I am approached daily by friends or family asking for advice on weightloss (and nutrition… and exercise). With so much information out there, so many different diets/programs, it can seem overwhelming and rather confusing. I’ve been there! Regardless of the plan you choose, there are rules that apply to weightloss. RULES… More like guidelines… I don’t like rules! Ha!
Implementing the following will definitely help you in losing weight.
1. It’s a lifestyle, NOT a diet. This isn’t a quick fix, it’s a way of life.
2. Get organized. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Structure your life and you’ll structure your eating. Create a healthy meal plan for the week, write a shopping list (and stick to it). Prepare meals and snacks in advance. A little planning means you avoid eating those yummy little gold fish or whatever it is your kids are snacking on.
3. Eat small. I’m talking portion control… It is vital for losing weight. Eat dinner on smaller sized plates and when eating out, split your meal with your date, or ask the server to box half of your meal before it even gets to your table. Check online menus, if available, for nutrition information ahead of time.
4. Leave food on your plate. (This one is really a continuation of #3) Leaving food on your plate can aid in taking control of compulsive eating. Many restaurants serve huge portions, sometimes enough for two or three people. Order menu items that contain fewer calories and eat a smaller portion. Bring leftovers home for another meal.
5. Never feel deprived. If you feel deprived, you will be more likely to binge. If you want a treat make it yourself and make it healthy.
6. Eat slowly. That way you will feel satisfied before you’ve eaten too much. It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to get the message from your stomach that you are no longer hungry. Fast eaters are often overeaters, while slow eaters tend to eat less and are still satisfied.
7. Drink water. 6-8 glasses a day is ideal, or about a half gallon. Hunger is often confused with thirst and dehydration, so drink before you eat.
8. Enjoy your food. It is one of life’s greatest pleasures, not a punishment.
9. Move. Exercise is essential to weight loss. Schedule it into your day, just like an appointment and treat it like one. Take advantage of incidental exercise. Take the stairs or park farther out in the parking lot.
10. Get enough sleep. Structuring your sleep patterns will help regulate your metabolism. Tired people have increased ghrelin, a hormone which stimulates appetite.
11. Focus on what motivates you.. A note, a photo, or a quote. Keep it with you or in a place where you will see it often as a constant reminder of why you want to change, AND embrace that change. You can’t expect to do the same thing over and over and miraculously get different results.
Trust the process and remember, one pound at a time! You’ve got this!