Losing weight by healthy non radical means increases the likelihood of your ability to keep the weight off long term. Too often, we fall into fad diet traps that leave us feeling deprived and frustrated when the weight returns. It is important to remember to that lifetime weight loss is achieved by lifestyle changes rather than radical quick fixes. After all, what is the point of cutting out virtually all carbs from your diet in order to lose ten pounds when as soon as you go back to your normal routine you will gain the weight back. The point is, you have to make your diet your new normal routine, one that you can stick with, and who can honestly commit to a zero carb diet or survive off of some fad liquid concoction? Better yet, who would want to? By following the next set of guidelines, you can in essence “create your own diet” which will be the diet you can most likely stick with.
1. Eat fewer calories than you burn.
This is the first and most logical step for and weight loss plan. Use a calorie calculator on line for an estimate of the number of calories you burn daily. Then, aim to eat 400-500 fewer calories than what you burn. Beware of cutting more than that, however, as this will cause your metabolism (the rate at which you burn fuel/calories) to slow and backfire on your weight loss efforts.
By cutting 500 calories a day, you can expect to lose an average of one pound per week. Note my calculation: (500 calories X 7 days = 3500 calories per week = 1 pound of fat)
One pound a week may not seem like much, but slow gradual weight loss is less likely to come back than fast radical weight loss. By resisting the temptation of cutting too many calories, you will keep yourself from feeling deprived and in turn you will be more likely to stick to your diet changes.
This may seem like a no brainer, but many dieters tend to overlook exercise entirely by relying on radical dietary changes to lose weight or they go overboard on a rigorous exercise routine they will burn out on and abandon early. A good trick is to incorporate exercise into your daily routine or in other words almost “hide” the chore. Try taking the stairs instead of the elevator or parking at the back of the parking lot instead of cruising around for a front spot. Go for walks in the evening with you dog or suprise your kids with a trip to the park. You would be surprised how quickly the calories you burn in these activities will really add up especially compared to the effort they require from you. Making these small changes can easily replace trips to the gym, if you have a hard time finding the motivation or time to do so.
3. Drink 8 glasses of water a day.
Drinking water instead of other calorie loaded beverages will cut out unnecessary calories from your diet. A can of soda averages about 170 calories a serving while you can drink a bottomless glasses of water for zero calories. Its important to know that the average person drinks about 30 percent of the calories they consume each day. So, its easy to see how opting for water can really benefit your weight loss efforts.
Also, staying hydrated supports a healthy metabolism and has been shown to decrease mindless snacking as many people can confuse symptoms of thirst with hunger. The habit of drinking a glass of water before a meal has been shown to keep you from overeating by causing you to feel fuller faster.
4. Modify what you eat
Be sure to take in adequate amounts of protein from lean meats like chicken, turkey, and fish. Egg whites are also another great source of protein. Protein rich food tend to stay with you longer, build lean muscle (which in turn, burns fat), and provides an excellent source of energy for your day.
Also, make a habit of opting for more fruits and veggies as these foods are naturally low in fat and calories. For example, choosing fruit as a desert or snack during the day and vegetables as your go to side dishes rather than things like mac and cheese or mashed potatoes (remember, potatoes are starch, not a vegetable.)
Furthermore, if you make a habit of filling up on “good” foods you will be much less likely to reach for “bad” ones. Be sure to never allow yourself to go hungry, as you will be most susceptible to binges.
5. Remember to always practice moderation
Finally, and possibly most importantly, remember to avoid any type of radical change in the diet you choose. Change your eating habits and exercise routine gradually by building on it with experience. Also, don’t be afraid to indulge in occasional “bad” foods, just control portion sizes. Practicing moderation will help you stay on track with weight loss goal and prevent you from abandoning your goal due to loss of motivation.