Southern cuisine is probably one of the worst diets to succumb to. Fried foods, rich and starchy, and decadent desserts are firmly inserted into the southern lifestyle. However many other cultures have diets that cater to a less than ideal pallet as well. Low carbohydrates in a diet will improve your overall health and weight provided you become properly educated on it. The truth is, you have to do a number of things to get your family eating healthier and looking better. Low carbohydrate consumption can get you there, but its not the only thing to do. This way of life is great for diabetics and those who have diabetes in the family. Low carbohydrates are not enough, you have to watch proportions, and caloric intake still. Otherwise you will end up where you started.
Water works- Cut out the sugared drinks your family is consuming. It is so important that you hydrate your body properly and the best way to do this is by drinking more water. Water not only hydrates the body, it can help the body feel fuller between meals and is a great tool for dieting.
Find healthy alternatives - If you are overweight, chances are restraint is not your strong point. Therefore it is important to approach your diet and food consumption in a different way. Fried foods will never be healthy, so you are going to have to learn to live without them. Find alternatives that are just as yummy. Flour has very little flavor in it, its the satisfaction of the crunch, texture and salt that most people actually desire. If it were just flour, we'd all be eating it by the bucket full. Find healthier alternatives that have those same properties like celery, lettuce, almonds, whole wheat pita chips are also great, but be careful not to exceed the serving size. Rice, pasta, and potatoes are high in carbohydrates and easy to over eat. To find low carb/high fiber pasta look for Dreamfields Pasta in your grocery store. It is a great alternative to regular pasta, and tastes indistinguishable from the regular kind. If you can't find it in your local grocery store, www.netrition.com offers a lot of low carb foods to help you find healthier alternatives to your family's meal plan.
Get full of it- No diet will work for anyone long term if you don't feel "full" at the end of a meal. Your body is used to excess and it will automatically crave what it is used to. Double up on your veggies, sometimes adding hot sauce or a powerful flavor to something bland will make it more satisfying. It is better to over indulge on veggies, than to over indulge on chocolate cake, or having a fourth slice of pizza. You will have to train yourself to eat these things on regular basis. Your stomach doesn't know the difference between 2 pounds of lettuce or 2 pounds of fettucini. Make it feel full, it will not crave more.
Exercise- The only exercise that counts is the one you will actually do. You need to exercise every day for at least 30 minutes. Walking is one way to improve your health, and weather permitting one of the most enjoyable ways to get into shape. However, if you rely on just walking you may not do as well as most people will not walk on a regular basis in bad weather. A great alternative and in addition to walking would be to invest in a Nintendo wii fit system. This system will allow you to work out in the privacy of your home, on your time schedule and you won't be as prone to break the routine since there wont be too many excuses for doing so. Wii fit will keep track of your weight, offers a broad range of low impact exercises, including aerobics, strength training, balance improvement, etc. For residents in Orangeburg, SC, Edisto Memorial Gardens offers a nice boardwalk throughout the gardens for family walks and is a great way to spend time together. There is a picnic area and also a playground, and tennis court. Orangeburg Country also has Santee State Park to explore as well. Next year Orangeburg, SC will also open its doors to the public with is new Orangeburg Aquatic Park. Having places to be active instead of just sitting around the house will have the whole family more enthusiastic about getting in shape.
Commitment- You have to make a solid commitment to this lifestyle for yourself and your family. Go to parks instead of restaurants, bowl instead of watching movies, and always eat at home except on the occasional splurge. If your family craves sweets, visit your local TCBY and order healthy low fat frozen yogurt instead of ice cream. Life is short enough, don't wait until you are hearing bad news from your doctor to love yourself and your family enough to change, it may be too late.
Get educated- For more information on the great benefits of drinking water and losing weight, read the book BODYCRAFT- Creating the Body You Want, While Loving the Body You Have, written by L. Ilizabethe Zelandais. This book offers incredible insights and help for the struggles we all face with our body and minds.
http://www.netrition.com/ makes great low carb pasta that tastes just like regular pasta without the guilt.