April 19th, 2018

From Our Table: Keep the ‘keys’ to weight loss success

By Medicine Hat News on January 3, 2017.

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and wonderful New Year’s celebrations.

With a brand new year come many New Year’s resolutions. The most popular by far usually involve improving your health. Quitting smoking, exercising more and the ever popular losing weight. With so many weight loss programs around and fad diets and pills and specialized food quite frankly it is not hard to lose weight. Didn’t expect me to say that, did you?

No it’s not the losing weight that is the biggest issue it’s keeping the weight off — permanently. Most of the diet plans around, with the exception of Weight Watchers, do not provide realistic amounts to eat. This means the changes you make to your eating patterns will not be possible long term. So you will initially lose the weight but eventually you will gain it all back and likely even more.

Here are some suggested “keys” to not just losing the weight but to keep it off permanently.

K – Keep it simple. Don’t try to make every change all at one time. Set a goal each week with one or two things in mind. For example week one may be switching to a higher fibre lower sugar cereal and switching from cream to milk in your coffee. You may need to make the change even more gradual in order to adapt like using three-quarters cream and one-quarter milk for a couple days then gradually increasing the milk and decreasing the cream.

E – Exercise. I believe wholeheartedly that exercise is one of the main keys to weight loss and overall good health. I heard that groan. Just like finding healthy food you love to eat you just have to find a way to exercise that you love. It’s not about torturing yourself. It should be about fun and enjoyment. For example I am very social so classes work best for me. Better yet I work out with friends so there is the social aspect as well as accountability. If I had to run, alone, for exercise there is no way I would be able to do it regularly. Again, keep it simple. Keep your goals small, achievable and realistic. As Nike so aptly says, “Just Do It!”

Y – Yes to lots and lots of vegetables. Veggies provide so many amazing nutrients to our body yet the majority of people are not getting enough. Try to include veggies in at least two meals and one snack every day. Focus on the ones you love cooked or raw, fresh or frozen. Delicious!

S – So great to be you! I read a great saying — “Be you, everyone else is taken.” I strongly believe that the starting point for successful healthy lifestyle changes starts with loving yourself. You are amazing and unique and are worth every second of looking after yourself.

A delicious way to eat more veggies is to whip up a scrumptious stir fry meal. Here is a super fast recipe that anyone 10 and over in the family can make in just a few minutes. You could even top it off with leftover turkey strips from Christmas. A total time saver.

Hope 2017 is a year full of treasured times!

Joanne Smith is a registered dietitian.

Stir Fry Stat!

4 cups frozen mixed oriental vegetables

1/4 cup chicken bouillon or beef if using beef for meat

1-2 cloves garlic crushed

1/2 cup apple juice

1 Tbsp cornstarch

3 Tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp fresh ginger

Pepper to taste

2-3 cups cooked chicken, turkey or beef strips

Heat chicken or beef bouillon and crushed garlic in a stir fry pan. Add mixed vegetables. Dissolve cornstarch in apple juice and add to veggies. Add soy sauce and ginger. Stir fry until veggies are heated throughout but still tender crisp. Add more cornstarch dissolved in a bit of water to thicken if needed. Top with hot cooked meat of choice. Great way to use leftover steak or chicken or turkey.

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