[ EN l FR l US ]
Employee and Family Assistance Programs
For Employees and Families: Your EFAP

The Dieting Merry-Go-Round

March 2004

Frustrated about your weight? Confused by the twists and turns of following fad diets like The Zone, Eating for Your Type, or the Atkins Revolution? The reality is, there are literally hundreds of too-good-to-be-true diets that boast a quick fix for weight loss. Unfortunately most of them omit certain food groups or require extreme restrictions to your food intake.

To achieve and maintain a healthy weight, you have to follow an eating plan you can live withfor a lifetime. That means no severe restrictions, no extreme hunger and no fads. Here are a few tips that could help you stop and get off the dieting merry-go-round.

Change your perspective. Realize that weight management isnt a short-term goal but a life-term goal. By doing this you can better commit to the idea of balance and change in how and what you eat. Begin by slowly adopting new eating habits as part of a routine that you can live with. For example, bring a healthy lunch to work three days per week or indulge yourself with low-fat desserts or drink water instead of soft drinks when youre thirsty.

Be realistic. The average adult gains one to three pounds per year. One pound of fat equals 3,500 calories. So what makes you think you can take it all off in just a few weeks? Slow and steady is best unless your doctor feels your health condition could benefit from more rapid weight loss. Expect to lose about a pound or two a week. Weight loss at this rate is comprised mostly of fat (not fluid) and has a much better chance of staying off.

Spot the fad diets. Fad diets come and goand so does your weight. Before starting on any diet program, make sure that:

  • the diet is based on more than a single study;
  • dramatic statements about results, are not refuted by reputable health organizations;
  • the program is not associated with a product sell;
  • the plan does not ignore the uniqueness of individuals; and
  • all major food groups are built into the plans daily food consumption.

For more information visit Canadas Food Guide to Healthy Eating at: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hpfb-dgpsa/onpp-bppn/food_guide_rainbow_e.html

Make every meal count. Bypassing mealsespecially breakfastto save calories is a bad idea since youre likely to over-compensate (binge) at other times during the day. Besides, you can actually lose weight by eating breakfast. Studies show that people who eat breakfast tend to carry less weight than those who do not. Why? Because a healthy breakfast keeps blood sugar and hormone levels stable while the metabolism buzzes along at a higher level, burning more calories. (Tip: If you dont particularly enjoy breakfast remember breakfast doesnt necessarily have to be a traditional breakfast food).

Resist emotional eating. Emotional eating is consuming large quantities of comfort or junk food to try to heal an emotional situation. Not only does this lead to weight management problems, it can also prevent us from dealing with, or resolving the situation that is driving us to eat. You can help by recognizing that this type of eating is in response to feelings instead of hunger, and by identifying your eating triggers. Keep a diary of what and when you eat and identify your thoughts and feelings. You may begin to see a pattern of emotional eating. Then talk to a doctor, nutritionist and/or counsellor to help you learn how to substitute food with more appropriate management techniques. The alternatives could keep you happier both physically and emotionally.

Be a strategy-safe dieter. In your dieting plan include flexible food choices, weight goals set by a health professional, the recommended daily allowances for vitamins and minerals and a long-term approach to weight maintenance. Plans should also improve overall eating habits, increase physical activity, and modify lifestyle habits that may contribute to weight gain. Consult with your doctor if you plan to lose more than 15 to 20 pounds, have any health problems, or take any medication on a regular basis.

Get moving! Daily exercise burns calories and suppresses the appetite. It also improves your sense of wellbeing and decreases stress (which often leads to overeating). Determine what type of physical activity best suits your lifestyle by considering if you enjoy the outdoors or prefer indoor activities. Also take into account social aspects such as your preference for time alone to think and reflect or participating in activities with others?

If youre not used to physical activity, start at an easy pace and work your way up to more intense exercise. Start with a brisk walk, a short jog or moderate swimming. Its recommended to gradually work towards 30 to 60 minutes of daily activity. Also try to incorporate some simple calorie-burners into your everyday routine.

Choose a plan for YOU. A weight loss plan has to be practical. Picture yourself sticking to the plan for the rest of your life. If you can't see yourself on a certain plan longer than a few days or weeks, then chances are it's not for you. Move on. Everyone is different and you need to listen to your own unique needs. Learn which plans work for you: which ones make you feel energetic; which ones make you feel tired; which ones put you on a merry-go-round of cravings; and which ones don't. Finding the right way to lose and maintain weight shouldnt be a quest of trial and error, tribulations and defeat, but a journey of self-discovery. Its a personal way of life.

Need more information on nutrition-related issues? Call to see if you are eligible for WS Nutrition Matters. A Registered Dietitian can address any questions, help you create a healthy eating program and support you in achieving your nutritional goals. Call your EAP at 1.800.387.4765 for service in English or 1.800.361.5676 for service in French.

Balance Archives
December 2013
Living with a disability
November 2013
Making nutrition work for any work scenario
October 2013
Your child has a mental disorder. Now what?
September 2013
Coping with the news of today and the world around us
August 2013
How to be happier through positive psychology
July 2013
Prepping your child for leaving home
June 2013
Digital communications in the workplace
May 2013
Ten factors that impact psychological health in the workplace
April 2013
Bullying in the workplace
February 2013
How to Cope with a Serious Medical Diagnosis
January 2013
Health Literacy: A proactive approach to health care
December 2012
High-Tech Stress Management
November 2012
Stress and Diabetes — Understanding the Link
October 2012
Let's Talk Mental Health
September 2012
How to Talk to Your Child About Bullying
August 2012
Setting Social Media Boundaries for your Kids
July 2012
Healthy Trends: Putting the Fun Back into Fitness
June 2012
Parenting Styles - Discover yours and what the experts say
May 2012
Workplace Health and Safety – Lower the Risks in Any Environment
April 2012
Successful Budgeting: How to Put Extra Cash in Your Pocket
March 2012
Later in Life Pregnancy: Expecting at 40
February 2012
Squeezing in Your Main Squeeze: Making Time for Your Relationship
January 2012
Alzheimer’s – An Inspirational Journey

Balancing Act Archives
December 2011
A Weighty Issue: Understanding the Impact of Excess Weight on your Health
November 2011
Retaining Resiliency: Maintaining your Inner Strength Amidst Life’s Daily Challenges
October 2011
Teaming to Succeed: Working Better Together
September 2011
Commuter Calm: Getting to Work without Getting Annoyed
August 2011
Dream Home Decisions: A Blueprint for Home Buying
July 2011
Safe Summer Socializing: Drinking Responsibly over the Summer Months
June 2011
Wise and Well: Smart Choices for Healthy Aging
May 2011
Seasonal Allergies: Is it a Cold or Allergies?
April 2011
Cyberbullying: Protecting your Child Online
March 2011
Sodium Overload: Shaking the Salt Habit
February 2011
Relationship Rescue: Making it through a “rough patch”
January 2011
Constructing Confidence: Building Belief in Yourself and Your Abilities
December 2010
Internet Safety for Adults: Avoiding Online Vulnerability
November 2010
Exercising Safely: Tips to Avoid Workout Injuries
October 2010
Clearing Up the Misconceptions: The Myths and Facts about Counseling
September 2010
Setting Limits and Letting Go: Creating healthy boundaries and knowing when to let go
August 2010
The Highs and Lows of Caffeine
July 2010
Smart and Secure Traveling: Tips to Ensure you’re not Robbed of a Great Vacation
June 2010
Heat Hazards:
Staying safe, hydrated and happy this summer
May 2010
When It’s Time to Step In: Convincing Older Parents to Get Extra Help
April 2010
Oral Health and You
March 2010
Understanding Organics
February 2010
Winning the War on Bedtime Battles
January 2010
How to Stand Out at Work for all the Right Reasons
December 2009
Leave the Stress at Home: Tips for Safe Holiday Travel
November 2009
Arthritis 101: The Many Faces of Arthritis
October 2009
Staying Healthy on the Job: Tips for Maintaining Physical Health at Work
September 2009
Turning Over a New Financial Leaf: Quick tips to reduce debt and start saving
August 2009
Danger Zone: Keeping your kids safe online
July 2009
One-Way Holiday: When the Kids are on Vacation and You’re Not
June 2009
Summer Stock: Using your extra time in the summer to put your life in order
May 2009
Family Feuds: Collaborating to Resolve Family Conflicts
April 2009
Tummy Troubles: Reducing Stress for Better Digestive Health
March 2009
Avoiding A Double Life: Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft
February 2009
Making Headway: Coping with Headaches and Migraines
January 2009
Fading Memories: An Absent Mind or Warning Signs?
December 2008
Make it Meaningful:
Re-connecting to the spirit of the holiday season
November 2008
Healthy Hibernation
October 2008
Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy
September 2008
The Big Split: Kids, Separation and Divorce
August 2008
Back to Work Blues: Easing Into Work after Summer Vacation
July 2008
Summer Brain Drain: Encouraging kids to keep learning during the summer holidays
June 2008
Helping Teens Prepare for Summer Work
May 2008
Keeping a Lid on Anger
April 2008
Making Your Dream of Better Sleep Come True
March 2008
Understanding Allergies
February 2008
Keep Cholesterol In Check
January 2008
Climbing Back on the Fitness Wagon
December 2007
'Tis the Season to be Blue?
November 2007
Steering Yourself Away From Junk Food
October 2007
Healthy Heroics on the Job
September 2007
Heart Smarts: Quick Tips to Stay Heart Healthy
August 2007
First Day Jitters: Helping Kids Adjust to a new School
July 2007
Memory Makeover: Tips To Spruce Up An Absent Mind
June 2007
Camp Countdown: Helping Kids Emotionally Prepare For Summer Camp
May 2007
Parking Stress at the Door
April 2007
Simple Steps to Cut Cancer Risk
March 2007
Label Smarts. The Nutritional Goods on Grocery Shopping
February 2007
Avoiding the Budget Crunch
January 2007
A Breath of Fresh Air: Creating a Smoke-Free Reality
December 2006
Your Guide to Holiday Peacekeeping
November 2006
New Adoption? Adoption Considerations
October 2006
Stress Effects: Avoiding the Strain Drain
September 2006
Learning about Learning Disabilities
August 2006
Family Snack Smarts!
July 2006
Cooperative Co-parenting
June 2006
Street Proofing Teens 101
May 2006
Harmony is in season - Warm Weather Activities To Bring The Family Together
March 2006
Healthy Eating In A Fast Food World
February 2006
Stress Busters to Stay Lighthearted
January 2006
Brain Gain in Lifes Later Years
December 2005
Holiday Budget Planning
November 2005
Combating Childhood Obesity
October 2005
Eating Away at Colds and Flu
September 2005
Avoiding the Aches of Osteoarthritis
August 2005
Growing Older Eating Wiser
July 2005
Nutrition Tips for the Healthiest Summer Ever
June 2005
Long-Term Care Facilities Or Nursing Homes
May 2005
Nutrition and Your Baby
April 2005
When Baby Comes Home For The First Time
March 2005
Stepping into the Role of Stepparent
February 2005
Pumping Fitness into Your Day
January 2005
Remedies for Financial Holiday Hangovers
December 2004
Time out: Making the most of the holidays
November 2004
An Ounce of Prevention: Type 2 Diabetes
October 2004
Dealing with Peer Pressure
September 2004
Long Distance Caregiving ,Caring for Older Relatives from Across the Miles
July 2004
Easing into summer vacation
June 2004
A Family-Friendly Balance for Working Fathers
May 2004
Communication Tips to Help Young Minds Grow
April 2004
Tips for Making the Tax Season Less Taxing
March 2004
The Dieting Merry-Go-Round
February 2004
Keeping Your Financial Future in Check
January 2004
Here Comes the Flu
December 2003
Communicating with your Teen
November 2003
Eating for Energy
October 2003
Work-life Balance Making it Work for You
September 2003
The Homework Zone
August 2003
Health Hints to Ease Your Family in to the Fall Season
July 2003
Stay Alert and Stay Safe - Streetproofing your kids
June 2003
Summer Activities for Stay-at-Home Kids
May 2003
Helping Older Relatives Stay Active
April 2003
Spring-cleaning For the home and family and you
March 2003
Choosing a Summer Camp
February 2003
Baby couch potatoes Tearing your kids away from the TV
January 2003
Resolution Solutions
December 2002
Holiday Stress Blasters
November 2002
Beating the Winter Blues
October 2002
Making the most of family mealtimes
September 2002
Generation Relations
August 2002
Vacation Relaxation
July 2002
Swimming Safety
May 2002
Stuck in the Middle ie The Sandwich Generation
April 2002
Supporting Your Childs Social Success
March 2002
After the Spring Break ie Take a Break For Yourself
February 2002
Keep those loving connections alive
January 2002
Ringing in a Balanced New Year
December 2001
Holiday Safety Tips
November 2001
Its Flu Season
October 2001
Halloween Safety Tips
September 2001
Back to school
© 2014 Shepell·fgi