It’s that time again! Weight loss resolutions made the first week of January only to be abandoned by the month’s end if not sooner. If we have so much more knowledge, why does this keep happening year after year? According to Mindy Haar, MS, RD, CDN, Director of Clinical Nutrition at New York Institute of Technology, the growing focus on how we eat and not just what we eat is a welcome one. Nutritionists are joining forces with behavior experts such as psychologist Dr. Brian Wansink whose mission is to turn mindless eating into mindful eating. Some strategies to make 2011 different from 2010, 2009,……..
1. Select small goals that focus on behavioral changes rather than number of pounds to be lost. Instead of “I resolve to lose 30 pounds”, decide for the first week to skip the soda and drink water and then for week two, substitute a fruit for that mid-afternoon donut and sugared coffee.
2. Always eat sitting down and avoid eating straight from the box. Food eaten while we’re standing and/or directly from the container to mouth, tends “not to count” only in our minds but not in our waistlines!
3. Eat slower. Put down utensils after each bite and don’t pick them up until you swallow – many of us routinely have two or even three forkfuls of food in our mouths at once allowing us to gobble up a whole plate in no time! And then take seconds or even thirds….
4. Use smaller plates. Plate and bowl size has increased in the last few decades while studies show that we usually finish almost everything served. This may be one painless way to reduce intake without even feeling it.
5. Fill at least half your plate with vegetables and fruit, leaving the other half for protein and starch. This increases fiber, vitamin and mineral intake and ups the satiety level - a true win/win situation.
6. Most of all, incorporate what works for you not just in the short term but long term lifestyle change. Despite the 20+ pound weight losses seen on shows like Biggest Loser, most people who lose weight for good lose 1-2 lbs per week.