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Typically, when we hear the word “diet”, we conjure up images of a long list of foods we have to avoid. If weight loss is important to you now, it is more effective to think about additions to your daily food plan! It is sad for me to see conscientious women blame themselves when restrictive diets do not work…and they do not work over the long-term. Any restrictive diet that deprives your body of the nutrition it needs cannot be overcome with willpower.
My coaching clients learn how to eat to feel better, look better, and increase their energy as they embrace their body size and shape for the long-term. This Focus on the Good mentality is a refreshing change for many. Have you focused attention on limiting calories to create weight loss, and played the game of eating low or no-calorie foods to get through the day? Eating empty calories or fake food without calories will not help you reach the Feel Better and Look Better goal. That is why I want to share with you four steps to enhance your lifestyle as you make new habits that create weight loss and vitality.
Step One: Adding Whole Foods to your Daily Meals
Think about the foods you love that are the way nature created them. Instead of fruit roll ups, think about fresh fruit. Only 1 in 10 Americans get enough fresh fruit and vegetables according to the CDC. Adding more produce into your lifestyle has amazing health benefits:
Step Two: Adding in Produce You will actually Eat
The task of grocery shopping can be tweaked for weight loss success! Instead of feeling defeated as you toss the uneaten produce from your last shopping trip, use this tip to feel real empowerment as you start fresh this week. Make a list of the produce items that you and your family most enjoy, instead of the options you think you’re supposed to eat. When we create habits, it feels good to ease into some changes, adopting new ways of shopping and cooking over time. If you can list 8-10 fruits and vegetables that most everyone in your household likes, add these to your grocery list and create less waste.
Step Three: Add in one Vegetable Experiment each Week
After you have enjoyed two or three weeks of eating produce you know you already enjoy, you have likely “crowded-out” empty calories and felt more energetic. That is already an amazing way to nourish your body for weight management.
This step will help you expand your efforts even further. After you have some success with adding in produce to all of your meals, it will be time to make a list of vegetables you are willing to try. Once a week for three weeks, I urge you to try my Glorious Greens experiment. Learning how to cook foods that are new to you is a great way to help those who think they do not like vegetables to expand their comfort zone. (Click the image at left to get some tips about greens.)
If you keep getting stuck by remembering some long-ago meal where you were forced to eat a large serving of a poorly prepared vegetable, know that this experiment will help you erase that experience! As you expand your list of vegetable dishes you enjoy, it will be easier to support a weight loss.
Step Four: Add in Seasonal Produce
Adding more whole food to your lifestyle is much easier when we are eating food at its peak in terms of flavor and texture. When we do this, two things happen. Our bodies evolved over thousands of years as our predecessors ate seasonally. They did not have access to foods from around the world, and our bodies are still best served to eat what is local and fresh.
The second benefit of this addition to your lifestyle is that each meal can be joyful! The first time I grew a tomato in my backyard and then ate it warm off the vine, I thought I was in heaven. Tomatoes had never tasted that good to me before, and I began to truly look forward to produce that is picked while ripe and eaten fresh. I hope you will find a few new tastes and pleasures by eating from your local farmers or your own backyard. Click this image to receive immediate access to my Organic Produce information sheet.
Adding more produce to your diet is the long-term answer for weight management success. Crowding-out fake food and embracing whole food is a process that takes time in American kitchens. The food industry, after all, has tried to train all of us to buy for convenience over nourishment. Holistic health practices, or what I like to call Homemade Health, are able to create balance in our lifestyles. That balance will allow your precious body to drop extra weight over time and keep it off. I encourage you to give these Four Steps your attention this month and decide for yourself how beneficial it can be.