"Dr. Julie’s Top 3 Tips for Keeping Weight Off"It seems like just yesterday that it was the first day of winter. But as winter comes to an end and Spring is just around the corner, how do we start to get in shape and keep weight off throughout our summer season?

One of the biggest obstacles to weight maintenance or weight loss is our hectic schedules. As tax season comes around again and we are all busy with the end of the school year, make sure you are keeping track of what you are eating. By keeping a nutrition log, it will force you to practice mindful eating so that you are aware of what you are putting into your mouth.

When we are busy with school or work or family obligations, we start to slip into mindless eating. This habit of “mindless eating” can be detrimental to our waist line and thus our health. More often than not, my patients are astonished at how much they are eating in between meals and they only notice these things once they’ve started journaling their food intake.

So, first rule of healthy weight maintenance and weight loss is to keep track of what you are eating and practice mindful eating…not mindless eating.

The second rule is to keep water by your side at all times. Frequently, people eat because they are thirsty instead of hungry. Again, the mindful eating habit will help you to realize you are thirsty and not hungry. But, keeping water or green tea by your side at all times will help to ensure that you are well-hydrated throughout the day and will naturally help you sidestep this dietary pitfall.

The third rule is to eat all your vegetables first at every meal. This way, you will ensure that you get maximum intake of necessary vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients at every meal. You will also get all the fiber and water from the vegetables to help make you full, so that you will eat less of the less healthy foods on your plate. Also, since it takes longer to chew all the fibrous vegetables, it will allow you the time to digest and for your brain to realize you are already mostly full…thus eating less of the other more calorically dense foods.

So, by simply keeping a food log, drinking fluids throughout the day, and eating vegetables first at every meal, you will be taking the guess work out of healthy weight maintenance and weight loss. This will free up your mind and time to deal with your school work and your work/family obligations…while keeping your waist line in its summer tip-top shape!