Healthy Ways to Lose Weight
Congratulations! You've just made the first step towards a healthier lifestyle and a healthy body weight. Just by clicking on this link, you've shown that you're interested in making some positive changes.
The next step is a comprehensive nutrition, health and lifestyle assessment to help you set your nutrition goals. This is the best way to provide you with healthy eating advice and strategies tailored to your individual needs. Learn more about Nutrition Consulting with Leslie Beck.
Please call my office at 416-915-9100or email: email@example.com to book an appointment or go to www.dietitians.ca to find a registered dietitian in your area. In the meantime, here is some information to help you get started.
Before You Start a Weight Loss Program
Making changes isn't easy for any of us. But the benefits of a slimmer, trimmer body and improved energy and self-esteem levels, will make it worth the effort.
- Say goodbye to quick fix diets and dieting. Instead think permanent changes to your eating and exercise habits. A diet is a short-term process often accompanied by feelings of deprivation and hunger. People who go on "diets" often end up thinking about food all the time and bingeing.
- Don't plan to change everything at once. It's the classic post-New Year's or pre-bathing suit season response. People often start with a big bang only to lose momentum a few weeks later. Make one change to your diet each week, small changes add up and can have a big impact. Some examples are:
Set a realistic goal that will lead to slow steady weight loss of about 2 pounds a week. You can't lose body fat much faster than that. When you lose more weight, it's because you are losing water and possibly muscle. If the bathroom scale isn’t your thing, consider setting the following weight-related goals:
- Drinking 1% instead of 2% milk.
- Trimming skin from chicken and excess fat from meat.
- Having fruit for dessert instead of cake or cookies.
- Substituting after dinner snacks with a mug of tea or light hot chocolate – it takes longer to drink a hot beverage than it does to eat a handful of cookies, and it fills your stomach better.
Don't think that what you do to lose weight will be different than what you do to keep it off. Weight loss and weight maintenance are one and the same; to keep those unwanted pounds off you must make permanent changes to your diet and lifestyle.
Don't follow a crash diet that is extremely low in calories. Your metabolism will slow down and you won't develop any skills that help you keep the weight off.
Keep a food and exercise diary. This may be one of the most powerful weight loss tools around. When you write it all down, you're more likely to make healthy food choices. Studies show that people who keep track of their food intake lose some weight, even when they were not intending to. Seeing that you've had ice cream 4 days in a week down on paper will be harder to ignore. A food diary will also remind you of what you might be missing out on -- you'll see in black and white that you aren't eating enough fruit or that you aren't drinking enough water.
- A change in clothes size
- A change in body measurements: waist, hips, chest, % body fat
- A reduction in blood pressure, blood cholesterol if your numbers are high.
- If you do choose a weight, pick a 3 to 5 pound target weight range, not one single number.
Weight Loss Stategies
Everybody is different and what works for one person isn't necessarily going to work for someone else. To be healthy and to promote a healthy weight, a diet should be lower in fat, moderate in protein, moderate in carbohydrate and high in fibre. It should also fill and satisfy you without relying on huge portions or high fat, high calorie snack foods.
- Drink plenty of water. Not only does fluid keep you well hydrated, it also fills your stomach, leaving you less likely to overindulge.
- Eat more soluble fibre. This fibre forms a gel in your stomach and makes you feel fuller. Foods such as baked potatoes, oatmeal, apples and oranges are good choices.
- Include snacks between meals. Don't go longer than 5 waking hours without eating. A mid day snack will boost your energy levels, help prevent a sugar craving and can take the edge off your appetite before your next meal. Good snack choices are yogurt, milk, homemade smoothies and whole fruit.
- Cut back on the fat. Considering that you get twice as many calories per gram from fat than you do from protein and carbohydrate, cutting back on the fat can have a big impact. Trim excess fat from meats. Bake, broil or poach instead of frying. Try switching to skim milk. Have sweets and fatty snacks like chips in moderation.
- Don't be fooled by low fat and fat free products. Check labels carefully as many reduced fat snack foods are similar in calories to the regular fat version. If you've really got to have it, consider choosing a smaller amount of the real thing. Studies show that people tend to eat more fat free foods compared to the regular fat version. Portion control is the key.
- Add exercise to the mix. Exercise boosts your self-esteem, burns calories, and increases the rate at which your body burns calories.
- Surround yourself with support. Enlist support from those around you -- a spouse, a friend, or a coworker. Whether you need a walking buddy, motivating comments from friends, or your spouse to stop bringing high fat treats into the house, support helps you keep on track.