Thursday, April 23, 2009

Choose Mustard Not Mayonnaise

I have encountered several people in recent weeks that are intrigued by what we eat, how we exercise and our commitment to fitness. (Check out Living with a 59 Year Old Mesomorph and you'll see why!). Some people share their own stories and often they include the desire to lose fat. Hopefully the progress we're making is inspiring or encouraging in some way. I'm finding that many people just don't know where to start, so the bigger picture seems overwhelming. I've been in that situation. If you don't know where to start you can end up paralyzed, not taking any action at all.

For fat loss, balanced nutrition and smart exercise go hand in hand, but I want to break this up into parts and talk about nutrition first (probably because it's one of my own demons). This is geared to those who are just beginning, but most of us can benefit from thinking through this again.

In my opinion, diets don't work. I have yet to see a diet translate into permanent fat loss. Either the diets are unsustainable from the beginning or they leave people with the thought that they can go back to eating the way they previously ate. I believe in informed, deliberate every day choices related to sound nutrition. Once you start, you have to commit if you want real change. There is no going back. The good part of this is that you're in control, not slave to some unreasonable diet system. The bad part is that if you're in control you have to take responsibility. That means celebrating your progress with gusto but also owning up to your bad choices.

Great, so where do you start?

Your next meal. This means you have a few hours at most to decide what to eat next. If you read my blog you know I believe in short and long term goals, but they will remain unmet if the next choice you make isn't one that takes you a step closer to them. I can vouch for this personally! It doesn't matter if you're a newbie or seasoned, this is true for all of us.

When we first started making changes in our eating habits, they were simple ones, like eating mustard, not mayonnaise. Sounds kind of silly, but the point is you have to start somewhere, as soon as possible. It may take a while to learn what substitutions to make. I'll give you a few suggestions here and you can decide which ones you'd like to do first. It's important to not try everything you hear at once. When my husband started making changes, he did it very slowly and consequently has had a very good success rate. Changing everything overnight is a dieting mentality that sets you up for failure. Choose one or two positive changes a week in your eating habits, do them without fail and never turn back. When you're feeling good about those, tackle the next two. A few suggestions for you!

Choose:

  • To eat a real breakfast every day
  • To replace one soft drink a day with a tall glass of water
  • Grilled meat, not fried
  • Mustard, not mayonnaise
  • Less fat in your next carton of milk
  • A potato instead of french fries
  • To eat at least one meal a day sitting down at a table, not in the car or on the run
  • Something green, every day
  • To skip the bread basket if it's not your very favorite kind
  • Salsa, not cheese dip

I'm sure you get the picture! There are many other choices that may be more meaningful to you. I love to hear comments about simple adjustments that can end up having tremendous impact. The point is to move off of point A in order to make progress toward point B. Next thing you know you'll eat something you loved in the past and it won't even taste good to you anymore. The healthier you eat, the more your body responds and the tempting things lose their enticement.

As someone still working on my own nutritional compliance, I can say that you just have to jump in and make that first change. Once you tackle it, the small victory will push you forward. I think especially if you have dieted before you may find yourself having spurts of momentum (willpower!) and moments of discouragement (complacency or defeat). Stay in the moment, keep steady and take it a meal at a time when necessary. Even after all the changes I have made I still have to employ this strategy so I can keep making better decisions. Educate yourself on healthier eating options, talk with people you see that truly eat healthy, build your list of choices and don't wait another meal to get started!

7 comments:

Fred said...

Once again an AWESOME post, Kelley!

Also very appropriate in my case, since I'm in the process of revamping my eating and nutrition habits. Love your list, too! I'm copying it and pasting it near my monitor at work as a 'reminder'...

Thanks!!!

F.

Roundballnz said...

Ditto - great stuff there ...

SmoketheBlowfish said...

As usual, Kelley is spot on! Diets don't work because they are not a change in life-style..they are simply a temporary change in eating. How may people are going to live off of meals by Jenny Craig and Seattle Sutton for the rest of their lives? Once people hit their target weight, they usually go back to the old habits.

What if we:
*Drank water and avoided all soda..forever?
*Ate less bread?
*Ate more fruits, vegetables and meats?
*Ate fewer boxed and packaged foods?
*Consciously stayed away from foods with added sugar?
*Spent the hour invested in front of the TV walking?

Now what if we made these adjustments permanent?

Anna said...

Hey Kelley, love the title, love the post!

I agree that all the changes I have done so far come from the baby steps that I took when I just first starting out my fat loss journey. Now, they are just so ingrained in me that I couldn't imagine doing some thins any other way.

It's important that people realize the baby steps and short term goals concepts because it's easy to feel overwhelmed at the beginning. You do a great job of explaining them!

Kelley Moore said...

Hi everyone, thanks so much for your comments! This has really been on my mind. When people comment on what you're doing and ask what they can do, it's hard to know what to say first that might be compelling or encouraging. It's kind of like the concept of having 30 seconds to really get your point across. I find it challenging to figure out where I should start when I'm talking to people! Your points are all great. When Jimmy dropped regular Coke he lost 8 pounds from that alone! Here's to baby steps and permanent change!

Rayna said...

Good stuff here, Kelley! Thanks for spreading the world about how a lifestyle change keeps you healthy, not a diet. I'm hoping if we keep putting the information out there, it will benefit at least one person. Or so I can hope...

But even so... you're taking away my mayo???? :: dies ::

Kelley Moore said...

Thanks Rayna for visiting my blog and the comment! I am all about spreading the word, and that's the whole reason I even started it. So true that if we help anyone it's well worth it!