When you make the commitment to drop some body weight, do you consider that in order to be successful in your endeavors, you have to plan on following your program for the rest of your life? This concept may make you think twice about which weight loss programs to choose. The vast majority of weight loss programs out there are quick fixes, which can help you lose weight quickly, but can you really imagine yourself sticking to these programs for longer than a couple of months? Let’s think realistically for a moment. How long can you truly, full heartedly, commit to a program that requires you to exercise 2 hours per day, eat only vegetables and drink a horribly tasting vanilla shake that you can barely keep down?
Let’s change the paradigm from all-or-none, no fooling around, and no pain no gain, to a new one of baby steps, no pressure, good health and REALITY.
Here are 10 ways to help you can start to change your lifestyle into a healthy one, without too much blood, sweat and tears:
1. Drink more water.
When you are dehydrated, your body cannot function efficiently. You may even feel like snacking more often, as thirst can mask itself as feelings of hunger. Drinking plenty of water has numerous healthful benefits, some of which can directly affect your weight: more energy, higher metabolism, better appetite control and higher fat metabolism.
2. Get enough sleep.
Scientific research suggests a strong link between sleep and weight management. Lack of sleep can negatively affect some of the hormone concentrations that have a direct influence on your appetite and hunger levels, causing you to gain weight. The midnight snacks don’t help much either.
3. Walk more.
Whether you take on walking or jogging as part of your exercise routine, or you choose to add more walking into your normal daily activities, you will be facilitating your weight loss efforts. If you are unable to commit a full half hour to exercise, park further away from the entrance to your office building or grocery store. Walk to your colleague’s desk to get the answer you need, instead of sending an e-mail. Walk to the deli down the street on your lunch break instead of getting into your car and driving.
4. Eat your fruits and vegetables first.
Before you load your plate with steak and mashed potatoes, have a dinner salad or a piece of fruit. The high fiber content of fruits and vegetables can not only improve your digestive health, but they can also give you a feeling of satiety, which will lessen your appetite when it is time to pile the food on your plate.
5. Shrink your portion sizes.
What would happen if you didn’t cut anything out of your diet, but cut back on the portion sizes? It might prevent the feeling of being deprived, which derails many people from their diet plan. Cut down on the calories you consume in a meal, promising yourself that you can have a healthy snack later, if you are still hungry. These precautionary steps will help you prevent bouts of binge eating.
6. Eat slowly.
Taking the time to have a leisurely meal can help your weight control efforts. Chew your food and savor all of the delicious flavors. Take time to enjoy the company you are with. The message from your stomach to your brain, saying that you’re full, can take up to 20 minutes, and eating slowly can prevent overeating in the meantime.
7. Don’t forget to snack.
To get your metabolism revving, you need to feed your body fuel regularly. It is important to have a healthy snack between meals, so that you are consuming food about every 2-3 hours. This will also prevent any feeling of hunger that may tempt you to overeat. Remember, healthy is the key word here. A healthy snack is approximately 150-200 calories and contains foods that contribute to your overall health, such as fruit, vegetables, yogurt, nuts or seeds.
8. Start reading Nutrition Facts labels.
You may find yourself flabbergasted when you look at the Nutrition Facts labels of some of your favorite foods. Be sure to look at the serving size, and calories, fat and sodium per serving. You may find that some of the foods in your diet are not worth consuming.
9. Find healthier substitutions.
Many times, you can replace your high fat foods with a lower fat or sugar alternative without giving up the taste that you enjoy so much. Many ice creams, cookies, candies and snack foods come in a much healthier form, and are available at your local supermarket. Again, get in the habit of looking at the Nutrition Facts labels and choose the healthiest alternative.
10. Keep a food diary.
Write down everything you eat for a couple weeks as you start your weight loss program. Make sure to include accurate measurements on portion sizes. You may also want to jot down any emotions or activities that were taking place when you eat. This will give you insight into valuable information like, the ability to analyze how many calories you are truly consuming, along with any patterns that you were unaware of, like eating out of boredom or stress. You can make adjustments to your eating patterns based upon what you find.
Your weight loss journey is not a sprint. It is a marathon that requires you to pace yourself.
Once you reach your weight loss goal, keeping these reinforcements in place is important in maintaining your new body weight. A successful weight loss plan requires baby steps that don’t grossly interfere with your hectic life. Take a few of these ideas and implement them into your life and see how it goes. Once they become habit to you, pick a few more to implement.
While the information on this site is deemed to be reliable, it is not intended to replace the advice of your own trusted medical professionals. You are strongly advised to consult with your doctor before acting on any recommendations presented on this site.