Attitude: In order to succeed with your weight loss goals it is important to go into this program without thinking you are on a diet. What you need to do is change your behaviour and habits. This does not mean that you need to ever feel hungry or turn yourself into an Olympic athlete in order to achieve your weight loss goal. If you fall off the wagon get back on, you haven't lost the war.
Exercise: If you are more than 20 pounds overweight then you should start off with moderate daily exercise e.g. walking or swimming to assist with your weight loss. Always consult your doctor before embarking on any exercise regime.
If you are moderately overweight then a minimum of 40 minutes per day is preferable to achieve weight loss. If aged over 40 then it helps to try and do 2 sessions per day e.g. aerobic workout in the morning and walking or cycling for 30 minutes or more in the evening. I found that my metabolism slowed down considerably when I reached 40 so fitting in two sessions a day really helped my weight loss efforts.
Getting Organized: This lifestyle change will take a certain amount of effort and forward planning on your part. Think about what you do throughout the day that you could change i.e. do you sit at your desk at lunchtime reading the newspaper? Do you watch television for several hours in the evening? Could you set your alarm for 30 minutes earlier in the morning? This extra time can be used for exercise and the time needed to prepare your meals in advance if you need to take them to work.
Make lists for shopping, don't just hit the supermarket with a vague idea of what you will need for your weight loss goal. Cook in bulk and freeze the rest in small portions.
Things to Avoid: As a general rule stick to the outer aisles in the supermarket where the fresh produce is displayed. Avoid the aisles with packaged and processed foods. It goes without saying to avoid sugar and sugar related products (try fruit instead).
If in doubt just cut out the white stuff, sugar, white bread, white rice, potatoes etc. Dairy products can be very high in fat so try the reduced fat variety. I personally find this tastes better than the no fat variety and is more satisfying so you aren't looking for more in another half an hour.
Alcohol is also best avoided as this is normally quite high in calories and can lead to dehydration.
Quantities: Try and keep the quantities down to between 200-300 calories per meal, slightly more for men or if you are very active.
Frequency: Eat these small meals 5 times a day, approximately every 3 hours. Do not skip a meal and try not to eat after 7pm in the evening. The frequency of meals will stop you from feeling hungry and ease you toward your weight loss goal.
Dehydration: Drink plenty of water throughout the day, at least 8 glasses. Don't wait until you are thirsty as this means that you are dehydrated. This will help to keep your energy levels up and also eliminate toxins which can make you feel sluggish and tired.
Tricking your Metabolism: Eat 5 small meals of around 200-300 calories for 3 days then on the fourth day increase your calorie intake slightly for each meal. This will stop your body going into starvation mode and lowering your metabolism to suit the reduced intake.
Buddy: Why not get a friend or partner to join you on your new health and weight loss regime. This makes exercise more fun and helps you stay on target.
Attitude: I repeat this step as it's key to the success of your program. Continue to work towards a goal taking small steps if necessary. Many people have done this, you can too.
By using these tips you should achieve gradual and healthy weight loss without feeling deprived or hungry.
Copyright 2006 Janet Dunmore