As a nation there are thousands of Americans pledging as we have before to drop some pounds, get into shape and just generally eat better. So, how exactly are we going to go about it...and keep the weight off over the long haul?
Its not surprise to me that our choices may not always be the wisest.
Gluten-free diets will be hot among consumers in 2013, according to a survey of 200 registered dietitians by the health and wellness marketing and PR agency Pollock Communications. However, that fact doesn’t mean these diets actually help people lose weight. There's scant evidence to suggest that they do.
Consumers will also continue to want natural, simple and minimally processed foods, the dietitians predict, and are less likely to embrace low-carb and low-fat diets. However, experts also predict that Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers will continue strong,
dietitians also went out on a limb and said that “eating more fruits and vegetables will have the biggest impact on improving Americans’ diet and health in 2013 and beyond.” Mind you, they aren't saying that Americans will actually embrace this strategy.
Consumer Reports issued its own survey on popular weight loss diets. It’s based on a survey of 9,000 readers about 13 different weight loss programs, some of them commercial and others of them do-it-yourself. The survey tallies up scores for the following commercial plans: Jenny Craig, Medifast, Nutrisystem and Weight Watchers. It also rated nine DIY diets: Atkins, Glycemic Index, Low-carb (other than Atkins), Mediterranean, MyFitnessPal, Paleo, Slim-Fast, South Beach and SparkPeople. MyFitnessPal got the highest consumer rating, along with the Paleo diet. The former is a free app and website that allow you to track your calorie intake and how much you exercise. The Paleo diet is the one where you’re meant to eat as our ancestors did before the rise of agriculture. Lots of meat and berries and nuts and no cereal grains, which makes it a low-carb kind of diet, though it has other features as well. Of the commercial plans, Weight Watchers scored the highest.
However, the article states, "Surprisingly, there was only a weak relationship between actual weight loss and subscribers’ satisfaction with the various diets,” the article said. “Instead, they gave higher marks to the diets that helped them maintain their weight loss and prescribed lifestyle changes that were easier to make.”
So, now that you know what everyone else is doing and what does work vs. what doesn't, how can you put that into practice? Here are a few tips:
1. Don't drink so much...alcohol I mean. You know that lazy, sluggish feeling you get when you drink alcohol? That's your metabolism slowing to a halt.
2. Buy a pedometer, or use a pedometer app on your phone. Slowly work your way up to 10,000 steps a day. Parents can make it a game with kids and the person with the most steps for the day gets out of dish duty.
3. Remember: Gardening and heavy-duty housework, like cleaning out the garage, do count....just don't binge right afterwards. Try to eat light snacks in between your cleanings.
4. Stop trying to be Julia Child come dinner time. Store-bought rotisserie chicken + bagged salad = dinner. A corn tortilla quesadilla + bagged salad = dinner. A grilled steak + bagged salad = dinner.
5. Squats: Love them or hate them, squats are here to stay! This simple body-weight exercise tones your entire lower body. Do enough squats, and your heart rate will start to climb.
6. Find more ways to move at work. Stand at your desk or while you're on the phone. Instead of a stuffy meeting room, chat with a colleague during a brief walk.
7. Celebrity fad diets don’t work.
These may work for celebrities … as they have chefs preparing their meals and a ton of contract money on the line, but for the everyday woman, fad diets are a bit ridiculous. The reality is that no specific diet will keep you thin forever. Reaching our weight loss goal involves hard work, and sometimes dropping that one-pound burrito you just picked up from Chipotle. A change in your overall lifestyle is the key to success.
8. Don't you wish someone would pay you to get in shape? Pay yourself. Put $5 in a jar every time you work out. Or every time you bring a healthful, delicious lunch to work. If you work out three times a week and take lunch two times a week, you'll be sitting on a sweet $1,300 come the 2013 holiday shopping season.
9. Your two best fitness buddies: Your kids and your dog. Walk to parks and just have fun. Kick a soccer ball around. Play Frisbee. Tag. Fly a kite. You won't just burn calories, you'll model healthful habits for your kids.
10. Do not skip meals. Ever. If you miss breakfast, there's an extremely good chance you will end up overeating at some point during the day.
And there you have it! I wish you all the best in 2013! Let me know how it goes!
Information about consumer reports came from source, Mestel, of the LA Times Health section.