Healthy-ish eating makes a difference

Don't count on self-control

Are you a vegan yet? Wait, I think you need to stop eating vegetables and eat more fat. That's not right, you need to eat like they did in the Paleolithic area and don't forget to fast.  

If you visit the nutrition aisle of a library or bookstore (they still exist), there are countless diets from blood type to vegan, and the internet is littered with opposing views. Does anyone else find it odd that many online sources tell you to eat more protein to gain weight, and then suggest eating more protein to lose weight?  

If there was an easy way to lose weight, you would know about it. Most nutritionists (which I am not) suggest eating fewer calories than you burn to drop weight and doing the opposite to gain weight. That's essentially how apps like Weight Watchers (I think they go by WW now) work. I like WW and myfitnesspal, where you can enter your food and track activity level.  

My first step with clients trying to drop weight, is to log their meals. It's not revolutionary, but it's easy to list on your phone or a piece of paper what you're scarfing down. Most of my clients lose weight just from doing that, but if that doesn't work, you find trends.  

When I logged my food, I realized I snacked way too much. I was always eating, more out of habit then hunger! Now I try and have bigger meals and instead of hitting the candy bowl, I try and eat: 

  • Turkey jerky (I get mine at a butcher, it tastes great and doesn't have all the fillers) 

  • Pumpkin seeds with a piece of fruit  

  • Carrots and celery are cut on Sunday nights and brought with me to work 

  • Hummus and cucumbers 

  • Avocado toast (I'm not technically a millennial but I love this snack)  

  • Lightly salted almonds with a piece of dark chocolate 

  • Peanut butter ball (they take me 10 minutes to make: 12-ounce jar of peanut butter, ¼ cup of honey, teaspoon of chia seeds, ½ cup of oats, cinnamon, and ½ cup dark chocolate chips) 

  • Greek yogurt, frozen berries, and granola 

  • Hardboiled eggs 

The hardest part of my diet is avoiding sweets. I love a good cookie, or something with peanut butter and chocolate, or almonds and chocolate. Did I mention cookies? I will never recommend cutting sweets or anything for the matter but try and eat less of the sugary treats. Cut one soda out of your week, order the mac cheese with a salad and eat half, or split the treat with your friend.  

My last suggestion: Don't count on self-control. A warm cookie, or just about any cookie is difficult to pass up. Limit what you buy, don't keep ice cream in the house, or put it in the freezer in your basement or garage.  Your office does not have to be the candy office; people will still stop by. Stock up on healthy food, and that's what you'll eat. I've never done a clinical trial but if your office has an apple and a scone in it-the scone will probably disappear first. In summary, shop smart, log your food, and save treats for special occasions.   

Ron Krit is senior director of the Legacies and Endowments department of the Jewish United Fund and a Wellness Consultant. 

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