D-I-E-T…The Four Letter Word

Valecia Weeks is licensed through the state of Texas as a therapeutic massage therapist who specializes in providing onsite chair massage for corporations and events. She currently provides massage for such organizations as the Houston ballet and Houston Methodist Hospital. Valecia is also a certified personal trainer with NESTA as well as a licensed ZUMBA instructor.

Ladies, who has time to DIET?! “Not I,” said the little lamb. That four letter word has caused busy women a lot of strife. The definition of this hideous word is eating less to lose weight. Usually women on “a diet” are attempting to eat less, or stop eating sweets to fit into a small dress or pant size. The true meaning of the word “diet” actually has a very positive meaning. That word is designed to describe food that you normally consume; eg. Vegetarian diet, Low Carb diet or even “My diet still consists of lemon cake”…once a month, instead of once a day. Making a lifestyle change by improving your normal diet and making gradual, but permanent changes is a much healthier way to lose weight than by totally depriving yourself by restricting calories.

Low calorie and fad diets can have serious negative health consequences. Some of these include dehydration, insufficient vitamin and nutritional intake, and even hormonal effects. Here are a few tips to help you decrease your caloric intake without depriving yourself by “dieting.”

  • Keep a Food Log – A written record can show your true eating patterns, such as taking the entire bag of chips and eating them in front of the television; satisfying triggers such as stress, sadness, and boredom. Logging can also show you if you are consuming less fruits and vegetables and more soda and cookies. Reviewing your daily log will show you where you can implement healthy changes.
  • Reading the Food Labels – This is the key to controlling your portion sizes. It takes only a few seconds to turn a food item over and read to see how much sugar, how many carbs, and how much fat a food item contains. Although the label may say that a food item contains only “100 calories,” be careful to note how many serving sizes are in that particular package and remember that the label is based on one serving size.
  • Drink Water, not Alcohol – Not only does alcohol contain 7 calories per gram, it also lowers self-control when it comes to food. Limit your alcohol intake and your body will thank you. Save alcohol for a post-meal indulgence, rather than drinking it before or with food. Studies show that alcohol lowers inhibitions and control when it comes to eating, causing people to eat more than those who waited to drink after finishing a meal. Drink water throughout the day, before, and during meals to help curb your appetite. Oftentimes, people think they are hungry when they are actually thirsty or dehydrated.

It takes reducing your calories by 500 per day to lose a healthy pound of fat per week. It is true that you can lose pounds much faster; but the fact is that the weight will not stay off. Ladies, let’s go for a healthy lifestyle, not a diet, that is easy to stick with. Try incorporating some or all of these easy strategies to reduce calories without giving up the pleasures of eating.

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