How can you lose weight fast and keep it off? The majority of people in the United States are overweight, but how do you eat healthy, stay physically fit, and lose weight permanently? There are plenty of weight-loss diets out there, but what really works?
Everyone knows that the secret is cutting calories and burning calories but it also takes a change of lifestyle. Losing weight and staying fit is not something that you can accomplish sitting in front of the TV eating popcorn every night, but you can be successful if you are determined, disciplined and follow a plan to achieve your goal. Here are 30 great tips for changing your routine, in order to lose weight and keep it off permanently.
- Exercise 30 to 60 minutes every day, or if you are on a tight schedule, exercise several times during the day — for example, three 10-minute exercise sessions.
- Eat small meals often. Rather than eating one large meal and skipping meals, eat three healthy meals during the day, especially breakfast. Studies show that skipping meals causes can lead to overeating or snacking unhealthy foods later in the day.
- Eat fruits and vegetables. If your main entree is grilled, skinless chicken, and make the fruits and vegetables the largest portions on your plate and cut down on other foods.
- Weigh yourself every day. If you are conscious of your weight and the progress you are making, you are more likely to be successful.
- Keep a journal, or food diary with you at all times. Purchase a small notebook that is easy to carry in a suit pocket or purse. Practice being conscious of what you eat and recognizing particular situations or times of day when you are more likely to eat unhealthy foods. A food diary can help you make life changes.
- Remove unhealthy snacks from the house. This would include all fried foods, packaged snack items such as chips, pretzels, greasy pizza, buttery popcorn, etc, and sugary treats such as sugary sodas, candy bars, snack cakes, caramel corn, cookies, and ice creams or frozen treats. These foods are high in trans fats and have been found to trigger and increase the risk of many health problems and diseases.
- Store healthy snacks. After removing all unhealthy snacks from your home, be sure to fill your cupboard and refrigerator with healthy snacks. The best snacks are organic fruits, vegetables, whole grain crackers, 100% juices, low-fat dairy products such as low-fat yogurt.
- Keep active with friends or family members, and plan physical activities together. Have a physical fitness buddy to go bike riding with, play soccer, tennis, go to the gym, go dancing, etc. Choose activities several days a week that keep you moving rather than video-games or or movies.
- Eat at home often rather than eating out at restaurants or fast food chains. When you eat at home you can control what food is available and eliminate unhealthy choices. Many restaurants typically provide more food than needed. If you have to eat at a restaurant, decide how much food you will eat and ask for a take-home box before eating. Box up the extra portions of food before eating your portion.
- Don’t use serving bowls. When preparing your food, put it on the plate instead of putting serving bowls on the table. Always serve yourself a little bit less than what you expect to eat. Bring the prepared plate to the table. Put away extra food that is left in the pot or pan before sitting down at the table.
- Fill up healthy. Always fill up on healthy foods throughout the day that are low in calories, such as celery, or fruit, so that when you are invited to eat a dessert or snack you won’t be as tempted or hungry.
- Make active choices to accomplish everyday chores. Instead of going through a drive-through pharmacy to pick up your prescriptions, walk inside the store. Use a bike to visit a friend, instead of a car. Get down on your hands and knees and pull the weeds or scrub the floor, instead of using garden extension tools or a long-handled easy-clean mop. Walk the dog regularly.
- Never eat in front of TV. Television viewing strongly affects how much and what people eat. People tend to continue to eat while watching.
- Vary your activities regularly in order to avoid exercise burnout. Walk, swim, dance, and engage in sports.
- Never eat from containers such as an ice cream carton, a Tupperware container, a package of cookies, or a bag of chips. Instead, put the portion on your plate, and then put the container of food away. When you can see how much you’ve eaten on your plate you are less likely to eat more.
- De-stress before eating. Engage in relaxation techniques before eating because stress causes people to eat more. Praying or saying grace before eating is not unwise. It helps to relax, surrender and let go of worries and eliminate stress. Other options are deep breathing exercises, meditation, stretching exercises, reading something amusing or humorous, listening to relaxing music, and even chatting with friends and family about uplifting or inspirational thoughts or experiences.
- Start with high-fiber or bran foods, such as oatmeal or high-fiber breads or bran cereals. Studies show that people that start the morning with a high-fiber diet are less likely to gain weight.
- Buy a pedometer and add an extra 2,000 steps a day. On average, sedentary people take only 2,000 to 3,000 steps a day.
- Walk 30-minutes a day. Walk to the store, walk down the street and give a basket of fruit to a neighbor. Walk the dog. Studies show that those who regularly engage in walking are more healthy and physically fit.
- Plan a week’s groceries. To prevent impulse buying, always plan a week ahead and make a detailed grocery list. Never go grocery shopping when you are hungry and have skipped a meal. Last-minute trips to the grocery store can result in buying snack foods or tempting foods on display in the bakery, snack aisle, or deli section, that are not on your healthy foods list.
- Have a craving plan. If you feel hungry and are feeling a craving for an unhealthy food, then do something active. Drink a full glass of water, call a friend, write in your journal, paint a picture, clean the house, engage in sports, read a book, or do something that does not trigger thoughts of eating. Keeping your mind and body active will help to eliminate cravings.
- Reward yourself. If you have lost weight, reward yourself with nonfood rewards, such as going on that vacation you’ve dreamed of, buying new clothes, getting a new haircut or purchasing something for your home. Spend time listening to your heart and finding out how to truly love yourself.
- Find an on-line buddy. Studies show that online weight-loss partnering results in more successfully achieving weight-loss goals.
- Choose blue. Wear the color blue more often and decorate your home with it. The color blue is an appetite suppressant, whereas the colors red, yellow, and orange have been found to increase the appetite.
- Use small plates. Get rid of large dinner plates and buy small plates. You are more likely to pile on the food if your plates are over-sized.
- Throw out large clothes. When you have lost weight, give away or throw out clothes that are too large for you. Keep only the clothes that fit or are “snug” on you. If you always keep large, over-sized clothes you will be less likely to lose weight.
- Use a mirror. If you eat in a dining room area, keep a mirror hanging on the wall opposite where you sit. If you watch yourself in the mirror while eating, you are less likely to overeat.
- Read labels. When buying foods in the grocery store, read the labels. Do not buy foods that are high in trans fats or are high in cholesterol, salt, or sugar. Do not buy foods that have added corn syrup, food coloring, or food additives.
- Season smartly. Use salsa to season foods or spices such as curry, turmeric, pepper, basil, etc., instead of heavy, high-fat sauces such as gravy or butter.
- Increase calcium. Calcium in low-fat dairy foods triggers a hormonal response that inhibits the body’s production of fat cells and breaks down fat.
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This article is written by Jean Voice Dart, M.S. Special Education from Illinois State University. Jean is a published author and has written hundreds of health articles as well as hosting a local television program, “Making Miracles Happen.” She is a Registered Music Therapist, Sound Therapist, and Master Level Energetic Teacher, and is the Executive Director, founder and Health and Wellness Educator of the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance. The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a registered 501 (c) 3 nonprofit health and wellness education organization. For more information about the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance contact us or visit our website at www.montereybayholistic.com.
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