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Rosemary Nardone, CHHP, RM

Certified Nutritional Health Counselor

Fall is here and before you know it winter is  around the corner with  a lot of wonderful new social activities to look forward to  and holidays just around the corner.  It is natural for our bodies to crave richer heavier foods as cold weather approaches, but  it also presents the dilemma of keeping the swimsuit bodies we worked so hard to achieve.  Most of us find unwanted pounds accumulating after the holidays much to our frustration and then endless deprivation of dieting, counting calories  and over-exercising to take the weight off. 

As a Nutritional Health Counselor, I work with overweight people who have been successful atnot only  taking their  weight off but keeping it off regardless of seasonal changes, holidays and otherwise.  Most of us are not “naturally thin” and have to work at it.  I also work with “naturally thin” people who do not have this problem, so I decided to tap into both of these groups and find our their “secrets” and share them.

First and foremost we need to rethink how we look at how we eat.  We need to treat our diets as a bank account and balance our food choice intake as we balance our spending money.  Don’t eat too much of anything, balance starches with carbs and proteins, vegetables and fruits with sweets and always splurge with a “save.”  Make smart investments in healthful foods.

Secondly, check out of the “clean plate” club.  Remove the idea you are wasting food.  You are not a human garbage pail, share it, save it or leave it.  Don’t wear it!

Third , get real as in “Real Food.”  Choose as much unprocessed food as close to nature as possible.  Your body needs “real food” for metabolic processing.  A whole orange is better than orange juice with concentrated sugar.  Also, try to be as organic as possible, pesticides , hormones, clog up your liver and kidneys and create water retention, bloat and other harmful health issues down the line.  Buy local produce to keep the cost down.  Start your meals with salad or soup and, last but not least, if you must have your “junk processed food” only have a couple of bites.

Fourth, I notice “naturally thin” people taste everything but eat nothing.  Always eat a little bit of everything.  Eat little but well - portions count.

Fifth, pay attention.  Mindful eating is something I preach in my practice.  When you eat like there is no tomorrow your body doesn’t have a chance to register that it even had a meal.  It is important to “sit down” while eating a meal, looking at what you are eat and tasting the food.  Stop multitasking during mealtimes.  Treat meals as “sacred” and honor them and your body respectively.

Sixth, Downsize Now!  It is never to late to start doing this.  Make a deal with yourself that if you keep your portions “small” you can eat whatever you want.  This is not about measuring cups and spoons or being obsessive-compulsive, but using smaller plates, mini muffin tins when baking, small juice glasses and dessert wine glasses.  See what a difference these “small” changes make without feeling you are dieting.

Last but not least, stop wasting time comparing yourself with Heidi Klum or Cindy Crawford.  Know yourself,   some people need two meals a day, some five to feel satisfied.  Customize your own eating schedule based on how you feel comfortable rather than reading diet books by so-called authorities telling you how to eat and be thin.  Write down your own rules like “naturally thin” people do.  Listen to and trust  your body, it will always be your best “authority.”

Try these simple healthy changes - you will be glad you did. 

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