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Life in Balance: Learn to put your meals on autopilot

SHARE Life in Balance: Learn to put your meals on autopilot

I like to work out at a County Recreation Facility almost every day.

While I was talking with some of the women in the pool treading water in the deep end, I noticed a woman out of the corner of my eye watching us.

As I got out of the pool she said to me, "I sure wish I could lose 100 pounds."

I could see the longing to lose weight in her eyes, but I sensed in her heart she had almost given up.

I know that for most people who are overweight, the journey to lose weight seems daunting, complicated and near impossible, as they have tried to do it so many times before.

To my new friend in the pool I say "YOU CAN LOSE WEIGHT." It takes patience, dedication and work.

The National Weight Control Register, which tracks people who successfully lost an average of 70 pounds and kept it off for more than a year, says one of the keys to losing and keeping weight off is to develop "autopilot meals."

We all know that in the long run it is not a diet that will take you to success. It is developing your own meals and food plan that will support you.

Your plan needs to include all the basic nutrients that you need every day, the right portions and adequate exercise.

I am now to the point that I develop a meal plan each week. I buy the food and do as much preparation and portioning in advance, so it is easy to stay on my program and have "autopilot meals."

As you find meals that have all the basics, such as a protein (4 ounces raw and 3 ounces cooked), complex carbohydrate and just a little fat, write them down and have them often. Soon you'll develop more meals that will help you lose weight or maintain the weight that you are at.

Here is a sample of one day's menu that I had this week:

Breakfast: A scrambled egg, one piece of whole-wheat toast, ¾ cup salsa and two Morning Star Lite sausages.Snack: an apple with 1 tablespoon reduced calorie peanut butter.

Lunch: 1½ cups homemade chicken vegetable soup (it had eight vegetables in it and I prepared it on the weekend) and a slice of whole-wheat toast.

Snack: 1 cup no fat yogurt and 2 Clementines.

Dinner: 3 ounces of cooked lean steak, ½ cup sweet potatoes, one spring green salad with 2 tablespoons Lite Newman Sesame Ginger Dressing, and ½ cup of Brussels sprouts with 1 tablespoon hard cheese.

Snack: A frozen banana cut in 1-inch sections, 1½ cups lite 8 Continent Soy milk and ½ teaspoon vanilla. Blend in blender and enjoy.

By taking these steps you set yourself up to be a big winner at the losing game.

Remember, it take time so be sure to get adequate exercise to burn some of these calories, and yes, my friend, YOU CAN LOSE WEIGHT.

TV personality and author Dian Thomas shares her journey of weight loss, exercise and life on the run every other Tuesday in the Deseret News and at www.DianThomas.com. Her weekly blog also runs Mondays at our website, and she takes tour groups to China. Contact her at www.dianthomas.com/travel.htm. E-mail: features@desnews.com