Healthy cooking: meet your New Year's resolution

Filed in: Diseases & Conditions.

Give yourself a change of attitude

Learn to believe, and you can succeed.

By Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, LD
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic – Expert Column

When my children were small, they could not get enough of the book, The little engine that could. They loved the attitude of the little blue engine that she thought could reach the top of the mountain and, indeed, she did, every time she read her favorite book.

A positive attitude is a wonderful virtue for young people and adults alike. If you want to succeed, you need to believe in yourself. And nowhere is that lesson more valuable than in the weightloss trip.

At first, losing weight seems simple enough because you are motivated and determined to achieve your goals. Then, the novelty disappears, the determination fades, and the fries, the donuts and all those other foods that do not really belong to a healthy diet make fun of your brain. Add a weight loss plateau to the stage, and it's not surprising that 60% of American adults are still overweight.

That does not mean that your effort to lose weight is doomed to failure. First of all, we all know that traditional "diets" do not work. Deprivation only serves to make you want more forbidden food.

So, if you're craving a donut, go ahead! Just remember that it contains nothing but refined carbohydrates, sugar, and fat; It is not particularly healthy and should be eaten only in small portions at times (think of a donut).

Remember, you are trying to learn better eating habits, not just lose weight. And when you need something sweet, it's better to look for fresh fruit, frozen low-fat yogurt or a piece of hard candy.

Day to day

Get closer to your weight loss program one day at a time. Of course you would like to lose all the weight overnight, but should I remind you how long it took you to earn it?

Maintaining a positive attitude and making small changes in your lifestyle is what wins the battle for weight loss. Choosing the fruit on the donut is a step in the right direction. Do it several more times and it will become a habit, and much healthier.

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It can not be denied that changing the habits of life can be difficult. After all, these habits have defined who you are. It may feel like an emotional roller coaster: some days, getting rid of these old habits seems easy, while in others, the task is overwhelming.

So keep your eyes on the goal, and if you fail, do not worry. Just get up and get back on track. Over time, your deviations from the plan will become less and less, and your resolve will become stronger, especially when you see that the pounds are lost. Successful members who have changed their eating and exercise habits realize that can have everything, as long as they maintain control of the situation.

Mental games

Equip yourself with strategies to help you during times when you become vulnerable. For example, make a list of things to do other than eat when boredom or stress hits. Doing something physical helps eliminate stress and burns calories. Would not this be the perfect time to take the dog for a long walk?

If you recognize your weaknesses, it is easier to plan how you will handle the situation when the situation arises. Have a friend to call or exchange emails, read inspiring words that strengthen your resolve or leave the kitchen and clean a closet: you need coping strategies to help you overcome the excess food.

A new way of thinking is what allows you to modify your behaviors and make those small changes permanent. Over time, the urge to overeat will be replaced by these healthier habits.

Verification of reality

Improving your physical activity patterns and eating healthier is the recipe for good health. It does not mean that you have to give up everything you like. It simply means moderation: with you in control of the food you eat, not with the foods that control it.

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It is human nature to be attracted to things we can not have. Do not prepare yourself for failure by eliminating your favorite foods; simply put them in the "occasional" category. Knowing that you can have them is incredibly powerful and helps stop cravings. It is better to have a small portion of something you crave than a binge out of control.

Better yet, try to curb your desire for sweets or any food that is named after you. Look for ways to satisfy the impulse with something more nutritious.

If it is not a specific food, but a time of the day that prepares you for temptation (maybe after dinner, when you are sitting in front of the TV) try to modify your behavior at that time. Can you watch TV somewhere else? How about reading a good book, or folding clothes?

If you need to eat at night, try to do it before 8 p.m. Setting that time as your last meal date will help control your calorie intake and allow you to get into the habit of eating during the busiest times of the day. Brush your teeth at 8; It will help you honor this good habit.

Vacation strategy

Having a positive attitude is the best medicine to face temptations during holidays or at any time of the year. When you believe in yourself, you will know that you can enjoy fun, family, friends and good cheer without the disaster of the diet.

Remember the little engine: tell yourself: "I think I can, I think I can", and you will. Believing that you can overcome the situation is of the utmost importance. The reward? Not only will you lose weight, but you will feel much better, both physically and emotionally. You can do it!

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