Tuesday, June 4, 2013

"What's Up Doc?"

Want to lose weight and MAINTAIN it? Eat your vegetables! There is no way around it.  You don't like vegetables? Ask yourself this, "which don't I like more, vegetables or being overweight?"

I know it sounds cliche' but to lose and maintain you must MUST eat vegetables.  If you don't want to, then don't bother - you won't be successful long term.  This may sound harsh but I am being realistic and I prefer to manage people's expectations.

I break down my clients into three categories.  Those who eat a lot of vegetables and won't have to struggle with this behavior, those that eat vegetables but not enough and those that claim not to like them and are very resistant in making them an integral part of their diet. 

The last two, especially those that are resistant will not maintain their weight loss if they don't become committed to making this behavior change.  Here's why. Vegetables are full of fiber and low in calories so you can eat them in large quantities and feel full. Vegetables also replace the foods you are trying to eat less of.  For instance, many people are trying to cut down their starch intake (rice, pasta, potatoes).  The food on the plate shouldn't look smaller, just redistributed differently.  Vegetables are key in making that happen.  Because of the low calorie, low carbohydrate content, vegetables are an anytime food.  What I mean is, they are free.  At 25 calories per cup of raw vegetables and only 5 grams of carbohydrate plus no added ingredients, they help keep blood sugar stable.

When I have the resistant client who says they don't have time to prepare the vegetables or even worse the one who interprets this recommendation as a form of torture, I lay it on the line for them.  Want to lose weight and maintain it? Eat the vegetables that you do like and think about some that you would be willing to try.  Make sure to have them available.  It's not that difficult.  They come washed and cut into all pretty shapes and sizes at the supermarket already. 

I know that vegetables won't replace the chip or cookie craving.  That's because there is no added sugar or salt in vegetables.  If you are having cravings it is likely because your body is responding to the added ingredients in the foods you are eating.

Now that I'm on the topic of vegetables it's the perfect time to broach the subject of carrots.  I can't count how many times I have heard clients tell me they avoid carrots because of the sugar content yet they have no problem buying diet ice cream which is loaded with added carbohydrates.

Here's what I say about carrots.  "Did anyone ever gain weight eating carrots?" "Out of all things that can deter you from being successful, do you think eating carrots is one of them?"

Word to the wise.  Stop listening to what "THEY" say and start using your common sense.

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