Finally! After a long, cold winter here in the Triangle, the upcoming Memorial Day weekend signals the promise of sparkling blue swimming pools, mild beach weather and the beginning of a summer full of outdoor fun. Some of us have been walking, faithfully going to the gym and paying more attention to our food intake after months of holiday fare and cold weather comfort foods. A hearty congratulations to those of you who have been firm in your resolve. But if you are among the majority of us who are finding the prospect of getting into a swimsuit a bit daunting, there are a myriad of healthy, structured diet programs that are easy to follow. If a specific diet isn’t for you, a few changes in some food choices and preparation methods can help you achieve marked results. Either way, it isn’t as difficult as you think to slim down, stay healthy and look terrific, while satisfying your appetite and endulging in a few sinfully delicious treats along the way. As always, check with your doctor before embarking on any weight loss program.
The Grandfather of all programs, with global weight loss successes for many years, is Weight Watchers. Weight Watchers is not a diet program. It is a proven educational program, with the emphasis on good eating habits and portion control. It offers a wonderful and cost effective support system of weekly meetings all over our area, where you can make new friends with the same shared goals. If meetings aren’t your cup of tea, Weight Watchers offers the same program and ongoing support online. Take some time and peruse their website to see if what they have available makes the most sense for both your goals and your lifestyle.
Another popular, ongoing choice for both weight loss and good health is the Mediterranean Diet. With a strong emphasis on the consumption of healthy fats, fruits and vegetables, the Mayo Clinic has a lot of good things to say about this way of eating, particularly as to it’s heart health benefits. The above diet link has free registration and will provide you with verified weight loss and health information, recipes, a complete explanation of the Mediterranean Diet’s food pyramid and ongoing updates via email.
The Atkins Program has been both touted and put down over the years, but for many people it has been extremely successful. The Atkins Diet’s emphasis is on carbohydrate control. A high protein diet is it’s mainstay and has different stages with different food pairings for optimal weight loss. This plan has been modified and vastly improved over the years and they have made even strict vegan diets Atkins friendly. Their website is extensive and very informative. They also have a large variety of Atkins products available online, if you aren’t able to find a good selection in your local market. Atkins protein shakes are a favorite in our house, providing great taste, one gram of sugar and plenty of protein to get the day started.
If you just want to change a few things about how you eat, the following few tips can improve your health, diminish heart disease and diabetes risk factors, improve your spirits and help slim your waistline. Are you reaching for a diet soda? Don’t! Reach for a bottled water instead. The consumption of diet soda has been linked to early onset osteoporosis in young women. Choosing whole grains over processed foods will plump up your vitamin, mineral and fiber intake while your tastebuds rejoice and your waistline slims down. Instead of drowning your salad in heavy dressing, choose a tangy oil and vinegar dressing, instead. Lowering your intake of saturated fats can dramatically decrease your calorie intake while lowering your cholesterol. Have a gourmet yogurt and fresh fruit in place of that bowl of ice cream………Okay. Have your ice cream, but read the labels.There are plenty with reduced fat and sugar available. You can enjoy a healthy endulgence without giving up flavor. You don’t have to sacrifice anything to be healthy and gorgeous in your new bathing suit! Have a wonderful holiday weekend.