Tag Archives: Dieting

Get Out of the Dieting Trap

Image by Lightsource
Image by Lightsource

There are so many voices telling you what to do.

  • Go this way
  • No, go this way
  • Don’t do that, do this!
  • Everything you have heard about dieting is wrong, try this.
  • Lose 20 pounds in 20 days with our new fail-safe diet
  • Forget everything – this is the answer!

You head is spinning because the ads and words of the “experts” all contradict each other.  Who can you believe? What can you do that will work? Which direction should you go?

The answer is simple:  Get out of the dieting trap all together!

Tips for Escaping the Dieting Trap

  1. Eat what you want within reason.
  2. Eat healthy portions.
  3. Stop eating when you are full.
  4. Start thinking about food in terms of what is HEALTHY or NOT so HEALTHY.
  5. Don’t think of food in terms of what you CAN or CANNOT eat (which is what most diets require).
  6. Let go of food obsessions.
  7. Get rid of items in your fridge and pantry that you no longer want to eat.

Don’t get hung up about wasting food. Wasting food is not something that I encourage, but it is not the worst thing in the world either. It is better to throw food away rather than keep items that will continue to trap you in a cycle of dieting.

When you are caught in a cycle of dieting, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that eating is supposed to be pleasurable – not something you dread.

Negative Feelings About Food Are Harmful

When you label food as good or bad, it creates guilt and stress every time you eat a “bad” food. So, you go into cycles of deprivation and overeating.

When dieting defines your life, your food intake is rigidly controlled. You focus so much on dieting that you cut yourself off from wonderfully enjoyable experiences.

  1. You stop going out with friends to some events because you know there will be food served that you may have a hard time resisting.
  1. You spend so much time looking up the nutrition on every bit of food you eat that there is no joy at all in eating.
  1. You may even start to feel threatened emotionally when something happens to disrupt your diet. You become a diet perfectionist, which means that your happiness level is tied directly to your success or failure in staying on your diet.

It Is Time to Start Enjoying Life Again

It is time to let go of such a restrictive way of life and begin to enjoy life at its fullest, which includes the pleasure of eating healthy, delicious foods, with a little indulgence every now and then, as desired.

It is time to come to the realization (deep in your soul) that it is okay to enjoy all foods when consumed in a healthy way.

Start accepting food as a wonderful way to fuel your amazing body. Learn to eat what you need to give you adequate energy throughout your day and provide long-lasting good health.

Deprivation and gluttony are the two biggest enemies to weight loss.

The key to sustaining a healthy weight is moderation!

The Diet Identity Crisis

Are You Suffering from a Diet Identity Crisis?

Do you even know who you are anymore? Has your identify been so intertwined with dieting for such a long time that you have lost yourself in the process?

Every time you announce to your friends and family that you are starting a new diet, all your energy and focus go to becoming the New You, which makes it easy for the real you to disappear.

You announce it because on some level you want the approval of others for your dedication to lose weight and your effort to reach that perfect number.

The potentially unfortunate outcome is that every time you make an announcement about starting a new diet, you are setting the stage for a public failure.

When others know you are dieting, they may watch what you eat and question your choices, making you feel resentful or guilty (or both). Those negative emotions are not helpful when you are trying to lose weight.

When you announce a diet, people may see it as deprivation and often put temptation in your way. “Oh come on. One bite won’t hurt.”

When You Diet – Keep It Quiet

It is possible to be addicted to dieting – and diet announcements are part of the addiction. This is what happens when wanting to lose weight crosses the line into something that consumes your life and takes over your identity.

Dieting and the need to announce the news every time you start a new one can be a way to bolster self-esteem by seeking the approval of others for your actions; but, it can backfire on you.

When you decide to make positive changes in your life, others may resent the changes you want to make and subconsciously try to undermine your efforts. They may want you to stay the same for their own personal reasons.

Other people’s reactions to what you tell them can impact your decisions and cause you to change directions, whether you like it or not.

Studies have shown that quietly pursuing a diet can be more effective. Willpower seems to be stronger when you go it alone.

If you feel compelled to share your dieting efforts with someone – share it with your doctor, your weight loss trainer, or a dietician. These people will be a better support team than others who may have an emotional vested interest in your losing (or not losing) weight.

Losing weight should be a personal goal for personal reasons – so KEEP IT PERSONAL.

Approach weight loss quietly and slowly. Focus on good health and healthy eating patterns.

Don’t let dieting define who you are. 

Dieting Is the Social Norm

Trying to Fit In

Weight Loss Plateau
Image by Kris Robinson

In today’s world dieting is the social norm. That is why it is tough to stay off the dieting bandwagon. Since everyone wants to fit in, it is difficult to say no and stand out from the crowd.

Society, which is primarily influenced by the media, has a picture of what the perfect weight is – and most of us believe we should strive to “be that person.” The sad fact is that for the vast majority that picture is unrealistic.

There is a very good chance that you do not look like that ideal person described in magazine articles that include photos of models whose dress sizes range from a size 0 to 4 at most. (I certainly do not!) There are many factors that come into play when determining your personal healthy size that are never considered by the authors of such articles.

The reality is that most of the people who are writing the articles and promoting the perfect image to the masses do not fit the mold themselves. They are caught up in the frenzy just as you and I are.  It is easy to cave to the pressure when there are so many voices telling you how you should look.

The average woman wears between a twelve and fourteen. If you weigh more than that, you are classified as FAT.

Instead of looking closely at your own body – height, bone structure, body type, muscle mass, etc., it is easy to succumb to the pressure and desperately try to lose weight in order to fit society’s definition of beauty and the perfect body.

Chasing Perfection

The last diet you tried didn’t really work – but you are not about to give up; so, you start the next diet determined this time to do whatever it takes to get the weight off.

Before you know it, the diet has taken over your life. It’s all you think about – morning, noon, and night. It is the center of your conversations and the focus of your attention.

You continue to chase the elusive vision of perfection because you believe that all those “beautiful women” in the magazines and commercials must know something you don’t. If they can diet and reach a perfect weight, then surely it is obtainable to you, too. Once this mindset is established, yo-yo dieting becomes your norm.

You think it is normal to lose weight and then gain it back during the off-cycle.  When that happens, you start a new diet and the process starts all over again.

Stop the Insanity

If this is your life – you need to STOP, STEP BACK, and THINK about what you are doing.

How many years you’ve spent chasing a diet?  Chasing that elusive perfect weight? Trying desperately to fit in to what society says is beautiful?

Those beautiful women in magazines are models that basically starve themselves for their professions. They also have had every bulge airbrushed to perfection. They do not portray reality.

It is time to say no to social pressure and stop the insanity of allowing dieting to control your life.

Does Dieting Define You?

Image by graphit
Image by graphit

Advice on how to lose weight is everywhere – the Internet, television, social media and the front cover of magazines. We are continuously bombarded with new fad diets that are heralded as the next new amazing weight loss technique. As a result it is important to ask: Does dieting define you?

We live in a diet culture. Think about your daily conversations – with friends, with family, with colleagues, and with co-workers. It is my guess that diets or dieting is frequently part of your conversations.

If you were to gather 20 random people and place them in a room together, there is a high probability that the majority would be on a diet in that moment or have been on a diet within the past year.

Dieting is the new normal. As a result, it is a factor in how people see themselves and often defines who they are.

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When dieting defines you, the way that you think about food is altered. You do not think about food choices as healthy or not healthy. It is more about what you CAN or CANNOT eat. There is no middle ground.

Chronic Dieting

Most people have no idea of how dieting has affected their eating habits and attitudes about food. Continual dieting narrows a person’s world in a very significant way.

When an individual is jumps from diet to diet, they never take the time to step back and take a look at the bigger and more important picture of life and health.

It never occurs to chronic dieters who have spent most of their life on one diet or another that an unrelenting focus on dieting is not a great way to live.

They do not realize that dieting has taken control of their lives and their general outlook. Their obsession with food – what they eat (or don’t eat), plus continual counting of calories, carbs, fats, etc. is very restricting and not much fun.

Chronic dieters usually fall into the trap of identifying foods as good or bad – a mindset of food restriction that is one of the underlying causes of failure to lose weight.

Chronic dieters tend to set unrealistic goals. Every time they start a new diet and decide to lose weight (again), they have a magical number in mind that they want to reach. They rarely take into consideration their height, bone structure, body type, and current state of their health.

The number they pick is typically linked to some image they have attached to their self-worth and happiness and all they can think about is reaching the goal.

This is a sure formula for failure as they implement one diet after another. It is also very dangerous because of the temptation to try fad diets that promise quick weight loss, which can have serious health implications.

Some dieters mistakenly believe that if they “fall off the wagon” they are technically no longer dieting. During that time, they swing the other direction and binge-eat, stuffing themselves with everything they were deprived of during the “dieting” period.

The reality is that if you are engaged in chronic dieting, your diets are open-ended and on-going. You are caught in a vicious cycle of yo-yo dieting.

You simply continue to try diet after diet, hoping each time that you will reach a magical number that will make your life OK and inner happiness will finally be yours.

More about yo-yo dieting in the next post. Please join us.

 

Breakfast Smoothies for Busy Days

Image by MSPhotographic
Image by MSPhotographic

Consider breakfast smoothies for busy days when life takes over and there is simply no time to cook. Being rushed is not an excuse to let anyone go without a nutritious start to the day.

I have included some tips and a number of recipes for those incredibly busy days. The recipes can also be used for picky eaters or family members who insist they do not like breakfast.

When you need something easy and quick, breakfast smoothies are a great choice. If you have not tried this popular option, now is the time to do so. They are extremely tasty and loaded with nutrition when made from scratch.

One breakfast option is an “instant breakfast” mix, but I do not recommended them – too many additives and too much sugar!  On the other hand, when creating your own smoothies, you know exactly what is going into them. They are typically loaded with fresh or frozen fruits and other natural ingredients such as honey, and yogurt.

The bare essentials for a fruit smoothie are fruit (fresh or frozen), ice, a little sweetener (honey is best), and some type of liquid (milk, almond milk, coconut water, water). Of course, you can branch out from there.

Basic Guidelines

  • Start with a clean blender.
  • Cut up the fruit the night before.
  • Freeze some of the fruit to limit the amount of ice you need.
  • Include green, leafy or other vegetables and carrots for added nutrients.
  • Measure out the liquid you will use and place it in a specific container in the refrigerator.

The more you can prepare the night before, the quicker it will be to make your smoothie in the morning. As you know, when time is at a premium, every minute you save counts.

The liquid you use is entirely up to you – it is a personal preference. Some people like to use regular milk (my choice). Others prefer rice milk, coconut milk (or water), or almond milk. You can also use kefir whey, fruit juice, vegetable juice, or water. NOTE: Each one adds a specific flavor and consistency. 

Below are some recipes for you to try – plus you can be as inventive as you wish.  ENJOY!

Protein Shake

  • 1¼ cup milk
  • ½ cup uncooked oatmeal
  • 1 large ripe banana
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter or almond butter
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • Dash of salt
  • Small handful of ice

Place all ingredients in the blender except for the ice cubes. Cover and then blend for one minute on medium. Add the ice cubes, cover and then blend for another minute on high.

FRUIT SMOOTHIES

Strawberry-Apricot Smoothie

  • 1 fresh apricot, medium ripe
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1ripe banana, sliced and frozen
  • 1/3 cup cold unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 teaspoons local honey
  • Ice, enough for desired consistency

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth (serves one).

Apricot-Pineapple-Strawberry Smoothie

  • 1 cup apricots, washed, pitted and cut in quarters
  • ½ cup frozen pineapple chunks
  • ½ cup fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • ½ cup coconut water or unsweetened almond milk
  • Local honey to taste
  • Ice, enough for desired consistency

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth (serves two).

Cherry-Strawberry Smoothie

  • 1 ripe banana, sliced and frozen
  • ¾ cup fresh or frozen red cherries, pitted
  • ¾ cup fresh or frozen strawberries
  • ½ fresh orange, pitted and cut into chunks
  • Local honey to taste
  • ½ tablespoon chia seeds (optional)
  • ½ cup coconut water, unsweetened almond milk, or water
  • Ice, enough for desired consistency

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth (serves two).

COMBO SMOOTHIES

Banana-Honey Smoothie

  • 1 ripe banana, sliced and frozen
  • 6 oz plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ almond milk or regular milk
  • 2 vanilla wafers
  • ¾ tablespoon local honey
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • Large handful of ice

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth (serves one).

Fruit and Yogurt Smoothie

  • 1 apple, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1 ripe banana, sliced
  • 5 almonds
  • 6 oz plain Greek yogurt
  • ¾ cup milk or almond milk
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon grated ginger (optional)
  • Large handful of ice

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth (serves one).

Chocolate-Strawberry Smoothie

  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 6 oz plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup milk or almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 2-3 teaspoons local honey

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth (serves one).

Creamy Strawberry-Banana Smoothie

  • ½ cup milk or almond milk, more as needed to reach desired consistency
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 6 oz plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 ripe banana, sliced and frozen
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger (optional)
  • Local honey to taste

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth (serves one).

Orange Julius Smoothie

  • Juice of three ripe oranges
  • 1 egg
  • 2-3 tablespoons unrefined sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Large handful of ice.

Blend ingredients at high speed until the mixture is frothy. Serve immediately (serves one).

Creamsicle Smoothie

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 ripe bananas, peeled, sliced, and frozen (overnight)
  • 1 cup freshly-squeezed orange juice
  • 1 orange, peeled and cut into chunks
  • ¾ cup almond milk (or regular milk)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cut into thin slices
  • Ice (optional, but nice if you like to thicker)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Slice and freeze the bananas overnight.
  2. Make the freshly-squeezed juice first.
  3. Combine all ingredients in a blender.
  4. Blend until well combined and smooth (serves two).

NOTE: If you want a true Creamsicle flavor – omit the carrot.

Low-Calorie Energy Booster

  • 1 banana, sliced and frozen
  • 1 large tablespoon pure almond butter
  • 2 tablespoons plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • Local honey, to taste
  • 12 ounces of pure, unsweetened coconut water
  • Ice – to desired consistency

Blend all ingredients together until smooth (serves one).

Pumpkin Spice Smoothie

I just found this recipe on Pinterest and couldn’t resist it – looks so good and goes with the season (Autumn) and would probably be good anytime of the day.  Hope you enjoy it. Found it on LemonTreeDwelling.com.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 c. vanilla yogurt (not plain)
  • 2 oz. frozen pumpkin puree (or 2 pumpkin puree “ice cubes”)
  • 1/2 frozen banana, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1-2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (I used homemade – recipe below)
  • 1 cinnamon stick for garnish

DIRECTIONS

  1. Pre-freeze pumpkin puree by dividing 1 (15 oz.) can into an ice cube tray and freezing. (You will have enough to fill more than one tray.)
  2. Combine all ingredients (except cinnamon stick) in blender and blend until smooth.
  3. Pour into glass; garnish with a cinnamon stick.Makes 1 smoothie

Pumpkin Pie Spice (from Allrecipes.com)
4 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
4 tsp. ground nutmeg
4 tsp. ground ginger
3 tsp. ground allspice

Closing Thoughts

These breakfast smoothies are nutritious alternatives for your family when there is so little time in the morning. They taste great and are good for you. Be aware that your family may enjoy them so much, they may become a habit. The good news is – they can make them for themselves. All you have to do is have the ingredients available.

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