By Lisa Caplan

First, let me say that I am not a nutritionist and the tips that I am sharing with you are my own opinions of what I have found to be helpful. In eating healthy let’s think in terms of sustainable changes, and not short term. Any healthy change must happen over time to become part of your lifestyle. Quick fixes work for the short term, but don’t last long.

Diets don’t work. Why? Because they are not sustainable, but meant to be a quick fix. Will you lose weight? Probably. Will you keep it off? Probably not. Pick a goal that includes more than just losing weight or seeing a certain number on the scale. Those goals are usually not enough to keep you motivated, and can even be discouraging.  

A more motivating goal might be:

  • I want to have enough energy to play with my grandchildren.
  • I want to lower my blood pressure so maybe I don’t have to take as much medication.
  • I don’t want my back to hurt.
  • I want to feel better emotionally.
  • I want to feel comfortable in my own skin.

Tips to help you be successful:

  • Talk with your doctor about meeting with a nutritionist to look at how you are eating.
  • Check with your grocery store. Some grocery stores now have nutritionists that are available for free to help you make healthy changes.
  • Start your day with 16 ounces of water and add lemon if you like. I wake up feeling dehydrated, so when I drink water first thing in the morning, I feel better and it curbs my appetite.
  • Make small changes – very small changes to your diet. Stick with them for a few weeks before making another change. Start with something that’s not that important to you. For example, if you can take or leave soda and other sugary drinks that are empty calories, then cut them out.
  • Plan ahead. If you go out to dinner  look at the menu before you go to see what you might want to order.
  • Take half home. In the USA portion sizes are much larger than what is recommended. So, have the restaurant pack up half of your meal to take home before they bring you your meal.
  • Watch the alcohol. It packs on calories and lowers your inhibitions to eat more.
  • Get support. Find other people who have a healthy positive outlook on food to support you.
  • Don’t eat after dinner. Finish your dinner and dessert, if you are having it, and be done for the night. Brushing your teeth after dinner can help make the decision to not eat after dinner.
  • Don’t snack while watching TV.
  • Don’t eat out of the bag. Check the portion sizes and take that amount out of the bag and put the bag away.
  • Find a healthy eating program that works for you. Some programs are quick fix diet options and others are more about making long term healthy changes. Do your research and find one that works for you.
  • Unless you have an addiction, I am not a big believer in all or nothing. So, if you can eat a couple bites of cake without binging on the entire cake, then go for it. If this causes you to crave sugar, then you may need to eliminate it from your diet. You know how you react to food, so be honest with yourself and make the changes you need to.
  • Healthy eating is not complete without exercise. Combine exercise that you enjoy doing with healthy eating and you will have a holistic approach to being as healthy as you can.

For assistance, please contact the Lawyer Assistance Program for free, confidential counseling. We have a network of counselors throughout Maryland. Jim Quinn, Lawyer Assistance Director, (443) 703-3041, jim@msba.org; Lisa Caplan, LCSW-C, Associate Director of the Lawyer Assistance Program, (443) 703-3042, lisa@msba.org. 24/7 Toll Free 1(888) 388-5459.

 

Lisa Caplan, LCSW-C has over 20 years experience in her field, and extensive experience working with lawyers and judges in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and trauma.