When people ask for tips to lose weight it can be very easy to simply say "Well, just eat less". But losing weight can be one of the hardest things to achieve. The weight loss industry is worth billions, yet obesity in the western world is on the rise.
The reasons are varied from eating the wrong food, eating too much and lack of exercise.
Finding solutions are not always easy in our modern world where life is busy and opportunities for exercise and healthy eating are not always possible for those who are time-poor.
Here we attempt to provide you with some practical tips to lose weight and stay motivated during your weight loss efforts.
We also debunk some common weight loss myths and show you that healthy eating is better than dieting.
When we set unrealistic goals we are setting ourselves up for failure. Aiming to lose 50kg or 100 lbs will seem so far away as to be almost impossible. Try breaking your goals down into more manageable chunks. As you reach each small goal, give yourself a pat on the back and move on to the next one. This will give you a sense of achievement and lessen the likelihood of giving up.
Keeping a diary will not only give you a record of your weight loss
journey but it can be very enlightening. Recording exactly what you eat
daily and how many calories you are consuming will highlight any areas
that need improvement.
Sometimes we eat more than we think we do. We think that one cookie or chocolate bar won’t do any harm. But eat enough of these and it all adds up.
Also record your feelings and emotions daily. A weight loss journey can be an emotional one with highs and lows. If we are feeling a bit depressed or down, putting our feelings into words can sometimes be very therapeutic.
Skipping meals doesn’t result in us eating less. If you skip breakfast or lunch you will likely be so hungry at dinner you will eat far more than you should.
Spread your meals out over the day so that you are eating little and often. This will avoid those hunger pangs that send us running to the cookie jar and the potato crisps.
Prepare home cooked meals as often as you can. This is not always possible in our busy fast-paced world, but take-away foods are notoriously high in saturated fats and salt. Try making double batches when you cook and freezing some for later.
Don’t load your plate with food. If your plate looks empty and bare, use a smaller-sized one. Portion and plate sizes have increased so much in recent years. We now eat far more food than we actually need. Learn how to control portion sizes.
As children we were always urged to eat everything on our plates. What we need to do now is re-educate ourselves and our stomachs. Recognize that feeling of fullness and stop there. Don’t keep eating.
This is one of the great pitfalls of weight loss and one of the reasons so many fail. After a while we start to crave the food denied to us.
If you start to crave something sweet, eat a piece of fruit. The sugar in fruit will satisfy the sugar craving, but with far fewer calories.
Sometimes when I crave chocolate I eat some Nutella or a piece of dark chocolate which is slightly healthier.
Sometimes this is the hardest part of any diet. So how do you stay motivated? What was your motivation to begin this diet? Perhaps it is because summer is coming or you want to fit into a new dress. Remind yourself why you want to lose this weight. Post a picture of how you want to look on your wall. Always keep in mind the benefits you will gain when you lose this weight.
Allowing yourself a treat occasionally won’t do any harm. In fact it can be a great morale booster.
Reward yourself with a forbidden food each time you reach one of your goals. Then get back onto your diet the next day.
Surround yourself with positive people who support you. Sometimes those around us can have a negative impact on our endeavors and even unintentionally jeopardize our efforts.
You can join an official support group either online or locally. Losing weight is very difficult to do alone. It is far easier when we feel we are not alone and there are others who are struggling just as much as we are.
Support and encouragement from others makes it easier to stay on track and also makes us accountable.
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