I don’t know you. It’s hard for me to make generalized recommendations on how to eat and normalize your weight and health without knowing your story. Yet that is precisely what every diet book and doctors do. One size fits all. But that’s not really how it works. Your diet needs to be as individual as you are. I can, and will, give you ideas. You’ll like many of them. You may not like all. It’s up to you to find what works best for your body and lifestyle.

We can generalize that eating fresh, whole foods, and not processed ones, is a really good idea. Easy for me to say. Maybe you don’t cook. If that’s you, start there. Maybe you are an accomplished cook but your repertoire needs a tweaking. If that’s you, start there. Perhaps you are somewhere in the middle – someone who cooks but you don’t enjoy it, you’re not creative, or it’s just one of those chores that must be done. You use a lot of packaged foods in your cooking because it’s easier, faster and because of Sandra Lee, the Food Network’s hostess of “Semi-Homemade”, told you it was okay. If that’s you, start there.

We can further generalize that eating at fast food restaurants frequently is not a great idea. Morgan Spurlock, in his documentary “Super Size Me”, showed that eating a steady diet of McDonald’s fast food offerings for 30 days made him fat and sick. In that short time, he gained 30 pounds and suffered liver dysfunction and depression, after being of above average health and fitness. If that’s you, STOP IMMEDIATELY! And get to a nutritionist right away. Fast food does not support life. Anything you eat that does not support life has no right being called “food.” If you are eating this stuff on a regular basis, you are undermining your desire to lose weight and have pristine health. If you can’t afford to eat better, you will want to pay attention when I tell you how you can.

You get my drift. So bear with me as I unfold the secrets to eating like a normal human being. Some of it will apply to you, and some won’t. Just use what fits. It will take time to get it all written and posted. But we’re not in a rush, right? Because slow, steady weight loss is the best weight loss. It’s the weight loss that has the best chance of staying off.

If I had to start in one place, it would be to ask you to keep a food diary for a few days. I hate keeping food diaries and I’m sorry I have to ask this of you. But the best way to really know what’s going on with your eating is to record it. Of course, being honest is optional but if you plan to be dishonest, don’t bother with the project.

In the first workshop I ever offered, I asked the all-woman group of six to start with the food diary. They balked, of course, but grudgingly cooperated. Wow – did we ever get an important bunch of information from that exercise! When I looked at the completed diaries, I was flummoxed. How could they be eating so little and have so much of a problem with weight? The answer, which one of the participants fessed up to immediately, was that they were not eating meals and snacks. They were just eating, and eating, and eating. Meals slipped into snacks, and snacks into meals. It was hard to put a period at the end of any eating episode. When they did eat a meal, they wrote down what they had. And if they could pause long enough from the constant eating to make a note, they might mention a couple of the snacks they consumed. The meals were always small, not enough to support the nutritional intake of an average woman. But the constant eating in between meals never got recorded. Like it didn’t count. Oy.

So that you totally understand the mess you may be in, please write down EVERYTHING you eat or drink. I’m not going to see your diary so the only one you’ll be fooling is you. Get a full and honest grip on just how bad things are. Then you will know with some certainty where you are. And from wherever that is, that’s where you’ll start.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are my researched opinions and are provided for educational purposes only. They are not intended to replace sound medical advice from a board certified physician.

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Lynn Klein

About Lynn Klein

Lynn M. Klein is a Certified Integrative Nutrition Counselor and wellness educator. She is the creator of such seminars as “Waist Not, Want Not,” Don’t Weight,” and “What’s On Your Plate” and has lectured at the Wainwright House in Rye, NY; Club Fit in Briarcliff Manor, NY; and the New York City Department of the Aging in Riverdale, NY, among other venues. She was a co-founder of the Rivertown CSA, a community supported agriculture project, spearheaded a school food project at the Fieldston School in Riverdale, NY, and consulted as a nutritional expert to The Children’s Village in Dobbs Ferry, NY. She was the subject of feature articles in The Scarsdale Inquirer and The Rivertowns Enterpise. Lynn recently served on the board of directors of One Degree Media and Entertainment, a company focused on delivering programming in wellness, environmental sustainability, and transformational healing. She trained with a master energy healer in New York, NY and with the Maori Healers of New Zealand. Lynn is an activist and proponent of integrative health initiatives, local and sustainable food access, and clean environment projects. She resides in New York City.

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