As difficult as weight loss may have been in the past, today is a new day and weight loss doesn't have to be difficult. With the right mindset, it is possible to lose weight and keep it off for good!
Here are 7 easy to follow weight loss tips to help you in this process.
Alissa's 1st Tip
Focus on small behavior changes that you can commit to each step of the way. Weight loss cannot be simply a diet change, but needs to be a lifestyle change as well if you truly want to lose weight and keep it off. Since this can be overwhelming, try and start out with baby steps. For example, instead of saying you're going to exercise every day of the week for 1 hour, start out with exercising 3 days a week for 30 minutes. You can start out with a short walk around the block three or four times a week for 30 minutes. See how it goes, and when you can easily accomplish this and it has become part of your lifestyle, begin pushing the limit up a bit. Progress to 4 days per week, contemplate getting a gym membership, consider getting a few training sessions with a personal trainer, or whatever else you feel you are ready to try. Keep it fun and interesting. Try to get family members or friends to join you. Get involved in community activities such as charity walks, 5k's, team sports, running or walking groups, fitness classes, etc.
Alissa 2nd Tip
Keep a detailed food and exercise journal until these habits become natural. This may be one of the most important tips that many people on a weight loss mission fail to undertake or commit to. Keep a detailed record of each bit of food and drink, including the time and amount consumed. Don't cheat. Record every food item including between meals and snacks and sneaking a bit of your favorite chocolate bar. Write down your physical activity as well, including the type and duration of exercise during your day. Many people are amazed at the amount of food they eat outside of their normal meal times. Journaling is meant to build awareness, which enables you to make changes. Do yourself a favor and start today!
Alissa's 3rd Tip
Try to limit your intake of refined sugars and processed foods. The majority of your foods should come from whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean meats, low and non-fat dairy, eggs, fish, poultry, and vegetarian proteins such as nuts/seeds, tofu, seitan, beans, and gluten-free veggie burgers. Stay away from enriched products such as white flour, white rice, white bread, and pasta that is not organic or whole grain. These have no nutritional value. Include grains such as quinoa, brown rice, teff, amaranth, kamut, millet, whole oats, spelt, whole wheat pasta, or barley.
Alissa's 4th Tip
Say goodbye to fast food. Any foods that don't go bad when left out for weeks on end should be avoided like the plague. These are loaded with harmful fats, preservatives, and chemicals. If you have no choice but eat out, choose something healthy from the menu like a large salad, a baked potato, and broiled or grilled meats instead of fried food. When traveling, pre-plan. Bring snacks in a cooler including: unsalted nuts and seeds; dried or whole fruit; cut-up veggies with hummus or guacamole; all-natural protein bars such as Think Thin Bars, Lara Bars, Kind Bars or Clif Builders Bars; Kashi Chewy granola bars; hard boiled eggs; celery with natural peanut butter; apple with peanut butter; sandwiches made on Arnold double protein bread; turkey and cheese roll-ups; or low-fat cheese sticks.
Alissa's 5th Tip
Do a detox seasonly to cleanse and detoxify your system. It is important, however, to choose your cleanse carefully. Safety is of utmost importance and many of the health food stores will carry a variety of cleansing products claiming to "detoxify" your liver or colon. Truly none of these are needed. Simply eating the right combination of whole foods and proper supplementation is best to maximize your results and most importantly, will be the safest for your body. Their are a variety of cleansing options, which should be specific for your individualized needs. Contact me to discuss your healthy detox options. The benefits of a detox just may be what you've been missing in your weight loss success.
Alissa's 6th Tip
Try and make it a habit to include at least some vegetables with each meal and snack during your day. The more you think about adding vegetables, the more often you'll actually get them in. Vegetables include vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants to help you from getting sick, to stay full and satisfied, and keep you energized. Include veggies in your morning omelette or have natural peanut butter on celery, have a large organic salad and/or steamed vegetables for lunch and dinner, or have some cut-up vegetables with hummus or guacamole at a snack. Getting vegetables into your diet can be easy when you keep them on your mind.
Alissa's 7th Tip
Stay positive! Don’t say “I’m going to try to lose weight." If you say, “I will lose weight and feel great,” you'll set your self up for success. What you think about you bring about, so always make positive statements and affirmations rather than thinking negatively or making negative statements. Be committed to staying on course and making these necessary lifestyle and dietary changes.
Weight loss and weight maintenance does not have to be overwhelming and difficult. Try to get started with just a few steps from those mentioned above. Take one day at a time, have fun with it, and if you begin to get overwhelmed, take a deep breath and focus on one simple thing you know you can accomplish. The only way you fail is to give up, so keep on keeping on and you're bound to reach your goals in no time!
So what are you going to start with today?
Happy New Year - Make it a great 2011!
Alissa Robertson, MS, RD