Nutrition: The Ultimate D-I-E-TSqueezeItIn.com Girls
The Ultimate DIET
(or the “Do It Every Time” diet)
by Elisa Zied, MS, RD, CDN
Imagine a diet that includes ALL your favorite foods, and doesn’t require you to buy special foods or clear out (if not fumigate) all your cabinets or the shelves in your refrigerator. Imagine that from this point on, when you eat out with a friend, family member, or significant other, you’ll feel comfortable and relaxed (not anxious and unsatisfied) when ordering and eating your food. Take it a step further—imagine a diet that’s not something you repeatedly go on and off of, but one that you can live with day in and day out— one that actually becomes a way of life instead of a transient state of eating.
From now on, each and every time you eat, try to do all of the following. You’ll find that by following this “Do It Every Time” diet, you’ll not only eat more healthfully and mindfully, but you’ll likely shed a few pounds (or at least prevent further weight gain which typically happens as we age) and stay healthy and energized along the way.
- Before each meal or snack, ask yourself “Am I hungry?” If you’re not, don’t eat—instead pop a sugar-free breath mint or piece of gum, or a breath strip in your mouth and resolve to not eat until true hunger (not starvation) strikes.
- Make sure to sit down—preferably at a table—whenever you have a meal or snack. At home, designate one table (whether it’s in your kitchen, dining room or living room) as the eating table; avoid eating at your desk, on a sofa, or in your bed. This will help you avoid mindless noshing (not to mention having crumbs—and the bugs they attract—everywhere).
- When you eat, make sure to turn off all the noise—that includes the tv, music, your phone or blackberry, and other electronic media devices. Minimizing distractions can help you pay more attention to what and how much you’re eating that in turn can help you feel more satisfied. It’ll also help minimize the risk of overeating that often results from not focusing on your food.
- Limit liquid calories. So many of us overdose on liquid calories each and every day—and not necessarily the most healthful ones (think sugary soda and alcohol). About 20% of our total daily calories come from liquids, which are much less filling than calories from solid foods. When it comes to beverages, stick to proper portions (whether you have them with a meal or snack, or in between eating occasions). Make it a general rule to limit yourself to one cup (about 8 ounces) of any caloric beverage that’s not skim or 1% milk or 100% fruit juice. Water is always a great calorie-free hydrator; for a little more kick, try seltzer mixed with ¼ to ½ cup of 100% fruit juice, or even a diet soda or iced tea, sweetened with a no- or low-calorie sweetener to stay satisfied with relatively few calories. If you have liquor, have only one glass of wine (about 5 ounces), a bottle of beer (about 12 ounces—preferably a light one) or one small mixed drink (like a 6 oz cosmo or a 3 oz martini).
Please try this diet, and let us know how you do. Give it a week or two—or the entire summer—and it’ll surely become a way of life and help you get and stay more healthy and nutritionally fit.Elisa Zied, MS, RD, CDN is a NYC-based registered dietitian and just finished an incredible six year term as a national media spokesperson for the esteemed American Dietetic Association. She is a current contributor to MSNBC.com and Galtime.com, and has written for Parents, Woman’s Day, Redbook, Seventeen, and Weight Watchers magazines. She is the author of three highly acclaimed books: Nutrition At Your Fingertips (Alpha, 2009), Feed Your Family Right! (Wiley, 2007), and So What Can I Eat?! (Wiley, 2006)—all available on amazon.com or wherever books are sold. You can visit her at www.elisazied.com, or watch her videos on You Tube http://www.youtube.com/user/ELISAZIED.
Please note: The information provided here is for educational purposes only. It is not a substitute for the advice or treatment given by your doctor or dietitian. Please consult with a registered dietitian or your doctor if you have any questions about the information in this post.