How To Lose Weight & Keep It Off!

Whether it is 5lbs or 150lbs, weight loss takes determination and a change in lifestyle. We all know that eating too much will cause you to gain weight, but what about eating too little? The common mistake made by most people when trying for weight loss is deprivation. Depriving your body, by eating too little food will NOT result in maintained weight loss. In the beginning, your body will respond to this method, and you will lose weight. Here’s the catch, the weight you lose will be extremely hard to keep off, and you will not look as good as someone who lost the same amount of weight the right way, because you will be losing muscle and water weight, not fat. So what is the “right way” to lose weight and keep it off?

The “right way” consists of a long term lifestyle change that includes a healthy, well rounded diet and increased body movement. To lose weight and keep it off, you have to set realistic goals that can be incorporated into your life for the long term. Your plan should be tailored specifically to fit you. How do you do this?

Step one: review your daily eating habits, write down what you consume on an average day. Look over this, and circle all the things that are high in fat and sugar: Gourmet coffee, fast food, cookies, muffins, doughnuts, chips, pop/soda, pizza etc. These are the foods that you should work towards eliminating.

Once you have evaluated your current eating habits, you will begin to see what changes need to be made.

Step two: Do not drink your calories!! This is one of the easiest ways to begin to see weight loss results. One 16 oz bottle of Coke is 200 calories, these are all empty calories. If you drink more than one bottle a day, your body is consuming 400 or more calories from liquid alone. If you replaced that with ice cold water with lemon, you will already be decreasing your caloric intake by 400 calories, without changing the amount of food you consume.

Step three: Plan ahead

Plan 2-3 different easy breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner menus that can be made in bulk at the beginning of the week, or quickly made the night before. Ex: A pot of chili, Whole grain pasta w/marinara sauce, turkey burgers, oatmeal, granola cereal, fruit, yogurt, turkey bacon, sandwich on whole grain bread. These are just a few great breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack ideas that can be pre- prepared, or made quickly at night or in the morning.

I don’t believe in eating bland, to lose weight. If you love foods like hamburgers, pizza, cookies and muffins, find healthy alternatives for these foods. There are quick and easy muffin recipes that use oat and barley flour (these flours can be found in the organic section of most grocery stores) that are low in calories and sugar. Make a juicy turkey burger instead of a hamburger, and make a homemade pizza with veggies and turkey pepperoni instead of ordering the grease filled pizza chain pizzas. Eat breakfast, lunch and dinner with one or two healthy snacks throughout the day. Drink plenty of water, and pay attention to portions (meat and pasta servings should be about the size of your closed fist).

Step 4: Increase your movement. If you already exercise and are in a rut, change it up. If you jog, implement sprint intervals to rev up your calorie burn. You can ad sprint intervals to any cardio workout, the elliptical, the exercise bike etc. To do this work at a moderate pace for 2 minutes and then increase to a highly intense level for one minute, do this every 2 minutes for your complete cardio session.

If you do not exercise, begin to incorporate more activity into your life. You could walk during your lunch break, go for a bike ride on weekends, or go to the mall and walk at a slightly faster pace then usual while you shop. While watching TV, stretch, during commercial breaks do jumping jacks, squats, or sit-ups. It does not matter what you do, just increase your physical movement daily.

If you follow these four steps you will be well on your way to a slimmer healthier you! If you feel overwhelmed, start with one step and slowly work your way through all the steps. The key is to change the way you think about losing weight. Permanent weight loss is not about deprivation, but healthy lifestyle changes.

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