Organizing for Weight Loss

Good organization and good health go hand in hand, Peter says. Do you schedule time for grocery shopping and physical activity? Are your kitchen, pantry and refrigerator organized for efficient and healthy cooking?

Rather than focusing on the latest fad diet or workout plan to lose weight, Peter says to focus on getting organized and making small lifestyle changes that will make a big difference in your overall health and well-being. "If you focus on the food, you will never lose weight," he says.

To start shedding those unwanted pounds, Peter suggests the following simple lifestyle changes:
  • Stop eating takeout. Fast food is loaded with fat, calories, salt and preservatives that your body doesn't need, Peter says. Cut down on takeout and start preparing meals with fresh ingredients at home.
  • Stop drinking soda. Soda is full of sugar that can add inches to your waistline. Organize your day so there's always water handy instead of sugary beverages, Peter says.
  • Cut back on TV. Replace some of the time you spend watching television with exercise such as walking.
  • Tackle the clutter in your kitchen. Create a clean, welcoming environment to prepare your meals, Peter says.

According to nutrition consultant Dr. Lisa Young, maintaining a healthy weight isn't so much about what you eat but rather how much you eat. Dr. Young, author of The Portion Teller: Smartsize Your Way to Permanent Weight Loss, shares with Peter her tips to help you control your portion sizes:
  • Learn the proper portion size of different foods. For example, a healthy portion size of steak should be about two decks of cards. A good portion size for a side of rice or pasta should be about the same size as a baseball or a fist (one cup).
  • Order salads with the dressing on the side. Use two tablespoons, or about one shot-glass full, of salad dressing.
  • Eat just half an entree. When ordering out at restaurants, ask your waiter to box half your meal before bringing it to your table.

Being more aware of the foods you eat and how you consume them can go a long way in helping you lose weight, Peter says. Here are his tips for eating mindfully:
  • Pause for a moment before digging in. Peter says the custom of saying grace before a meal allows for more mindful eating. "Saying grace was a way of focusing everyone's attention on what was on the table—on what was about to be eaten—and of bringing everyone's attention to one place, so that before you even started eating you were mindful of what you were about to consume," he says.
  • Eat slowly. Chew 20 times if necessary before swallowing in order to slow your pace down.
  • Look at mealtimes as a dining experience For Peter, dining is about enjoying good company and good food that is lovingly prepared, not just about eating.

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