Diet Mishaps – by Michele
Yes I am a dietitian, but I am not the food police. Ok I am the food police, always with an answer on how to improve any eating habit. Clients, friends, and family discuss with me at times what they are eating, believing they are eating right but can’t understand why they aren’t reaching their goals. Too often it comes down to mindless eating or healthy but unbalanced.
Most of us know the basics of what foods are good for us and which are not. Although, eating healthy does not mean eating as much as you want. Calories always matter! Many people, most Americans, have no clue about portion control. Restaurants and most convenience items are servings for three not for one. Most dinner plates are 11 inches across, while a few decades ago they were 9. As you may have noticed our waistlines have significantly increased along with the size of our plates and the portions we consume. Try using salad plates instead. Have a filet mignon instead of the entire steak. A serving of rice is the size of your fist not a mountain!
Others go in the opposite direction when attempting to lose weight by taking in too little calories or having only one meal per day thinking this will increase their chances of changing that number on the darn scale. What they may not realize is they are setting themselves up for failure. By consuming less than 1100 calories your body thinks it’s starving itself and holds on to each and every calorie. To lose weight and/or burn calories ,you want your eating habits to help your metabolism. One way is to eat. Yes, eating helps your metabolism, every few hours is best.
If there was such thing as the food police, I would have arrested Dr. Atkins for worst diet created. But he died from surprise, surprise heart disease. The diet was popular and many today still make the error of a diet too low in carbs. Carbs are what your body needs for fuel. Some try to limit their carbs too much and then can’t understand why they want to pig out by the end of the day. For weight loss and so that you don’t want to eat everything that is not nailed down, consume at least 4-5 servings of whole grains per day. Spread these servings throughout the entire day.
There are sometimes social occasions when many of us choose to forget or ignore the calories were consuming. Sorry to bust anyone’s bubble but alcohol has a lot of calories! Alcohol also slows your metabolism and is usually paired with junk food! So next time on your night out remember a glass of wine has 120-140 calories and a regular bottle of beer has 150-170 calories. Have a couple and you have surely blown your calorie budget for the day, not to mention the pretzels, hoagie, or pizza you had to have with it.
Eating out does not have to be an open option to splurge. Those calories will still end up on your hips if you aren’t careful. Every restaurant has a healthy option or somewhat healthy entrée, but that doesn’t mean you can eat out everyday. A couple of simple rules – avoid desserts, anything that says fried or cream, only get an appetizer if it will be shared among the group, and try to skip the bread basket. A few other caloric-laden no-no’s – fries, potato chips, and mayonnaise laced salads. Restaurants have improved their portions, enough for 2 instead of 3, so you may want to ask for a to-go container.
Eating healthy and within your calorie budget is always doable. Some days things happen and we taken in too many calories but don’t give up. Once in a while is ok, some say beneficial, it is when you continually exceed your caloric allotment that it shows up on the scale. Let’s learn from our mistakes and improve our health!