by Rachel Lee Carter
It’s that time of year when we put away the sweaters and coats and pull out the shorts and swimsuits. And if you’re like me, you might notice those shorts from last season not quite fitting like you remember. Our first thought? It’s time to diet.
But most of the time, dieting is the best way to gain weight. In my 20+ years as a professional model in the fashion industry, I’ve seen every trick in the book on getting thin. And they’ve all resulted in failed attempts, weak immune systems and low self-esteem. So, throw out the diet books, pills and packaged foods that promise weight loss, and let’s talk about getting back to the basics of real health.
Feed Living Food to a Living Body
This is the perfect time of year to add fresh, raw vegetables and fruits to your daily routine. Science proves that cooking destroys nutrients and live enzymes needed for healthy cell replication. Cook some, but not all, veggies. Search out colorful raw veggie pasta medleys and summer salad ensembles.
Eating smaller amounts of food every three to four hours helps with hunger control. Planned snacking will help you feel satisfied with reasonable food portions; so keep healthy options like nuts, seeds, whole-wheat or flax seed crackers, fruits and vegetables on hand. Eating less, more often makes us feel full longer and stay satisfied.
Cut Back on Meat and Fat
Rarely do vegetarians say the reason for their choice of diet is weight loss. However, they eat roughly 500 fewer calories a day and a considerably less amount of fat than meat eaters.
Discover a New Approach to Eating
Many people eat when they’re sad, happy, lonely, tired or bored. It’s important to approach food as a way to improve our health, not just to fill our bellies or appease our emotions.
Nutritionists agree that the best way to lose weight and keep it off is to gradually modify our eating habits in such a way that we never feel deprived. Moderation is key; so allow some room for the occasional low-fat dessert.
I think it’s funny that many folks will drive around the parking lot several times to get a parking space close to the mall door, only to walk a couple of miles from store to store once they’re inside. Physical activity is one of the strongest precursors of long lasting weight loss. The more varied and enjoyable the activities are, the more likely we are to continue to do them. Park farther away, take the stairs, and work quickly while cleaning to boost your heart rate.
These are easy approaches to “temple maintenance” and can have positive lasting results. So, go ahead and put away the winter wear and bring on the shorts and swimsuits, just remember…modesty is always in season!
Rachel Lee Carter is an international professional model who has worked for clients such as Cover Girl, Tommy Hilfiger, Reebok, Jones New York, Fitness Magazine, Perry Ellis, Chico’s, Nicole Miller, DKNY, and many others. In 1996, she graduated Dean’s honor from the Word of Life Bible Institute in Schroon Lake, NY, where she studied systematic theology and Bible survey with an emphasis on missions and youth ministry.
Rachel is the President of Modeling Christ, www.ModelingChrist.com where she has developed a successful speaking career while ministering at various women’s and youth conferences nationwide. Her latest book, Fashioned by Faith (Thomas Nelson), is now available in bookstores.