For most people the diet and exercise rules of The Biggest Loser just won't work. You probably can't go away for 16 weeks to a center that isolates you as you make radical changes to your lifestyle. You may not be able to work out for 5-7 hours a day. You may not be able to afford regular consultations with a dietician or personal trainer. And though healthy food can be accessed affordably, in some communities it may be quite challenging. So here are some relatively easy and sensible habit changes that can help you to shed pounds without a whole lot of suffering. You may be someone who can adopt several habit changes at once, but many people find that one change every couple of weeks is an easier and more sustainable approach.
#1 Begin the day with a breakfast comprised of a serving each of whole grain, protein, healthy fat. Each component of the meal has a different nutritional benefit, but by combining these 3 food groups in the right portion controlled amounts, you will feel satiated and energized for several hours. Whole grain waffles with berries and a smear of peanut butter, oatmeal with cut up apples and nuts, a yogurt parfait with whole grain cereal and flaxseed are some suggestions.
#2 Control portions because once you are aware of how much you are eating you may realize that you have been consuming far too many calories. Of course by making healthier choices in terms of healthy fats, lean proteins, fiber rich fruits and vegetables, you will be full with more bulk (and sometimes less calories), so you may find that portion control is easier when you are making healthier food selections.
#3 Figure out how many calories you are eating daily and cut 100 calories from your diet. That might mean cutting out a soda or a candy snack or a too large portion of meat. Cutting 100 calories a day can translate to a ten pound weight loss by the end of the year.
#4 Make sure you are eating adequate protein every day. Protein can typically be missing from many women's daily diets. Remember that choosing from a variety of lean proteins can help you to shed pounds. Don't just turn to meats - choose from oily fish like salmon, eggs and egg whites, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds.
#5 Lose the liquid calories because most beverages have little nutritional value and you don't feel liquid calories in terms of sustained satiation.
#6 Do drink green tea several times a day for a small metabolic boost. You'll also gain health benefits from the tea's anti-oxidants. Starting your day with an unsweetened cup of java can also help to initially boost your metabolic rate.
#7 Don't pour dressings and sauces - dip instead. Most people are clueless as to how much dressing or sauce is on their food and these condiments are usually high calorie, high sugar, and high fat. You can either choose to add dressings and sauces by the teaspoonful and drizzle or just put a few teaspoonfuls of the liquid in a small saucer and dip.
#8 Go slow and steady when eating, with pauses that have you actually putting your fork down. You need to give your stomach time to send "getting fuller" messages to your brain and that requires about 20 minutes. Most people who struggle with weight issues consume an entire meal with way too many calories in 15 minutes or less.
#9 Brush your teeth after every meal to create an endpoint to the experience. Not only will you have a tactile way of signaling that you are finished till the next eating experience, but you will also keep your gums healthy and minimize risk of inflammation.
#10 Set goals - be realistic and sensible. Goals do help but if you are incredibly rigid with very lofty goal setting you will abandon your resolutions. Most people do well when they set short term and long term goals. And even though most experts say that aging does not justify weight gain, most of us will never be able to reasonably reclaim a college or high school weight, especially if you have experienced cyclical weight gains and losses. Better to target a healthy weight goal, in increments, that gets you to a BMI around 24-27, especially if you are seriously overweight.
Published On: March 07, 2011