Post Date: Saturday, February 01, 2020
|This year, the theme of American Heart Month
2020 is "You're in Control."|
February is Heart Month, and with it, I hope
many people make a commitment to getting heart healthy. While January sees an uptick in gym
attendance, by the time February rolls around, dedication to working out
becomes challenging. Exercise is, of course, heart healthy and everyone should
make an effort to stay physically active. But, few people can lose weight with
exercise alone, and for weight loss, this dreaded phrase still rings true:
count your calories.
After a decade of devising many approaches to
help motivate clients it turns out that perhaps the simplest plan has been our
simple steps toward weight loss and a healthier heart:
1. Picture a plate as a peace sign (or Mercedes sign if you
prefer), with three equal sections. If you have trouble picturing thirds, then
I recommend buying a set of sectional plates for the house. They work for those
under the age of 10 as well, should you have picky eaters (also known as
children). Now, place a different food group or item in each section. However, the question can arise – Does
splitting a burger into thirds count? (It doesn’t.)
2. No seconds. It’s really that simple.
Mindful eating is an exciting method that is catching on, generally with people
who already are into a healthy lifestyle. I myself took a class in it. While it
is fun in the moment … it is very hard to teach others. However, if family and
friends are partaking in “seconds” while you are at the table … slowing down
your pace and enjoying your food is your only defense. “No seconds” breeds
3. Have three bites of anything yummy
and delicious. Whether you have a sweet tooth or it’s the savory items that
excite you, three bites is the limit. The first bite is because you want it.
Enjoy it. The second bite is an act of defiance. Revel in it. The third bite is
the last and should be savored the most. It is the last one because you respect
yourself and have a laudable goal that you will achieve. Some people have asked
whether we could stretch that out to five bites. A few thoughts. In five bites,
I could finish a large slice of pumpkin pie (and this is in fact a
diet). We don’t like calling it this, but in essence we are curbing calories.
So no. Three bites it is.
your plan for a healthy weight and a healthy heart
This plan may not work for everyone. For those
who can afford dieting systems with prepared foods, or are facile with
calorie-counting apps, those may be better. But for the average person, who
just wants to see some progress in his or her weight loss, this might be for
you. Some people hear this and think it will be easy, until they start. Others
are concerned that it seems too restrictive, but the process is actually easier
than they thought. Most people are able to stick with it long enough to see
some small gains (actually, losses), which is sometimes all the motivation you
need to dedicate yourself to the plan for a bit longer. Whatever your plan,
make it approachable, stick with it, and forgive yourself if you stray — but
get back on board quickly.
Happy Valentine’s Day to all, and here’s to a
healthy and well-moderated New Year 2020.