Certain things never change and how to effectively lose weight and keep it off is one of those areas of life. Here are the basics of weight loss that can work for almost anyone*.
Eat Real Food
If you can do nothing else but eat real food, you are more likely to begin to lose weight and see your health improve. The simplest rule of thumb about dieting is if it has been packaged, processed, sealed, doused with chemicals or otherwise prepared by a machine – don’t eat it/avoid it. If you don’t have time to cook every day, find time to cook once a week and prepare your meals in advance. If you can’t eat the most real, natural foods…eat the best quality food that is available to you. Read the labels to know what is in your food. Check out our Clean Foods List and get started today!
Restricting calories and starvation diets are two very different things. Don’t’ starve yourself because not only is it unhealthy, it’s a great way to gain weight. Surprised? The body has a self–preservation setting to prevent starvation that will cause it to hoard fat and make fat from whatever it gets if it is not getting nutrition on a regular basis. Starving can also slow down your metabolism.
No Fad Diets
Anything that promises you huge weight loss in a week is not the way to lose weight. You may drop more than 1 pound per week, but it will come flying back on (plus some) because losing more than a pound not only puts your body and mind into survival mode, but it means you aren’t creating a lifestyle change that will support keeping it off. If you can’t see doing the diet as a lifestyle for the long term, you run the risk of gaining all the weight you lose right back.
Allow for Cheating
Cheating happens for a number of reasons but mostly because we all happen to live in real life. Don’t beat yourself up about it, but get back to your weight loss plan as soon as you can. You can cheat the cheating by pre-planning how you will do it. If the Donut shop is your downfall, pick the donuts you can cheat with. It can be surprisingly effective to give yourself permission to cheat with rules as a way to stay on your diet better. Also, don’t do cheat days and cheat the whole day. Try cheat meals twice a month or cheat snacks once in a while.
Count Calories and Read Food Labels
Read the labels on everything you eat and drink. Make sure you are aware of the calories you consume and what ingredients are making up those calories. One thing to pay very close attention to is the amount of servings per container. A product that may advertise that it only has 100 calories may have 4 servings included. If you drink or eat the whole thing, that is 400 calories. It pays to spend some time on the Internet looking up the local restaurants you go to, including the quick cheat stops, to find out the calorie content of their menu items. We have no excuse because we can look up calories and menus on our cell phones in an instant. More info on counting calories and how much food you should eat.