Successful weight loss takes programming, not willpower͛ – Phil McGraw – American Psychologist & TV Star
If you want to start making changes to your weight, what is the quickest, surest way to reach the goals you want? You can start by adopting our 15-point starter’s manual for change.
1. Limit the number of calories you take in from hidden sugars (see Labels on packaging).
2. Eat more vegetables and fruits as well as legumes, nuts, and whole grains.
3. Ensure that as an adult you get a minimum of 2 ½ hours of physical activity each week. If you are making the change as a family, ensure that your children get an hour a day of physical activity.
4. As a citizen, advocate for a greater change for the greater good. Support the implementation of parks and walking, running and biking trails in your neighbourhood. Ensure that income is not a gauge of gaining options for physical activity in your community. Support programs that supplement low income families and ensure that public facilities remain accessible to all.
5. On a broader level, the way to make change with big food processing companies is to exert pressure through your buying habits. Support local farmer’s markets in your community. Buy fresh, unprocessed food and leave the calorie-laden, over-processed food packages on the shelves.
6. Turn off the television for just one hour of your evening and use that extra time to plan and prepare nutritious meals for the next day, from school and work lunches to healthy suppers. Cook up double batches of chili and home-made soups and stews that can be frozen and thawed for busy nights ahead.
7. Involve your children in the process of food preparation and make it a fun activity. Collect recipes that are easy and yet nutritious. What child doesn’t have fun baking muffins, but instead of using a mix, why not use whole grain flour and carrots just peeled and chopped? 8.Even if you live deep in the heart of a city with no option for back-yard gardening, you can at least start a pot of herbs on a windowsill or patio and encourage your children to watch them grow and use them in your cooking.
9. Dig out your slow-cooker and place it beside your microwave oven. You can have convenience without speed. Toss an entire chicken into your slow cooker and let it simmer all day with fresh herbs. When you open the door at the end of a hard work day, the house will be filled with a beautiful aroma and it will be the tenderest chicken you have ever eaten.
10. Include fresh, sweet fruit as dessert items at meals and in lunches rather than a sugar-laced fruit stick or juice. Leave jars of almonds around for quick snacks instead of potato crisps and other fried snacks.11.On your quick visits to your supermarket, focus your time on the outer regions of the store where the fresh foods are found, as opposed to the central aisles full of packaged, processed foods.
12. If time is at a premium but money is not, there’s no harm at all in picking up pre-made salads and fruit trays all peeled and sliced and ready to eat. You do pay a much higher price for this convenience, but if it is the option between eating healthy or continuing to pack on the pounds, it is a reasonable price to consider. Watch out for hidden sugars in many Dressings.
13. Don’t ignore frozen foods in your search for affordable, nutritious meals. Peas, corn, string beans and other vegetables picked at their peak and preserved by freezing can sometimes be an affordable and satisfactory option to higher-priced fresh foods that are not in season. Just skip by the freezers full of heavily-processed dishes and go directly to the vegetables, chicken, fish and meat choices.
14. The bottom line is, the more directly the food you purchase and cook relates to its original source, the better. If you can find a way to substitute two or three of your processed food dinners or fast-food pickups a week, you are well on your way towards weight loss and a healthier style of living.
15. In the meantime, you may be surprised at how willingly your family engages in this new pastime. Home cooking is tasty and fun, and when it is willingly embraced as a part of an active lifestyle, it soon becomes the norm.