Make the Commitment

By: Maria Davies

It can be bewildering figuring out where to start when thinking of adopting healthier eating habits and perhaps dropping a few pounds. Most people start by thinking of a diet. But what exactly does the word “diet” mean? Merriam Webster says the following:

  • Food and drink regularly consumed;
  • Habitual nourishment;
  • The kind and amount of food prescribed for a person for a special reason;
  • A regimen of eating and drinking sparingly to reduce one’s weight.

So where do we go from here?

The good news is that there are some very simple steps to achieve goals, without wading through endless reams of literature and web sites. However, I have been successful when my first step has been to make the commitment to be healthier and eat healthier.

Having made that commitment, here are the steps I have followed successfully:

  1. For one week, I wrote down absolutely everything that went into my mouth (no cheating).
  2. The second week, I assessed what to change, i.e. sugars, fats, frequency of eating, including snacks. 
  3. The third week I monitored the amounts I ate. I watched closely if I clean my plate whether or not I was still hungry.
  4. I also watched whether or not I ate more when eating out. Did I have starters, main course and dessert? I also monitored what I drank and how much. Again, I found this only worked if I made an honest assessment.
  5. After this time of monitoring I was ready to create and implement my plan of action.  I found no short cuts and you likely won’t either. We have to make the assumption that we will eliminate or drastically reduce salt, fat, sugar, soft drinks, etc. I found this involves work, and it’s not easy – that is where my and your commitment will have to come in to play. I was and encourage you to be patient with yourself. In my experience the shift took at least a week. With commitment firmly in mind consider the following next steps;
  6. For two weeks, eat everything you normally eat (not the unhealthy stuff) but try only half of the amount. Again, this isn’t easy. I found drinking plenty of water with meals makes this easier.
  7. Another trick that worked for me was to write down the difference. I wrote down when I felt better and had more energy. I noted in writing when I lost a pound or two.
  8. Finally I make adjustments as needed but continued with this plan. I have made this a lifetime habit and I invite you to do the same.

I have also found from experience that I do indulge in a dessert or favorite libation from time to time.

You may want to visit www.wikiHow for more tips.

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Maria Davies has lived on the island of Grenada in the Caribbean since retiring from a successful,  Chicago-based real estate practice.  She keeps busy with managing her website, producing a monthly newsletter, gardening and exploring island-life activities. Her current project is videotaping a legendary native Grenadian who’s renowned for his knowledge of folk medicine and the history of the island.