Posts Tagged ‘Habit Changes’

The Best Diet is the One You’ll Stick With

Friday, April 10th, 2015

“For any given person, it’s really a matter of what can they stick with,” says Michael Jensen of the Mayo Clinic, summarizing an extensive review of long-term weight loss studies. In other words, whether a person loses with low-carb, Paleo, Mediterranean, or some other diet, what matters most is not the diet type, but whether or not that person’s still on track beyond the six-month point. Staying on track for a year or two, and then forever, is what promises the best and most lasting results for improved weight and health. This bottom line seems to emerge whenever diets are compared over longer periods: there are no magic bullets, and the best diet is the one you’ll stick with.

What will you stick with, though? That question itself can be hard to answer. Depending on the search terms you use, you can find over 69,000 diet books on (that’s for “Health, Fitness and Diet”). And the site promises, in addition, over 5,000 new releases within the next ninety days. How do you possibly know which regime will suit you, which advice will help?

The Best Diet

When I think of “the best diet is the one you’ll stick with”, I envision a two-part project.   Each part deserves thought, and usually also time for learning and trial-and-error. First, the question of what will indeed suit you needs answering. Many people, I find, know pretty much what this is. Melanie, for example, absolutely knows she feels best, loses weight, and cuts cravings when she eats a very low carbohydrate diet.   Jacqueline, however, hates eating all that meat and prefers a more vegetarian routine. She finds that avoiding sugar is the key for her to stay on track. Mark always does best when he puts the limits on eating out and focuses on simply eating a little less at each meal—portion control. Once he does that, the rest seems to fall in place. (more…)


Beyond Weight Loss: Lots of Reasons to Move!

Friday, May 24th, 2013

Here are facts, some we’ve known for a long time, others from recent research.  Sometimes it”s easier to get going without the “I”ve got to lose weight mentality….”  Exercise for your health and well-being, period, no matter what”s going on weight-wise.  Focusing on these other positives can make the experience more satisfying.  Print the chart and post in on your refrigerator! (more…)



Thursday, December 10th, 2009

For many of us, going to work means structure and routine and therefore easier sane eating. However, this is often not true in the month of December—when it can seem like everyone feels obliged to bring cookies, candy, their famous holiday torte, their gift tins of chocolate and sugared nuts. Then there’s also the holiday lunch buffet, and maybe the after-hours office party, too.

Some of this is fun, but some of it indeed feels obligatory. And the hard-to-resist food really adds up. While an occasional treat is fine, daily platefuls can throw eating and weight off track for weeks or even months to come. I know that many do worry about all those cookies, and try to resist, but not always successfully.

To minimize the pull of those treats, talk to coworkers who you know share your healthy eating goals, or a desire to keep weight off. Maybe you can create some solutions together. Maybe you can suggest limits on how much or how many days a week treats come to work. Maybe you can ask people to keep their goodies at home, or at least out of common view. Or maybe you can simply support each other in keeping to your own limits.

Here are some other ideas: (more…)


VEGETABLES: More and More and More!

Friday, December 4th, 2009

The number keeps rising! I remember 4-5 a day, then 5-8, and now it’s 11. That’s the currently recommended number of daily fruit and vegetable servings.

This new recommendation comes from the most recent OmniHealth study, which follows various diets (higher-protein, higher-carb, higher-healthy fat) for blood pressure and cholesterol improvements. (For a full description, see Nutrition Action, October, 2009,

Even if you’re not hypertensive or pre-hypertensive, you’ll keep hearing “more vegetables” as the way to better health and weight. How do you get even 8? Well, keep in mind that a “serving” is usually only ½ cup. The Nutrition Action article suggests a 4-cup salad for lunch and a 4-cup stir-fry for dinner as one possibility. It also raises the idea of “vegetables as the new main dish.” I like this idea, though I realize that for many, it’s a big jump. Families with kids may find this particularly hard.

If you do think of “vegetables as the main dish”, recipes like ratatouille, curries, stir-fries, soups and stews work well. So do simple “gratins”—casseroles with vegetables topped with cheese and baked. For really fast meals, try steamed vegetables topped with cheese shreds or sesame seeds as protein. Or, put them in tortillas with beans and salsa. Mark Bittman, a New York Times food columnist, wrote about making pasta with sauces as the main attraction—in other words, a hearty, stew-like sauce with just a little pasta beneath. These can work nicely as vegetables-as-entrée vehicles. Look for his recipes in

Another potential solution to the “How can I get 11?” question: How about an added vegetable serving at each meal? That’s three extras right there. Add a fruit snack or two, and you’re up to five additional. In the summer, at least here in the Northeast, this is easy. Nice produce, gardens, and farmers markets supply us cheaply and well. As the weather gets colder, there’s apples and squashes and potatoes. Winter presents more of a challenge….but the important thing is to start where you can, and find ways to enjoy eating and cooking more veggies. Making some move in this direction makes sense for the new year ahead.