Get Off Of The Diet Merry-Go-Round Once and For All
Diets are overwhelming. First there’s the calorie counting, and all of the stuff you’re supposed to eat, and the stuff you’re not. Maybe you’re on the Weight Watcher’s points system, or a ‘diet’ where you drink two shakes a day and then eat a pre-packaged heat-and-eat meal for dinner. Ugh. Who can do any of that long term? If you’ve tried and failed it’s not because you’re weak or that for you losing weight is hopeless. It’s because those strategies don’t work. Not for you. Not for anyone. Most people will lose weight initially on these dramatic weight-loss programs, but the pounds come back quickly and easily once the diet ends.
All of these diets have one thing in common. They put people on a structured program for a period of time where everything they eat is according to The Plan. Everyday at work I see people in the break room making their shakes for breakfast and then again for lunch. Some of them have lost quite a few pounds on the shake scam. Others are drinking the shakes religiously and have yet to lose the first five pounds.
Don’t Get Caught Cheating
We probably all remember the kid in school whose mom or dad did their math homework for them so that they could get a passing grade. Maybe as an adult you know a parent that is ‘helping’ their child. I know a mom whose son, a senior in high school, is on a competitive gymnastics team. He was a good gymnast but wasn’t doing well in his classes. Mom stayed up at night doing his homework so that not only could he stay active on the team, but so that he could graduate from high school. Most of us would probably agree that on some level this was cheating.
Although the son did graduate from high school with passing grades he didn’t learn the things that he needed to know to do well in college. To me it’s the same with the diet plans that don’t teach us how to shop, purchase and prepare foods. We may graduate from The Plan but we’re sure to stumble and fall, maybe even fail miserably when we’re back out in the real world figuring out what to have for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The Answer Is In Your Kitchen
The very first step to giving up the vicious circle that dieting creates is to learn how to cook nutritious and delicious foods in your own kitchen. Many communities offer on-site cooking classes through the local college, university or park district. If you’re not able to attend a class during the day or after work, healthy cooking DVDs might be a good option. Following are five that have received good reviews and can be purchased at Amazon.com at a reasonable price.
1. Dr. Fuhrman’s Secret To Healthy Cooking: In this cooking class Dr. Joel Fuhrman and his wife make salad dressings, smoothies, stew, soups and desserts. The doctor and his wife don’t talk about calories. The focus is on using foods that provide the most nutrition. Dr. Fuhrman is a board-certified family physician and nutritional researcher who specializes in preventing and reversing disease through nutritional and natural methods. (“Secrets To Healthy Cooking” DVD – $17.99 at Amazon)
2. Andrea Beaman’s Healthy Cooking: You might remember Andrea from Bravo’s Top Chef. Andrea’s “Healthy Cooking” DVD provide a good introduction to healthy cooking and breaks down the steps to the recipes so that they are easy to follow. Andrea is a natural nutritionist and holistic counselor and attended the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. (“Healthy Cooking” DVD – $14.95 at Amazon)
3. Michel Nischan’s Simple Steps To Natural, Delicious Cooking: This healthy cooking DVD focuses on the benefits of eating organic and seasonally, local grown foods that contain an abundance of minerals and vitamins. The DVD demonstrates easy-to-follow techniques that’s suitable for the skilled cook or someone just getting started in the kitchen. (Simple Steps To Natural, Delicious Cooking – $14.98 at Gaiam)
4. Food Network: Celebrates! Healthy Cooking DVD: Rachel Ray, Alton Brown and Ellie Krieger demonstrate healthy cooking celebrity style. This three DVD set features your favorite chefs cooking nutritious, delicious, quick and easy recipes. The set includes “Lighten Up” with Rachel Ray”, “Healthy Home Cooking” with Ellie Krieger and “Protein Power” with Alton Brown. You can buy the set for $5.75 at Amazon.
5. Dr. Andrew Weil’s Guide to Eating Well: Dr. Weil’s approaches eating in a sensible yet healthy way. His cooking style encourages people to eat a balanced diet that is based on the foods that nutritional experts agree are important for optimal health and longevity. Dr. Weil is a graduate of Harvard and practices natural and preventative medicine. His bestsellers include “Spontaneous Healing”, “The Healthy Kitchen”, and “Healthy Aging”. (Dr. Andrew Weil’s Guide To Eating Well – $13.49 at Amazon.)
Watch Before You Buy
If you’d like to view the healthy cooking DVDs before you buy, check with your local library. You may find they have some – if not all – of these and plenty more. You can watch them and see if what they’re showing is realistic for your lifestyle. They are fun to watch and will inspire you to get creative (and healthy) in the kitchen. I’ve shown a couple of them at work over the lunch hour and my co-workers really enjoyed them. Have fun!