Many look for quick solutions when it comes to weight loss. They try the newest diet or latest exercise equipment with the hope that they will lose weight in a flash. If you're looking into weight loss programmes, the best one is both the easiest and the hardest: change your lifestyle.
The starting point is healthy eating habits. The problem with weight loss programmes is people feel they can stop and start as they wish, ending up on a rollercoaster ride of weight gain and loss. Changing your lifestyle and how you approach food entirely means you'll have a long term plan for health that's far healthier because it's more stable.
What are the lifestyle obstacles to weight loss? You must begin your weight-loss programme by carefully examining your lifestyle and recognising some of the eating habits that can prevent you from achieving weight loss. Here are four tips on how to start changing your eating patterns:
- Don't skip meals. Are you eating small, frequent meals throughout the day, or are you skipping meals and having long gaps between meals? The latter only makes you hungrier, and you'll tend to overeat at your next meal.
- Dine out carefully. Do you dine out all the time and use that as an excuse not to make healthy choices at a restaurant? Even when you're dining out, you can make healthier choices – have your food grilled not fried, have veggies instead of chips or rice, etc
- Throw out the junk. As part of a smart weight loss programme you should clear out all the unhealthy snacks in your house to avoid being tempted. Instead, fruit, vegetables and low fat dairy snacks in the house - all healthier snacking options.
- Keep your portions small. One quick way to control weight is to cut back on the size of your portions. Try doing this by using a side plate instead of a dinner plate when you dish up your meals. Many personal weight loss programmes fail because people dish out way too much food for themselves and then feel compelled to clean their plates.
It's time to start making smart food choices. Your food choices can also help determine the success of your weight loss programme. Healthy and nutritious eating will include:
- Fruits and vegetables. Low in calories and rich in nutrients, fruits and vegetables can build your meal and help fill you up.
- Whole grains. At least half the grains you eat should be whole. They contain loads of fibre and will help you feel full.
- Low-fat milk and milk products. They fill you up and ensure you get enough protein and calcium to stay healthy.
- Lean meats, poultry, and fish. Everyone needs protein, which satisfies hunger like no other food group. So choose lean meats, poultry, and fish and prepare them by baking or grilling them.
Last but not least, remember that lifestyle-based weight loss will occur more slowly than with fad diets, melting off only a few kilograms a month. But because you've changed the way you eat, you'll be glad to hear that those kilograms are far more likely to stay off.