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Ditch Your Diet and Lose Weight

By: Dianne Villano, CPFI


Sticking to a healthy eating plan can be a challenge for many people. Most people abandon their “diets” long before reaching their goals, and only 5% of people who do reach their goal will maintain that weightloss for a year or more.

If you are tired of losing the same weight over and over and would like to take it off once and for all, employ these simple steps to take (or regain) control of your eating habits

1. Don’t diet. Diets are something that you will eventually go off (usually just prior to regaining your lost weight). Reshape your thinking to “changing eating habits” or “making lifestyle changes”

Instead of saying, “I can’t have that, I am on a diet” try “I don’t want that, I am changing my eating habits.”

2. Remember that calories count. It's not low fat vs. low carb. You can eat fewer calories by eating less food. Fat has 9 calories per gram, but protein and carbohydrates have only 4 calories per gram. This means that when you eat less fat, you consume fewer calories without having to eat less food. Eat less fat and fewer simple carbs.

3. Be accountable for what and how much you eat. Keep a food journal for a month (or at the very least a few weeks) to be aware of what, when, and why you are eating.

Paying attention to physical cues and signals can help you determine when your body is cuing you to eat due to hunger as opposed mental or external cues. Ask yourself, "Am I really hungry or am I eating? Because .it is there? It smells good? I don’t want to waste food? I’m stressed? I am bored? Insert your favorite excuse here.

4. Do not restrict foods. The problem isn't bad foods. It's inappropriate amounts. If you neglect certain food groups, you'll end up craving those foods and, eventually binging. You also miss out on vital nutrients. Everything in moderation.

5. Don’t fall prey to “Portion Distortion.” Weigh and measure foods for at least a month but at the very least 2 weeks and look at nutrition panels regularly to learn what a single serving actually is. Most restaurant servings are 2-3 times single serving sizes.

6. Avoid skipping meals. Eating 5-6 times a day not only stimulates your metabolism but will keep your blood sugar level eating and help you to avoid overeating.

7. Be positive. Recognize irrational thoughts. Focus on the things that you have done right and the positive changes that you have made. Remember, success breeds success.

8. Eat more "good carbs" like fruits, vegetables, legumes, and unrefined grains (such as whole-wheat flour and whole grain rice). They are rich in fiber, which slows absorption and fills you up before you take in too many calories.

9. Begin by making moderate changes in your diet. By just eating 250 calories a day less (1.5 sodas, 2 tbs of oil or dressing, or 1 piece of pizza) you will lose a pound every 2 weeks. Add to that a few 30 minute walks a week and you are off to a good start.

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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