Food and Fitness by Margaret Hart

It seems like everyone I know is trying to lose weight, eat healthier and become more physically fit. Myself included. If you peruse the shelves of any major book store — as I recently did, looking for a book recommended by a nutritionist — you’ll find at least a hundred different books by various “experts” on the subject of healthy eating and weight loss.

Go green and lean. Cut carbs. Eat only protein. Drink shakes. Go gluten free. Eat whole grains. Don’t eat wheat. Become a vegetarian. Eat raw. Nothing white. What?! What’s out there — and I can’t believe some of these books even got published — can make your head spin.

How many women do you know who have tried more than one weight loss program? I’ll bet every one of your friends has tried at least one. There are the well-know plans with celebrity spokespersons. I bet you know someone who has tried at least one of those. There are also the medically supervised programs. I have a good friend who followed one of those programs and lost over 50 pounds in four months. Unfortunately, she gained it all back.

I recently tried a well-known and well-regarded program, but wasn’t as successful as I’d hoped. I was told it was because I was working out and doing a lot of strength training, so I was building muscle. I also tried a plan given to me by a nutritionist who has studied with a former Surgeon General of the United States. That plan wasn’t successful for me, though I did lose weight. It just wasn’t realistic for me, long term, as it was too restrictive. With each renewed effort toward healthier eating and increased physical fitness, I have learned something new and moved forward toward my long-term goals. I try not to beat myself up when I “cheat” by eating a brownie, or fall off the exercise wagon.

After having been on a recent hiatus due to the holidays, I’ve been getting back on track with my plan for improved health and well being. I’m beginning a new chapter in my exercise regime, and I recently met with a nutritionist who I think is on to something. I can’t spill the beans just yet, but in an upcoming blog I will be able to talk about my renewed efforts and my new plan. I’m hopeful.

In the meantime, I would love to know your stories. What has worked for you? What hasn’t worked? Have you completely changed your diet recently? Or are you struggling? Maybe you are taking small steps toward a long-term lifestyle change? What’s your exercise regime like?  Have you recently lost a lot of weight?

Whatever you’re doing to get healthy or stay healthy, I’d love to hear about it. It helps to have inspiration and support. 

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  1. 3 Responses to “Food and Fitness by Margaret Hart”

  2. Hi Margaret,
    Every week we get a CSA box filled with locally grown organic vegetables and fruits. This has really made me broaden my meal plans to include more fruits and vegetables. It also prevents us from eating out too much because we don’t want the stuff in the box to go bad.

    By allison on Jan 23, 2013

  3. Hi Margaret. At the inspiration of a friend, I recently adopted a vegan diet (with occasional fish), and rather than viewing it as a weight loss attempt, I’ve approached it with excitement and a sense of discovery. I’ve started cooking more….and even teaching my son. We made vegetarian chili, for example. Looking for cool recipes has become a quest I enjoy. Scouting the supermarket aisles for things I’ve never tried is an adventure. One thing that has helped me alot when I eat out is to look up the menu online for a restaurant before I go and have a plan in my mind in terms of what I will eat…so that I don’t waiver. I’ve found it empowering. Now if I can amp up my cardio, I’d have all the more weight loss ammunition. But, for me, it’s about a new lifestyle rather than focusing on the scale….since we all have days we get off track, but you can resume your plan if it’s a life change commitment.

    Good luck…and do let us know how things go for you!!

    By Robin on Jan 24, 2013

  4. Good for you, Margaret! As a Registered Dietitian (i.e. Nutritionist), from my own personal experience as well as working with clients, I have found that restrictive dieting and rigid exercise typically don’t work well together at the same time. My suggestion would be to work on building muscle first to burn more calories, coupled with a simple cardio workout. Along with this, I would have your current caloric intake analyzed and eat perhaps 250-300 cals less per day, giving you the fuel to build those muscles and add on cardio. As your fitness regimen improves, you may want to continue to keep your caloric intake stable or choose to drop it by 500 cals per day. Just don’t drop your caloric intake so much that you can’t fulfill your workout regimen.

    Personally, I unintentionally lost a significant amount of weight first. Now I aim to add small bits of finess into my day using my trusty FitBit pedometer! It challenges me to climb more stairs, walk more steps, and just plain do more! You see yourself meeting goals by looking on their website and you can even set up having fitness buddies if you choose! I’m doing it the snail way, but that is truly all that I can handle right now.

    Good luck! I am very curious to see what you will be revealing in your coming blogs!

    By Cara Meyers on Jan 24, 2013