Get off the roller
coaster and get
healthy for life
It’s not our fault.
Many experts—dietitians, nutritionists
and doctors—agree that diets just don’t work.
4. Consider your lifestyle. No one eat- bread with honey mustard or mango chutney,
They set up a cycle of deprivation and frus- ing plan is right for everybody. You need a bal- for instance, is a tasty but healthier alternative
tration that can lead to yo-yo dieting, binge- anced solution you can live with for life. Don’t to full-fat cheese and mayo on a croissant.
ing and weight gain instead of weight loss. deprive yourself, because “you set yourself up
By Laura Langston
WITH THE BEST of intentions, many of us
kick-start the new year with a diet. Not long
after, many of us serve ourselves mega-doses
of self-recrimination as we give it up.
Dieting is an unnatural act; healthy bodies are for failure that way,” says Brandeis. If pizza on
7. Enjoy your food. Quality counts.
hard-wired to stay as they are even if they’re Friday is important, work it in but don’t try to Rather than filling up on mediocre bread or
overweight. save calories. “Eat sensibly that day, have a big eating half a low-fat cake, have one slice of the
The key is to stop dieting, start eating and bowl of brothy soup before the pizza and then best bread or cake you can find and satisfy the
learn to steal excess weight from your body enjoy a few slices,” advises Schwartz. Going for craving. “Take one bite, think of yourself as a
without getting caught. It isn’t always easy, nor a decadent lunch? Have a healthy afternoon judge in a food contest and rate it on a scale
is it fast, but it can be done. Here are some tips. snack like an apple a few hours later. Then eat of one to 10,” Schwartz suggests. “If it’s a 10,
a lighter dinner. you’ll know it, and you’ll never regret the 10s.”
1. Be honest. Take a hard look at what you “If you skip the snack to save calories, by But be a tough judge. You never know when a
eat right now (including snacks and drinks). dinner you’ll have worked up a whole new 10 will come along, so don’t waste your time
Don’t forget portion sizes. “Initially I suggest appetite,” Schwartz says, “and that light din- on a seven. And remember, three threes don’t
people write down everything they eat after ner may not be enough.” Or if you’re like me make a 10.
they eat it so they get a true picture of their and you skip your snack and dinner too,
intake,” says Rosie Schwartz, consulting dieti- you’ll be raiding the fridge later.
8. Keep it quiet. Don’t tell people you are
tian and nutritionist in Toronto, and author of trying to watch your food intake. You’ll open
The Enlightened Eater’s Whole Foods Guide.
5. Get busy. Along with quick calorie burn, yourself to comments and criticism from
regular exercise develops muscle and fires well-meaning friends. In this case, Schwartz
2. Educate yourself. Be aware of recom- up your metabolism for the long term. “A gives you permission to lie. “Say everything
mended food groups and meal balance. “A healthy diet and exercise are married,” says was delicious and you’re full, but you’ll take a
healthy diet with lots of fruits and veggies and Brandeis. “Weight loss and weight mainte- forkful just so you don’t miss out.” If it’s a 10,
whole grains, plus lean meats and dairy, fills nance require both.” well, you can always change your mind and
you up with fewer calories,” says Rachel For sedentary people, the leap from inac- have a piece. Only then there won’t be anyone
Brandeis, registered dietitian and spokesper- tive to active can be enormous. If that’s you, pointing a finger and saying, “I thought you
son for the American Dietetic Association. She establish a manageable exercise routine first were watching yourself.” C
says to cut out foods with little nutritional (daily or every other day) before worrying
value, such as potato chips, and replace them about workout length. When the habit’s in Laura Langston eats breakfast and exercises
with raw veggies and dip. And watch that you place, shoot for a 60-minute workout five every day so she can indulge in the 10s when
don’t fill up on calorie-heavy but nutrient- days a week. they come along.
poor drinks like soda or sweetened tea. Drink
water instead or, if you must have juice, opt for
6. Get the lowdown on low fat. Low-
100 percent unsweetened fruit juice. fat foods are good, but not all low-fat foods are
created equal. Low-fat treats like cookies or
3. Eat often. Eat every three or four hours. cakes are rarely as satisfying as the high-fat real
Watch portion sizes, but don’t skip meals, thing. And just because something is low fat
especially breakfast. Eating a proper breakfast doesn’t mean it’s calorie free. However, says
kick-starts your metabolism and you’ll be hun- Schwartz, high-quality low-fat foods like
gry three or four hours later, which Schwartz cheese, yogurt or milk can be an excellent way
says is a good thing. “People need to get used to to boost the nutritional content of a meal.
the pattern of genuine hunger and satisfaction.” Low-fat cheese on delicious whole-grain
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