I’ll let you in on a little secret. You are not alone. Even dietitians struggle with weight. Maintaining a healthy weight in a world where high calorie, high sugar, highly processed (and highly delicious), foods are everywhere, is not easy. Society's love affair with screens, our sedentary jobs, and the fact that we no longer have to chase after and spear our food in order to eat has left many of us with the modern muffin top or worse health issues.
We are human, a product of millions of years of evolutionary science. Our bodies are perfectly designed to crave foods that are high in fat and sugar, and to expend as little energy as possible in order to protect our body fat. After all, who knows when we might need to draw on it to survive winter? Ever try to fight millions of years of evolution? It’s an uphill battle to say the least.
However, I am here for you. You don't have to accept the spare tire around your middle as fate. You have spirit, tenacity, and a drive for something better. As humans, we are smarter than flashy advertising and mis-leading food labels. Since when did eating a candy bar with fiber added become healthy? We are barraged with health choices every day. We must make the decision to take back our health, and our lives. It may not be easy, but once you make the commitment to yourself, and make healthy choices your routine, you will discover you have unlocked a door to increased energy, improved mood, weight loss, and generally feeling unstoppable!
True confession time. I was once a fan of artificial coffee creamer, of red licorice and soft white French bread. However, I have reformed. Slowly, over time, I have changed my ways. I now eat clean, whole foods the vast majority of the time. For me, clean eating has been the easiest way to maintain a healthy weight. I choose fresh, non-processed foods with simple ingredients. I stay away from added sugar, and other refined carbohydrates like white flour. I cook almost all my food at home, and when I can’t, I choose fresh food with simple ingredients. I base my diet around 25-30 grams (equal to 3-4 ounces) of lean, high-quality protein at every meal. This keeps me feeling full, prevents the blood sugar roller coaster, and keeps my taste buds satisfied. In addition to unprocessed lean protein, I add bulk to my meals with vegetables and whole grains. I love variety and color. I never skip meals. Simple. I don’t measure, weigh, count calories or obsess over fat grams.
If you are sick of “dieting” like I was, then don’t. Make small, sustainable healthy lifestyle changes. Evict unhealthy food from your refrigerator. Breakup with your couch. Get out your skillet and fall back in love with your food. And, let’s face it – processed food, I never liked how you made me feel. It’s not you, it’s about me.