It is completely unavoidable. The commercials blaring from every angle, the closet full of clothes that don’t fit, and the scale that just never seems to work right. Its the obsession with our weight; in fact, its the obsession of how much we are in excess of where we want to be. Hundreds of books line the shelves in bookstores and libraries (and Amazon of course) with titles that include words such as the dash diet, the fast diet, two weeks to weightloss, juicing and smoothies, starving yourself for two days, and the list goes on and on and on. So how can you sort through all the clutter and find what works for you? Some may say trial and error, but for me, I live my “diet” every day. This series is broken up into three parts, not twenty steps, or 6 weeks to a new you. Three simple parts to get you thinking differently. This is part one.
I hate to admit it, but I didn’t do very much research, let alone go to medical school to write this. So why should you listen to me? I eat everything I want to and always give in to cravings, yet I have managed after all this time to keep my weight at 130 pounds or less. Some of you may say I have a fast metabolism or think I have some other secret that I’m not disclosing. The secret, is really no secret at all: portion control. Sure, much easier said than done, but when I fulfill my craving for chocolate chip cookies, I eat one (or two depending on the size) once in a while, not multiple daily.
It doesn’t just stop there. Portion control is more than limiting burgers to one a day, its balancing foods that are good for you as well as what you want to eat. Forfeit the eggs every morning for some cereal or yogurt, giving you a break on fat and cholesterol so you can enjoy them later on. The French rarely have a heavy breakfast, usually opting for a piece of fresh baguette with a little butter and jam with their morning coffee. Use this concept to take shortcuts throughout the day, such as having that big juicy burger but switching the fries for fruit or a side salad. Mythbuster: Caesar salad is NOT good for you. Coming in at over 1,000 calories, what you think is a healthy salad is a complete disaster for you; so much so that you should probably have that burger instead.
A final eating habit of the French: have your heaviest meal at lunchtime. Wonder why you suffer from the afternoon slump? You’re not eating enough for lunch, so by 3pm, you’re desperately reaching for something that likely isn’t good for you. Go ahead and have that bowl of pasta or eat the full entree portion at your working lunch. By dinnertime, you may not even feel hungry enough for a large meal. Work in your vegetables for dinner, choosing a light salad, roasted vegetable soup, or even a baked potato with a handful of healthier toppings. Then, maybe then, you can give in to that chocolate chip cookie.
Talk to your doctor before starting any diet regimen, but this is no diet. It is a lifestyle that you can start working on slowly and gradually learn over time. Deep down, you know what is good and bad for you, so start making those little substitutions and simply consider alternative options for mealtimes. Regardless of the diet you do choose, starting gradually will help you stick with the plan, not a shock treatment that sends you running back to your old ways once your diet supposedly “ends.” Leave comments and questions if you need more to get started! And check out OliviaSaez.com for some fun recipes for a lighter fare dinner. Here’s to a better life!
A votre santé!