Caption: Hillsides employee, Rob DaSilva sports WOD Gear Clothing t-shirt, a functional athletic apparel company that has selected Hillsides as its beneficiary of this year’s Team Series Competition. Learn more about this event.
By Sofi Goode
Over the past four years, Hillsides Residential Treatment Services Program Supervisor Rob DaSilva has undertaken a total lifestyle transformation. Motivated by a desire to regain the athleticism of his youth, Rob dramatically changed his eating and exercise habits and has lost more than 50 pounds.
Rob has found that being healthier has given him more energy and helped him manage his stress. He’s become a model of healthy living for the Hillsides staff and the children he works with.
Anyone can lead a healthy lifestyle, says Rob. Here, in the first of a three-day series, he shares tips for creating better eating habits:
Say Good-Bye to Soda
Rob realized he was consuming up to two liters a day of soda. He began to replace some of the soda with homemade juice. Investing in a juicer meant that he getting more nutrients and less sugar from these drinks than store-bought juices. In addition, because making juice was more effort, he drank less. It was easier for him to drink water than to make juice. Over time, he weaned himself off of the juice entirely and only drank water.
Count Out Serving Sizes
Rob’s next target was potato chips. He found that when he watched TV, he would eat them mindlessly out of a bag. Instead, when he got the chip urge, he counted out a small serving of chips into a bowl and put the bag away. This way, he automatically portion controlled his chip consumption. And because it was a hassle to go back into the kitchen to get more chips, he wasn’t motivated to eat more.
Transform Your Tastebuds
Next Rob tackled the added sweeteners in his coffee and tea. He first transitioned from sugar to artificial sweeteners. Next, he slowly but surely lessened the amount of sweetener. By gradually decreasing the amount of sweetener in his drinks Rob allowed his taste buds to adjust until he found that he no longer wanted any sweetener.
Tomorrow, read how Rob went from walking one mile a few times a week to becoming a competitive triathlete, and how you can increase your workouts too!
Sofi Goode is a Hillsides communication intern in Hillsides Advancement Services, where she assists in promoting its social media and internet presence. She is currently a sophomore at Wesleyan University.