By: Marlene Affeld ~
For millions of obese persons worldwide, the struggle to lose weight is nothing new; the numbers on the scale a continual frustration and source of stress. We may lose weight, but can’t keep it off. Stepping on the scale is demoralizing and psychologically painful.
We all know that while unhealthy diets and gimmicks may offer quick results, they provide short-term results. Diets that drastically cut calories, restrict certain foods or promote others, or rely on ready-made meals might work in the short term but don’t include a plan for maintaining our weight loss, so the pounds quickly return.
Don’t be fooled again! With fads and gimmick diets, you lose money faster than you lose weight. Special protein powders, pre-packaged shakes, frozen meals, and fancy programs are not only expensive they aren’t practical for long-term weight loss.
Fad and quick weight loss diets don’t help unless we make conscious choices and deliberate healthy decisions each and every day to maintain the loss. With time, healthy decisions become healthy habits. It is only when healthy habits are established that you can make sustainable change.
Losing weight is a challenge, but can also be a rewarding journey of self-discovery that can make you look and feel better. If you are ready to make the commitment to change, forget the diet hype that floods the media and consider sage and sound diet wisdom that works.
Examine Your Motivation For Losing Weight
Do you want to drop a few pounds to fit into your wedding dress or to look your best for another special occasion? Do you want to lose weight to reduce your blood pressure, prevent heart disease and to livelong enough to see your grandchildren grow up? No matter if your diet is motivated by vanity or health and fitness concerns, it is important that you are honest with yourself and understand your motivations. Motivation drives willpower.
When you are tempted to reach for that second piece of pizza or break your diet with a bagel and cream cheese for breakfast, stop and ask yourself “Do I want this bagel more than I want ________?
You fill in the blanks.
If you are trying to lose weight to please someone else, you might as well forget it; it never works. It’s only when you want to make positive and healthy changes for you, that following a healthy weight loss plan is a pleasure, not a punishment.
You didn’t get this fat overnight. It is totally unreasonable to believe that you will dump 50, 100, 150 pounds quickly. Set realistic goals. Try setting your first goal at just 10 lbs. A weight loss of 10 lbs. is realistic and therefore attainable. Once you have reached your goal, move the goal post. Grant yourself permission to take the time necessary to see results and celebrate your success with non-food rewards.
Dieters often mistake thirst for hunger pangs. We are already dehydrated when we first notice a dry mouth or feel signs of thirst. It is imperative that we provide our bodies with plenty of water to flush fat and toxins from our system. To make sure you are getting an adequate amount, drink 8 to 10 eight ounce glasses of pure water daily in addition to other liquids you ingest.
Stop Depriving Yourself
It’s true. To lose weight we have to consume fewer calories. However, that doesn’t necessary mean we have to eat less food. It’s easy to fill up and feel satisfied on a diet, as long as you choose your foods wisely. To lose from 2 to 3 pounds per week, eat 500 calories less per day than you are presently consuming.
Serve Yourself Smaller Portions
We have been brainwashed. Bigger isn’t always better. In America, the advertising media has made the word “super” synonymous with added value and improved quality. Wrong!
Everything is “super-sized” – from homes to hamburgers. A “super-sized” meal-deal might be a real bargain for a football linebacker trying to maintain his playing weight. For persons on a diet it will only maintain your “super-sized” butt.
One of the easiest ways to control portion size is by using small cups, bowls and plates. This will make your food portions appear larger. Avoid eating directly from the package or food container, which makes it difficult to assess how much you’ve eaten. When cooking, watch that you are not constantly nibbling and tasting your creations prior to serving. This can be a huge source of uncounted calories.
Using smaller utensils, like a teaspoon instead of tablespoon, can slow eating and help you feel full sooner. Another trick that many dieters swear by is eating off of blue-colored dishes. Research shows that eating off of white or yellow plates improves our appetites while serving food on blue dishware seems to dim our desires.
Pick Up The Pace
Stop complaining and making excuses for not exercising. It is really quite simple to incorporate more physical activity into your day. Take the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator. Don’t say it’s too hard. If you can’t handle going up several flights, take your time and go up as many flights as you can and then take the elevator the rest of the way.
Walk the dog, play with your children, weed the garden or clean your house. Each of these activities provides moderate exercise while allowing you to feel a sense of pride and accomplishment.
If you work requires you to sit at a desk all day, do side stretches in place. Kick off your shoes and wiggle your toes and stretch out your calf muscles. Take every opportunity to get up and move about in your workspace.
Surround Yourself With Supportive People
Everyone needs a bit of encouragement. Surround yourself with positive like-minded people who are supportive towards your objective to lose weight. Whether it’s family, friends, a gym partner or a weight-loss support group, their encouragement and helpful advice can help you attain your goal. A loving and supportive environment helps you to direct your energy towards proactive actions and dials down diet destructive thinking
Remember it was the tortoise that won the race. Losing weight too quickly is dangerous and can have negative effects on your health. Fast weight loss never lasts. The safest and most sustainable weight loss plan is to do so slowly and under the guidance of a healthcare professional.