Weight loss tips are here, there, everywhere. Key in the term ‘weight loss’ and the internet offers you with umpteen tips. So is the case with magazines and books which hype different diets such as the Paleo, vegan, Mediterranean, etc. The common thread between these is the diet changes that must be incorporated in your daily routine to evoke weight loss. Yet, these work for short term and what you need for long-term success is a number of behavioral strategies that you can work upon.
Why exactly you want to lose weight? Is it for a grand wedding of your loved one or you want to look slim and trim at your college reunion? Such short-term goals are pressurizing due to limited time available in your hand and increases cortisol levels (stress hormone) which might further increase your numbers on the scale. Instead of losing weight for the sake of others, try to lose weight for yourself. You may have thyroid problem or knee pain which can be normalized with ample physical exercise. Exercise helps to bring down the blood pressure in patients and decreases the risk of other diseases as well. Give answers to your ‘why’ question sensibly and responsibly.
Distance Yourself from the Weighing Scale
Weighing yourself is good, but not fine when it is done every other day or so. Weighing yourself every single day affects your mood and temperament. If you find that you have lost a few grams or kilograms, you are motivated and it’s good. But, when you gain a few extra grams, your positive attitude is buried, and you start brooding or eating a few junks here and there. It might also not give you accurate results due to water retention or glycogen stores in the body. You and your clothes are the best judge. If you notice that your clothes have become a little looser after some two weeks of healthful eating, that’s progress and you can pat yourself for it.
Make Feasible Plans
Every action needs a plan to succeed. Weight loss is not a short time event but a journey by itself. You need to plan everything meticulously, starting right from your target weight, changes in food habits, exercise routines and many things more. It is necessary to prepare a meal plan list for the entire week and stockpile the necessary stuffs to prevent grabbing a cookie when you feel hungry. Like any other journey, your journey of weight loss would definitely have its ups and downs. You might go for your friend’s birthday bash, undergo stressful situations or suffer from sleep deprival. Take things in your stride and start working again on your journey to success. Plan to deal with boredom, stress, loneliness or depression with non-food items that can recharge your body. Go out with friends, take a walk, listen to some heart-warming music or meditate for some time to come out of these stress factors.
Pen Down Everything
Maintain a journal to document your mood, hunger, food and exercise levels. Use the latest technology to log your food and exercise routines and get immediate feedback on the changes that could be incorporated for better results. Never give in to emotional hunger, otherwise you could end up gobbling down food often. Eat only until you are 80 percent full. Your brain takes 15 to 20 minutes to understand that your stomach is full and when you eat until you feel almost full, it prevents overeating.
Your Attitude Matters
Many people start their weight loss journey with hesitation and a negative attitude. They fear being deprived of their favorite foods. But, instead of looking at the ‘to be avoided’ food list, it is easier and comfortable to look at the ‘to be included’ food list. Start with small changes in your eating habits. Instead of ordering sweets for dessert, choose a plate of freshly cut fruits. This motivates you to follow your weight loss plan. You cannot see the change in a day or two. The weight accumulated over the years cannot be diffused in a few days’ time. Proper weight loss involves a combination of fat, water and muscle loss. This is possible only when weight loss occurs over a period. Moreover, slow weight loss is more likely to stay as permanent weight loss.
Each Individual is Different
Don’t follow some diet change just because your friend lost weight following it. Each person’s body constituency is different and responds differently to different foods. It is best to work with a registered dietitian nutritionist specializing in weight loss at www.firsteatright.com to prepare an individualized meal plan suiting your body type.
Do involve yourself in some activity that relaxes your mind and body. Yoga and meditation can help you with this as these activities relieve stress quotient and make you feel happier. All these also respond to your weight loss journey and help you lose weight.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.