Avoid short term diets. They don't change the behaviors that made us overweight in the first place.
There are so many fad diets on the market, it is easy to get confused. Many people give up on learning how to eat properly so they resort to diets that have you living off of shakes, or 500 calories a day with a hormonal supplement, or even the cabbage soup diet. All of these are short term diets. They don’t change the behaviors that made us overweight in the first place.
Remember, I am not writing this to tell you about the perfect diet, I am sharing with you the real life strategies that worked in my home to get our family losing weight and living a healthier lifestyle. The tips I share with you are simple changes that you can make, too.
Many medical conditions play a role in what some people may or may not be able to eat. So the following information is for persons with no dietary restrictions.
There are three things to keep in mind when grocery shopping for weight loss or to live a healthier lifestyle. Read the nutrition label, shop the outside perimeter of the store and stay away from anything “white” for the most part.
Read the Nutrition Label
By reading the nutrition labels on everything you buy, you will be better informed to make healthier decisions about what you are feeding your family.
Let’s start with milk. Compare the labels between dairy milk and an almond milk and you will easily choose to give almond milk a try. We switched to almond milk in our house nearly two years ago. Sure, it will take some getting used to, so start using it in smoothies, or in your coffee. In no time at all, you too, will have made the switch to a healthier alternative.
Prepared meals look like an easy alternative for lunches and dinners on a busy day. Brands like “Healthy Choice” or “Lean Cuisine” tempt you into a quick and easy meal, right? Wrong! These prepared foods are loaded with preservatives and sodium. Read the labels and make wise decisions.
Shop the Outside Aisles of the Grocery Store
When you shop the outside aisles of the grocery store first, you are filling your cart with fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, almond milk, eggs and the like. Man (and woman) has been living off of Mother Earth since our initial existence. Prepared foods are more of a modern invention.
Try to stay away from foods that have been altered from their natural state. When a packaged product will stay fresh for months, what has been added to it? They add ingredients that will prolong the shelf life, but these products have barely been around long enough to test what they are doing to our life! Generally speaking, the fewer the number of ingredients, the better.
Fresh fruits and fresh vegetables are a better option than canned or frozen. Nuts are a better snack than a bag of processed potato chips. If you notice how grocery stores are designed, generally, the fresher foods are found on the perimeter of the store.
Stay Away From White Foods
Think about the color “white” as one of the food groups. It includes sugar, dairy, bleached flours, fat, rice, oats, and even white vegetables like potatoes. For the most part, to make them white, many are altered from their natural state. Potatoes make the list because they are high in starch, like corn, but that is too much detail to worry about this early in the lifestyle change.
Keep it simple and think twice before buying white. Choose multi-grain bread over a loaf of white sandwich bread. Choose a sweet potato over a white potato. If you like rice, choose wild grain or brown rice over white rice.
By staying away from “white” you will choose leaner meats. Those “white” veins in beef that people refer to as “marbling”… well, that is really fat. Use virgin olive oil instead of vegetable oil.
Sugar is white, enough said.
By changing the way you shop for food to fuel your body, you will make better choices. Remember to read the nutrition label, shop the outside aisles of the store first and avoid most foods that are white and you will start feeling healthier and losing weight without even thinking about the word, “diet”… besides, do you really want to participate in anything that starts with the letters D-I-E?