Most of us have enough different sizes in our closet to open a boutique. The dreadful weight loss cycle of deprivation, starvation, weight loss, and regain keeps us expanding our wardrobe. How do you lose weight and keep it off? Here are some pearls of wisdom that will allow you to achieve and maintain a healthy weight:
- Stop Dieting! End the madness. There is no need to salivate while others enjoy their meals. If you feel deprived, you will inevitably overindulge. Do not concentrate on eliminating foods from your diet, but rather on a sensible eating plan that allows you to enjoy most foods. Take time to plan your meals and snacks. If you are prepared to eat healthier foods, fast food, super-sized food, and junk food will be less tempting. It is not the ultimate sin to occasionally have a non-protein, non-grain, treat (smile). Here it is make lifestyle changes and abandon the diet!
- Explore the reasons that you eat. Your initial response may be “I just like food.” If you really desire to release the fat for good, do not be afraid to do some soul searching. Do you find yourself reaching for food when you are stressed, bored, of upset? What triggers you to make a b-line to the kitchen even when you are not hungry? It is important to identify situations or emotions you comfort with food and find alternatives ways to manage them that do not add inches to your waist.
- Look beyond the physical. The desire to fit into last year’s swimsuit or swim trunks can be the stimulus to start a weight loss program, but to end the constant ten pounds down and fifteen pounds up may involve chewing on (chuckle) why you really want to lose weight. Why is now the time to take off the weight? Is it the upcoming event? Has weight become the culprit for your health problems? Do you want to be more active with the grandchildren? Are you simply fed up and want to take weight off the table as one of your concerns? It is beneficial to know why you have decided to take on the challenge of making over your diet. It can also serve to motivate you when the scale does not reflect your efforts.
- Set realistic weight loss goals. Fact, you did not wake up overweight and you are not going to wake up thin. Sorry, there are not magic potions, pills, or foods. Weight loss involves being persistent with your efforts and making changes that you can maintain. A healthy weight loss is one and a half to two pounds a week. This seems inconsistent with reality television shows; however, if you want to decrease your frustrations, it is an achievable and sustainable goal. Tip: do not use the scale as the only barometer for your success. Monitor body measurements. You will be thrilled to know that your waist is dwindling away even if the scale has not been informed.
- Chose fitness activities you enjoy. Do not get in a rut or feel pressured to have a gym membership. I found out if you do not go, they don’t work anyway! Chose activities that are fun, you will look forward to them. Zumba, line dance, indoor cycling, hot yoga, barre workout whatever gets your heart rate up for thirty minutes five times a week is fair game. Also, exercise is a great way to de-stress. By the way, doing laps in the gym while engaging in a telephone conversation does not count. Gotcha!
- Commit to yourself. Stop making excuses. You are not a morning person. You are very busy. You need to help the kids with their homework in the evening. You are too exhausted at night after working all day. The bottom line is until you become a priority in your own life, it is going to be difficult to achieve your personal health and fitness goals. You cannot give anyone your best until you give your best to yourself.
- Resume fun activities. What hobbies have you put away that you would like to start again? Hobbies can help decrease your stress and burn calories which both are important to lose weight. Gardening, painting, dancing, the more active you are the less time you will spend mindless eating.
The rest is not rocket science. Adopt an eating program to boost your metabolism with multiple small meals throughout the day and the right food combinations and get moving! Manage your weight for health sake (OK, there is nothing wrong with wanting to flaunt the body all while fitting into last year’s swimwear or is it too big now?)