Losing weight is tough, no matter how you look at it, but you can do it with the help of these 10 great tips.
1. Make sure your doctor is on your team. Diets are hard, but feeling like you are alone makes it much harder. Keep checking in with your doctor before, during and after your diet process. Only they can give you specific advice about your situation, and the more you lose weight you will actually want to go and get on the scale.
2. Understanding Change. Having weight issues comes down to this, a pattern of unhealthy choices over time. To change it means you will need to use a different approach and lifestyle. Change means different. You can’t eat the same foods, in the same quantities, going forward to get different results. Seems simple to read, but more difficult to play out in real life, but it can be done and for some of us, it must be done.
3. Understanding Commitment. Most of us treat a diet plan like a kid getting a new toy. It’s great at the beginning, but after a while, the new toy isn’t new, and it gets left behind. A diet is important, and it should be viewed as more of a commitment than something that we “feel” like doing. Many of us have commitments in our life that are an important driving force in our lives, like; Political, Religious or Socially Conscious beliefs. These commitments are core to who we are, and they are important to continue in good times and bad. That is the idea of a commitment, it isn’t about how we feel day to day, it is about setting a goal and sticking to it.
4. The Purge. The first thing I would suggest is to get rid of the foods in your house that you went to again and again as comfort food. Change is different, and part of it is changing what food you have around you. High sugar, high fat, junk foods are the ones to target. No taking a bite as you say ‘goodbye’ to those foods and drinks that you purge. You will make better food and drink friends, trust me.
5. Eat like it was the 1900s. Living in these times is great, but it also can be not so great in terms of our diet and weight control. Back in the 1900s, people couldn’t have dreamed of driving up to a restaurant and order food from a window or going to a warehouse and buying a palette full of food. It was different back then, but there are things we can learn from them.
Try this, the next time you eat a fast food meal, think, “Did they have this in the 1900s?” Lettuce? Yes. Super Bacon and Lots of Meat burger? No. A way to think of it might be, the faster and easier that fast food is, the more it will have more calories, sugar, fat and preservatives, too. You want good food, not junk.
A better option is to prepare meals at home and take with you to eat. That way, you can check the labels, verifying the calorie count, fat count, etc and insure that it will be better for you. It is harder to take of high calorie extras (like cheese, secret sauce spread, bacon, etc) from a fast food burger, than not having it at home when you make it at home.
I know it’s tough, but remember the commitment we talked about, well this is a part of it. The more fresh, real food you eat the better you can feel and that will help your diet.
6. Dealing with a hunger pang. When you begin to limit your calorie count, you will be reacquainted with the hunger pang. The hunger pang tells your body, “Hey, it’s time to eat again,” but the only issue is these pangs can lead to over-eating. We will discuss that later, but let’s talk about how to handle the hunger pang.
As stated before, a hunger pang will happen when the brain says, “It’s time to eat, the body is hungry,” but if you are used to eating more than enough calories, you need to train your body to need less calories to lose weight. I recommend a few ways to handle a hunger pang;
A. Give it five minutes. There are times that the hunger pang with pass. It may be helpful to classify it between 1 and 10. You might ask yourself, How big of a hunger pang is it? A 4? Give it 5 minutes, and see if it passes. Sometimes it will.
B. Drink some water. Sometimes the stomach just wants something in it. Water (at zero calories) is a much better alternative than a sugar-filled, high calorie candy bar. Water can quench the hunger pang, but if it doesn’t,
C. Chew a piece of sugar free gum. I know it sounds crazy, but sometimes your body just wants to chew something. Gum, many times will make the hunger pang subside. However, if that doesn’t work,
D. Eat a vegetable. A carrot or celery is a great, low calorie way to handle a stubborn hunger pang until it’s meal or snack time.
As time and the diet plan continues, you will notice your stomach will start to shrink and the hunger pangs will come under your control, instead of the other way around. We will have more hunger pang control tips coming, so read on.
7. Portion control. This is the toughest part of the diet. These days, we are surrounded by inexpensive food and a multitude of choices, but there are hidden calories in most of the fat, tasty food and if you think back, that’s what got you where you are.
You will have to win the battle of portion control.
It’s not easy, but it can be done. Make a fist and look at it, that it a good reference for a serving of a meat (like chicken or turkey). You may also want to get a scale and use your measuring cups or measuring spoons. The more focus you put on the calorie to portion, the more accurate your success will be when you weigh in and continue your weight loss and fitness journey. Don’t cheat on your taxes or portions. Just sayin’
8. A Silver Bullet to feel full longer. We’ve talked about our “friend” the hunger pang, but there is a silver bullet that will help you immensely, and it is fiber.
Have you ever wondered that soon after you ate the sweet snack, that you were hungry again in a short amount of time? I like to say that you only got half the snack with that.
See, sugar quenches the feeling of being hungry, but it doesn’t last. To be the Master of your diet and fitness journey, you need knowledge and tools. Sugar quenches a hunger pang, but fiber makes the quenched feeling last longer. A book I learned a lot more about this from was http://youonadiet.roneyzone.com. My silver bullet is… an apple.
An apple has 3 great things going for it; 1. Pectin, a natural sugar that quenches the hunger pang, 2. Fiber to make you feel fuller longer, and 3. It’s natural. There are no preservatives or ingredients that you can’t pronounce, it is a near perfect diet snack food. You might want to look up a list of other fruits and vegetables that have fiber, and incorporate them into your diet.
9. The weighing controversy. Weighing is a part of being on a diet. If you don’t know where your weight was, and where it is now, it is hard to tell how well (or not so well) you are doing. Weighing is a necessary evil, but here are some tips to make it not so bad;
A. Weight at the same time. You need to set a routine of when you weigh yourself. I weight myself in the morning, after my morning rituals and before I eat breakfast. That suits me best. Some say to weigh once a week, and others say weight every day, let’s talk about both sides of the spectrum.
B. Weigh weekly or Weigh daily.
Weighing weekly does work, and it can help with the self-esteem during the diet fluctuations throughout the week. It works, but there is another way…
I weigh myself daily, but it is not for those who put stock in a number. Why put myself through it then? Good question, let me explain; I want to track my weight daily, because I want to see what food and or exercise does everyday, so I can adjust it if I need to. If I only weigh once I week, I may never know if a certain food got in the way of my goals.
Water retention is a factor with your weigh in numbers. Women and men sometimes retain water for various reasons (including salt in your diet). Water weighs a considerable amount, so consider that,
Sometimes your body will hold onto some fat (because it thinks you might need it. Survival mode) for a day or two, but then it will let it go another day,
Muscle weighs more than fat. We’ll discuss this more later.
An alternative way to track weight loss is how your clothes fit, or for guys – how many belt loops are you using. This with the knowledge of how your body and reasons for weight fluctuation along with weigh in amounts, can help you track your weight loss better.
10. The three legged table of success. This (to me) is the most helpful piece of the puzzle, the three legged table.
Leg 1 – Watch your Calories. I would highly recommend you talk to your doctor and get a daily calorie amount that will help you lose weight. Once that number is established, track every calorie you eat on some kind of journal. This is vital. If you don’t know how many calories you are eating, you won’t be able to judge properly your weight loss progression. It is difficult to keep up, but it is important. If it is a paper journal, online journal or smartphone app, you need to collect all the intake of calories daily.
Leg 2 – Daily Cardio. You need to burn calories everyday. Even if you are staying within the daily calorie intake number, daily cardio is vital to the process. Your doctor can tell you what works best for you. Some may only do cardio 3 days a week, but to me, if I am going to change my lifestyle to lose weight, I want to get to my goal in the safest and shortest time possible. However, you and your doctor know what is best for you.
Leg 3 – Build Muscle. Now, I’m not saying you have to be a bodybuilder, but understand that muscle burns fat, and along with the other legs, this can help you get you on your way. Cardio alone can build some muscle, but resistance exercise using Yoga bands can also build muscle, as well. There are great resources that can help you build muscle, so schedule that into your weekly routine, and you will be doing yourself a great favor.
I hope you read and re-read these tips. Living a healthier lifestyle is a great way to live. Is isn’t easy, but making excuses and living an unhealthy lifestyle not only affects you, but your family as well. We are connected to others, and the more you make better choices for your health, it will benefit all your family and friends. Living healthy is really living. Best of luck to you.