Want to lose weight? Make it habit-forming.
Seriously, skip the low-carbohydrate this and the Mesozoic-that diets and instead consider the habit diet.
The Mayo Clinic Diet, (Good Books, 2012), by the staff of the respected Mayo Clinic, focuses on breaking bad habits and forming good habits. (Thats the real Mayo Clinic, by the way, not the bogus one cited in fad diets like the Cabbage Soup Diet and the Grapefruit Diet.)
We thought the idea of forming habits was so intriguing, we asked Charlotte registered dietitian Christin Dow of TriNutrition to suggest five habits shed like to see every person develop. Interestingly, most of Dows habits mirrored the ones the Mayo Clinics experts suggested.
Theres a core of four that any registered dietitian will tell you, says Dow. They come from studies of sustained weight loss people who lost 10 percent of their weight and kept it off for two years.
1. Keep a food log. Make it a food and activity log if you can. The No. 1 tip from registered dietitians is to simply track what you eat and how much exercise you get. Look over the log regularly, so you can spot where youre falling short or the places where youre doing well. You probably cant remember what you ate a week ago, but your scale can.
2. Decrease any caloric beverage. There are drinks that pack on calories sweetened sodas, fruit juices, alcoholic beverages. If you cut those back or cut them out, it will make a real difference.
3. Increase fruits and vegetables. Instead of worrying about how many servings or how many kinds youve eaten, just aim to eat more of them every day. It cant help but be a good move.
4. No eating in front of a screen. And that means the TV, the iPad or the computer. Turn them all off. When you watch while you eat, youre eating mindlessly and youll end up shoveling in more food than you realize.
The Mayo Clinic has another good TV habit, too: Earn your screen time. Make it a habit to only watch TV for the same amount of time as you exercised that day. Really want to watch that episode of Downton Abbey? Youll have to keep your gym appointment.
5. Know where your food comes from as best you can. That encourages you to buy local fruits and vegetables and to keep your foods simple and natural.
If its a processed food and you look at how its made, chances are you wont want to eat it, Dow says.