Top Five Weight Loss Tips
By Debbie I. Snare
I’ve battled the scale for most of my adult life. I’ve been on every diet under the sun, and watched the scale numbers go up and down like an unstable stock market! And in my endeavors, I’ve learned a few things. Most “diets” are ineffective because they do not address all the aspects of permanently losing weight. Two years ago, I had the goal of losing thirty pounds. Within a year of starting, I had accomplished that goal. No fancy “diet” no meal plans, no health clubs. If I can do it, anyone can! Here are my top five tips to losing weight and keeping it off!
1. MOVE! You will not be successful at losing weight if you sit on your butt all day! I’m a writer, guess where I spend my day? So I have had to look for methods of incorporating exercise into my lifestyle. When going to a store, park at the other end of the parking lot! When you’re finished shopping take your cart (if you have one) back up to the store – not one of the drop off points! Take the stairs every chance you get! Turn up some energizing music while you clean house and do chores – you very well may find yourself dancing while you do mundane routines! Start with these small steps, and work up to taking a walk at least five times a week! Even if its only 10 minutes – it will help. You’ll find you start to have more energy and want to walk longer! Take a friend with you and gossip along the way!
2. Watch your food portions! The average serving size of meat should be the size of a deck of cards! When was the last time you served yourself a portion of meat that size? Or was served that at a restaurant? Exactly. One trick is to “fool” your eyes. Order a child’s portion at restaurants, and when you are at home, serve yourself on small plates. Your plate will look full, and fool your eyes- because believe it or not, we do eat with our eyes! If you are still hungry, have an additional serving of vegetables or salad (watch the dressing!) Pay attention to your stomach – when you are full, stop eating. Your stomach is the size of your fist. How much food can you stuff in your fist? Not much!
3. Write down everything you eat! Along with what (and how much) you eat, write down the time of day, and what you were doing and feeling when you realized you were hungry. After a couple of weeks, you will begin to see patterns. This “diary” will be a visual reminder of what triggers your eating and will help you to keep committed to your goals!
4. Drink Water! Lots and lots of water! If you feel hungry, and really have no reason to – have a cup of ice cold water! Many people confuse hunger and thirst. Having a glass of water and an apple will almost always cure your “craving” for other, less healthy foods! Not to mention, water flushes toxins from your body, gives you healthier skin, cushions your joints and muscles and helps burn fat and build muscle!
5. Focus on health, not weight! If you make your overall health your primary concern, you will find losing weight almost effortless. In our commercialized society pushing size 0 models, sometimes that can be hard! No matter how much weight I lose, I will never be a size 0. Instead, I focus my goals on improving my overall health – by watching what I eat – consuming more fruits and vegetables and water than anything else, and hauling my butt out of my chair a few times a day, the weight loss has been remarkably simply. My blood count is higher (meaning I have “healthier” blood), my immune system is stronger, and I have more energy!
In your quest to lose weight, do not “punish” yourself. Do not “restrict” your diet so that you cannot have your favorite foods. That is one of the surest ways to fail! If I think I HAVE to have a snickers bar then I have half and save the rest of it for another time. If you are at a birthday party, have a piece of cake – just make it a small piece. By thinking of your overall health, and allowing yourself “treats,” and becoming more physically active, you will lose weight. But it will not happen overnight! A big mistake people make is weighing themselves every day expecting to see results. Do not weight yourself every day! I don’t even own a scale anymore. The way your clothes fit will tell you what your body is doing!