When you heard about the new Dietary Guidelines did your eyes glaze over? That’s understandable. These guidelines are actually meant for policymakers and health professionals to help set the standards for government-funded programs such as SNAP or WIC.
To make the guidelines more achievable for you, I’d like to share some “no big deal” changes. Too often, especially in the month of January, people try to make wide sweeping changes in the way they eat. And a few days, weeks, or months later they revert back to their old ways. Please don’t do that. I want you to focus only on the smallest, simplest changes you CAN make. Changes that will make you say, “Oh, I can do that! That’s no big deal” (BTW I’m the author of Dr. Jo®’s No Big Deal Diet which promotes success through small, doable changes).
Most of us need to be eating less overall. With more than 2/3 of all Americans now overweight or obese (and nearly 1/3 of all children and youth), it’s obvious that we’re eating more calories than our body needs. Sure, you can up your activity level, but you can’t out-exercise a poor diet.
No Big Deal Changes: The good news, is that we really don’t need to drastically change what we eat. The average American adult is gaining a pound a year. That translates to eating just 10 calories more than our body requires. Yup, that’s it! Ten calories over 365 days in a year represents 3650 – the calories in one extra pound of body fat. So a few no big deal changes include:
- Stop eating everything on your plate. Seriously. Since it’s been years, if not decades since you left the house you grew up in, stop blaming mom because “she made you eat everything on your plate” Just getting in the habit of leaving one bite of everything on your plate. That’s a savings of way more than 10 calories…and you didn’t have to diet. Remember you can either “waste” or “waist”.
- Downsize. Order the medium instead of the small. Use the luncheon plate at home, instead of the larger dinner plate. And, a smaller bowl and glass, too. Use a smaller spoon to serve yourself. Yes, research from Cornell University shows that it really does trick your mind to eat less – without feeling deprived.
- Make just ONE of the other lower-calorie swaps listed in the blogs below. Each one will The key to success is to start with just one or two of these changes…until they become second nature.
Click below to find more “no big deal” solutions:
Dr. Jo® Lichten is a PhD nutritionist and registered dietitian. As a frequent keynote speaker for companies and conventions, she inspires busy people to stay healthy, sane, and productive. Jo is the author of several books including REBOOT – how to power up your energy, focus, and productivity. When she’s not traveling she and her husband enjoy kayaking, biking, and surfing.