Anyone who has ever tried to go on a diet knows how difficult it can be. The whole idea sounds like a jail sentence. You can’t have this, you can’t have that. The food is going to be blunt and boring and you won’t be able to wait until you can get off that awful diet.
Here are a few tips to help you set up a life-long eating plan. Diets don’t work. You have to change the way you eat for the rest of your life. And as scary as that sounds, it can actually be a very good experience.
1. The first thing you need to do is decide why you want to lose some weight. Do you want to be healthier? Are you uncomfortable in your clothes, or worse, in a crowd? Are you unable to do the physical things you used to enjoy? Knowing why makes sticking to the new life-style much easier.
2. Think about the foods you presently eat. Do some research and add up the calories in your present diet. In order to lose one pound, your body needs to burn 3500 calories. The math is very simple. If you take in fewer calories than you burn, you will lose weight. An average adult consumes about 2000 to 2500 calories in a day. Choose some foods you like, and put together some meal plans that total somewhere between 1600 and 2000 calories daily. By planning meals ahead of time, you won’t be as likely to just “grab a burger” when you get hungry. Have healthy snacks available. Low-fat yogurt, dried fruit, vegetables and pretzels are just a few tasty, low calorie options.
3. Exercise in some form must be a part of your new life-style. This doesn’t mean you have to join a gym or buy a bunch of equipment. Walking for 30-60 minutes a day is a great way to burn calories. It’s also wonderful for your heart, and helps prevent some cancers, such as breast and colon cancer. Swimming, bicycling, basketball, softball, jumping rope or even walking the dog, are all great forms of exercise. There are also plenty of DVD’s and online exercise programs available. The most important thing is to exercise. You will get sore and want to stop, but once your body begins to get stronger, you may actually find that you enjoy it! It may help to have a friend exercise with you. Whatever you do, be consistent.
4. Remember, this is not a miracle diet you are starting. It is a new, healthier life-style that should be a permanent part of your life. There will be adjustments along the way, and that’s fine. Be patient. Taking weight off too quickly is a sure-fire way of gaining it all back. Take it off and keep it off by changing how food affects your life.
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