Diets often fail because the dieter views a restricted diet program as an adversary, something to be suffered, a stint of deprivation. It becomes a daily battle quickly lost in moments of stress, boredom or self-pity.
To be successful, a dieter needs to make a shift in attitude, approaching a weight loss program not as a temporary prison sentence, but as a long-term change in lifestyle, replacing poor eating habits with healthier ones. A change in your attitude towards food will result in a change in your body size.
Select a healthy, balanced eating plan:
Diets that severely restrict, or eliminate, an entire food group do not, in the long run, lead to sustained weight loss. Every diet must include fats, carbohydrates and protein.
- Switch out unhealthy sources of necessary nutrients for healthy ones.
- Think in terms of “clean eating”, unprocessed, whole foods that won’t fill your body with toxins.
- Use aversion therapy to retrain how you think about the foods you eat. Replacing a juicy hamburger with a skinless chicken breast may seem a tremendous sacrifice until you imagine the slimy coating of congealed grease the ground beef leaves behind in the frying pan.
Learn portion control:
A few ounces of lean meat is all an adult man or woman needs to meet daily protein requirements; a serving of pasta is not a heaping mound of spaghetti.
- Eat a large salad before your main meal. Give it time to settle, and you will find a small piece of meat and piece of potato is all you need to feel satisfied.
- Pile your food onto a smaller plate; an 8-inch dinner plate filled to the edge will satisfy the desire for abundance.
- Measure everything, it is not as onerous a task as you might think, and it will make a huge difference in your total calorie count at the end of the day.
If you have an overwhelming urge to eat that fudge brownie, ask yourself why. Your body obviously does not need it. Are your bored? Tired? Stressed? You may just be thirsty, dehydration mimics hunger. Pour yourself a low calorie drink as you contemplate the brownie. Imagine how you will feel an hour after you eat it. By the time you finish your drink, the craving will pass.
Keep a food journal:
Keep track of everything you eat. While a small notebook will do, there are online programs and smart phone applications that allow you to track your food intake throughout the day. Recording your progress will keep your mind focused on your goals.
Physical activity will not only burn calories and tone muscles, it will lift your mood, replacing the need for comfort foods that only leave you feeling bloated and weighed-down.
Surround yourself with like-minded people:
Join a weight loss group for encouragement, support and inspiration. If you find this unappealing, you may reap the same benefits by following weight-loss blogs on the internet. There are thousands of bloggers who post inspirational photos, healthy eating tips and exercise advice. Find one that matches your situation, and you will have a companion on your fitness journey.