Americans will try to lose weight this year and several will fail. This
failure frequently occurs because of the difficulties of changing one’s
lifestyle. Lifestyle changes can be a great boost to one’s self-esteem
and it can be a simple process as long as the change is incremental.
Changing your diet should also be a simple process as long as the
dieting process is not so strict that you will have difficulties
following through. Unless one is severely obese, strict diet and
implementing dramatic changes tend to have little lasting success. One
should focus on the concept of “being fit” instead of “being thin.”
Being fit means eating right with moderation, for example, not eating
excessive amounts of sweets or carbohydrates, exercising or engaging in
physical activities on a regular basis and having a happy and exuberant
mental attitude. These are qualities that are commonly associated
by-products of “being fit”. In this “zone”, one not only feels better,
but is likely to be less ill. “Being thin” can mean restricted eating,
over exercising, and constantly worrying about weight. In this “zone”,
one not only feels anxious, but one tends to get sick more frequently.
This is not a good model of well-being and should be avoided.
years, we have been asked by thousands of patients how to properly lose
weight. What we have realized is that each patient requires a different
approach to weight loss. The following ten steps offer a simple approach
to weight loss. Remember, your whole goal is not to look like the models
on TV. Most of them are in the weight zone that is anorexic and
Do not try to be perfect!
begins in our mind. We need to strive to feel good as opposed to
calculating inches. Feeling good means being able to have the
to accomplish things and perform activities without feeling over
Eat more vegetables!
All right, for
those veggie haters out there. You already know that veggies are very
good for you (according to your mother). They contain fiber, are
low-calorie and have enzymes that can help you digest that T-bone steak
from last night. What you may not know is that many veggies actually
contain ingredients that regulate hormone functions and have anti-aging
and anti-cancer effects. There various kinds of vegetables which means
you don’t have to settle with one kind. Try salads (make sure your
veggies are not swimming in a pool of dressing). Try cooking veggies in
with a wok and add a little low sodium soy sauce.
Watch that bread and pasta!
Most meals in
this country have bread and pasta. These are made from wheat. The U.S is
the number one producer of wheat and has helped to feed the world.
However, most of us in this country eat too many wheat products. You
know there are more to grains than wheat. Try rice, barley, couscous or
beans. While grains are very nutritious and an important part of our
diet, cutting down to a small amount and eating them moderately can be
helpful. Eating more grains during the day and less at the night can
also be helpful in how we digest them.
Smart eating out!
You know the
standard dinner at a typical restaurant. It begins with an appetizer,
then salad, an entrée, dessert, and coffee. We garble all these food
down with wine or cocktails. It is amazing to me that we don’t get
heartburn more often. Visualize what you are going to eat before you
begin. Order only what you are going to consume. Do not leave food on
the table you do not intend to eat. We tend to be food addicts and eat
everything in sight. Learn to say no.
Eat on time on a regular basis and do not
If you eat on
time and regularly, you won’t be famished and therefore you will have
less desire to overeat. Do not skip breakfast and lunch. If you do, this
is a sure recipe for a whale size dinner. Eat dinner between 6-8 pm and
not later. Our energy declines rapidly at night. At this time our
digestive system is not as strong and won’t digest the foods as well.
No time for exercise? Think again!
exercise program is ideal but not necessary. Instead of thinking
‘exercise’, we should be thinking ‘physical activity’. Some of us have
high levels of physical activity in our occupation in which counts
toward exercise. The problem comes when we have a sedentary job and sit
for long hours during the day. We need to utilize our break time, lunch
time, before and after work to invigorate ourselves. This might be to
intentionally park far away from work and walk to and from the office,
or take the stairs, or bike to work. Try to engage in more physical work
during the weekends such as gardening, walking, hiking, running, etc.
Better yet, set a regular time a few times during the week to go the
gym, take a class or hire a trainer. Just make sure to mark them down in
your organizer. An exercise buddy is also motivating.
Reduce or modify dairy product intake!
Some of the
most nutritious foods are dairy products. In our younger years, dairy
products are a good source of calcium used for our growth. As we grow
older, we need to be more conscious of how we consume dairy products.
Most dairy products are high in saturated fat, which is not very healthy
for our cardiovascular system when consumed in larger amounts. Opt for
the lower fat dairy products such as low-fat or non-fat milks, cheeses,
and yogurt. Be very judicious with butter. It exists in many of our
foods such as popcorn, restaurant entrées, fried and baked foods. Try to
have more steamed and sautéed foods instead of fried and baked foods.
Sugar! Sugar! Sugar!
When I picked
up a granola bar at the health food store, the label says it does not
contain sugar, but it is sweetened by fruit juice only. When I took a
bite I realized it was sweeter than the ones with sugar. Upon further
examination of the label, I was right. It is sweetened by concentrated
fruit juice and has more calories than the sugar kind. Do not fool
yourself into thinking that one kind of sugar is better than the other.
We simply have to be more conscious of what sweets we eat and keep them
to a minimal. Sugar is a simple carbohydrate and it is an essential part
of our food group. More complex carbohydrates such as grains are
healthier as opposed to simple carbohydrates such as sugar.
Use the right oil!
In many parts
of the world, lard (animal fats) and butter are the de facto standard
oil for cooking. No wonder heart diseases are consistently the number
one killers in the world. Fats are a good source for weight gain and
plaque creation in our delicate plumbing system. Better oils for cooking
are canola and olive oil. But regardless of what oil you decide to use
in your cooking, always remember to use it moderately.
You are a
unique individual and your proportions should be fitting to your own
size. Don’t expect yourself to become someone you will never become. It
is a sure thing to invite failure and put yourself in a victimized mode.
In this case, you would have an ample excuse to eat more and abuse
yourself more ¬ a great setup for failure.
If you need
help to begin this journey in losing weight and become healthier, please
talk to your Tao of Wellness practitioner. We can provide you with a
weight management program, guidance and supplements. The following are
SevenStar books, which are available at the Tao of Wellness. These books
are based on nutrition and healthy recipes: "Tao of Nutrition”, “101
Vegetarian Delights” and “Chinese Vegetarian Delights”. We also
recommend B-Slim tablets, formulated by Dr. Dao and Dr. Mao which are a
simple and safe product to assist you with weight loss. B-Slim tablets
contains Traditional Chinese herbs to promote excess water loss, improve
fat metabolism, moderate appetite, reduce bloating, detoxify and gently
cleansing intestines, control blood sugar and improve digestion.
importantly, learn to love and take care of yourself. By doing so you
will help maintain a healthy body, mind and lifestyle.