Six Simple Steps For Lifelong Weight Loss
By: Dianne Villano, CPFI www.mypersonalfitnesscoach.com
If you are sick of losing the same weight over and over--and feeling like a failure because your last "diet" didn't work, try these tips. These will help you lose weight--and lose it for good. I have watched hundreds of clients over the years. Almost without exception, those who lose their weight once and for all have these six basic habits as a part of their lives.
1. Keep a food diary
For at least five days--and up to a week--keep a pen and paper handy. Write down everything you eat, how much, where and when you ate it, and whom you ate with. Try to write it down as you eat it. Most people find that when they try to remember everything at the end of the day, they leave something out.
I have also had clients tell me that they didn't eat something because they knew they were going to have to write it down. Be completely honest with yourself. You don’t need to show anyone the results. Most people are surprised when they read their completed logs. Particular environments and people can often trigger certain eating behaviors that are readily apparent when you use a food log.
2. Don’t eat too little
Very low calorie diets will, in the short term, help you lose weight. But, they’re extremely difficult to maintain. You’ll gradually become tired and irritable. You'll lack the energy to exercise. People won’t want to eat with you, because the long list of ‘taboo’ foods renders restaurant menus--and even family meals at home--unsuitable for your overly strict diet.
3. Neither feast nor fast
They weren't kidding when they said "breakfast is the most important meal of the day." Studies show that those who skip the first meal end up eating more total calories throughout the day--and tend to make less healthy choices. Try to eat at least 3 meals a day. Optimally, you should spread your calories throughout 6 small meals per day. This will keep your metabolism bustling and your blood sugar level even--which will help you avoid binging.
4. Get fresh
The packaging and processing done to "convenience" foods reducex the nutrient values of foods and substantially raises the caloric content. The American Dietetic Association recommends at least 3 - 5 servings from the fruit and vegetable group per day--but, this is based on fruits and vegetables that still have their nutrients.
No time to prepare "home made meals? Try preparing in bulk on the weekends to make healthy choices readily available. Cut up a large bowl of fresh fruit, (1 cup = 1 serving) or pre-make a large bowl of salad or cut-up veggies. I usually prepare a week's worth of chicken or pork, so I can quickly reheat it and add it to any recipe.
5. Hydrate your way to quicker weight loss
Drink water ahead of coffee, tea, or soft drinks. Including the ‘hidden’ water we consume in food, we need 64 oz. per day. More is recommended to counteract the dehydration caused by caffeinated beverages and intense exercise or excessive heat. How much do we need to drink? In genera,l you should be drinking enough water per day so that your urine is nearly clear.
6. Eat less, exercise more
The great thing about food diaries is they show you much where you can cut the number of "extra" (calories). Many people eat out of habit when they are not even hungry. You may also need to make dietary changes if you begin (or increase the intensity of) a fitness program.
I know, you are going to say, "I don't have time because ...(insert your favorite excuse here). Ask yourself this..."how much more energy will I have when I am not carrying around these extra __ pounds? How many more things will I enjoy and feel god while doing when I am in a fit healthy body? Is it worth a few minutes a day to incorporate these simple habits into my day?"
Copyright © Custom Bodies, Inc. 2005
Article written by Dianne Villano, President of Custom Bodies. Custom Bodies has been serving the bay area since 1996 with weight loss & fitness programs for every fitness level. Dianne is a personal fitness instructor certified through the National Academy of Sports Medicine and a frequent speaker on health and fitness related topics with articles published in over 20 media outlets including Weight Loss & Obesity Resource Center, Women’s Exercise Network, Self Growth , Gateway to Beauty & Life tools for Women.
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