Ask Yourself These 6 Questions to Determine Your Best Weight-Loss Strategy
If you ask 10 people how to lose weight successfully, I just bet you would get 10 different answers. Do you agree? Different strategies work for different people. Some individuals count on peer support to meet their weight-loss goals, others are self-driven and design their own plans. Some folks utilize their computers and use various websites to track food intake, calorie needs, and activity levels. I always say, “If it works for you then go for it!”
But no matter how you choose to lose, make sure you are following a healthy lifestyle. Today, I want you to slow down and look at your current lifestyle. What patterns do you notice? Please be honest as you ask yourself these questions:
- Am I a junk-food junkie?
- Do I take time to eat regular, balanced meals?
- Do I eat under stress?
- Do I eat for other reasons besides being hungry?
- How and when do I eat?
- Do I skip meals?
If you are having issues maintaining a healthy weight, here are my suggestions for finding success:
- Identify your bad eating habits and plan for change. If you visit the vending machine often at work, bring healthy snacks from home, like a small bag of fresh vegetables (carrots, broccoli, bell peppers), fresh fruit (grapes, orange or apple slices, kiwi, banana, strawberries), or raisins instead. Keep a water bottle or unsweetened green tea at your desk and avoid drinking those high-calorie, sugary beverages. Make simple changes like switching from whole milk to skim in your cereal or lattes, as this will save you many calories per week and you probably won’t even notice the difference!
- Watch your portions. Many of us simply eat too much food. Unfortunately, our society has become used to large portions, which causes us to eat more than we need. Focus on downsizing, not supersizing.
- Check your weight. Find out what your healthy weight should be for your height and frame. Determine how many calories you should get each day. Your doctor can help you. You also can find healthy weight charts online.
- Take your time. You didn’t gain weight overnight. You won’t lose it that way, either. Avoid any diet that promises “overnight success.” Most doctors agree that a safe weight-loss goal is about 1-2 pounds per week.
- Get moving. One of the main reasons Americans are gaining weight is that they’re not active enough. About 34 percent of people over the age of 50 get no daily physical activity. Physical activity burns calories and can help you keep weight off by building muscle and increasing your metabolism. Combining regular exercise (walking at a brisk rate) with a balanced diet is the healthiest, most efficient, and most sensible way to lose weight and keep it off.
- Change your lifestyle. If you go back to old habits after you’ve reached your weight-loss goal, you’ll gain it back. The lifestyle changes that helped you lose weight have to stick like glue. Adopt a healthy diet and regular physical activity plan for life.
- Don’t skip meals — especially breakfast. You’ll only feel hungrier, which will make you overeat later.
- Drink plenty of water. A glass or two before a meal will fill you up so you eat less.
- Eat bulky foods that are filling and low in calories. These include fruits and vegetables, which have lots of fiber and water, but not a lot of calories.
- Don’t give up. Sometimes we have to try something many times before we succeed. For many people, this is especially true of losing weight for good. Making major lifestyle changes — quitting cigarettes, having a healthy diet, exercising regularly — takes time and determination. But if you stick with it you will achieve your goals — that’s a promise!
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