Weight Loss without Deprivation

July 30, 2013 in Foodland, General, Uncategorized, Weight Management by Joyce Bunderson

Have you seen the story about New York City medical doctors writing prescriptions for fruits and vegetables? Patients receive a $2 voucher for each member of their family, to use on fruits and vegetables. One 11-year old boy, Ty-J Futch lost 40 pounds since he started the program last year. Indeed, the family of five have all benefited from the program.

Before the program Ty-J didn’t like fruits and vegetables; but he does now.  The fact that Ty-J likes fruits and vegetables now, tells me that they were offered more frequently (thanks to the program) and he learned that he did enjoy them – that’s an important recognition. That and the fact that 40 percent of the children in the program have reduced their body mass index is more than trivia. Though the program is based upon solid research, these results are just bonus windfall. The reality is when we’re filling up on low-calorie foods like fruits and vegetables; we find ourselves eating less of the higher calorie foods, while we pack in the nutrients that help our bodies be optimally nourished. It truly is a win-win.

This blog is filled with posts citing evidence and example of the power of eating more fruits and veggies and less meat. You don’t have to review these many posts, but I wish my own family all did. The truth is that I just got back from a short family reunion. It amazes me what even the smart people we love are still willing to eat.

Real, whole, healthy food does not need to make us feel deprived. I cooked one of the breakfasts that our 35 family members ate; I made whole-wheat pancakes with strawberry sauce for breakfast. There were many complements, and a number of people went for the leftover pancakes the next day instead of the Lucky Charms and other boxed cereal offered that day. *My pancake hints: Make a big batch of pancake mix and then divide into recipe-ready packets. When you’re ready to make pancakes, just add water, egg and oil. Sweeten defrosted frozen strawberries and blend it a few seconds; use instead of syrup.  (Of course, strawberries are giving you lots more than the sugar or high fructose corn syrup in traditional maple syrup.) Thick creamy non-fat Greek yogurt (also slightly sweetened with a natural calorie-free sweetener) adds lots of calcium and protein, without the saturated fat of butter – honestly it’s a very nice topping for pancakes. This breakfast was not difficult; but it was nourishing, and most important of all it was truly delicious.

Why not enjoy healthy real food?  I’m beginning to believe it’s a matter of taking the first step – then letting it become a habit. Many in America can afford to purchase fruits and vegetables but they’re still putting meat, potatoes and bread in the staring role, both in portion of budget and portion size. If we’re struggling to maintain normal weight, give fruits and vegetables a chance and put meat in a supporting role – as Mark Bittman says. Eating more fruits and vegetables, while still eating a smaller amount of tasty meat is really a painless way to support weight loss without feeling deprived.