After the holidays, most of us are looking for an easy way to shed those extra pounds we put on from all of those turkey dinners. However, dieting is easier said than done. Losing weight is probably one of the most broken New Year’s resolutions that we make. Trying to find the right weight loss program is not always so easy either. The truth is that most of the major weight loss programs are pretty good. But what you are really looking for his a healthy lifestyle change. You need to make changes that you can live with. Because in order to keep the weight off, we have to make these changes permanent. A temporary fad diet is not going to do the trick. After losing quite a bit of weight myself, I have learned some very helpful tricks along the way. Here are my weight loss top 10 tips of 2006.
1. Get Support
In order to lose weight and keep it off, you need to have a good support system. Eating healthy is great, but it doesn’t help you much when your family is pigging out on potato chips and chocolate. Get them involved as well and have them support you. Even better, have a friend or close relative go on the program with you. It’s much easier to lose weight when you have to report to someone weekly of how you’ve done. Accountability is a great way to keep you on program.
2. Skip The TV When Eating
Don’t eat your meals in front of the television. Most of us never really pay attention to what we are eating. You may find that when you start actually concentrating on your food, some of the things you eat you may not even like! Slow down and concentrate on your foods, really savor them.
3. Move Your Butt
Speaking of the television, turn it off and go for a walk. Spend some fun, energetic time with friends or family. If you must watch TV, then get up and walk around during the commercials. Do some exercise everyday. You don’t have to join a gym; you can just make little changes to life everyday. For example, the next time you go to the grocery store, park at the back of the lot and walk. Or just go the mall and do some window shopping and walk around the mall a few times. Use every opportunity you can to get in a little exercise.
4. Eat Small Meals
Dieting does not mean that you have to go hungry. In fact, most people tend to lose weight better by never letting themselves get hungry. When your body gets too hungry, it begins to reserve your fat cells thus making it harder to lose. The best way to lose is to eat small portions often. Eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. But also include snacks and desserts in between. The key is to eat small portions at each of these meals. Have a bowl of oatmeal with fruit for breakfast, and then have some more fruit for snack.
5. Eat Your Fruits and Veggies
They are good for you. Use every opportunity you can to add in your fruits and veggies. The calories are negligible, they have great health benefits, and they fill you up. Don’t drink a glass of orange juice, eat the whole orange! Add veggies to your scrambled eggs or fruit to your cereal. Have a side salad at lunch and add some veggies to your sandwich.
6. Drink Water
Drink at least 6-8 eight ounce glasses of water per day. Water fills you up and our bodies need it. In fact, often time’s people will confuse thirst for hunger. When you are feeling hungry and you just ate not that long ago, drink a glass of water and wait five minutes.
7. Eat Carbs And Fats
But eat the right ones! We always see these diets come out, one year it’s a low fat diet and the next year it’s a low carb diet. Our bodies actually need both carbs and fats, but we need to eat the right ones. Avoid saturated fats and go for the healthy oils like olive oil and canola oil. A nice salad with an olive oil dressing is wonderfully good for you. For carbs, go for the brown rice, pasta, and whole grain breads. Avoid the high processed and refined carbs like white bread. Read the label, if it says “enriched” then they have stripped away all of the good stuff.
8. Eat Dessert
Or whatever else it is that you crave. We can not go through life denying ourselves of the things we love. That doesn’t mean you should run out and get a Big Mac meal with large fries, a 32 ounce soda and follow it up with a giant piece of chocolate cake (Yumm!). But you can go out on occasion and have a burger (just get a side salad and water to go with it and skip the fries). Or you can have a small piece of chocolate cake on occasion too. Do it within reason. Try to be healthy 95% of the time with an occasional splurge to satisfy your cravings.
9. Chew Gum And Eat Mints
Sugar free of course. Okay, so I know this one sounds strange, but a big way to pack on the extra calories (and pounds) is by sampling everything. It’s hard not to eat everything when you cook. I’ve often found that I am hungry and sample so much that by the time dinner is ready, I’ve probably already had a full portion. And then of course I sit down and have a big ole plate. So when you are cooking or getting a craving for something that you really don’t need, pop in a Tic Tac or go brush your teeth. Nothing takes away the craving for spaghetti like a mouth full of mint!
10. Be Sensible When Eating Out
I love to go out to eat, probably because I am such a horrible cook! But a big problem with restaurants in the US is that they give you 3-4 times a normal portion. The plates are bigger, the forks are bigger, the portions are HUGE, and so we eat far more than we should. When you get your plate, ask the waiter for a doggy bag and immediately pack up what you do not plan to eat. This gets the food off your plate and ensures that you will stop eating when you should. If you do not like to bring home doggy bags, then immediately sections off what you shouldn’t eat and douse it with salt or sugar. That way you have no chance of eating what you shouldn’t.
You don’t have to do a major diet program to lose weight. Just make some changes to your everyday living and follow these tips and the weight is sure to come off.