Diet Progressions

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We’re not crazy about adhering to extreme diets.  Paleo and gluten-free are definitely out of the question for us.  But there are some pretty unhealthy foods that we’ve been able to reduce our intake of relatively easily.  We’ve been successful with this by doing it in steps rather than cold turkey.  You wouldn’t try to quit smoking without using a patch or Nicorette Gum, would you?  So why try to cut out something like ice cream without taking some time to do it.  If you incrementally go from ice cream to a healthier option, you’ll have a lot more success than if you tried to do it in one step.

Here is what we mean: Say you like to eat ice cream 3 times per week.  Your first step towards waning yourself off of it should be to substitute two of those days with some type of frozen yogurt like Pinkberry.  Go ahead and eat some ice cream on that third day.  The next week, try two days of lowfat, low sugar yogurt with fruit and one day of Pinkberry.  The third week, go one step further and snack on some healthier low fat Greek yogurt like Fage or Chobani with some granola and a little fruit.  Also, look at the ingredients label of what you buy.  Many yogurts have added unnatural sugars and if its pre-made (like a Starbucks parfait) you can be pretty sure that it’s not the healthiest option.

Here’s a similar progression if you prefer salty snacks:

Week 1: Regular potato chips

Week 2: Baked potato chips

Week 3: Pretzels

Week 4: Salted peanuts

Week 5: Unsalted mixed nuts

During this progression period, pick a day of the week where you can have a serving of whatever it is you are trying to eliminate, but try to limit it only to that day.  As you slowly reduce your junk food intake, you’ll begin to crave it less and the healthier options will feel satisfying.