Simple Habits for Lifelong Weight Loss
you frustrated over losing the same weight over
and over, and feeling like a failure because
your latest diet didn't work? If so, these proven
techniques will help you create effective habits
that will result in lifelong weight loss.
Keep a food diary
For the next week, keep a pen and paper handy
and write down everything you eat - how much,
where and when you ate it, and who you ate with.
Try to record this information as you are eating
or immediately afterwards. Most people find
that when they try to remember everything they
ate at the end of the day, they leave something
honest with yourself. You don't need to show
anyone the results, but if you're like most
people, you will probably be surprised when
you review your food journal. Certain environments
and people can trigger negative eating behaviors
that are readily apparent when you use a food
log. For a free fitness journal/food log, click
fitness journal/food log.
Don't eat too little
Low calorie diets will help you lose weight
in the short term, but they are extremely difficult
to maintain in the long term. You'll gradually
become tired and irritable, lack the energy
to exercise, and people won't want to eat with
you because the long list of 'taboo' foods renders
restaurant menus, and even family meals at home,
unsuitable for your overly strict diet.
Neither feast nor fast
You've heard before, and I'll say it again -
breakfast really is the most important meal
of the day. Studies show that people who skip
breakfast eat more total calories throughout
the day and tend to make less healthy choices.
Research also shows that most obese people skip
to eat at least 3 meals a day. Optimally you
should spread your calories throughout 6 small
meals per day. This will keep your metabolism
burning effectively; it will also keep your
blood sugar levels balanced, which helps prevent
The packaging and processing of "convenience"
foods generally reduces the nutrient values
and substantially raises the caloric content.
National dietary associations recommend eating
at least 3 to 5 servings from the fruit and
vegetable group per day.
time to prepare home made meals? Try preparing
in bulk on the weekends to make healthy choices
readily available. Cut up a large bowl of fresh
fruit (1c = 1 serving) or pre-make a large bowl
of salad or cut veggies. I usually prepare one
week's supply of chicken or pork so I can quickly
reheat the meat and add to any recipe.
Hydrate your way to quicker weight loss
Drink lots of water, and avoid over-consumption
of coffee, tea, or soft drinks. Including the
'hidden' water we consume in food, we need 64
ounces of water per day. More is recommended
to counteract the dehydration caused by caffeinated
beverages and intense exercise or excessive
6. Eat less, exercise more
One of the greatest benefits of food diaries
is they show where you can cut excess calories.
Many people eat out of habit, or for emotional
comfort, when they are not even hungry. You
may also need to make dietary changes if you
begin or increase the intensity of a fitness
that we have discussed six habits to lifelong
weight loss, you may be tempted to start making
excuses why you can't implement these habits.
"I don't have time because ___ (insert
your favorite excuse here).
you find yourself making excuses, ask yourself
these questions: "How much more energy
will I have when I am not carrying around these
extra pounds? How many more things will I enjoy
and feel good doing when I am healthy and fit?
Isn't it worth a few minutes a day to incorporate
these simple habits into my day?"
Villano is a personal fitness instructor
certified through the National Academy of Sports
Medicine with over 17 years experience. Dianne
specializes in weight loss programs and programs
for beginners. For more articles or free fitness
tools visit www.custombodiestampabay.com