State your weight loss aims and focus
Because changing your eating habits for the long term is the only way to successful weight loss it is important to spend a bit of time thinking about your aims. There are many good reasons for losing weight but you may have a priority. It may be your health, your self esteem, or to look more attractive. Having a clear idea of what you want, a focus, will help keep you on track.
Mental preparation for weight loss
It is important to spend a bit of time preparing yourself mentally for the changes that you are going to make because to be successful you have to think of the long term. You are going to have to make some changes to what you eat and your patterns of food intake. Eating out at your favorite places may need to change, especially early on when diet change is the most difficult, but once you've established a routine things should get easier.
Keep a food diary to monitor weight loss
This should be part of your preparation. Write down what you eat, when and where. Make a note of your mood. All of this information can contribute to your aims and the changes that you are going to make. Unless you understand your relationship to food and your food patterns you will not make the changes you need that leads to successful long term weight loss.
You can continue with a food diary for as long as you think it is helpful. It can help to keep you focused, help with discipline, reflect on and change eating habits.
Lifestyle and weight loss
A lot of the food we eat is fast food and so much of it is packed with excessive amounts of sugar, salt and fat. Just by cutting back and paying more attention to the type of food and changing to a more healthy alternative will mean you can still eat well but you will lose weight at the same time.
Be realistic about weight loss
Aim for a loss of two lbs max in weight per week. Although we all like to see the pounds dropping off quickly it is not helpful or healthy. More than that and you will just be burning up muscle rather than fat which will slow down your metabolism making it harder to loose weight long term. Weight can fluctuate for all sorts of reasons. Don't be disheartened because you've agonized for a week but the scales say you haven't. Stick with it.
Cut out snacks to maintain weight loss
Snacking is all too and the majority of snacks are high in calories. The best thing is not to snack between meals but if you have to eat low calorie healthy foods like fruit.
Eat a healthy diet to maintain weight loss
A knowledge of basic nutrition will help you to make the right choices about the sort of food you eat. A balanced diet contains;
- some protein such as lean meats, fish, chicken, turkey, eggs, soy foods, pulses.
- some carbohydrates such as pasta, rice, bread, potatoes
- some fats such as oil, nuts and seeds
- some fruits and vegetables.
If you have a healthy balanced diet you should not need to take any extra vitamins or minerals in tablet form. Build some indulgences into your plan. You want a lifestyle diet that works so you need a few sins too.
- Only eat when you are hungry.
- Never eat unless you are hungry. Eating simply out of habit or boredom will not help you to slim.
- Exercise helps. Exercise will burn off calories, keep you fit and keep you toned. It also increases your metabolic rate so makes losing weight easier.
- Reward yourself. When you reach weight goals reward yourself, with an outing or by buying yourself some goodies.
- Don't beat yourself over the head if things go wrong; just re-focus and press on.
- For added motivation why not consider joining a slimming club. Many people find this helpful as good advice is coupled with regular checks. It's also a great way to meet new people.