Anyone can lose weight, but keeping it off is achieved through permanent lifestyle changes. Every meal is an opportunity to make a better choice. Any food choice you make, healthy or not, you need to enjoy. This is about making better choices, not feeling guilt or failure.
Here are five ways that not only help you shed pounds, but will improve your health, too.

1 – Eat Without Distractions
Eating while watching TV, working, reading or driving becomes mechanical. You then have no idea how much or what you have eaten. Sit down at a table and eat three meals a day without distractions. You will feel satisfied with your meals and will eat less.

2 – Eat “Real” Food
We truly are what we eat, so start reading labels for ingredients (the fewer ingredients, the better). If you need a science degree to understand the label, choose another food. Taste alone should not dictate a food choice. Review the nutritional brochure from your favorite fast food restaurant and really look at what you are consuming. Make better choices when dining out or stay home and cook. Stop eating processed and fast foods. You will be amazed at how much better you feel when you start eating “real” food.

3 – Add Good Quality Oil
Many people believe “low fat” is the key to weight loss. Actually, a lack of good quality fat (oil) creates cravings for potato chips, french fries, ice cream and chocolate. Oil keeps us warm in winter and provides energy. If you lack good quality oil in your diet, you will binge and then feel like a failure. Regularly adding veggies sautéed in oil to your diet will keep you satisfied and cravings at bay. Sautéing with light and toasted sesame oils are great to use this time of year. Safflower oil is good for high heat uses.

4 – Cut the Soda
Stop all diet and regular soda, flavored waters and carbonated beverages. There are 10 teaspoons of sugar in a 12 oz. soda! That alone should stop your desire for regular soda.  However, if you are not convinced, cola beverages contain phosphoric acid which depletes your body’s calcium reserves. Diet beverages contain artificial sweeteners which originated when scientists were trying to create a pesticide and accidentally licked their fingers and discovered they were sweet. The ideal way to consume liquid is from food. Adding more whole grains, vegetables, soups and fruit to your daily diet will lower your desire for unhealthy beverages.

5 – Add Leafy Greens
Leafy greens such as kale, collards, bok choy, mustard and turnip greens and watercress are great sources of vitamins and minerals, including calcium. These are great sautéed, steamed or in soup. Include these nutritious veggies in your daily diet and you will notice a difference.

Jill Skeem is a macrobiotic health counselor serving southern Idaho. Jill can be reached at 208-320-2786, or visit


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