How to Choose the Right Diet

Women choosing between apple and corisant

If you’ve struggled with weight loss before, then you know that in order to lose weight you not only need to watch what you eat, but also how you eat and why you eat. Many diet programs on the market today are designed to help take thinking out of the equation by offering comprehensive meal plans. But with so many diet programs available, how do you decide on the best one for you? Here’s a checklist for choosing the right weight loss plan.

  1. Does the diet program help you cut calories? Choose a diet plan that will help you reduce 500-750 calories daily by removing high-carbohydrate and sugar-rich foods from your diet. This reduction in calories will generally result in a healthy weight loss of one to two pounds each week.
  2. Does the diet program help meet your protein needs? Not only is it important for a diet program to help you reduce calories, but also help you meet your protein needs. Consuming 0.8 g of protein per 2.2 lbs of bodyweight per day will support muscle maintenance and the metabolism while in a reduced-calorie state. For most individuals protein intake ranges from 46-56 g of protein per day. Also, protein has a higher satiety factor, which will help you stay full longer. The fewer hunger pangs that occur, the easier it will be for you to stick to a diet. Remember, consistency is the key to weight loss success.
  3. Does the diet program offer a meal replacement option? If you feel overwhelmed selecting your own meals or have trouble with portion control, then meal replacements are an excellent option. Replacing one or two meals daily with meal replacements while following a comprehensive weight management program, where you can receive guidance from a nutritionist or health coach, can help you achieve your weight loss goal successfully.
  4. Does the diet program help you limit your sodium intake to 2,300 mg daily? The average American consumes an excess amount of sodium daily, at roughly 3,400 mg per day. A high sodium diet can contribute to increased water retention and lead to health risks, such as high blood pressure. When choosing a diet program, make sure the amount of sodium you will consume each day is 2,300 mg per day or below. By cutting down your sodium intake, you will be reducing water weight as well.
  5. Does the diet program recommend exercise? Physical activity has been shown to contribute to weight loss and decrease belly fat. A good diet plan would include all of above criteria as well as recommend physical activity for at least 30 minutes or more on most, and preferably all days of the week at a moderate- to high-intensity level.
  6. Does the diet program have a health care practitioner available to contact? At the start of your diet program as well as during, you may need a diet assessment or have questions about your progress. Having the accessibility to speak or collaborate with a nutritionist or health coach may lead to a more successful weight loss journey.

A diet program that meets the criteria on this checklist will help set you up for success. Then all you will need to do to carry out your diet program successfully is to set specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and timely goals that will help you stay motivated and disciplined on the diet.

I hope this post helps you in finding the right diet that works for you. If you have any questions about your current diet or a diet you might be interested in, feel free to contact me by leaving your question(s) in the comment section.

Goodluck, Jamie



What You’ll Learn from NOT Wearing Makeup

It all started when I was 13. I applied black eyeliner for the first time, looked in the mirror and saw a different person. My eyes looked more defined, fierce, and noticeable. It made me feel confident, and since then, eyeliner became my best friend.

It followed me throughout high school and into college. After many sleepless nights from pulling all-nighters, wearing eyeliner made me feel invincible to remarks like “you look tired”, “what’s wrong?” or “are you ok?”

Then after college, I began to experiment with more cosmetics and added more makeup to my collection. Eventually, I perfected my look with the use of concealer, foundation, blush, bronzer, brow pencil…etc., all with the help of spending one year at a beauty school and watching popular makeup tutorials on YouTube video. It is amazing how makeup can easily cover up imperfections.

Fast forward five years. I realize that I’ve relied too much on makeup. It almost has become a crutch to feel and look good. So I challenged myself to stop relying on beauty products and instead concentrate on enhancing my natural beauty.

If you ever feel like beauty products have been your tower of strength to help you look and feel good but doubt that not wearing makeup can make a difference in your life, challenge yourself to go makeup free for a period.

Here is what you’ll learn from NOT wearing makeup:
1. You’ll appreciate your uniqueness and natural beauty. I don’t consider makeup an enemy, but wearing it every day hides your natural beauty, such as the real color of your lips, cheeks, and freckles.

2. Your face can tell you a lot about your health status. Dry skin and baggy eyes indicate dehydration. Uneven skin tone could mean a lack of nutrients. A lack of sleep could attribute to dark circles under your eyes. Acne can be a result of stress and hormones. Swollen eyelids or bloated cheeks could be a sign of a high-sodium diet. Not wearing makeup allows you to see what your body needs or is lacking then you can alter your lifestyle accordingly.

3. You’ll save time in the morning. Not wearing makeup can help you save time in the morning and instead you can sleep in a little bit more or have more time preparing breakfast.

4. You can improve your focus. Rather than spending time applying makeup or shopping for it, not wearing makeup gives you the opportunity to change your focus and concentrate on healthy ways that bring about true beauty naturally. Remember, beauty comes from the inside out, and it starts with good nutrition and doing what’s good for the soul. Make it a habit each day to do the following:

  • Eat 5-7 cups of colorful fruits and vegetables
  • Drink 8-10 glasses of water
  • Sleeping 7-9 hours
  • Exercising at least 30 minutes
  • Journal by writing down three positive thoughts about your life and three things you are grateful for each day.
  • Meditate at least 10 minutes

5. You’ll learn that confidence comes from within and not from makeup. No amount of makeup can give you the confidence you want. It all comes from the positive thoughts you tell yourself. Work on building that mindset.

I challenge you to go makeup free for seven days. It won’t be easy at first, but after a day or so you’ll start to feel empowered when you begin to take more control over your health!

After writing this blog, I found this article “This is what I learned going make-up free for a week” on BuzzFeed written by Erin La Rosa. It’s a great reflection of what she learned from going makeup free, and it’s exactly the perspective that I gained too. Couldn’t have said it better myself.

How do you feel about going makeup-free? How do you think you could benefit? I would love to hear from you. Please leave me a comment below.

Go Off the Wall, Nuts!

Picture of Walnuts

While I was munching on Diamond of California’s glazed walnuts at my desk this afternoon, an e-mail from California Walnuts coincidentally showed up in my inbox, alerting me about the newest study on Walnuts and Cognitive Function. In the study, people who ate walnuts each day – even as little as half an ounce, performed cognitively better than those who did not eat any. Those who ate higher amounts of walnuts performed even better. What great news! So, for a healthy brainy cognitive boost, find it in Walnuts. Walnuts are also higher in antioxidants than other nuts out there, which can help with immunity and aging. If you ever feel like quite the snacker at your work desk like me today, snack on a handful of wholesome walnuts; but just like everything else, don’t over do it!

Check out the study here.