Dieting. It’s not one of our favorite words in the English language, but it’s one that most of us come face to face with at one time or another. It evokes images of starving ourselves over salads and rice cakes at lunch while our ever-skinny friend wolfs down a plate full of nachos without a care in the world.
We know that we have to diet. We probably have said to ourselves at some point within the last month or so, “I really need to lose some weight.” So what’s stopping us from starting? Most of the time, the hardest thing about dieting is actually finding the right time to start. If there are sweets or chips in the house, we tell ourselves that we have to wait till everything is finished, and then we’ll start. Or if there is an upcoming celebration we tell ourselves we have to wait till after that event and then we’ll start dieting.
We come up with excuse after excuse not to start our diets and soon before you know it, you now have to lose 15 pounds instead of the 10 you started out with. But it doesn’t have to be this way!
Dieting doesn’t have to be hard. It’s actually pretty simple when you think about it. If you eat more calories than you burn, you will gain weight. They key is finding low calorie and low fat foods that you enjoy eating. If you hate eating rice cakes… you’re going to have less luck sticking to your diet if that’s all you ever allow yourself to eat.
So before you begin your diet, make a list of all the foods you enjoy. Then go through your list and see if you can make a few adjustments to some dishes that will decrease the amount of fat and calories. If you like tacos, try using low fat cheese, low fat sour cream, and perhaps fish or a lean turkey meat instead.
If you can’t make any adjustments, put that food in your “treat” list. Dieting is all about balance and by allowing yourself a treat every now and then; you will find it much easier to maintain your diet for a longer period of time.
Spend some time in the produce department of your grocery store. Are there fruits or veggies that you really enjoy? These make a great substitute for chips or sweets. Eating a handful of raspberries or blueberries, can be just as satisfying as eating candy, minus the guilt you feel after you gorged on gummy worms. Keep these in your home at all times in plain sight. Don’t hide them in a drawer where you can forget about them. It helps to always keep a fruit bowl handy where you can quickly grab an apple or a peach when you feel the urge to snack.
Dieting doesn’t have to be a chore. With just a few easy changes to what you are already eating, you can begin your diet and stick to it without having to torture yourself with tasteless food.
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~ Karen Ficarelli
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