Healthy Habits: Meal Monotony Saves Pounds

Healthy Habits: Meal Monotony Saves Pounds

By Theresa Albert, nutritionist and founder of www.myfriendinfood.com

Once upon a time experts advised people to eat a variety of foods.  Good advice during a time when everyone was eating roast pork, mashed potatoes and canned peas.  Now weight loss as well as health gurus are telling us to standardize or be doomed.  What gives?

Times have changed. Now we are in a world of plenty, well, too much really. We are over-stimulated by food messages, food images, out of whack portions and fast foods that are specifically and diabolically designed to make you eat more. Our “off” switch is stuck and we don’t know when to stop. The only way out of this mess is to control what you can, when you can and tread lightly when you can’t. It turns out that all this choice makes up choose badly.

Here’s how:

Pick any 3 parts of your day that you are ok with having exactly the same foods and make them perfect. Make the category just broad enough to encompass various nutrient dense choices.  Do NOT sway.

    • Breakfast? Magic Muesli has everything you need, is delicious, simple and mindless
    • Morning snack? Make it at 10:30 every day and choose one handful of different kinds of nuts.
    • Lunch? Always have a super salad with protein and dressing on the side. Every restaurant has an option and the variety within the system is endless. Mix up the type of greens, switch up the protein, toss up a new light dressing each week and you are on your way.
    • Afternoon snack? A cup of high octane, high anti-oxidant dark chocolate hot cocoa sounds about right. Add a piece of fruit and the options are infinite.
    • Dinner? Make it lean protein, bean side dishes and lots of vegetable.  But if you have to play around a bit, why not make it here?

The trick is to avoid two key weight control pitfalls: overeating and skipping meals.  Regularly indulging in either one will land you in a little extra lard of your own.  Either one messes with your metabolism causing you to gain weight and lose energy.  When you fall down, and you will, we all do, just get back up.  Switch up your recipes and your choices.  Make dinner the super salad time and go freestyle at lunch.  Have your hot cocoa with nuts in the morning and your fruit in the afternoon.

Whatever you do, stop deciding and re-deciding every hour on the hour.  The world you live in is likely designed to make you choose poorly and cutting things down to size reigns in your decisions. Doing so will set you up for a healthy step in the right direction.  While we are on the topic of taking steps…

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