Are you a yo-yo diet junkie? Have you tried every weight loss program out there with high hopes only to be let down? Permanent weight loss requires healthy lifestyle changes that you can stick with. It’s a slower process that requires a different mindset. Many people give up too soon because they are focused on immediate results.
Reversing Weight Gain
If you think of weight loss as a process of reversing what caused the weight gain, then it makes sense to slow down and figure out your own individual process. One person might start with an exercise program while another begins with healthier food choices. Reeducation and forming new habits takes time, and motivation is a key factor in fueling patience.
Here are 10 tips assimilated from the best weight loss advice out there. Follow these suggestions and create a plan that targets the specific lifestyle changes you need to reach your permanent weight loss goals.
- Stick to 3 meals a day – Don’t skip breakfast, and don’t eat a high carb breakfast. A high carb breakfast will make you hungry again before lunch. Bacon and eggs (or other protein/fat choices) will keep you full longer because protein and fat take longer to digest. You could add some fiber to this meal by scrambling some spinach or kale in with your eggs, but skip the fruit when you’re eating protein and fat.
Excessive snacking can also lead to weight gain, while 3 meals that include a 4 to 6 oz. protein source, a small amount of fat, and fiber and carbs from vegetables should satisfy. If you still need a snack between meals try bananas, berries and nuts.
- Eat for health not weight loss – Focus on the quality of food you are eating. Your plate should be colorful, at least half full of low-glycemic vegetables and fruit so that you are getting plenty of nutrients. Stay away from processed and packaged foods which are very low in nutrition. Learn to eat new types of foods that are vitamin and mineral rich. Learn about food combining for better digestion, and don’t forget to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
- Get plenty of fiber from plant foods and stay away from sugar – Fiber is your biggest digestion helper and the best fiber comes from low-glycemic vegetables and legumes, not grains. Although grains have fiber, they are also full of carbohydrates, especially when processed into breads and cereals. Even some whole grain breads and cereals can digest too quickly and raise your blood sugar. Too much sugar and simple carbohydrates are your #1 enemy when trying to lose weight.
- Eat a lower-carbohydrate diet with adequate protein & healthy fats – It does not need to be keto or Paleo, which focus on extremely low carb eating. Reducing the amount of high carb foods you eat will go a long way in helping to shed pounds. Try eliminating chips, crackers, pastries, cakes, candy and potatoes and reducing your portions of bread, pasta, rice, and other grain products. Using SUGARDOWN® can help you reduce your carb intake as well. Learn more HERE.
- Change your perspective about what’s normal – We think the way we have learned to eat is normal, and that anything that looks good or taste good should be good for you. We have many concepts about food that are based more on emotions than on fact, such as portion size and the foods we crave.
We assume that the food in the grocery store is healthy, but a lot of it is not. We also assume that government agencies are protecting us with regulations and guidelines, but unfortunately this system has failed. Normal is eating food that is closest to its natural living form, and most people need to re-learn how to do that.
- Examine your thoughts and emotions first – If you’ve been struggling with weight issues for a long time you may have lost hope. Believing that you can lose weight is an important factor in staying motivated. Work on a ‘can do’ attitude that is realistic because it is grounded in facts about food, nutrition and a healthy lifestyle.
Also stay aware of your emotions while trying to lose weight. Emotional eating can sabotage the even the healthiest diet or well-intended plan.
- Build stress relieving activities into your day – Stress causes the release of cortisol which is the fat storage hormone. Learn to take care of yourself and manage stressful situations. Exercise can help to manage stress as well as practices like meditation. Every person is different and needs to find their own way of dealing with stress.
- Get more physical activity – We need about an hour a day of low intensity exercise such as walking, or 20-30 minutes daily of high intensity exercise like weightlifting, cardio workouts or a Zumba class. If you have not been physically active take it slowly, increasing your activity by 10 minutes each day. Try a variety of activities to see what type of exercise works best for you.
- Schedule your exercise with accountability – Paying for an exercise class or a personal trainer may help you stay on track because it involves commitment and money. Another way of doing this is having an exercise buddy and a schedule that you both commit to. You will be more likely to exercise if you write it into your calendar on a daily and weekly basis, and there is another person who you can be accountable to.
- Create a winning environment at home, at work, and when you travel – Your environment includes the people you hang out with, the activities you do, the places you go, and the things in your living space. That’s a lot to deal with. Think about what triggers your food cravings or causes you to cheat. Is it the food commercials on TV, the unhealthy snacks in your cupboard, the fast food restaurants you drive by every day or the buddies you hang out with on weekends?
Whatever it is that derails your weight loss plans, you are the only one who can change your life. Sometimes that means making hard choices, or changing the way you interact with the people and things around you. Make a list of the things that interfere with your weight loss goals and create a plan for dealing with each of those issues. Get support from the people who love you and want to see you succeed.