I hope everyone had a wonderful New Year and is off to a happy, healthy start on 2012! Last week, I posted some tips for those of you who have resolved to lose weight. The first tip is that healthy weight cannot be reached and maintained by dieting. Let’s discuss this a little bit.
In order to lose weight you must burn more calories than you take in. Losing weight can only happen when you either cut down on how much food you eat, increase exercise, or ideally, a combination of these 2 things. So how do you cut calories without “being on a diet”?
One key difference between dieting and deciding to lose weight and keep it off for good is the type of mindset you have. Often, we are motivated to lose weight to reach a number on the scale or a certain clothing size. But what happens when you reach that number? Almost always we come off of our diet, revert back to old habits and gradually gain the weight back plus some extra. Making changes that will last for good, instead of just for temporary weight loss, are what is going to get you off the cycle of weight loss followed by weight gain.
Making the decision to overhaul your lifestyle is different than just dieting. Making gradual changes that become new habits and practicing these habits every day is what will lead to long-term success. Drastic changes rarely stick. Before you embark upon a diet that excludes entire groups of foods or doesn’t allow you to ever eat favorite foods, ask yourself “Am I prepared to do this for the rest of my life?. If the answer is no, you may be setting yourself up for failure.
Here are some healthy habits that are relatively simple to incorporate that can lead to lasting success:
- Eat breakfast
- Eat frequently. It is easy to over-eat when you skip meals.
- Make sure you eat enough protein
- Exercise regularly. Every little bit helps!
- Watch your portion sizes