If only losing weight was as easy as making the promise! Most of us get a great deal of pleasure from food and, unlike other promises we make, we can’t just stop eating. Controlling weight is about self control and motivation for most people. I have listed a few steps that might help keep you on the right track for a healthier future…..
4 Top Dietwise Tips
- Be Realistic! Aiming to lose too much weight too soon is not only dangerous but is likely to be setting yourself up to fail. Unrealistic targets leave people low and feeling like a failure – not the way anybody would like to spend their new year. Ask yourself why your last diet failed – it’s probably because your expectations of yourself were way too high. Being realistic about what you can achieve is vital for long term success – but being realistic can be difficult. It depends on confidence in yourself and your own ability to limit and control your eating pattern. Planning your food should help build the confidence you need.
- Plan! Sit down for a few minutes and work out when, where, and what you might like to eat each week. Planning like this helps give you confidence and determination to stick to a weight management plan. Without it, you are much more likely to go astray or be far too strict with yourself. Remind yourself that there aren’t any ‘bad’ foods, only ‘bad’ diets. This will help you keep your plan and meals in perspective.
- Set Targets. Allowing yourself treats will help make your diet realistic and achievable – but be sure to set a limit! This will allow you to enjoy the food while being comfortable knowing you aren’t going to overdo things generally.
- There is no such thing as quick fix diets. Fad diets that claim to reduce your weight fast are usually dangerous and unlikely to work in the long term. The best way of keeping weight under control in the long term is by losing it at a slow sensible pace. This calls for patience – the biggest challenge for most people. Planning your New Year diet around balanced nutrition ideas and long term lifestyle changes is far more healthy and likely to work than bogus, quick fix fads. Look through the tips below to ensure you are on the right track.
How to be Dietwise ….
- Eat regular meals. Missing meals to lose weight can deprive your body of essential nutrients. It can also have the opposite effect to what you want – a low intake of food can lower metabolism making weight loss even more difficult. Aim for a minimum of 3 meals, every day, with healthy snacks.
- Eat more Fruit and Veg – they have a multitude of benefits! Packed full of vitamins, low in calories and full of fibre. Gradually build up to 5 servings a day. Try them as snacks between meals, extra portions of vegetables with a cooked meals, salad in sandwiches and fresh pure fruit juices instead of sugary drinks. Remember frozen vegetables can be as nutritious as fresh and are a great convenience food to have
- Eat more starchy foods – bread, rice, pasta, potatoes and cereals. It’s a common mistake to cut down this type of food. Don’t! They give you energy and help fill you (especially the high fibre varieties). Think about how you are cooking these foods and what you are adding to them – its this that is far more likely to be your mistake than the starchy food itself.
- Eat less fat. Fat contains a lot of energy – the highest of all the nutrients we eat. Eating less not only helps you lose weight, but can help protect you against other serious illnesses. Try grilling, baking or steaming food. Choose lean meat and cut off any visible fat. Choosing reduced fat products like semi skimmed milk, reduced fat spread, cheese and yoghurts can make a big difference to your daily intake. Limit chips, crisps, chocolate, biscuits and cakes.
- Eat less sugar – contrary to popular belief, your body does not need sugar! Extra will only hinder your attempts to lose weight Try the following:
- use artificial sweeteners instead of sprinkle sugar
- use diet / low calorie soft drinks
- use reduced sugar jams and marmalade
- choose fresh fruit or canned in juice not syrups
- half the sugar used in cooking
- eat less cakes, sweets and biscuits.
- Drink less Alcohol –Some alcohol can have a beneficial effect on your health. Unfortunately, this advice is only true if the amount you drink is in moderation! Too much will contains energy that you could do without. Try to limit the amount you have. Help yourself to reduce by offering to drive on occasions. Dilute your drinks with fruit juice or soda water. Try different types of flavoured water as an alternative- add fruit filled ice cubes for colour and taste.
- Try to be more active. Extra activity helps make losing weight much easier. So long as your chosen activity is extra to what you normally do, it will go a long way towards helping you control it. Try to find something that you find enjoyable and that fits in with your capabilities and lifestyle. Becoming more active can be as simple as using the stairs daily or taking a 10-minute walk at lunch time. Others may be able to take up swimming, yoga or dance classes, or go to the gym or sports centre. Its amazing how much of a difference extra activities can make. Check with the doctor if you aren’t sure what is right for you.
Finally, don’t feel guilty about the odd lapse. Changing a lifetime of habits takes time. Remember any change you make is a step towards a healthier, fitter you.