Fad diets come and go. They rarely work long-term and often lack proper nutrition. Permanent weight loss is about transforming your lifestyle habits to a healthier way of living that will last a lifetime. Here are some helpful tips to get you on your way.
Skipping meals may be harmful to your metabolism. Leaving too long between meals leaves you ravenous for your next meal. This may lead to over eating and choosing fast foods because you’re too hungry to take the time to prepare something healthy.
The solution? Begin your day with a high fibre breakfast that includes protein. Aim to eat every three to four hours throughout the day. Always have healthy snacks on hand to ensure you can keep up your new eating regime.
Choose activities you enjoy doing and aim for at least a half hour on most days of the week. From gardening to a quick walk around the neighbourhood to taking the stairs instead of the elevator at work, every little bit of activity counts. For an extra boost, consider resistance training to build muscle. Muscle helps our bodies burn more calories, even at rest. Try weight lifting, calisthenics, circuit training or Pilates. Be sure to exercise in a supervised setting with a qualified fitness professional.
If you can’t seem to say no to your favourite cookies, don’t keep them in the house. If you do have a craving for your favourite dessert, share it with a friend at a restaurant instead of having it available in your home.
Pop, sweet drinks, juices and alcohol can add up quickly and take you over your calorie budget without you even noticing. Drink mostly water and spice it up with lemon, lime or orange slices.
Don’t “waste” calories on food that does not live up to your expectations, no matter how decadent it looks. Why not save calories for a small portion of food you really enjoy?
Eat like a king at breakfast, a prince at lunch and pauper at dinner. You don’t have to do it exactly like this, but try to eat more of your calories in the earlier part of the day so you aren’t “fuelling up” to go to bed. To avoid being hungry and nibbling the night away, eat breakfast, then meals and snacks, every three to four hours throughout the day. A snack with protein in the afternoon can help curb your appetite when you walk in the door. Try 10-15 nuts plus a fruit; cottage cheese and fruit; or cheese and crackers.
When you think fibre, you most likely think bowel regularity. Fibre also plays a key role in weight loss. Fibre is bulky, so it keeps you feeling full longer and helps maintain your blood sugar level. Choose whole grains such as whole wheat pastas and breads, brown rice and cereals with at least four grams of fibre per serving. Load half of your plate with fibre-rich vegetables and include fruits with meals and snacks for extra fibre.
Did you know? Adult men need 38 grams of fibre per day; females 25 grams per day.
You may have given in to your food cravings and overdone it… you may have forgotten to eat lunch and as a result overeaten at supper. That’s no reason to throw in the towel! Keep up the great work you’ve already started and don’t give up. Weight loss should come gradually and safely, with a loss of one to two pounds per week. You and your body deserve it!