Strange advice? Well, I mean it. Life is busy, busy, busy, and if you try to do your weekday cooking on top of everything else, you'll find yourself making reservations at every joint in town.
To take stress out of your life (and calories out of your diet), get in the habit of preparing batch meals ahead of time, preferably on weekends, when you're not as rushed and tired as you are during the week.
This concept is so important that I've added an extra section of recipes for batch cooking in my book, "Diet Simple," and more in "Diet Simple Farm to Table: 50 New Reasons to Cook in Season!"
The idea is to prepare quick and easy dinners ahead of time so that you always have something in the freezer or refrigerator that's ready to go on a moment's notice.
Let's say I'm going to make "Veal Stew with Carrots La Boutard" as my main course batch meal and, taking advantage of this seasons most delectable vegetable, my "Chilled Asparagus in a Creamy Tarragon, Shallot and Toasted Walnut Vinaigrette" as my batch side dish. I'll keep enough in the refrigerator for Sunday and Tuesday night dinners; the rest goes in the freezer for dinners on Thursday and Saturday nights.
Other nights I might have rotisserie chicken from a local supermarket, burritos or pizza - meals that I can whip up in a hurry. Since I do most of the shopping and cooking on weekends, I spend hardly any time on food preparation during the week. That makes life easy!
Let's say you eat out one night during the week, but the other nights you have these delicious and nutritious meals at home. You could save at least 400 calories per meal - and that's 36 pounds in one year!
Excerpted from "Diet Simple: 195 Mental Tricks, Substitutions, Habits & Inspirations" (LifeLine Press) by Katherine Tallmadge. Recipe excerpted from "Diet Simple Farm to Table Recipes: 50 New Reasons to Cook in Season!" also by Katherine Tallmadge.
Follow me in The Georgetown Dish every Monday with proven strategies to lose weight, improve your health or just increase your knowledge about nutrition. Through spring, we'll be losing weight together, so you'll be ready for the warmer days to come!
Connie came to me very depressed. She had two little ones at home and although she loved them dearly, she felt trapped and miserable.
I felt terrible for her. Here was such a vibrant woman reduced to living a depressed life of eating and sleeping. We devised a very simple action plan I hoped would start her on her way to a happier way of living - with weight loss naturally to follow.
We decided that no matter what, she would get outside every single day. She would bundle herself and her children up and take a long walk with the stroller, see some sights or visit some friends - on foot.
Two weeks later, she was like a new woman. She was vibrant, happy, excited - the old Connie I knew. Within three months (with additional eating advise and coaching), she lost the 20 pounds that were plaguing her.
I learned a lot with that experience and have given similar advice to other moms. I believe spending time outdoors in the fresh air saved Connie from being depressed and unhappy and from eating her way to oblivion.
We all need a certain amount of sunlight and exercise to reduce depression and anxiety. Take time to smell the roses and go play outside! Getting outdoors to walk or move in any way will burn at least 100 calories in 15 minutes. Accumulate one hour a day and lose 40 pounds in one year (with all else being equal).
If getting out helps you focus less on eating for entertainment and you save 100 calories a day, you'll lose another ten.
Excerpted from "Diet Simple: 195 Mental Tricks, Substitutions, Habits & Inspirations" by Katherine Tallmadge (LifeLine Press)
Socrates told us that the road to wisdom is to know yourself. This is never more true than with your eating habits. Today is Katherine's Diet Tip #3 for your spring awakening and pound shedding. Follow me in The Georgetown Dish every Monday with proven strategies to lose weight, improve your health or just increase your knowledge about nutrition. Through spring, we'll be losing weight together, so you'll be ready for the warmer days to come!
The food diary is the main tool for self-examination of your eating habits. It is important that you begin observing objectively what you eat and the way you eat, for this is the cornerstone of your weight loss success: your own observations.
Keeping a food record plays three important roles:
First, if it is kept at the time of eating or within 15 minutes, it can change your behavior as the behavior occurs - and without your even realizing it or trying to change. After a stressful day at the office, Scott came home to eat dinner alone (everyone had turned in for the night) and then started watching TV on his living room couch. As soon as the TV went on, he reached for his children's snacks in the kitchen pantry, and began munching to relax. This evening routine was happening so automatically that he didn't realize just how much he was eating - when he was not even hungry - until he started writing it down.
The second function of the food diary is simply learning. At the end of each day, week or month, you can look back and analyze for yourself what style of eating worked for you.
The third function of the food diary is to help you individualize your weight loss program. This is critical to your long term success because nothing can last unless it is enjoyable and works into your lifestyle.
If keeping the diary enhances your attentiveness and helps you eat less here or there or even think twice about bringing food to your couch, you could easily save 300 calories per day (which computes to about 30 pounds in one year). And that, folks, can be the difference between losing or not losing.
Excerpted from "Diet Simple: 195 Mental Tricks, Substitutions, Habits & Inspirations," by Katherine Tallmadge (LifeLine Press)