Don’t get derailed from your healthy weight loss plan! If you have more than a few pounds to lose it can seem overwhelming. Don’t let that stop you. Stick to it. The best long lasting weight loss results occur over a period of time. Here are a few hints to keep you going strong!
1. Plan ahead.
Meal planning is key to maintaining a healthy diet. Last minute meals when you’re hungry can lead to less healthy choices. Be sure to include a variety of foods including lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein and whole grains.
2. Avoid commercially pre-prepared foods.
Many are high in fat, low in fiber and usually heavily salted. When you cook from scratch you can control what goes in, opting for lower calorie versions of milk, sour cream, and leaner meats.
3. Pre-package your own healthy snacks.
If it is ready and visible, you’re more apt to reach for a better option. *Hint: Put them in see-through containers so you will see them when you open the fridge! This helps develop good food habits for your kids, too.
4. Pack your lunch.
Whenever possible bring your lunch to work. Not only will it save you money but you have more control over the menu!
5. Break a sweat!
Aim for a cardio workout daily. No equipment is necessary. There are lots of exercises you can do in your living room: jog in place, lunges, squats, jumping jacks, jump rope. I bet you can think of a dozen more!
6. Set reasonable goals.
If you set your goals to high and don’t achieve them it can be discouraging. Long term slower weight loss is healthier and kept off longer. 1 to 2 pounds a week is great. Think about that over a period of time!
7. Do not weigh yourself every day.
Focus on healthy living, not the scale!
8. Get adequate sleep.
Studies show that sleep deprivation can contribute to weight gain. Sleep helps reduce stress. Stress is related to increased levels of the hormone cortisol which stimulates appetite. Your energy expenditure is also reduced when you’re tired, resulting in fewer calories burned.
9. Stay hydrated.
Thirst is often mistaken for hunger. Water is a critical for each organ in your body to operate properly. There are a lot of options for flavoring water is the “plain” variety is hard to swallow.
10. Think small.
Little changes, consistently applied, add up to big losses. Simple diet substitutions can save 100 calories at a time.