Living Lite

7 Steps For Realistic, Achievable New Year's Resolutions: A Second Chance!

January 27, 2019

The new year is a valuable opportunity to improve the quality of your life and happiness... Lose weight, eat healthfully, exercise... But most of us make impossible new year's resolutions, and have given up by now. Does that describe you?

Exercise (Photo by: Exercise

Don't get me wrong. Resolutions are good. For instance, losing weight, eating more healthfully, being more physically active, are often essential life goals leading to increased energy, health and happiness.

But "losing weight" - or achieving any goal - means nothing without deciding on shrewd, small, concrete changes which can easily be incorporated into your daily routine. Look for approaches that complement, not dominate, your life.

Setting Goals, Keeping Goals
excerpted from "Diet Simple: 195 Mental Tricks, Substitutions, Habits & Inspirations" by Katherine Tallmadge

I can't stress enough that goals should be fun and liberating, not just another ball and chain that weighs you down and reminds you of your failures. (We all have them, believe me!)

Everyone's goals are different, of course. I don't presume to have a one-size-fits-all set of goals that works for everyone. Over the years, however, I have developed some goal-setting strategies that I think will make a real difference.

For success, your goals should be:

Realistic. Perfectionistic goals set you up for failure.

Small, behavioral steps. You can't set a goal of losing 2 pounds, but you can set a goal of doing the things that will cause you to lose 2 pounds. For instance, bringing a yogurt snack to work or adding delicious vegetable dishes to lunch and dinner.

Choose Realistic, Achievable Goals to Reach Your Potential (Photo by: Katherine Tallmadge) Choose Realistic, Achievable Goals to Reach Your Potential

Positive. Instead of stating what you won't do ("I've got to stop eating chips every night"), state what you will do ("I'll prepare a delicious fruit salad to snack on in the evenings").

Flexible. Setting a goal to "exercise every day" may not be possible because of unforeseen circumstances. But saying instead, "I will be physically active 5 out of 7 days," or "I will increase my daily pedometer steps by 2,000 this week," is certainly do-able.

Measurable. "I'll eat more fruits and vegetables," is a noble goal, but how will you know when you reach it? Give yourself specific criteria so you can reward yourself for a job well done. "I'll make a delicious vegetable batch recipe this weekend," or "I'll add a vegetable soup or salad to lunches this week."

Important to you. Your goal must come from your heart, not your spouse's or parent's.

In a supportive environment. Does your home and work environment make healthful behaviors easier or harder? Do you need to have healthful, tasty, ready-to-grab foods in your refrigerator? Do you need your spouse to participate more fully with your healthy lifestyle? Take a look at your environment to determine if it is supportive enough and you have the tools you need to achieve your goals.

The battle of the bulge will be won at the margins. Sweeping changes are impractical and won't work!

This article is excerpted from my book, "Diet Simple: 195 Mental Tricks, Substitutions, Habits & Inspirations" (LifeLine Press)

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Anti-Sugar Extremists Take the Joy - And Health - Out of Life

January 20, 2019

(Photo by: Edvard Munch ( "The Scream"

I think most of us agree that extremism is, well, extreme! For most of you, extremism in politics or religion may first come to mind. But zealotry takes many forms and can hurt you in even worse, and more personal, ways when it comes to your health.

In the nutrition and food world, fanatics are far and wide, pronouncing this or that food as the death of us all, and others as saviors. Today, sugar is the demon. People exhaust themselves looking obsessively for grams of sugar on labels or on the internet.

I see too often, a look of shame when someone sheepishly "confesses" to eating a piece of chocolate or candy, a slice of birthday cake, ketchup, "too much" fruit, an ice cream cone when out with their kids, a latté, orange juice at breakfast, fruited yogurt, and more.

Fruited Yogurt with More Fruit on Top (Photo by: Fruited Yogurt with More Fruit on Top

I mean, really, could bananas or fruited yogurt be the cause of the world's obesity epidemic? Or, more importantly, the cause of your weight problem?

Obviously, I jest. But many people are so misguided that they avoid essential sugar-containing foods. My heart goes out to them!

Fruits and Fruit Juices (Photo by: Fruits and Fruit Juices

When health officials warn against too much sugar in the American diet, they're not referring to fruit, 4 or 6 ounces of fruit juice daily, or yogurt - even if there is a tablespoon of jam on the bottom. They're not referring to the occasional treat.

There is no scientific evidence that sugar in moderation, when included in an overall healthful diet, is harmful, except maybe if you don't brush your teeth!


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Should You 'Detox'?

January 13, 2019

Should you "detox?" Did you gain weight last year? After your vacation or a business trip? Have you made a New Year's Resolution to lose weight? Or have you given up on those resolutions? No need to give up! There are so many ways to lose weight quickly, most are unhealthy or backfire. 

I have found a way to lose weight fast that is satisfying, increases your energy and confidence, allows you to eat your favorite foods, is sustainable, good for you...and, most importantly, works like a charm! I call it my "Diet Simple Detox." In fact, I'm doing my detox program now after some holiday weight gain.

I always give my clients the option and we decide the best way to go about it together. One of the most successful ways is to "semi-fast" in the evening (no need to be restrictive earlier in the day). The way I recommend doing it is to eat about 2/3 or 3/4 of your calorie needs before the evening and then skip dinner, or stick with something very low calorie such as a veggies, yogurt and/or fruit, a salad or soup. The two nights of semi-fasting allow you to eat more enjoyably overall, it can undo damage done during the week, and ... surprise ... it's even healthy and enhances your energy.**

There have been numerous studies establishing that eating more during the day and less at night is more likely to aid weight loss. This confirms my observations and recommendations of the last 30 years (Ha Ha! I know, I'm a genius).

The key to quick weight loss and a successful semi-fast is to find two nights when semi-fasting would be easier for you. One of my clients semi-fasts on nights her husband is traveling, when she isn't faced with eating a full meal with him; she has a satisfying veggie-centric soup. Another client simply doesn't eat Monday and Tuesday nights (I couldn't do it!). She lost 50 pounds before her wedding and has kept it off. A client who is a professor has two days when he teaches for ten hours. He gets home exhausted and has found he doesn't need dinner those nights.

I personally have used this strategy most of my adult life, before knowing about the studies. My motto since the 1980s has been "Light at Night," and it works. I generally eat light at night for weight maintenance and I'm doing my "Diet Simple Detox" now - after gaining some holiday pounds.

You could lose two to three pounds a week with my "Diet Simple Detox"!

** A growing body of evidence shows calorie restricting may reduce disease and extend life. There are many theories to explain this and one is that a lower metabolism causes less oxidation, cell proliferation (cancer), and decreases harmful chemicals and hormones in your body.

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