Losing a lot of weight can be extremely intimidating. Start with a few simple steps, see quick weight loss results, and stay motivated to continue on with your success.
1. The first step is acknowledging that you did not gain 50 pounds overnight, so you aren’t going to lose weight that quickly either. Experts recommend aiming to lose 10% of your body weight over the next six months. This means losing 20 pounds in six months if you weigh 200 pounds.
Chances are, this is not the amount of time you had in mind to lose 20 pounds-many people want it off in a month or less. But once you recognize that slow and sure is the way to get it off and keep it off, you’ll be more comfortable making simple changes in your diet for lasting weight loss. You probably know from numerous crash diets in the past that losing eight pounds in a week doesn’t mean a thing when you gain it right back; nor is it pleasant to be starving for any length of time.
Eating a healthy diet means the weight will come off in time, and you won’t be suffering during the next several months while you lose weight.
2. Second, you can’t know what to change in your diet without knowing how you eat on a typical day. We don’t usually realize all that we eat during any given day: the Danish we hastily gulp down at the breakfast meeting; the quick drive-thru lunch to give us some energy before we get back to work; the leftovers we clean off our child’s plate; the munching we do while watching TV: these all add up to hundreds of calories a day without us even realizing we’ve eaten any of it!
So it’s imperative you start keeping a food diary. Just write down what you eat within 10 minutes of eating it (or selective memory will cause you to forget you ever ate it). This helps people lose weight by making us aware that we are going to eat something. You’ll find that very often you stop and think, “I don’t really want to eat this-I’ll have to write it down and add it to my intake list and it’s a lot of empty calories”.
Trust me on this: try it for two weeks. Numerous research studies have proven this as an effective weight loss technique that works without going on any crazy diet.
3. Finally, learn to eat reasonably. This doesn’t mean you can never eat chocolate again or you can never go out to eat again: Start with just trying to eat a basic, healthy diet. You know what good foods are and what crappy, high-calorie/empty nutrition foods are. Just eat more of the better ones (like fruits and whole grain and veggies and low-fat dairy) and less of the junky ones. The result will be lowering your calorie intake and losing weight. It really is that simple.
Schedule meals if you have to, like you would an appointment. Skipping breakfast invariably leads to making up for it later when hunger hits and you need to eat whatever you come across; same with lunch. Have a sensible breakfast (cereal or toast or yogurt and fruit) that doesn’t take up too much of your time if that’s an issue in the morning; find a lunch you like and try to stick with a consistent menu every day…. Maybe a frozen diet meal that provides 300 calories with a salad or fruit you can add to round it off, or a sandwich and some veggie sticks and a yogurt or string cheese.
Dinner should be a lean, broiled or baked meat portion of 6 ounces or less, a vegetable, and a cup of starch (such as pasta, rice, or potatoes). Plan a snack in the evening if you like to have one; just find one that has less than 200 calories and save yourself another few hundred over that bag of chips or pint of high-fat ice cream.
Including 30 minutes of walking a day will be a big help also. The more you move, the more calories you’ll burn.
The idea is to change your lifestyle for good. Try small and easy changes one step at a time so that you replace all the bad habits that led to gaining weight, with great habits that will keep you losing weight. Soon you will find you can maintain a lean and healthy weight for the rest of your life.
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