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Think Nourishment Instead of Deprivation to Lose Weight and Not Your Sanity

Some tips for sustainable weight loss.

"It's bizarre that the produce manager is more important to my children's health than the pediatrician." ~Meryl Streep

Are you one of the many who have resolved to lose weight this New Year?

I know that so many people intend to lose weight, eat differently and exercise more every New Year. In fact, many make this same resolution year after year. If I didn’t know this from my business, all I’d have to do is turn on my TV and watch the commercials that start in late December.

Have you seen the long commercial with Janet Jackson talking about one weight loss system or that very cool ad with a before Jennifer Hudson singing with an after Jennifer Hudson for another diet plan?

Losing weight and maintaining it is important; yet so many of us dread it because we think about it in terms of deprivation.

So what are you going to do? Will you eat fewer calories, fewer carbs, less fat?
Will you join one of the many weight loss programs and/or a gym? Will you go it alone, skip breakfast or have a just a salad for lunch? And then maybe a frozen “diet” meal for dinner because it feels easy?

I don’t know about you, to me that sounds terrible. It does not seem like a way to live even in the short term and definitely not a way of life.

So here is my suggestion. While this may sound inconsistent with weight loss, I am going to encourage you to eat. Yes, eat!!!

Eat real food. Eat high quality foods that include carbohydrates, protein and good fats. Don’t think about what you can’t or shouldn’t eat, don’t skip meals or under eat. Instead think about nourishing your body with lots of fresh and delicious food.

Here are some ideas that focus on nourishing you and your body rather than deprivation so that maintaining your weight can become a way of life rather than a yearly resolution:

  1. Eat Wholesome Food: Eat things that are as close to the way nature created them as possible with all of their edible parts. Avoid things that have been stripped of nutrition and processed with chemicals. The unrefined and minimally refined foods are typically found on the outer aisles of the market and are things like vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, fish, meat and eggs. The more you nourish your body, the more it will want to be nourished. This is how you will eventually get rid of cravings and will find it easy to make the healthy choices on a regular basis.

  2. Eat lots of fresh vegetables: From leafy greens to carrots and winter squash. These all taste delicious and will give your body tons of vitamins, minerals, fiber and are naturally lower in calories than most other foods. Make this a big part of your plate. If you’re looking for ways to prepare vegetables so that they taste great, you can find that here. If you add meat and/or fish consider smaller portions, almost like a condiment for the vegetables.

  3. Eat a good breakfast: Are you thinking about skipping breakfast to save calories? Not a good idea. A good breakfast will set the tone for your day. If this means waking up 10-15 minutes earlier; do it. Don’t grab a bar that you eat in the car or a low calorie cereal with skim milk. Eat a real meal that will keep you full and your blood sugar balanced. A combination of protein, carbohydrates and fat should accomplish this. If you need some quick suggestions you can see them here.

  4. Consider that a salad may not be your best lunch choice: Yes, of course, I LOVE salad. But don’t be tricked into thinking that a salad is your best lunch choice when you are trying to lose weight. Salads can come with lots of down falls. Depending upon where you get it, it can be full of unhealthy fats and unnecessary calories from the ingredients to the dressing. And the dressings are often full of artificial things and/or things that are in there to extend shelf life and are not good for you. I am a big fan of making your own dressing for a salad. Also, even a good salad can simply not be enough food for a meal. Just like breakfast, make sure you eat a lunch that will keep you full and your blood sugar balanced. You can see my idea of a good salad below and if you want to see me demonstrate a simple salad and dressing, you can see that here.

  5. Stock your pantry and refrigerator: Take time to set yourself up for success. Make sure that you have what you need in the house to make the meals that you will support your goals. I personally went out yesterday with a long list (mostly produce) of things that I wanted to help me get back on track after a lot of holiday eating and drinking. Not having what you need, when you need it will sabotage your success. So think about what you want, make a list and go to the store and buy it.

  6. Find an exercise routine that works for you: This is a big piece of the puzzle. Combined with wholesome eating, exercise will keep you feeling great and once you’re feeling great you will want to feel even better. I know this from personal experience too. Find something that is fun, that you look forward to doing and enjoy. See what’s around, try out new things and make it your “you time”.

These are just some ideas to get you started and I don’t mean to over-simplify how challenging weight loss and maintenance can be.Once you begin to feel great, it will be easier to stay on track. Imagine feeling really good about your food choices, making them easily and feeling great in your body. Do you want help getting started? visit www.TheConsciousPlate.com

Kitchen Salad with Seared Tuna

I call this a kitchen salad because I made it one day from food that I had on hand in my kitchen. Feel free to vary the ingredients using what you like and what you have available. The remarkable thing to me is that this salad tasted great, had a variety of textures and flavors, was very healthy and took under 10 minutes to make.

Use the amounts you like of each ingredient

  • Wild arugula
  • Roasted Beets, diced medium (I bought these already steamed and vacuum packed)
  • Avocado, diced medium
  • Pine nuts
  • Sushi Grade Tuna, about 1 ½- 2 inches thick
  • Sea Salt
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Balsamic Vinegar

Heat a heavy metal sauté pan over high heat (do not use a non-stick pan). While the pan is heating, assemble the 1st four ingredients in a bowl. Season the tuna freely with salt and pepper. When the pan is hot, add a small amount of extra virgin olive oil to it. Wait about 30 seconds and add the tuna. When the tuna begins to change color on the bottom, turn it over with a pair of tongs. Wait until that side turns color (at this point you’ll see a line of pink in the middle). Place each remaining side down on the pan quickly and remove the tuna from the pan to rest for a few minutes.

Slice the tuna against the grain and add it to the salad. Toss with extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.

Tip: When dressing a salad, you will typically use 3x as much oil as acid (vinegar or citrus). Play around with this and see what works for you.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Alice January 12, 2012 at 10:49 PM
Another great way to maintain fitness, mental health, and lose weight is to participate in square dancing. It is great fitness without going to the gym, great for couples to have a shared activity, and empty nesters once their kids go off to college. On 1/17 at 7:30 pm the Caldwell Cross Trail Squares square dance club will have a free barn dance at Grover Cleveland Middle School to introduce anyone who is interested in this activity to square dancing. This is open to residents of any town. A series of square dance lessons will take place for 12 weeks on Tuesday nights from 7:30-9 at Grover Cleveland Middle School. Cost is only $36 for all 12 weeks. Afterwards, you can square dance in Caldwell twice a month or at any of the 18 clubs in northern NJ or throughout the world. For info: check their website at www.crosstrailsquares.org or on Facebook. You may also call 973-618-9025.
Sandie January 13, 2012 at 12:34 AM
Yes......Square dancing is wonderful exercise and a fun social experience for people of all ages. As a mother of a young child, it is an opportunity for me to have a healthy and much needed break every Tuesday evening. Knowing that I have that terrific break to look forward to has kept me sane!!! I began square dancing 4 years ago with a girl friend (a Ladies Night Out), and from the moment I began I loved how energized it made me feel and how happy I felt while dancing. After a year my husband decided he wanted in on the fun! So now we have a terrific shared activity that has brought us closer together as a couple. Whether you go alone as a single, with a friend, or with your spouse, you will feel so very welcomed! The group is wonderful and the lessons are broken down simply so that you will feel successful from the very first lesson!! I urge you to try square dancing. You will be so glad you did!!!
Randy Rabney January 14, 2012 at 09:58 PM
Thanks for writing about this, It's so important to have an activity that you love and look forward to doing.
Alice January 15, 2012 at 03:43 PM
Square dancing and that there are active square dance clubs throughout NJ, the US, and even in Europe and Asia, is a very well-kept secret. Most people are amazed when you tell them you are an active square dancer and reply, Oh, yes, I remember having fun doing that in HS. It is a fun and great way to get exercise without realizing it. There are square dancers who dance well into their 80s and maintain not only their agility, but also their mental ability, much better than the average population. The Open House at GCMS this Tuesday at 7:30 is a great opportunity for everyone to come and check it out. Most go on to take the classes and make it either their own or a couple's joint hobby. All are welcome to this free intro.

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