Top Tips to Achieve the Six Week Strategy
The challenge with the Food & Dietz .com Strategy for Health & Wellness, like any healthy nutrition based program is that it requires a lot of discipline and perseverance …its basically mind over stomach! However, there are definitely certain things you can do to make the Six Week Strategy easier (… and later The Life Strategy), and a few definite things that you should avoid like the plague.
Here are my top ten tips to assist your success with the Six Week Strategy:
1. Learn to enjoy salad
If you’ve been used to eating sweet highly flavoured processed foods and condiments (eg salad cream, mayonnaise, ketchup etc), then eating a lot of salad based dishes can be a challenge at first. But your stomach soon gets used to the new tastes and flavours of healthy eating and eventually learns to hate the bad stuff. Its a bit like when you stop taking sugar and milk in your tea and coffee (which then makes both very low calorie drinks), you may hate the new taste at first. But after a few weeks, drinking tea and coffee with sugar and milk becomes repulsive … your brain has become accustomed to healthy beverages.
Salads fill you up and encourage weight loss … you basically can’t overeat on them! Successful long term weight control and health depend greatly on your ability to regularly consume plenty of raw greens. Simply put … they are the healthiest food in the world.
Try eating iceberg lettuce with every meal including breakfast. A suggestion is to have iceberg lettuce with a fruit breakfast, a mixed baby greens salad at lunch and a romaine based salad at dinner.
Try to eat the suggested pound of raw greens per day … but don’t fret if you are too full and can’t eat the whole pound. Its a merely a goal: just relax and enjoy eating super healthy food.
2. Eat as much fruit as you can … but at least four fresh fruits daily.
Eat as much fruit as you can with all your meals. Four fruits are about 250 calories … but here it is OK to splurge … particularly if you have a sweet tooth! Finish lunch or dinner with a watermelon, a whole cantaloupe or a box of blueberries or strawberries. The best dessert is fresh fruit or blended frozen fruit. Eating lots of fresh fruit is very satisfying and filling and is a big factor in learning to love healthy eating.
3. Variety is essential … particularly when it comes to greens.
Variety is not merely the spice of life … it makes a valuable contribution to your health. The great thing about the 6 week strategy is that you never need to be concerned about overeating raw vegetables, salads or cooked greens. There are a huge variety of foods that you can use to make delicious vegetable salads including lettuce (romaine, bib, Boston, red leaf, green ice, iceberg, arugula, radicchio, endive, frisee etc), watercress, celery, spinach, cucumbers, tomatoes, mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, onions, radishes, kohirabi, snow peas, carrots, beets, cabbage and all kinds of sprouts.
Even more vegetables can be eaten cooked. These include broccoli, kale, string beans, artichokes, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, spinach, Swiss chard, cabbage, asparagus, okra, zucchini, collard , mustard and turnip greens. These vegetables can be flavoured in various ways. Greens are always great with mushrooms, onion, garlic and stewed tomatoes. Remember, cooked greens are very low in calories but give you the nutritional power of ten pounds of other foods. Frozen greens such as broccoli and peas are nutritious and convenient – they are flash cooked and frozen soon after being picked and are just as nutritious as fresh.
4. Beware of starchy vegetables
For the Six week strategy, limit cooked high starch grains and vegetables to one cup a day. One cup of vegetables would be one corn on the cob, one small to medium sized baked potato (with no butter or high calorie fillings!) or one cup of brown rice or sweet potato. Fill up on the raw vegetables and cooked green vegetables first. Most of your starch consumption should come from colourful starchy vegetables such as butternut or acorn squash, corn, turnips, parsnips, rutabagas, and sweet potato’s … rather than starchy grains.
All whole grains should be considered high-starch foods. If you do use bread, a thin whole wheat pita is a good choice for sandwiches and can hold many healthful fillings such as vegetables, eggplant and bean spreads. When you eat grains, use whole grains such as brown or wild rice, and use them in place of a cooked starchy vegetable at dinner. Refined starchy grains (such as bread, pasta and white rice) and white potatoes should be used sparingly. In the Six Week Strategy it is best to try and cut out completely refined starches such as white bread and pasta … however your diet should be adjusted to your metabolic needs and activity level.
5. Eat beans and legumes every day
Beans are a dieters best friend. On the 6 Week Strategy your goal should be to eat a cup of beans daily, but you may have more than one cup if you want to. Beans are a powerhouse of super-nutrition, they reduce cholesterol and blood sugar and also have a high nutrient per calorie profile to help prevent food cravings. They are digested slowly, which has a stabilizing effect on your blood sugar. Beans, eggplant, mushrooms, and greens should feature almost daily during the 6 Week Strategy as they are all high nutrient, high-fiber, low calorie main dishes. Throw a cup of beans on your salad at lunch … and eat lots of bean soups. On the subject of soup, scientific studies show a linear relationship between soup consumption and successful weight loss. As a weight loss strategy, eating lots of soups will help you greatly as they slow your rate of food intake by reducing your appetite and by filling your stomach.
6. Eliminate animal and dairy products
No milk shakes allowed on the Six Week Strategy … sorry!
For the Six Week Strategy, eliminate animal products completely. But if you must include them, use only lean fish (flounder, sole or tilapia) once or twice a week and an egg omelet once a week. Other than that, no dairy products are permitted in the Six Week Strategy.
7. Have a tablespoon of ground flaxseeds every day
This will give you those hard to find omega 3 fats that protect you against diabetes, heart disease and cancer. The body can manufature EPA and DHA from these omega 3 fats for those of us who do not consume much fish. An additional source of omega 3 fats might be modest portions of walnuts and soybeans. Edamine, those green soybeans you often see in the freezer section of most health food stores, taste great and are a rich source of omega 3 fats.
8. Consume nuts and seeds … but no more than one ounce per day
One ounce of nuts is about 200 calories and can fit into a cupped hand. Because of their high calorie count, its best to not eat too many nuts, and when you do try to eat them as part of a meal. You can use them (sparingly) in salads, salad dressings and dips. When eaten with greens, they greatly enhance the absorption of nutrients. But beware … you must never snack on nuts and seeds as those calories soon mount up! Scientific studies frequently report that nuts and seeds offer very high disease protection against heart attack, stroke and cancer and also help lower cholesterol.
9. Eat a Lot of Mushrooms
Mushrooms make a great chewy replacement for meat. Exploring their variety is a great way to add interesting flavours and textures to dishes. Store them in a paper bag, not plastic as too much moisture speeds spoilage. Try adding them to beans, seasoned with herbs and lemon juice. Even though they are a fungus and not a real vegetable, mushrooms contain a variety of phytochemicals and have been linked to a decreased risk of chronic diseases … particularly cancer. Onions too, add fast flavour to foods … dried onion powder can be quickly added to any salad dressing, soup or vegetable dish. Red onions or scallions, sauteed in a little water or raw and sliced extra thin, make great flavour enhancers for salads.
10. Keep it Simple!
Use the basic skeleton plan below to devise menu plans so you will know what to eat when there is no time to decide:
Breakfast: Fresh fruit
Lunch: Salad, beans on top and more fruit
Dinner: Salad and two cooked vegetables (1 lb) , fruit desert
You do not have to prepare fancy recipes all the time. If your going to be out and about, just grab some left over vegetables, lettuce and tomato on whole grained bread or stuffed into a whole wheat pita pocket and a few pieces of fruit. Wash and dry plenty of heads of romaine lettuce on the weekend or when you have time.