I went to see a dietician a year or so ago, on advice from my doctor to lose weight and for my high blood pressure.

I was not looking forward to it, as I had visions of a diet of rice cakes and lettuce for the rest of my life, or be faced with blood pressure meds.

I was actually pleasantly surprised by what she had me do, and the advice she gave me.

She told me, that to lose weight and keep it off, you needed to change your habits, slowly, and in such a way, as to not disrupt our daily life. I was happy with this idea.

She told me, it quite often is not the big obvious items that are causing weight gain. It is most likely the small things, such as eating slightly more per day, even the healthy foods, and moving slightly less each day, and this combination adds a few pounds here and there. It creeps up ever so slowly, to the point you don't realize it, until you are at your physical, or for some other reason, and you get on the scale and YIKES!

You have had signs, like your clothes from last year being a bit too tight, or the sizes you are looking at were creeping up, and you would blame it on the styles and fashions for the reason the numbers were a bit higher.

But, there it is. So, I thought, great I am going to have to give up my favorite foods and start sweating buckets at a gym to lose this extra weight.


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Although exercise is good, and cutting back on the fatty stuff is good, you can find other ways to help your weight loss goals along.

While I was in her office, she asked me things like "when you have peanut butter, do you have a tablespoon sized portion?". I thought that was about what I had, I would scoop it out on a knife. I showed her, and she measured it, and what I thought was ONE tablespoon was actually TWO tablespoons. The label on the side of the peanut butter jar, referred to the calorie count and fat grams etc, based on ONE tablespoon. So I was actually getting double that.

I eat almonds and walnuts as snacks, they are good for you right? I thought they were a healthy alternative to cookies right? She said YES, but how much do I eat. I showed her, and in actual fact, a healthy serving is 1/4 cup. My handful measured over 1/2 a cup. At 250 calories per 1/4 cup of nuts, and 100 calories per tablespoon of peanut butter, we had already found 350 calories I was overeating per day, because I thought it was the right sized portion.

So, before you start hauling out the rice cakes and lettuce to lose weight, maybe take a look at your portion sizes. You may think they are not that big, but when you grab a knife full here and a handful there, it does add up!

All you need to do is find 500 calories in your day. Either with food or with exercise, and that will drop you one pound per week, as there are 3500 calories in one pound.

I took one week, and I painstakingly, became totally aware of my portions sizes, by measuring it all, until I got used to the right size, and could eyeball it again.

I think, we may have started out with the right portion sizes, but over time, they slowly get bigger, and we move just a bit less each day, and that is a recipe for weight gain, and a whole host of other issues, such as blood pressure in my case.

After I lost 12 pounds, my blood pressure returned to normal. So for the sake of an extra handful of nuts, and a bit too much peanut butter and other things, I was able to avoid blood pressure medication.

Our weight loss goals, are as individual as we are, and what works for one, may not work for another. If you can afford it, a visit with a dietician, can be a eye opener. If not, get out your tablespoon and scales, and really take a good look at just how much you are eating, even those "health foods" too much of anything is not a good thing, especially if you are trying to lose weight!