One of the best books I have read and one that has helped me the most is The Mayo Clinic Diet. I still have about 40 lbs. to lose in order to be at a healthy weight. It is a simple way of life to adopt. First, you add 5 habits. Then you break 5 habits.
THE 5 HABITS TO ADD
1. Eat a healthy breakfast but not too much. You don’t need to eat a lot but people who eat breakfast manage their weight better than people who don’t eat breakfast. Eating breakfast improves performance at school and work and it helps prevent you from becoming overly hungry later in the day.
2. Eat vegetables and fruits(4 or more servings of vegetables a day and 3 or more servings of fruit a day).
3. Eat whole grains. They include the entire grain kernel, they are packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber, and they fill you up and reduce your risk of being overweight.
4. Eat healthy fats. Make healthy choices because all fats have the same amount of calories.
5. Move, walk, or exercise for 30 minutes or more everyday. Physical exercise has many health benefits.
Adding the 5 habits above is easy for me, but breaking the following 5 habits is very difficult.
THE 5 HABITS TO BREAK
1. No TV while eating and only as much TV time as you spend exercising. This also applies for computer time. I have a difficult time with this one because it is only my husband and I so we eat in the living room with the TV on. Plus, I spend more minutes watching TV in the evening than the amount of time I spend walking during the day. I am going to focus on limiting the amount of time I spend watching TV. I can always pop in a Richard Simmons’ “Sweatin’ To The Oldies” DVD and dance instead.
2. No sugar(only that which is found naturally in fruit). Sugar has calories but no nutritional value.
3. No snacks except vegetables and fruits. This one is also difficult for me because my husband doesn’t have to watch his weight so there are snacks in the house for him. Very, very tempting and no one will notice if I eat just one cookie(who can only eat just one?)
4. Eat moderate amounts of meat and low-fat dairy. Watch the labels on low-fat and no fat items. They often add things in to make them taste good.
5. No eating at restaurants unless you choose foods and beverages that fit the habits.
If adding the 5 habits and breaking the 5 habits is too overwhelming, work on one at a time. It usually takes about 21 days to make or break a habit.