What are some of the most effective ways to lose weight?
Manage stress levels
Get quality sleep
You may ask, “Why is ‘eat’ on the list, and ‘diet’ not?” Because self-imposed diets are typically ridiculously restrictive, and often based on unrealistic goals like eliminating all carbs. That very limiting structure leads to practices that cannot be maintained over time, resulting in self-punishment, which generates (1) stress, and then spirals directly into (2) poor sleep. In the end, there actually is weight GAIN and depression.
Plus, when you consistently limit food intake or “yo-yo diet” and starve your system, your body actually holds on to fat and makes it even more difficult to loss unwanted pounds.
That’s not to say it’s an excuse to go out and stuff your face with whatever you want 24/7!
Instead, I am issuing a call to action to throw out the word “diet,” stop worrying so much about the number on the scale, and encourage each of you to openly pursue a healthful way of life that has you feeling your best.
Yes, that ultimately means limiting the french fries and processed foods, but instead of thinking about what you cannot have, think about what you CAN, like a vast array of lean animal proteins including poultry, beef, lamb, duck, fish, shellfish, pork, game, and egg. Delicious goat, sheep and cow cheeses, whole grains and exotic fruits! Yum.
With a focus on crowding out the things that cause you digestive stress and unintended inflammation, (which ultimately results in…you got it, weight gain and disease), you will naturally feel good.
As noted on an NBC news item recently, consider some important questions:
- Are you eating enough vegetables?
- If the thought of vegetables bores you, just use them to add color to your favorite dishes like rice, pasta, omelets, burgers (yes, you can chop up zucchini and put it in your favorite burger patty), etc. The fiber will fill you up and prevent you from overeating. Have fun with it and experiment with a new vegetable every week – the market is filled with all kinds of unique veggies these days.
- How much processed sugar are you consuming?
- The answer may surprise you! Sugar hides in the most curious places like sauces, condiments, dressings, marinades, bars, dried fruit, bread, cereals and yogurts, and of course in not such hidden places like beverages and sweets. Become aware of the role sugar plays in your life, and slowly replace the processed kinds with the natural ones like fruits, maple syrup and dark chocolate.
- Are you dehydrated?
- Your body is approximately 60% water – it NEEDS water to function properly. If you are experiencing dry skin or eyes, constipation, fatigue, and your urine is bright yellow, add more water to your routine. The consumption formula is half your body weight in ounces, but if that is too daunting, just up whatever you’re drinking by one glass a day per week. Small changes!
For an encouraging personal story, see today’s NY Times article by Jane Brody.
So, Eat, Manger, Mangia or consume in whatever language you understand. Do so joyously, and intelligently. Be committed to your long-term health and the rest will follow.
Marjorie, Chief MOJO Maker™
In New York? Join me for a fun and interactive upcoming event at the JCC on 3/20:
This Passover, Let My Weight Go!