With more than 26% of Americans now being classified as obese, it’s not only our waistlines that are getting bigger but so is the bill with an astonishing price tag of $147 billion, according to a recent study. In fact, almost 10% of our medical spending is going towards obesity related diseases like diabetes, heart disease and arthritis.
Continuing to only treat the problems caused by obesity instead of working to prevent it in the first place isn’t going to help. As a registered dietitian for over 13 years and as a person who has struggled with my own weight, I know that it isn’t easy but it is simple. Here’s the magic bullet folks…MOVE MORE, EAT LESS! Believe it or not, it actually does work! Like I said, it’s not easy. I’m a foodie and I love food and I love to eat. If I had to pick I would say I “live to eat” instead of “eat to live”. My favorite dessert is a molten lava cake with vanilla bean ice cream and I do have it on occasion.
I like to explain that eating is kind of like budgeting your money (I know, we aren’t so good at that either). Every day you are faced with dozens of decisions and you have various choices. The breadbasket? Glass of wine? Dessert? Here’s what I mean about negotiating. If you love dessert- skip the wine and bread and split a dessert. If you would prefer wine- have a glass. No one is saying food can’t be fun or flavorful if you are eating well. In fact, when you eat fresh foods from a clean, real foods diet, I would argue that you will enjoy your food even more!
Here are 6 of my easy ways to “Move More and Eat Less”.
1. Avoid the clean plate syndrome: I’m giving you permission to leave food on your plate. Sorry, you aren’t helping any starving children in other countries by stuffing yourself at mealtime. Please stop eating when you feel satisfied.
2. Get moving! Start walking, or alternate jogging and walking. (Always talk to your doctor first prior to starting an exercise program).
3. Avoid drinking your calories. Did you know drinking an extra 150 calories a day can pack on an extra 15 pounds per year?
4. Start lifting. I’m definitely an advocate of weight training and that is for all the ladies, too! Aim to do at least 30 minutes of weight training 3 times per week. You can buy some inexpensive dumbbells at Wal-Mart or Target.
5. Avoid eating after dinner. This one helped me the most. I use to eat a bowl of cereal before bed but now I just go to sleep instead of giving myself another 400 calories right before bed.
6. Log it. Research shows people who lose weight and maintain the weight loss are more likely to log their food intake. This keeps them accountable.
Please tell me your favorite strategies for “moving more and eating less”!