Welcome Update #22

10/23/2011

 
Rachel Flesch, Artistic Director

Diet.
 
I hate the word not because of what it means, but because of what our society has warped it to mean. Essentially when you tell someone you're on a diet it sounds temporary, as though to say, "This week I'm eating dry grass and drinking spring water till I can fit into that little black dress I bought, next week though I'm going to wear it to an all you can eat buffet!" A diet shouldn't be temporary, and by definition it describes the food you intake in a day. It doesn't have to be something that will bring about a "positive outcome." 

My diet, for example, consists of bottled water, coffee, fast food, salads, and anything else salty and sweet I can scrounge up when I'm feeling munchy at work. Essentially it's bad, and I need to change it, not temporarily till I can feel good about the weight I'm at, but permanently. So many people want results NOW, so they rush to ration themselves to a cube of cheese a day and crash diet their way to "success." It's not healthy though. Losing weight rapidly means one thing, you'll gain weight rapidly too. Your body needs time to adjust to your new eating habits; habits which should be a permanent lifestyle change not just a temporary fix. 

I once lost nearly 40lbs in a summer, primarily from a drastic diet change. Some of the stuff was fine, I was able to sub out things for fatty foods, and cut out fast food and sweets, but was I willing to do that forever? No! Some days you need those comfort foods, or a bar of chocolate or to just be able to grab a cheeseburger after a long day at work to cope with life's situations. Since that Summer I've gained back every pound, and that's been entirely due to stress. I'm slowly learning to adjust my eating habits though so that I can feel healthy again. Don't forget about exercise too I wouldn't have gotten there without it.
 
Here are 5 tips that I've utilized in my weight loss journey 
1. Cut out as much of the fatty sugary goodies you can. Substitute fruits and yogurts when possible. At first it'll seem horrible, but trust me after a month of cold turkey and withdrawals your body will get over that need for sugar and you'll feel a surge of energy.
 
2. Exercise, exercise, EXERCISE! I cannot stress this enough. It will make a world of difference. Whether you get a gym membership or just look up videos on the internet, it will help keep your energy levels up, your stress levels down, and allow you to progress even more towards improving your lifestyle. Also try to do it at the same time on the same days, schedule 30 minutes a day for 5 days a week that you'll be able to exercise. Doing so will help your body out, and even though it may hurt the first few days keep it up. This will help loosen up your muscles and eventual you'll get used to it. Keep the phrase "feel the burn" in your mind. If you can't feel it you aren't doing it right.
 
3. Smart decisions. If you're going out (let's face it you can't avoid it forever) make a smart choice. Just because it's a salad doesn't mean it might be the best decision, especially once you considering that crispy breaded chicken on top, and that creamy ranch dressing. A grilled chicken sandwich hold the bread may be the wiser choice in the long run.
 
4. Portion control. As American's we are trained to clean our plates before desert. Your eyes are usually a lot bigger than your stomach and tests have shown that when people are blind folded they realize they are full before they get even halfway through their plates. Try it for yourself one day; you'll be surprised just how little you need to eat to be satisfied. Remember also that just because that little bag of personal potato chips seems small it doesn't mean it is one portion. Sometimes those things can host as many as 3 PORTIONS per bag, and the caloric intake is enough to cover a whole meal.
 
5. Calories aren't everything. While counting calories can be important don't forget to look at fat, sugars, and protein. Sugars are very fattening, and can hide behind other words like corn syrup and glucose. Protein is important as it plays a big role in filling you up. Try making sure you are getting enough protein in every meal. This will really help satisfy you, especially focus on non-red meats like chicken and fish. They contain other nutrients that your body needs as well as less fat content. Eating protein BEFORE exercising will help you perform better, and up your energy levels, and that'll keep you going strong all day long.
 
There are so many other things, and in reality I could go on about it, but I'm going to go exercise instead!
 



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