Pritikin alum Joe Young shed 115+ pounds and is now a wiry, mountain-climbing 155 pounds. He says: “I’ve banished two “D” words from my life – ‘deprivation’ and ‘diet.’ For me, Pritikin is not about deprivation. It’s about enjoying good healthy food. I’m not dieting. Diets don’t work. I’m just eating well.”
The following 4 tips will help you ditch the diets and live a healthier, happier life.
1. Don’t think “diet.” Think “lifestyle.”
Every step counts. Whatever you can do to improve your health and shed excess weight is better than not doing anything. If you can enjoy Pritikin living 100% of the time, that’s fabulous. If 50% is your best shot, go for it. If 25% is all you can currently do, pat yourself on the back and focus on progress.
For example: If you’ve been ordering sausage and eggs for breakfast for the past 50 years, getting those sausage links off your plate is a huge step. This one single change to your daily diet can help you drop about 25 pounds in one year, not to mention what it will do for the health of your coronary arteries.
After you’ve settled in with sausage-free breakfasts, try for more. Order a big bowl of fresh fruit instead of greasy potatoes. Ask for an egg-white omelet full of freshly grilled veggies. If you still need cheese, request “very light on the cheese.” You’ll probably be pleasantly surprised at how just a little cheese goes a long way. Before long, you may even be saying (with a big I-DID-IT smile): “No cheese, please.”
2. Don’t fall for marketing strategies.
What good is a “fat free” box of brown rice if you’re getting 2,000 milligrams of sodium in each serving? Always read those labels. Be skeptical. If the marketing claims on the front of the package sound too good to be true, they probably are.
And don’t get hung up on controlling portions. A skinny slice of salami for lunch all too easily leads to huge hunger later on. Think BIG, filling foods – foods that take up a lot of space in our stomachs and satisfy hunger, but contain very few calories. Yes, veggies, fruits, salads, Pritikin soups, beans, baked potatoes, sweet potatoes – everything you enjoyed at the Pritikin Longevity Center.
3. Don’t hand over the reins.
Always remember that YOU are in charge. No one but you can make sure your pantry’s well stocked, your grocery cart is heaped with fresh fruits and veggies, and you’re ordering well at restaurants. Remember, too, that by coming to Pritikin, by attending the many seminars, by getting into the rhythm of daily exercise, by tasting – really tasting – the pleasures of fresh foods (and learning how to prepare them in cooking class), you now have the skills and motivation to succeed!
4. Don’t weigh yourself daily.
If you follow the Pritikin Program, weight loss is a natural result. It will take time, but it will happen. Instead of obsessing over the bathroom scale, develop your own daily mantra of Pritikin motivators –
- “I’m a success if I can count up 9 or more fruits and veggies I’ve eaten today.”
- “I’m a success if I carved out enough time to walk 10,000 steps today.”
- “I’m a success because now I’m really listening to my hunger and satiety signals.”
- “I’m a success because with each meal today I made sure that at least half of what I ate was veggies.”
- “I’m a success because every snack I ate today was healthy and low-calorie-dense – nonfat Greek yogurt, a big apple, a bag of baby carrots, a bowl of Pritikin minestrone soup.”
- And finally, “I’m a success today because every time I sat down to eat, I asked myself, ‘Is almost everything I’m about to eat going to do something for me, and not against me? Is there nutrition on my plate?’”
All the above, far more than the bathroom scale, are true markers of success.