Raise your hand if you’ve consumed enough calories between Thanksgiving and Christmas to earn stock in Weight Watchers®. Good news is, you’re not alone. With the New Year comes things like eating black-eyed peas for good luck, and resolutions. Continuing to top the most popular resolutions list are things like, “Stop smoking,” and “Get fit.”
And “Lose weight.”
I have to admit that, despite worry about virtual daggers from the T2T readers, I’ve never been on a diet before and I’m happy with my weight. There are two things to thank for not feeling the need to ever count calories: 1) the genetics on both sides of my family, and 2) moderation. Though I do have genetics on my side
(don’t hate), the moderation part is truly what I believe keeps things in balance. Just ask my seven-years-ago-pregnant-self and the 45 pounds I slapped on after eating homemade gooey brownies and full-fat mint chocolate chip ice cream every night before bed (among many other unrelenting foodalicious cravings). Yep, I can totally gain weight if the food floodgates are open.
As we head in to January, I’ll be shifting my focus onto healthier eating with yummy recipes – not that we don’t appreciate a little pie and caloric gluttony now and again. I think we can all use a break.
Here are 5 easy steps to help move in that direction:
- Limit yourself to one reasonable plateful of food. You don’t have relegate yourself to eating on a salad plate, but let’s be sensible, shall we? Mounding food atop a platter is probably not a very good idea, as you might as well just have three servings of everything.
- Find a local farmers’ market or CSA program you can join. Even though it’s winter, you’d be surprised by the number of farmers’ markets running year round these days. Also, it’s the perfect time to start scoping out local farms that have a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program available. Produce is much easier to enjoy when it’s literally “farm to table,” and the quality far surpasses what you typically see in the local grocery store.
- Start with your protein, end with your carbs, and eat your veggies along the way. Those mashed potatoes are calling your name, and fine. Have some. But don’t gorge on the spuds first, instead start with your chicken and veggies. By eating protein first, you’ll fill up AND stay full longer.
- Stop buying [insert guilty pleasure food] and keeping it in your pantry if eating one always turns into 50 (or the whole bagful). Instead, only eat [insert guilty pleasure food] on occasion when you go out. Enough said.
- Cook at home more in lieu of takeout or eating out all the time. No one’s more busy than me – okay, maybe some are. I have a full-time job, plus separate freelance work, two kids, a husband who also works full-time and coaches high school varsity lacrosse in the spring (read: “lacrosse widow” from March through May) – I “get” busy. I also understand that grabbing pizza on the way home is just sometimes easier. But making that takeout more of an everyday occurence isn’t a good idea for anyone’s waistline or wallet. Learn to make simple things like a seared chicken breast – cooked properly, and you’ll have dinner on the table faster than Chinese delivery can make it to your door.
Today’s post wraps up our healthy food focus for January. Which means next week I can start posting all kinds of calorie dense recipes filled with lard and cupfuls of sugar. Okay, so maybe I’m being a little dramatic. But I do promise some yummy goodies...
About Liza Hawkins
With her down-to-earth approach to food, and a dash or two of snark, Liza enjoys eating, reading, cooking, dining and writing on a daily basis. By day, she's an insurance professional, by night she gracefully (or not sometimes) barrels through life keeping up with her blog (a)Musing Foodie, other freelance writing jobs, non-profit work, Twitter and Facebook, her kids, her husband, and whatever else happens to fill her plate. Read her blog here: www.amusingfoodie.com