Many of you have started your New Years Resolutions, and the number one resolution is to lose those excess holiday pounds or simply eat healthier. Problem is, many of us tend to go from one extreme of over-indulging to the other end of the spectrum with extreme deprivation. I used to too, and I have paid the price for it for years since – so do as I say, and not as I did. The Personal Chef Approach really can be the solution to your resolution, because it streamlines the process of making healthier homemade meals, and keeps healthier options ready at your fingertips when willpower wanes! I’m still playing catch-up since the winter holidays, so I thought I’d share this oldie but goodie on the subject again….

Julie Anne Rhodes by Peter Beard

Julie Anne Rhodes by Peter Beard

Summer is just around the corner, and dieting to rid ourselves of any excess winter weight is ramping up. I had a call last week to cook for someone on a popular diet that requires hormone injections and a 500 calorie a day diet. I’m not even going to go into the perils of playing with hormones, but as someone who once lived on three lettuce leaves a day to stay model-thin, I have a strong opinion against any form of fast-track dieting. It destroys your metabolism, even when it has the “backing of a reputable doctor.” Trust me, doctors are human and fallible like the rest of us, not to mention they make a ton of money to endorse diet plans like this. Remember, they will not have to live with the longterm consequences, YOU do.

Eat right and exercise more

Eat right and exercise more

As much as we would all love it, there is no magic pill or secret two-week diet for significant longterm weight loss. Weight loss is as simple as – eat less (which in many cases means eat MORE of the right foods – ie. low carbohydrate vegetables should be the bulk of what you see on your plate, along with a little lean protein and the occasional high fiber complex carbohydrate ) plus exercise more for healthy longterm weight loss.

However, it is not recommended to go below a daily caloric intake of 1000-1200 calories per day. Your body can’t burn more than 1-2 pounds of fat per week. Any additional weight loss means water and muscle loss. This is where I hope you will “do as I say, and not as I did.” Since our metabolism needs muscle mass to burn calories while resting, you are essentially working against your own body’s ability to burn fat when you let your body go into starvation mode for prolonged periods. I remained on my foolish diet for so long, that I can smell chocolate today and gain 5 pounds. Seriously, you want that metabolism in peak form as you age!

Jewels in the lettuce leaf days

Jewels in the lettuce leaf days

But there is more than vanity at stake too – here’s what the Mayo Clinic (one of the most highly respected medical institutions in the world) had to say about this kind of fad dieting, “people who follow such a very low calorie diet are likely to lose weight, at least in the short term. However, that level of calorie restriction has risks, such as gallstone formation, irregular heartbeat, and an imbalance of the electrolytes that keep the body’s muscles and nerves functioning properly.” Is getting into a size 2 really worth damaging your health?

Today I eat as sensibly as possible, make exercise a priority in my daily routine, and I had to ask myself, “are my weight loss goals realistic? I’ve never been a naturally skinny person, in fact, very few of us are naturally as thin as Kate Moss. Take care of yourself by eating right and living a healthy lifestyle, and your thinnest self will shine through, whatever shape that may be. Then learn to embrace those curves, and revel in the beauty of your best you!

Jewels today

The curvier Jewels today

There are much more important factors than waist size in the true beauty stakes. Clothes may have looked better on my emaciated body, but I was miserable and irritable from going hungry all of the time.  I believe the confidence that comes from self-acceptance, happiness, and a healthier lifestyle are far more attractive than the neurotic bean pole I once was. The good news is, as you age, you care less about what others think, and tend to live in your own truth.

The Personal Chef Approach helps me stay on track with healthier eating. My most vulnerable time is when I’m tired and hungry at the end of a long day. I’m so much more likely to choose that healthier meal over junk food when I know I have a yummy meal waiting for me at home that I can heat to eat faster than going through the drive-thru! Check out this video  to learn more about how it works, then sample the recipe below.

Weight Loss Weapon Chicken Vegetable Soup

Weight Loss Weapon Chicken Vegetable Soup

This is my top secret weight loss weapon. It’s low fat, chocked full of yummy vegetables and chicken, and certainly satiating. My own private diet rescue remedy.

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