The words weight and loss together, trigger much debate and return pages of diet based search results. It seems everyone these days is promising some sort of “lose weight fast” program, but losing weight is much like a marathon.
When it comes to losing weight, slow and steady commitment win the race. Here are ten tips to not only help you lose weight, but also help you keep it off.
Slow and Steady. Once you’ve decided you’d like to change your lifestyle and lose weight many people are eager for results. Slow down. The people who lose weight slowly and consistently are the most likely to keep the weight off. Flash diets, power cleanses, over exercising and other tricks to lose weight fast are not only dangerous to your health, but over time actually slow your metabolism. Stick with slow and steady. It will help make the battle easier over time.
Moderation. One of the biggest and best tips for weight loss is moderation. Eat chocolate, candy bars, dessert, and your favorite snacks. Denying yourself these pleasures results in whole day binges full of junk food or constant dissatisfaction and cravings. Still treat yourself, but eat less of these favorite sweets and snacks and in moderation. Also look for healthier alternatives to your favorites and experiment with them to see if they quench your cravings.
Eat Breakfast. One of the first things people do when they think about losing weight is cut meals. This is a huge mistake because not eating means that your metabolism slows. Eating breakfast not only starts the day off right, but it helps kick start your metabolism so that you can burn the maximum amount of calories throughout the day.
Some studies have shown that people who eat breakfast are more likely to eat fewer calories throughout the day because they have increased levels of leptin, a hormone that suppresses appetite. Be smart about your choices and keep in mind this morning meal is your fuel to start the day. Choose whole grain cereals, oatmeal, fruit, toast and peanut butter or other high fiber low sugar meals.
Keep a Food Diary. A few times a day, jot down what you have just eaten and be sure to include how you are feeling, if you are hungry, and anything else you may want to write about. The food diary does not have to be solely for recording your meals and snacks, it can also be a vehicle for helping you track ways to effectively reduce stress and anxiety.
Don’t stop at just recording your habits in your diary though. Look back on your day or week and analyze what triggers you to eat certain foods. Once you are aware of your eating patterns it becomes easier to tell yourself that you might not really need that second afternoon snack.
Your food diary shouldn’t be a point of dread where you count calories in total fear. It’s more of an aid that can help you spot patterns and guide you toward a healthier lifestyle.
Eat Slowly. Many studies indicate that it takes 20 minutes for our brain to even register that our bodies are full. Eating slower can help our brain catch up to our stomach and avoid overeating. Try also drinking a full glass of water with each meal, taking sips in between bites to slow yourself down. Also do not wait until you are starving to eat, if you are too hungry you will want to eat much faster.
Eat Throughout the Day. Eating throughout the day may sound like a misleading weight loss tip, but studies have shown that five small meals throughout the day is a more healthy lifestyle than three larger meals. Eating smaller meals helps to keep your metabolism working throughout the day and helps to maintain portion control so that you do not get so hungry in between meals that you binge when it is time to eat.
Exercise. Once you get past a healthy diet, one of the most important components to losing weight is to get active and stay there. Most experts recommend that you participate in at least five 30 minute sessions per week. The type of exercise can vary depending on your weight loss goals, but is important to be active and in ways that are not too overwhelming.
Creating a routine that you actually look forward to is important, not only because it will help you maintain a healthy lifestyle, but also because people who dread and stress out about their workout won’t reap the same benefits as those who look forward to their routines. Running, hiking, playing sports, fast walking or jogging or even taking your pet for a long walk and mixing in weight routines help to vary the activities are all great ideas for exercise.
Use Weights – Exercise does not only have to be aerobic. Mix some weight routines into your workout. Aerobic exercise is great for burning fat, but incorporating weights will help build muscle to keep the fat off. As a general rule of thumb, one pound of muscle burns more calories per day than one pound of fat.
Sleep. Many researchers note that lack of sleep leads people to overeat throughout the day. Adults who get inadequate rest are more likely to wake up feeling hungry and dissatisfied. A lot of people snack during the hours they stay awake. Sleep however, is a double edged sword in that many people who are overweight or overeat due to stress and anxiety are more likely to also have insomnia which just perpetuates their inability to lose weight. Most adults need around eight hours of uninterrupted sleep per night, not only to help lose weight but to stay healthy in both mind and body.
Find Some Support. Losing weight and getting healthy is something so many people are working toward. With new technology like the Nike+ and social networks, finding a group of people at your level can be es easy as going online. Your family and friends can be great support groups as well. Having a partner to push you that extra mile or help you make healthier eating choices will make all the difference.