Do you have any idea how big the weight loss industry is in the United States today? Well, according to Marketdata, a marketing research company who has tracked the dieting industry since 1989, the U.S. weight loss market totaled $55 billion in 2007 and is now estimated to be about $80 billion. To me, these numbers indicate two things: (1) As a society, we are getting heavier and are searching for ways to lose weight, and (2) We want to be able to lose weight without the inconvenience of exercise or eating less. In fact, one FDA report on dieting was titled “A Never-Ending Quest for Easy Solutions”. I think that title is a very good indication of how most of us go about trying to lose weight. Well, that just is not possible. To lose weight effectively and safely you are more than likely going to have to make some lifestyle choices.
In the end, knowing how to lose weight isn’t really all that complicated. If you eat fewer calories than you burn off each day I guarantee you will lose weight. It will also help if the calories you do eat come from healthy foods. In other words, it is healthier to eat fruit, vegetables, and whole grain foods for your calories instead of a banana split or a chocolate shake.
And here is where our desires to save time during our very busy days will get us in trouble. Not only do the fast and prepackaged stuff offer more instant gratification than most healthy foods but the healthy stuff takes more time to make. That makes it very easy to blame being either “too busy” or “too tired” as the reason why we take a trip through the drive through instead of going home and cooking a healthy meal.
But, if you really want to lose weight, then choices have to be made and one of them may well be rearranging your schedule to allow more time to prepare healthy meals.
There are also food choices that will help you get the healthy calories and other vitamins and minerals you need without taking too much time to prepare. Chief among these are fruit and vegetable smoothies. When made with the right ingredients such as low fat yogurt or soy milk, fruit smoothie recipes are healthy, low calorie, filling and quick to make.
Here’s one recipe as an example.
– 3 large bananas
– 1 cup cold low fat or soy milk
– 1 cup low-fat yogurt
– 4 tablespoons of frozen vanilla yogurt
– 1/2-1 cup of ice cubes
In your blender, mix the bananas, milk, plain and ice cream yogurt. Add a few ice cubes at first and then continue to add a few ice cubes until it reaches the consistency you like best. Pour into a chilled glass and sprinkle a little nutmeg or cinnamon on top!
Now, this might not be a banana split but I guarantee you that it is a whole lot healthier for you and just as satisfying!