Most women will agree with me that to keep up with the trends, young appearance and staying thin is a constant battle. As a food lover, I have a very hard time staying away from all the wonderful temptations today’s market has to offer. Growing up in Europe, I can compare the differences between the lifestyles there and here, in the United States. With the world as much connected as it currently is, some food and some habits are the same internationally. Some, however, remain slightly different. Women (and men) tend to move much more in Europe. If a place is a walking distance from your home, you simply walk! If there is a public transportation with a convenient connection, people don’t think twice about taking it instead of driving and then franticly searching for a nearest parking spot.
The eating habits were slightly different as well. I remember having a sandwich or a breakfast roll in the morning; we had a “snack break” at school and then the biggest meal of the day – lunch! We’d have another snack in the afternoon – and by snack I don’t mean a snicker bar or a bag of chips! Our snacks consisted of a small open sandwich or fresh fruit that was in season. Our dinners were fairly simple, lighter than lunch but we always had room for dessert. Sounds like a lot of food for just one day, doesn’t it? We walked everywhere, we rode bicycles, and we exercised, hiked or went for another walk after dinner.
Inevitably, all the famous diets spread around the world and even the women I knew felt pressured to try them. And some of them worked, some not so much.
Unfortunately, most these women ended up acting irritated, moody and though they may have lost ten pounds, I felt like the struggle and their change of attitude wasn’t worth it at all. There is something about a confident woman that makes her attractive regardless of her weight!
Every time I go visit and travel through the European airports, I see elegance, confidence and I see women who are content to be who they are. Be interested in feeling good and being fit rather than hitting your goal number on the scale! Here are my tips for your “new diet” and lifestyle:
- Next time you go grocery shopping, aim for the produce section or find a local farmers market. The more seasonal produce you eat, the more satisfied your taste buds will be, leaving you content without over-eating.
- Make light dinners – salads, soups, sandwiches, bowls… the more colors and the more fresh items, the better! If you will have a heavier dish, serve it on a small plate, which will help you to eat a much smaller portion.
- Instead of focusing on just one food group, or depriving yourself of certain dishes, or even starving yourself, enjoy every meal! Make your food taste good and look good!
- Have a glass of wine with your dinner! Invite your friends over! Share your meal with your loved ones. My point is – don’t detest your meal time because you’re dieting. Instead, embrace your new lifestyle and your new choices.
- Opt for a bicycle ride or a walk, when you can. Instead of searching for the nearest parking spot, park where able and walk. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Go play soccer with your kids instead of watching a movie. It’s the small steps that add up in the end.