In the 1990’s we were a fat phobic society. Happily eating fat free muffins, fat free ice cream, fat free cheeses and not giving a second thought to the fact that these items were chock full of sugar, calories and preservatives. Then came along the Atkins generation and all of a sudden we were scared to death to put any carbs into our mouths. Instead, without an ounce of guilt we feasted on fatty meats and cheeses, glad to see a dip on the scale but not realizing what these foods were doing to our cholesterol and arteries, let alone fueling our brains inappropriately.
I see it everyday. People come to me for nutritional counseling, confused as to how they should lose weight, maintain their weight or how to eat a healthy diet. And you know what? I don’t blame them for being confused! There is a lot of information floating out there, and a lot of it is misinformation.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be so complicated. However, I will tell you this; to successfully lose weight and maintain, it’s not about going on one of these fad diets you read about, or doing a cleanse that everybody at work is talking about. Yes, the end result may be that you lose weight, but you will not maintain it. The only way to do so is by making a lifestyle change, one that is permanent with lasting benefits. Drinking spinach juice with a touch of wheatgrass is not a realistic meal plan for the rest of your life, nor would you want it to be! Where is the pleasure in that?
A basic principle of weight loss and maintenance is that the majority of your calories should come from lean protein. This includes all animal protein like chicken, fish, beef, eggs, meat and soy protein as well. Your carbohydrates should be coming mostly from vegetables and a small amount of fruit. It’s important not to cut out fats all together- healthy ones found in foods like olive oil, egg yolk, nuts, avocado and omega-3 are actually good for you and weight loss.
Foods that are the main source of weight gain are bread, pasta, cereals, corn products and rice. White bread/pasta or whole-wheat bread/pasta are pretty much nutritionally identical; the same goes for white and brown rice. The only difference is that whole wheat bread and brown rice are less processed, and won’t cause your blood sugar to spike and crash as dramatically. These are foods that are often referred to as “simple sugars” or “simple carbohydrates”.
Losing weight doesn’t have to be about starving yourself (and most certainly shouldn’t be), but rather, learning how to make better choices. It takes effort to make those lifestyle changes but you’re worth it!
|Lana Levy is a nutritionist specializing in taking a holistic approach towards healthy eating, not only to help her clients achieve their goals, but also help them maintain a healthy lifestyle. Lana has also incorporated her passion for yoga into her services for her clients, as a way to stay fit, and create a balance between the body and the mind.Lana received her degree from Columbia University, where she completed her Masters in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology. In 2010, Ms. Levy became a Registered Yoga Teacher through an intensive training with YogaWorks here in New York City. In 2011 she completed a Prenatal Yoga Certification.With a background in nutrition and yoga, Lana works with her clients to create customized nutrition plans and yoga sequences that are specifically tailored to their needs. Whether the goal is weight loss, healthy weight gain, energy improvement, pre and post natal health, relief from various gastrointestinal ailments, Just For Today can provide you with tools to make a change for life!|
I know how important it is for both my skin and body to stay hydrated during the summer, but I don’t like the taste of plain water. Any tips on easy-to-drink beverages that won’t pack on the pounds?
It is certainly very important, especially in the summertime, to drink lots of water. I am not a huge fan of plain water as well, so I need to get creative to make sure I get the recommended daily amount (.5 oz multiplied by your body weight in pounds). Below are several options for refreshing, healthy, and great-tasting drinks that won’t increase your waistline!
My go-to drink is a cranberry and club soda. You can vary how sweet you want it by adjusting the amount of club soda (I like it with half of each). Try using Ocean Spray Light Cran-Rasberry Juice, which is lower in calories and tastes delicious. Cranberry juice is known to have various health benefits – it can help prevent cancer, cardiovascular disease, and urinary tract infections.
A new favorite of mine is Skinny Water. The Raspberry Pomegranate Crave Control flavor is zero calories and contains electrolytes and Super CitriMax, which is known to curb your appetite. It reminds me of the days when my mom used to make raspberry Jell-O in the liquid form… only this is cold and tastes better!
Vitamin Water has been very popular for a while now, however, I prefer the newer zero calorie version. Naturally sweetened and packed with antioxidants from acai berries, blueberries, and pomegranates, Vitamin Water Zero’s “XXX” is my favorite. It’s super refreshing and energizing with vitamins A, B, C, and electrolytes.
Coconut water is extremely hydrating and tastes delicious! It’s perfect to drink after a workout because it has more muscle-soothing potassium than a banana, plus electrolytes. I prefer it fresh from the coconut, but they can be difficult to find, and you need a machete to cut off the tops. An easier option is to drink ZICO Coconut Water. I always keep several bottles in my fridge – It’s 60 calories for one 14 fl oz bottle, and fat-free, too!
Tasty and full of antioxidants, Honest Tea’s Passion Fruit Green Tea with Maqui Berry is zero calories and naturally sweetened. This drink is sweeter than most of the other Honest Tea drinks, so it’s great if you have a sweet tooth.
My best-kept secret of all is SweetLeaf Liquid Stevia in Vanilla Crème flavor. Just add three-five drops of this all-natural sweetener to 12 oz of water. The concentrated drops are available in a variety of flavors, but my personal favorite is the vanilla. Try adding it to club soda and you will make yourself a healthy crème soda!