There is really only one way for losing weight. Watch what you eat and burn more calories than you take in. That's it! All of those "fad" diets out there do not really work. Restricting food groups, drinking diet drinks, diet pills, etc may work to help you lose a few pounds but you will not keep it off. As soon as you return to your old habits the pounds will return. You must change yourself if you are to succeed.
An important fact to remember when dieting comes from The American Dietetic Association that states you should never go below 10 calories per pound of body weight. What this means is that if you weigh 150 pounds then your weight loss program should never be below 1500 calories per day, a 125 pound person would be 1250 calories. This is a change from the usual 1200 calorie diet which is traditionally given to women trying to lose weight. Using the 10 calories per pound guide will produce a gradual weight loss less likely to be gained back.
Change Your Lifestyle
When you change your dietary lifestyle, you will be changing your old eating habits and making new ones that can last a lifetime. It will take dedication, motivation, and hard work, but the results will be worth it. If you are serious in your effort of losing weight, then these tips will help you.
Change What You Eat
Most fast food burgers and fries are loaded with saturated fat and cholesterol. The same for fried foods. If you can't resist fast food, go for the kid's meal with fruit instead of fries. Or get a grilled chicken breast sandwich with a side salad. Also skip the soda, drink water or milk with your meal. Studies have proved that drinking diet soda or using artificial sweeteners increases your cravings for sweets. So skip the "diet" sodas too.
Join A Support Group -> -> ->
You can do a Google search and find online support groups to help you in losing weight. There are hundreds of blogs put up by people just like you and me who will help you to get over the humps. Share stories, successes, tears, and laughter. Believe me it will help.
Tell your friends and family that you are working at losing weight. It makes you accountable for your actions, and it makes it harder to turn back. It will also help to prevent them from sabotaging your efforts.
Take Before, During, And After Photos
I know that if you are like me you avoid cameras like the plague. It is very hard to see yourself as you are. But there is no easier way to show your progress.
Weigh In Regularly
This is a tip that I picked up from Weight Watchers. Weigh yourself once a week at the same time of day. There are those out there who tell you to weigh every day, but if like me, your weight fluctuates on a daily basis, this can be very disheartening.
Start Reading Labels
Especially if you are losing weight with diabetes, this is a crucial step to take. Product labels today will give you all of the information that you need to make the right choices. They list fats, sugars, carbohydrates, cholesterol, vitamins, and calories per serving. Triple check the serving size and stick with it. The serving sizes and calories count!
Keep A Food Diary
There is no better tool to help when losing weight. Keeping track of everything that goes in your mouth, including drinks, will show you your trouble areas, the foods that will get you started on a binge, the worst times of day to eat, etc. Keep it for two weeks and be sure that it is accurate. No need to lie to yourself. It will reflect your true eating habits.
Remember, Don't Overdo It
Lifestyle changes do bring results. But do not forget that there is a law of diminishing returns. You can exercise for an extra hour a day for a week and still lose the same amount of weight as you did when exercising half of the time. your body needs to adjust to all of these changes. Don't push too hard, it won't result in any appreciable results.
Use the Food Pyramid
When planning your diet for losing weight, use the USDA Food Pyramid to get you started. The Daily Food Guide suggests the kinds of foods that everyone needs. Nutritionally important foods are divided into 4 groups, the milk group, the vegetable-fruit group, the meat group, and the bread and cereal group.
Choose An Exercise Plan
Find an exercise plan that will work for you. When attempting an exercise plan after a long period of inactivity, you must be careful to build up the intensity slowly. This will prevent injuries. A pulled muscle, or a sprained knee could stop your weight loss in its tracks.
The best method to follow is losing weight by walking. If you start out small with only a few minutes a day, and build up you will find the pounds melting away. For tips go to my Exercise page for more information.
Get In The Zone
There is a reason why you see so many people exercising with their Walkman on. Listening to music while you exercise can keep your mind off of the physical activity. The time will go faster and you will be done before you know it.
Set Realistic Goals
Yes you can lose 59 pounds in 2 weeks if you run 5 miles a day and eat only celery, but not if you are human. Remember the tortoise, slow wins the day. Losing two pounds a week is a healthy goal. Take small steps and before you know it, you will have climbed that mountain.
Never Skip Meals
It is very important to establish patterns of eating that can be followed when your desirable weight has been reached. Don't skip meals as this can lead to uncontrolled snacking. In fact most diet experts agree that eating several small meals in a day is better than eating 3 big ones. With "grazing" you don't feel hungry all of the time, and it is easier to stick to your diet.
Most people do not include beverages into their daily calorie count. But it can be critical to losing weight. Did you know that a cola has over 100 calories per eight ounces, and I have never found an 8 ounce can or bottle. The cans are 12 ounces and the bottles are 20. That is a lot of calories just for one drink. Do you like chocolate milk? One tablespoon of chocolate syrup adds 45 calories to your glass of milk. Diet drinks vary as to their calories, so check the labels and be aware of the serving sizes. Alcoholic beverages provide only empty calories so it is best to avoid them when losing weight.
Remember, plan your meals carefully. Incorporate snacks into your meal plan, and stay away from "fad" diets. If you follow these guidelines you will climb that mountain all on your own.