Who would have thought you could get diet tips from your grandmother? Sometimes it seems like women have been dieting since the dawn of time. But believe it or not, your grandmother probably knew a thing or two about looking good for swimsuit season! When all else fails, try these seven diet tips from your grandmother and her generation.
1. Eat Smaller Portions
One of the best diet tips from your grandmother is her effective use of portion control. Everyone has seen that commercial or PSA where a dietician compares today’s food portions with the food portions of 50 years ago. Your grandmother’s generation probably ate much smaller amounts of food, resulting in eating fewer calories and maintaining a healthy weight.
2. Make Use of the Farmer’s Market
Chances are your grandmother didn’t rely on canned peaches and frozen broccoli when growing up. She probably bought locally grown and even organic produce. I understand that you might not be able to eat that way year-round, but as the warmer months approach, take advantage of your local farmer’s market. Farmer’s markets are a great way to get access to all sorts of seasonal and local fruits and veggies that will help you lose weight.
3. Cook at Home More Often
Is that Chinese takeout menu on the fridge practically calling out your name? In your grandmother’s generation, I doubt there was fast food or take out. Although take out is convenient and there are healthier options than 10 years ago, your grandmother probably didn’t order pizza and sushi on the daily. Try cooking at home at least five nights a week. Not only will you save calories, but you’ll also save money.
4. Avoid Eating in Front of the Television
I understand that Tuesday doesn’t feel like Tuesday without watching the Real Housewives of New York. As tempted as you are to indulge in dinner and your favorite reality TV shows at the same time, remember your grandmother most likely didn’t watch TV while she ate dinner (if she even had a set). Make a new habit of avoiding eating in front of a TV, computer, or other electronic screens. This will keep you from mindlessly overeating.
5. Find an Evening Hobby Instead of Food
Are you a nighttime nosher? If food is a problem for you in the evenings, try to find another activity or pastime that will keep your hands busy so you won’t be tempted to eat. Hobbies like knitting, drawing, reading, writing, and any other activities that will keep your hands busy will definitely keep you from overeating late at night. Most people in your grandmother’s generation had an evening pastime other than TV/computers that kept them busy and kept their calories in check.
6. Walk Whenever You Have the Chance
Your grandmother’s generation most likely didn’t have access to cars all the time. She probably walked more often, allowing her to burn calories, tone her lower body, and improve her heart health. Whenever you have the chance, walk as much as possible. Take the stairs instead of riding the elevator. Park far away instead of scavenging for that perfect spot. You can easily burn a few hundred calories a day by walking a mere 30 minutes!
7. If It Comes in a Can or Bag, Don’t Eat It
There’s overwhelming evidence that processed food consumption plays a big role in why so many people are overweight today. Older generations in general ate fewer processed foods than we do today. If you’re trying to cut calories and lose weight, consider eliminating a lot of the packaged, canned, or bagged foods in your diet. To put it simply, if it comes in a box, can, or bag, don’t eat it!
Your grandmother’s generation had a bunch of good habits that kept them trim and in shape all year long. What are some old school dieting tips you use that actually work?