Unfortunately the most popular diet is also the least effective - the Watch What You Eat diet. And I should know, because I’m currently on it. How does it work (or doesn’t work), you ask? Well…it starts by you skipping a treat here and there as you say to yourself, ‘I’m watching what I eat’. This boosts self-confidence and seems to validate a cause with little effort or sacrifice. You might skip a meal or a snack here and there, but then you reward yourself shortly thereafter. I’ve gained 5 pounds while watching what I eat! Ready to join this diet plan? Please don’t!!!
OK, a bit of sarcasm…sorry. But it’s so easy to fall into this trap and so many of us do it time and time again. Do you want to know what you’re eating? Write it down! Start a food log. You’ll be amazed how calories add up throughout the day. Honestly counting calories has been the only way that I’ve been able to shed pounds. Making a conscious effort to reduce snacking just doesn’t work.
Take as an example the food pictured above. It’s approximately a day’s worth of calories for the majority of us (2,000 calories). You can easily spread that food throughout the day and feel as if you’ve eaten nothing! The sugary and starchy foods are high in calories and will leave you hungry just minutes later. If you want to get the most bang for your buck, eat foods that are high in fiber like grains, fruits, and vegetables. These foods will leave you satisfied for hours.
Another way to cut calories during these hot summer days is to drink water. Calories from juices, sodas, and sports drinks are loaded with empty calories that will add up on your waist line. Have a glass of water and save the other drinks as a treat. If you’re really thirsty gulp down a few glasses of water and then see if you still want that lemonade or iced tea. It might save you hundreds of calories.
If you really want to watch what you eat…write it down, add it up, and see what it is that you’re really eating. Be honest with yourself and you may get some valuable insight into what habits need changing. It’s not easy, but nothing worthwhile ever is. Best of luck!!
You can find this article and other motivational fitness information in the June 2008 article of The Bullhorn. You can sign up for this free monthly e-zine below.