Weight loss is a popular goal for Americans. In fact, almost 40% of Americans choose this goal as part of their New Years Resolutions. Regardless of what your resolution is, less than 10% actually achieve those goals. Oftentimes the failure to keep the resolutions is due to looking for the quick fix. Let me share a little bit about some popular dietary quick fixes.
It’s been over 2 years since my youngest son was born. It seems just yesterday I was giving birth to his older brother. Soon another little boy will be joining in the mix. I may have mentioned before how I had to drastically change my diet after my second son was born. [If you missed that, check out an earlier post about how I went about learning what my and my son’s bodies were telling us.]
After the dietary changes, I was able to fit into clothes that I never thought I would be able to get into ever again! I was under the impression that my “Mom” body will never get back into that shape without extreme diet and exercise. One thing I knew I didn’t want to do was use a meal replacement system in the event I DID want to get back down to a smaller size.
Why don’t I want to use meal replacement systems?
Any dietician or physician who is worth their grain of salt that in order to lose weight and keep it off you need to change your lifestyle and NOT go on a “diet.” What those meal replacement systems are are simply a “diet” that doesn’t truly teach you how to eat for your health and body.
No doubt people lose weight while using them, but people also put the weight back on after they stop using those drinks. There are plenty out there to choose from – Shakeology, It Works, Isagenix, and more. They all say they are the #1 in what they do.
So you try one of these products, you lose a few pounds, then you either forget to order more or you decide to stop using them as you hit your goal weight. What happens now that you’re back to eating “regular food?” That weight creeps back up, sometimes slowly, sometimes just by LOOKING at a doughnut. What happened?
Well, you didn’t really change your habits.
This is the biggest reason why I will not use a meal replacement system – especially for weight loss. If down the line something happens where I’m having medical issues and this is the only way to get nutrition, then I’ll use something like this; as a last resort.
Now, what do I recommend if you want to lose weight and gain more health? Whole foods! I’m talking fruits, vegetables, simple grains like rice, oats, and quinoa, along with your protein source of choice – I realize not everyone wants to eat meat.
Not sure how to go about incorporating new foods into your diet?
My suggestion is to pick one fruit and one vegetable each week and play around with it in your meals that week. There are a ton of different ways to prepare food: bake, roast, steam, blanche…not only are you trying new foods but you’re also improving your skills in the kitchen as well!
When you figure out your favorite way to prepare one food, keep it in your back pocket for your next food you try. Go for a rainbow of foods on your plate. The more colors the greater variety of nutrients you’re getting straight from your food.
If you can afford it, try to purchase organic, non-GMO, and locally sourced foods. Not only are you supporting local farmers, but you are also supporting farming practices that are sustainable. Modern farming has severely depleted the vitamins and minerals that are naturally found in the soil. So even though we still get the wonderful nutrients out of our foods, we are not getting the same level of nutrients we were before modern farming practices.
So what foods should you do your best to purchase organic and what foods can you buy conventionally? A great source is The Dirty Dozen. This list breaks down what foods you should focus on buying organic due to how easily pesticides, herbicides, and other pest-killing chemicals absorb into the food. The Environmental Working Group has another link going into further detail about this topic.
Bottom line, change takes time. Don’t beat yourself up if you slip up and grab that cookie or slice of cake. Life is about moderation.
Most important piece of advise?
What works for one person may not work for the next. So if your friend or relative got amazing results on one diet and exercise plan doesn’t mean you will see the same results. Yes, that’s frustrating. That’s the beauty of life is that we are all unique individuals. We may be made out of the same building blocks, but ultimately we are all unique and we need to cater to and celebrate our own uniqueness.
If you’re looking to make lasting changes in your health, contact me for your FREE 30-minute consultation. We will discuss your most pressing health concerns and will leave with at least one action step to help you move forward towards your goal.