Find out more at: http://www.DiscoverHerbalife.com