Article By Tim Godfrey
1. Take one pound at a time.
Don’t get overwhelmed by how much weight you need to lose. Try to remember that “losing 15 pounds in two weeks” is nothing to celebrate. It is important to realize that the more quickly weight is lost, the more likely the loss is coming from water and muscle, not fat.
Since muscle tissue is critical in keeping our metabolism elevated, losing it actually leads to a decrease in the amount of calories we can each day without gaining weight.
Fat loss is best achieved when weight is lost slowly. Strive for a weight loss of no more than 3-4 pounds per week. One pound of weight is equivalent to 3500 calories.
2. Set Reachable Goals.
For instance, if you know you need to get more exercise, begin with a manageable goal of, say, walking 10 minutes a day that you know you can achieve. Then build your self-esteem by achieving the small goals you set yourself.
The same logic applies for losing weight.
3. Stay off the scales.
Don’t get discouraged when your progress seems to be slow according to your bathroom scales. They do not provide a true measure of what is going on with the body.
If exercise levels are adequate (5-7 days a week), you may be putting on muscle but losing fat, thus losing inches even if you are not losing pounds. It’s always a good idea to do several body measurements to have a second objective way to monitor progress.
4. Stay focused on being healthy, not thin.
Many people become more successful at long term weight loss when their motive changes from wanting to be thinner to wanting to be healthier. Change your mindset to think about selecting foods that will help your body’s health rather than worrying about foods that will affect your body’s weight. The Food Pyramid offers a basic outline of the types and amounts of food you should eat each day to give your body the nutrients it needs for optimal health.
5. Fat Free?
We’ve known for some time that limiting high fat foods in the diet can be helpful with weight loss. That’s because fats pack in 9 calories per gram compared to only 4 calories per gram from proteins or carbohydrates. To many, the message to limit fats implied an endorsement to eat unlimited amounts of fat-free products. Just to clarify, fat-free foods have calories too. In some cases fat-free foods have as many calories as their fat laden counterparts. If you eat more calories than your body uses, you will gain weight. Eating less fat will help you to lose weight. Eating less fat and replacing it with excessive amounts of fat-free products will not.
6. Drink plenty of water.
‘Drink eight glasses a day. Water is a natural appetite-suppressant. Nettle tea is a great weight-loss tea as it supports metabolism and has diuretic properties.’
7. Reward yourself.
Each time you reach a goal, such as losing 5 pounds, reward yourself with a gift or a massage.
8. Seek help if you need it.
A big key in long term weight control comes from receiving encouragement and support from others. Find a friend to lose weight with or you can check to see if groups such as Weight Watchers, or eDiets offer programs and resources in your area by clicking the links. You may also wish to check with your local hospital to see if their registered dietician conducts group weight loss programs.
9. Watch your portions.
With the advent of “supersize” meals and increasingly huge portions at restaurants, our concept of normal serving sizes is a distant memory. Be mindful of the amounts of food you consume at a sitting. When necessary, divide your food in half and ask for a take home bag. It is all too easy to be a “plate cleaner” even when served enormous portions. Learn to pay attention to your hunger level and stop eating when you feel comfortably full, not stuffed.
10. Eat your food slowly.
Did you ever notice that thin people take an awfully long time to eat their food? Eating slowly is one method that can help take off pounds. That’s because from the time you begin eating it takes the brain 20 minutes to start signaling feelings of fullness. Fast eaters often eat beyond their true level of fullness before the 20 minute signal has had a chance to set in. The amount of calories consumed before you begin to feel full can vary significantly depending on how quickly you eat. So slow down, take smaller bites and enjoy your food.
Tim Godfrey is the co-author of the best selling healthy diet book, Mediterranean Diet Secrets.
To see the latest healthy dieting news and learn more about the book visit: http://www.mediterraneandietsecrets.com
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