One of the largest culprits in causing weight gain is sugar. Modern day diets are filled with sugar all the way from breakfast cereals and donuts to the coffee beverages you drink to beat the mid-day slump to the desserts after dinner. Even fruits and vegetables contain sugar, and though the sugar is occurs naturally and is not refined, it's still sugar. Your body is only able to process a certain amount of sugar at a time, and any excess sugar that is consumed will be turned into fat. When you stop adding fuel to the fire (your fat), your body will start burning the stored fat for its energy needs.
A quick way to jump start your weight loss is to cut out all added sugar in your diet and cut back on fruit, as well. Try eating no more than 15 grams of sugar a day for best results. Many people will notice that they lose a 2-3 pounds, or more, in the first week. Do note that this isn't easy! A banana has nearly 20 grams of sugar and a candy bar has upwards of 40 or more. Keep hydrated and snack on raw, low-calorie veggies like cucumbers and bell peppers to keep from giving into your cravings.
In today's society there is an allure about being thin. You see the models and actresses on television or in the movies and think that this is what you should aspire to look like. Don't fall into this trap! First and foremost realize that being thin doesn't always mean you are healthy. Do you know any thin people who have diabetes, heart disease, or even eating disorders? If you are overweight the goal should be to achieve a healthy weight not an ideal weight. None of us can achieve perfection so forget about what all of the tables and charts tell you.
A healthy weight is where your weight will fall if you are eating well and exercising in an amount that is right for you. Focus on being healthy and let your weight fall where it may. Find a weight loss meal plan that works with your lifestyle to achieve a healthy weight. Most people are under the assumption that you have to eat perfectly 100 percent of the time to lose weight. Even the best weight loss meal plan includes forbidden foods such as ice cream, cheeseburgers, and pizza. One strategy is to use the 80/20 rule. This means you eat well 80 percent of the time while indulging and being ‘bad' 20 percent of time. Exercise must be consistent and become part of your daily routine. Make it fun by doing something you enjoy. By following these simple rules you will get to a healthy weight in no time.
As you are probably aware, motivation is one of the most difficult issues to contend with during weight loss. Most people are highly motivated in the beginning but have trouble maintaining motivation over the long term. The best way to stay motivated is to recognize all that you have accomplished so far. Think about the positive lifestyle changes you've made and give yourself credit for them. Try not to lose the momentum you have gained since you began your lifestyle makeover. It is also helpful to look at other benefits you've received besides weight loss. Do you feel better about yourself, have more energy, or maybe a decrease in blood pressure?
Another way of keep yourself motivated is to create visible signs of your progress. For instance, if you enjoy numbers you could post a weight graph or body measurements in areas around the house. Usually the bathroom mirror or the refrigerator door is the most popular locations for posting data. You can also record activity milestones by logging your exercise mileage towards a particular vacation spot. You might even consider taking an actual vacation to this location when you reach this exercise goal. By providing a visible record of your accomplishment not only helps you stay motivated but allows others to congratulate you for the progress you've made.
The final way to maintain motivation is to change up your eating and exercise routine.
Cravings are intense feelings that drive you to eat your favorite foods at times when you are not hungry. You can be making great progress on your weight loss diet program but at some point in your journey a craving will strike. These cravings are highly individualized, meaning that some women might crave chocolate while others can't do without ice cream. Keep in mind that cravings are based on emotions. Women who go on and off diets frequently seem to be more affected by cravings. To identify cravings in your weight loss program, pay close attention to the triggers that make you want to eat. Be sure to ask yourself if you are truly hungry or acting on a craving. Here are several ways you can deal with cravings.
There are many strategies you can employ to take control of your eating behaviors. Below you'll find a list of tips that may be beneficial to you. If one strategy doesn't work that is fine just move on the next one. The more techniques you have at your disposal the greater your chances of success.
While much of mainstream weight loss diet information targets women, you may wonder, “Do men and women lose weight differently?” Probably not, but it has been suggested that the triggers for eating are different for men and women.
For men, stress seems to be the one emotion most often associated with overeating. Many overweight men can trace their weight problems back to stress. There are many ways men can control stress in their lives, and it starts with implementing a successful weight loss and diet plan. Identify the stress and change your response it. In other words, replace overeating with a more positive behavior. There are many alternatives to choose from such as going for a walk, reading, listening to your favorite music, or calling a friend. Develop some constructive behaviors and have them ready to go when stress triggers the desire to overeat or eat something you shouldn't. Another method of controlling stress is by actively practicing stress management techniques. Examples of stress management techniques can be found below.
One way to avoid food triggers is by controlling your environment. This means making an effort to minimize your contact with food at home, work, and in the car. The more time you are exposed to food the greater your chances are of binging or snacking when you may not be hungry in the first place. Limiting the number of high risk situations will make it easier for you to lose weight. Here are several ideas to help decrease your exposure to food.
Of course you've heard that eating out can really pack on the pounds, so you've started preparing weight loss meals at home. Good for you, but you may be thinking, "Why isn't the weight just falling off"? It is important to understand that you can still overeat a healthy balanced meal no matter how nutritious it may be. It all boils down to calories in versus calories out. Be aware and watch those serving sizes! One way to be mindful of your balanced meal and serving sizes is called the plate method.
Arrange a healthy balanced plate in the following manner:
You probably start losing weight with some predetermined goal weight in mind. Whether you intend to lose 20, 40, or even 50 pounds you must determine if your goal is even realistic. Goals are important because they give us direction and a way to measure progress. Most people, however, set their goals way too high so when they do make progress it seems almost insignificant. Realize that your goals must be attainable. Don't set yourself up for failure by establishing unrealistic goals.
As part of the goal setting process you should develop long and short term objectives. Long term objectives can be achieved by reaching your short term goals. For example, let's say you have been very inactive and set a goal of exercising five times per week. Going from being totally inactive to five days of exercise is unrealistic. To successfully accomplish your objective, first set an initial, more realistic, short term goal of walking two days per week. Once you feel comfortable with this level of exercise progress to three or four days per week. It may take several weeks or months to get to your target exercise level so be patient. Using this goal setting technique increases your odds of achieving success.
Record keeping is an essential ingredient for weight loss success. You can learn a lot of things from your records. The more detailed your records are the better. Keep track of what you eat, how much activity you get each day, and weekly weight. It may seem tedious and time consuming but record keeping does facilitate weight loss. Most successful weight losers cite self-monitoring as one major reason for their success. Self-monitoring will help you in several ways.
Increased awareness of current habits