Swapping out starchy carbs and mindful eating can help lose weight.
New Year’s resolutions can be a strong start to the year if the people who make them hold themselves accountable and find tools to help stay on track.
“Good Morning America” kicked off the Small Victories, Big Results series that shows how small changes in diet, finances and more can have a major impact on life.
Nutritionist Dawn Jackson Blatner joined “GMA” to check in with three viewers who each kept video diaries of their progress throughout the month while eating healthier and shared tips to take the next step in reaching their goals.
Manageable Micro Changes That Yield Meaningful Results
Jason, Leslie, and Talisha were all looking to make a 5-pound fix.
Jason kept his food diary and adhered to a plant-based diet while looking to get in shape.
Blatner hailed his food log that included lots of colorful fruits and vegetables, along with plant-based protein like beans and tofu, “so he’s doing great there,” she said. “But he does have some starchy carbs we can address.”
The Fix: Carb Cleanup
“Pick one favorite starchy carb at each meal,” Blatner said. “So instead of a sandwich and chips, you pick one or the other.”
“Then when it comes to snack time you can swap some starchy carbs — like pepper scoops instead of tortilla chips,” she suggested, adding that the vegetables will give extra benefits.
On again, off again dieting
Leslie was looking to drop a few extra pounds in time for her wedding and Blatner loved her food log, which she said included lots of veggies and good quality proteins and fats.
The Fix: Mindful Eating
“For her and many of us, mindful eating is the solution,” Blatner said.
The concept has two steps.
First, Blatner said is single task eating, which means there is no multi-multitasking happening while you eat, whether it’s watching TV or working. Then do a fullness check.
“This is where you eat slowly. You chew your bites 15 times, you check in to see if you’re mentally satisfied. If you’re physically satisfied,” the nutritionist explained.
“Instead of a big plate of snacks — when you use mindful techniques — you can eat less but still enjoy it so much,” she said.
Super strict dieter
Blatner said that Talisha, who was determined to hit her weight loss goal and used a friend for accountability, had an amazing food log.
“She’s doing everything right — she needs advice of slow your roll, celebrate your successes,” Blatner said. “Then just focus a little bit more on the exercise piece.”
The Fix: Take a Step Back
For anyone adhering to a strict diet, try practicing mindful exercise, Blatner suggested.
“I love the idea of using the fit principle which is looking at your frequency and intensity, time and type of exercise and shaking that up,” she said.
If someone already has the food part of the healthy lifestyle part down, Blatner said that “mindful exercise in is really going to help shape things up.”