Do you want to lose weight, but you dread going on another diet? Just thinking about it makes you feel like you’re missing out on your favorite dishes and social occasions with your family and friends.
Slimming down may be easier than you think. Small gradual changes that you can stick with for the long haul are more effective than any crash diet.
Learn how to lose weight without starving yourself or feeling isolated. Start with these ideas for replacing old habits with healthier choices.
Most experts agree that diet is more important than exercise for losing weight. You may need to eat differently, but you can still feel satisfied and enjoy delicious foods.
Try these strategies:
- Increase fiber. High fiber foods fill you up with fewer calories. They also help lower your cholesterol and lower your blood sugar. Include vegetables, fruits, and whole grains in your meals and snacks.
- Control portions. You can eat almost anything you want as long as you manage your serving sizes. Learn to eyeball what one ounce of chocolate or a half cup of chips looks like.
- Eat mindfully. It’s easy for a bowl of ice cream to disappear while you’re watching TV. Pay attention to what you’re eating. You’ll probably consume fewer calories and enjoy them more.
- Dine at home. Cooking for yourself gives you more control over the ingredients. You’re likely to use less salt, sugar, and unhealthy fats compared to most restaurants.
- Limit alcohol. Liquid calories count too. Some cocktails are very fattening, and any alcohol can interfere with your self-control.
- Drink water. Quench your thirst with plain water or tea. Your body often mistakes thirst for hunger, so try a glass of water first when you experience any cravings.
- Plan your menu. Nutritious choices are easier when you decide what to have for dinner in advance. You can also use your menu to help resist impulse purchases at the supermarket.
Other Lifestyle Tips
What you do in between meals affects your waistline too.
These simple habits will boost your overall health, as well as helping you to reach your ideal weight and stay there:
- Manage stress. Daily tensions can lead to emotional eating and cravings for sweet and salty comfort foods. Learn to relax with alternatives like soft music.
- Sleep well. Insomnia slows down your metabolism and makes you feel hungrier. Aim for at least 7 hours of sleep each night. Stick to a consistent bedtime and turn off your phone and other electronic devices at least 2 hours before retiring.
- Do aerobics. Running, swimming, and other aerobic workouts are ideal for burning calories and strengthening your heart. If you’ve been sedentary for a while, talk with your doctor.
- Train for strength. Lifting weights can make you leaner too. As you build muscle, your body uses up more energy even at rest.
- Stay social. Studies show that social support plays a big part in the success of programs like Weight Watchers. Let your family and friends know how they can help you with your weight loss goals. They may want to join you.
- Keep a journal. Writing about what you eat and how you feel can increase your self-awareness. Maybe you’re overlooking those 3 teaspoons of sugar in your morning coffee.
- Weigh yourself. When was the last time you stepped on your bathroom scale? Weighing yourself regularly may help you to spot disturbing trends before the damage piles up. Just keep in mind that daily fluctuations are natural and harmless.
Have fun while you shed unwanted pounds. Managing your weight can reduce your risk for many serious medical conditions and help you to lead a longer and more active life.