It sure is easier to put weight on than to take it off. But those extra pounds can leave you at risk for heart disease, increased LDL cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, respiratory problems, and some types of cancer and diseases. Sometimes losing weight is actually easier though than keeping that weight off. There are all sorts of strategies to employ and tips to lose weight, but according to research at Stanford University doing some planning for lifestyle changes, diet changes and an exercise plan before starting on your weight loss program can help you from gaining your lost weight back.
Tips to Lose Weight and Keep It Off
When you start getting serious about losing weight and keeping it off, here are some tips to use in preparing to increase your chance of success.
Get rid of the junk food – Registered dietician Rachel Berman suggests you go through your kitchen cabinets and fridge and clear out all the junk foods or unhealthy foods. Replace them with healthy snacks, fruits, veggies, healthy fats, complex carb foods, and lean protein sources.
Set realistic goals – Instead of setting a weight loss goal as a specific weight you will obtain, define parameters that your weight will fall in. For example, set a goal that you will weigh between 120 and 140 pounds or that your waist size will fall between 32 and 33 inches. Or set lots of very small goals that will give you success that you can build on. For example, set a goal that you will lose just one pound a week. Your goals could also include lifestyle and diet changes that you will make towards losing weight and keeping it off. You might set a goal to eat fish twice a week instead of hamburger or eat a healthy snack bar instead of a candy bar for your afternoon break.
Plan healthy diet menus – Plan menus ahead for healthy meals and snacks that can help you lose weight. Pick simple meals that you can cook easily and quickly or that you can cook ahead so that you don’t set yourself up for failure. Planning your meals ahead can help you avoid buying unhealthy foods on a whim when you go shopping and avoid grabbing unhealthy food choices for snacks or for meals when you are crunched on time. Be sure to include lots of water throughout the day to help your metabolism keep working for you and quench thirst without craving sugar filled drinks. It is also a good idea to plan ahead by making a list of restaurants that offer healthy food choices so you don’t feel deprived of being able to go out to eat, but are still able to stick to your weight loss goals. Be sure you don’t skip meals when you start your diet program as this doesn’t help keep weight off in the long run and doesn’t give your body the fuel it needs to work its best for you. Instead make sure you start the day off with a good breakfast and eat smaller meals more often throughout the day.
Keep active – Some type of physical exercise is necessary to help burn off calories when losing weight. This doesn’t mean you have to take up jogging or join a gym though unless those are activities you enjoy. Finding a physical activity that you enjoy will make it more likely that you will keep it up. This could include anything from hiking in nature to walking your dog to playing tennis to going dancing. Anything that gets your body moving goes. So try out a variety of activities and find which ones appeal to you.
Get your gut working for you – Much of the food we eat doesn’t have the digestive enzymes we need to fully digest all our food. That means undigested food sits in the gut and shows up as belly fat. Adding raw and lightly cooked veggies and fruits to your diet as well as a high quality enzyme supplement can help get your body more digestive enzymes working for it. Adding probiotics such as acidophilus, bifidus or a full spectrum probiotic supplement can also help keep your digestive system working optimally so that you get the most nutrition from the foods you eat for your body to use.
You can get control of your weight and keep it off. The key is developing good diet and lifestyle habits that support weight loss and healthy living. Make a plan and make a commitment to stick with it and you’ll be on your way to healthier living.
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