Call it the Quarantine 15, the 29 pounds of COVID-Fat most people have put on since March 2020, or just that old-fashioned winter weight we seem to retain year after year. Whatever it is, we want it gone, and we want it gone now. Let’s look at how a weekly approach to change using one easy step at a time can help us look and feel our best every day.
- Create a change day. As with any change, you will want to plan it first, make the change, and then allow your body to adapt before changing again. Try making one dietary difference per week to allow for a solid progression without asking too much of yourself. Choose the one day of the week you will make your change, and apply it on your day – only one modification each week.
- Add the good, remove the bad. Each week your goal will be to add something new or remove something bad from your diet – whichever you choose. Remember, small victories are the best. Try alternating the additions and removals weekly. For instance, plan to add new veggies to salads or give up white bread. Color choices, especially dark ones, are always best to add, while white food choices are usually best to lose.
- Maintain your change. Let’s say you plan to create a healthier lifestyle in three months, typically 13 weeks. Start by keeping a list of each change you make. If you began by adding spinach to your salad in week one for the protein benefits, you should also have kept spinach in your salads through week 13. If you eliminated donuts from your diet in week two because, well, you know why, then you should have stopped eating donuts at week two and not had any donuts through week 13.
Revisit your list once your goal is complete, choose what you will keep in your new diet, remind yourself of what you will never add back in, and reward yourself for your accomplishments. You don’t have to do it all at once, but you can get started now. Take off those extra pounds one step at a time and keep them off. Here are a few simple ideas to help you begin your change plan today.
Remove the Bad: Soda, white sugar, white bread, white rice, mayonnaise, coffee creamers, fast, processed, frozen, and canned foods, and anything containing high fructose corn syrup, fatty vegetable oils, foods high in sucrose, sodium, or containing high amounts of preservatives. Wow! Imagine how good you’ll feel once you’ve completed this list. It will be a healthier you without even adding anything new!
Add the Good: Water, peppers, onions, squash, cabbage, roasted cauliflower, raw broccoli, berries, apples, sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, black beans, leafy green vegetables, and pretty much any raw or whole vegetable. Or, you could just take a walk in the garden. You’ll find everything you need right there.
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