Simple Strategies to Lose Weight into Your Workday
By Dr. Leslie Van Romer
Congratulations! You finally made the leap to the next level
in your career. Your clear intentions, focus and long hours paid
off. You’re even feeling good about your masterful work-life
balancing act. Your life is right on track, but the mirror reveals
one exception. Your weight has crept up. Somehow you’ve allowed
everything else to get in the way of taking care of you.
Your favorite pants don’t fit. You’re downing too much
caffeine, and yet your energy level is still dragging. Aches and
pains randomly linger, and your doctor is threatening the “p” word
(pills). Somehow those business lunches, forfeited exercise workouts
and snack foods got the best of you, and it shows – right where you
don’t want it!
So, where do you begin? How do you sneak new weight-savvy and
health-supporting habits into your already-too-busy business day?
Try these seven weight-loss strategies on for a smaller size.
1. Create a Simple Plan:
Wrap your brain around a simple eating plan that is
doable, makes sense and will work for the long haul – not just for a
few weeks or months. The easier the plan is, the easier it will be
to gradually incorporate it into your day, while producing tangible
Start by asking yourself: “Which foods prevent cancer and
other life-threatening diseases?” Fresh fruits and vegetables. They
offer the most nutrition for the calorie buck. Translation: weight
loss and health gain! No one has ever proclaimed that meats,
brown-color white breads, boxed cereals, milk, pasta, salty snacks,
or cheeses prevent cancer. Then why do we center our meals on those
foods? Because our culture taught and conditioned us to do so.
2. Follow Three Simple Rules: Add, Stop and Wiggle:
Add and fill up
on the best-for-you foods first – fresh fruits and vegetables.
Then add other whole plant foods: whole grains (brown rice,
barley, couscous) and legumes (kidney beans, black beans,
lentils). Does that mean you can never ever eat your food faves
again? Of course not! Simply fill up first on the
best-for-you foods, then make other food choices. Without
restricting, depriving, counting or fussing, you will get full
and satisfied on nutrient-rich, calorie-low foods, automatically
reducing your appetite for the calorie-dense foods.
eating when your brain tells you you’re full – before your
stomach begs for mercy. This is hard, but the more fresh fruits
and vegetables you eat, which satisfy your hunger drive, the
more in tune you will be with your brain’s signals. How many
apples can you eat at once? One or two? On the contrary, think
of how many chips or goodies you can eat. Too many!
wiggle room or flexibility into your program from the get-go.
You are not perfect, so don’t expect to be perfect. This is all
about progress, not perfection. Eighty percent of the time, when
your environment and food are under your control, make wise
choices. Twenty percent, when you eat out, entertain, travel, or
celebrate special occasions, eat
what you want. Just don’t wiggle too much, or you won’t lose
3. Add Simple, Fruity Breakfasts:
Which foods make
the perfect breakfast foods for your morning? Fresh fruits. In fact,
fresh fruits are the fastest fast foods. They are quick to eat –
open mouth, bite down and chew. They offer no-fuss, no-time
preparation, and they travel well. You can easily munch an apple,
banana, grapes, or plum when driving, sitting at a computer, walking
to your colleague’s desk, or right after taking a bathroom break.
Think “fruit break” instead of “coffee break.” Switch your thinking,
and you’ll be surprised how easy it is to sneak fruit into your
4. Create Simple Ziploc Lunches:
Becoming the Ziploc
Queen or King saves you calories, time and money. If you are not
obligated to a business lunch, fill up on a Ziploc lunch. It takes
some prep work, but that thrill of slipping into those pants is
worth your effort.
The night before, fill one gallon-sized Ziploc bag with
washed, cut and spun-dry lettuces (romaine, leafy, butter), spinach,
and sprouts. Fill another with chopped vegetables like cucumbers,
tomatoes, carrots, onions, red cabbage, zucchini, cauliflower, and
broccoli. Bring along an avocado (cut up right before you eat the
salad) and fresh lemon. Diced avocado, fresh lemon and balsamic
vinegar make a great salad dressing. Throw it all into a bowl and
voila! You’ve got the perfect weight-busting lunch – and quick too,
leaving extra time for a walk.
For a change, bring one or two slices of sprouted-grain bread
and in another bag, sliced tomato, cucumber, onion, and lettuce.
Bring an avocado to use as a spread, and you’ve got another quick,
nutritious lunch. You can also use a double Ziploc or some plastic
containers to store a homemade meat-free, dairy-free, low-salt
vegetable, bean soup that you made from the weekend.
If a business lunch is a must, graze on fruit all morning so
you are not too hungry at lunch. You can even eat a small salad
beforehand. You will eat less and make better choices. Also, if it
is your choice, select a restaurant that serves a great salad and
vegetable side dishes. Bring your own no-oil salad dressing,
or use lemon and vinegar at the restaurant.
5. Make Simple “Eat-in-Order” Dinners:
At home or not,
dinners are the toughest meals to change, especially when you get
home late. Simplify a naturally slimming dinner by eating in order:
first, a salad (made the night before with your lunch salad),
second, steamed vegetables of choice, followed by a denser, more
filling vegetable, like potatoes, yams or winter squash, topped with
mashed avocado and diced tomatoes, sautéed-in-water vegetables, or
fresh salsa. Instead of a potato or yam, add whole brown rice and/or
legumes, pre-cooked, of course, so they are ready to warm.
After eating these three courses, ask yourself, “Am I full?”
If yes, stop eating. Save the chicken, fish or pasta for the next
night. If no, make a choice: eat more vegetables or the traditional
favorite. When (not if) you choose the pasta or chicken, you will be
relatively full and eat less of these calorie-denser foods without
even thinking about it.
6. Pack Simple, Healthy Snacks:
When you get hungry
a couple hours after eating salad for lunch, do the novel thing –
eat! Choose healthier, weight-wise snacks, like fresh fruit, cut-up
carrots, celery, cucumbers, or a handful of raw unsalted nuts and
seeds. Keep better-for-you snacks handy and make them your first
7. Watch Your Beverages!
Did you know, one
latte with skim milk (16 oz.) is 160 calories; a latte with whole
milk, 270 calories; a white chocolate mocha with whole milk and
whipped cream, 480 calories; and an 8-oz glass of red wine is 170
Just one glass of red wine plus one skim-milk latte a day add
up to a grand total of 2,310 extra calories a week, or over one
extra day of calories in a 7-day week! That’s not counting all the
other beverages consumed. As an astute businessperson, common sense
says: don’t drown yourself in those liquid calories!
If you are serious about shedding those layers, the easiest
action step is to consistently choose the beverage that adds no
calories, alcohol, caffeine or sugar to your body: Water! Shift to
water and behold the shift in weight. What are you going to do for
that quick pick-me-up fix? It’s the fruits and vegetables (not
protein) that you ate yesterday that give you energy today –
combined with daily exercise and sleep!
professional life, you have proven that you are smart, savvy,
determined, goal-driven, and gutsy. Now use those same talents and
attitude to take care of your greatest asset of all – your body –
one simple step at a time.
Read other articles and learn more about
Dr. Leslie Van Romer.
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