In order to lose weight successfully a combination of lowered food
intake and increased activity works best. Increased activity will be dealt
Decreased food intake can be accomplished in more than one way. One is
to simply eat smaller portions or less food. Another is to forgo higher
calorie foods and eat those with lower calorie content. Yet another way
is to avoid foods with high fat content.
You won't find menus, food lists, diaries or recipes here. Dieting is a
common-sense approach to healthy eating and health living. Diet is a very
personal thing, including personal taste and ethnic background and must
be something you are able to live with for the rest of your life. Sure,
you will lose weight on an unhealthy diet of lettuce and celery sticks but
you'll gain it back (plus a few extra pounds for good measure). What you
need is a healthy meal plan that will allow you to lose all the weight you
need to lose and maintain that weight loss forever. For this kind of diet
ALL foods are acceptable...but in moderation.
"Don't cut out, cut back!"
Unless advised to do so by your doctor never cut your intake to less than
1200 calories a day. Your body needs that many calories to survive. We talked
about metabolism in the section on drugs...eating too few Calories a day
puts your body in starvation mode and it efficiently lowers your metabolism
in an attempt to hang on to everything it already has. Not eating enough
is as self-defeating as overeating!
Keep in mind that your diet also needs to be nutritionally balanced. Choose
foods daily from the basic food groups - dairy products, fruits and vegetables,
breads, grains and cereals, and meat, fish, poultry and alternates. Ask
your doctor or dietician for a food plan giving recommended amounts of these
Choose foods that are low in fat. Lower fat foods have much less Caloric
value. Fat promotes fat! Many books and charts are available outlining the
fat content of virtually every food. Generally, 30 g of fat or less per
day is recommended.
Avoid high fat snack foods such as potato chips and corn chips. Cookies,
cakes, pastries, chocolate and candy all add a lot of sugar, fat and Calories
to your diet and have little nutritional value. Avoid them! Enjoy plenty
of fresh fruits and vegetables for snacking.
Learn the art of substitution. It can make a big difference to your daily
Caloric intake. For example use 1% milk instead of whole milk, diet spread
instead of margarine, diet soda instead of regular, fat free whipped topping
instead of whipping cream....well you get the picture! Be creative...see
how many things YOU can substitute in your diet!
Learn to cook the low fat way - baking, boiling, broiling, steaming, microwaving
are all preferable to frying!
Drink plenty of water.
Learn to eat only as much as you need to feel full...without overeating
Three meals a day (including breakfast) plus planned and appropriate
snacks are essential for a healthy balanced diet.
Many people complain that they can't eat first thing in the morning. It
matters little if you have your first meal of the day at 6 a.m. or 11 a.m.
as long as it is a healthy meal. So often people who skip breakfast are
the first at the coffee truck mid morning buying high fat, high sugared
energy boosters like donuts.
Plan healthy snacks for those times you need them most.
In a Hurry?
Want those extra pounds gone yesterday? Thinking you might just starve or
eat grapefruit three times a day?
Liberate yourself from the fad diet trap. Recognize that short term diets
don't work. Most of the weight you do lose comes back on again and leaves
you feeling like a failure. Instaed you've got to....MAKE A NEW PLAN!
Wait for that "moment of readiness" to begin. Before you start, be sure
you are really ready to make some permanent changes in your life. Half hearted
attempts lead to that "lose a little, then gain back a lot more" syndrome.
Realize that it took time to add that extra fat and its going to take time
to lose it. Make your goal a permanent loss and that means a diet you can
live with for the rest of your life. Small changes add up over time to great