Emily Rubin, RD, Clinical Dietitian in the Jefferson Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology shares how to get back on track with your diet.
Summer is here, but you may feel like your plan to get “summer-ready” has failed you yet again. You decided to go on a diet for a reason – maybe to improve your heath, get into better shape, feel better about yourself. But, your diet should be a lifestyle change not a “diet.” So having a cheat day is okay – you don’t want to feel deprived. But sometimes it can be hard to get back on track the next day. You are not perfect and the longer it takes to get to your goal weight, the longer the weight will stay off. A calorie deficit is important, so if you overeat one day, it will not ruin all of your progress. 3,500 calories = 1 pound of weight loss per week. If you eat 500 calories less per day or burn those calories through exercise you will see weight loss results even if you overeat for one or two days.
Plan ahead when starting a lifestyle change:
- Have a supportive partner or friend – somebody at work, a friend, or a spouse, you can talk to when you fall off your diet or who can encourage you. Find out if your insurance company offers a health coach you can call when you’re feeling tempted or to get you back on track.
- If you have not worked out for a week – start slow by doing 20 minutes of an activity such as walking during lunch or taking the stairs. You can work yourself back to your goal.
- Use a weight loss app – this makes your more aware of the foods you are putting your mouth and some of them will alert you if you have eaten too many calories.
- Don’t skip meals – this can make you eat more calories, especially at night. Set the alarm on your phone for scheduled meal and snack times.
- Eat breakfast – studies show that eating a healthy breakfast with protein and fiber such eggs and fruit will be more satisfying and may prevent you from overeating later (see a great, easy breakfast recipe below)
- Try to get least 7-8 hours of sleep per night – this may prevent you from late night eating, as well as eating less through the day.
- Make a shopping list of healthy foods before hitting the grocery store. Stick to your list.
Some backup plan tips for when you are feeling tempted:
- Drink water before grabbing an unhealthy snack. Many times our bodies are actually thirsty, not hungry.
- Avoid the areas that have the unhealthy snacks – people’s work desks, your kids’ snacks. Fill your desk, refrigerator or cabinet with healthy snacks – nuts, low-fat string cheese, fruit, veggies, Greek yogurt, etc.
- If you don’t feel like cooking, it is okay! Try a low-calorie frozen meal or order in a healthy dish like fish or chicken with vegetables. Order from a restaurant that has nutritional information on the menu or website.
- Eat Slowly. It takes 20 minutes to feel full – you will enjoy your meal better and may eat less.
Asian Vegetable Egg muffins
- 1 carton eggs beaters or 10 eggs
- 1 bag Asian steam in the bag vegetables or any steam bag vegetable of your choice
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon of onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Steam vegetables in bag in microwave for 4 minutes
- In a large bowl, beat eggs. Add garlic powder and pepper and vegetables, cheese.
- Spoon by 1/2 cup full into muffin cups coated with cooking spray or use muffin wrappers .
Sprinkle with parmesan cheese- Bake 20-25 minutes or until knife inserted the center comes out clean