Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight makes you look and feel better, and you will probably be in better health as well. Knowing this and making it happen are not always the same, though. Losing weight can be difficult, especially with all the fad diets on the market that often do not work, according to the HelpGuide website. Just because you may have tried to lose weight in the past and were unsuccessful doesn’t mean you should give up. A daily diet plan can be the answer.
Deprivation is Bad
One reason fad diets often don’t work is because they deprive you of a certain type of food, like carbs, for example. Eliminating an entire food group is not healthy and creates an imbalance in your body, according to the HelpGuide website. Typically, when people lose weight on a fad diet, they gain the weight back shortly after going off the diet when they go back to their regular way of eating.
Change Your Lifestyle
The best way for you to lose weight and keep it off is to change your lifestyle. You should not be on a diet. Instead, you need to commit to a healthier way of eating. Sometimes, it can help to go on a diet to lose some weight quickly as a motivator, but you will eventually need to change the way you eat permanently.
To lose 1 lb. a week, you need to cut 500 calories from your daily diet. You don’t need to eat less, necessarily. But you do need to make smarter choices. You want to focus on foods that fill you up but are low in calories–foods like fruits and vegetables, which are high in water and fiber. You can eat carbs, but choose whole grains whenever possible. Whole grains tend to make you feel full longer. Protein is good, but choose lean meat, beans or nuts. Drink plenty of water throughout the day instead of soda.
Cook more meals at home. You can control the ingredients and portion size that way. Restaurants often add more sodium and fat than you should eat. Portion sizes are typically too big in restaurants, too. You should eat about a cup of fruit, vegetables, cereal, pasta and rice. A cup is about the size of your fist. You want to eat a meat portion that is about as big as the palm of your hand.
Don’t Skip Meals
It is a bad idea to skip meals, especially breakfast. When you do that, you may be so hungry that you overeat later. You can eat the standard three meals a day, but many people find it helpful to eat five to eight mini-meals a day. This can keep your metabolism going and prevent you from feeling hunger pangs.
You should vary your diet so that you do not get bored with it. The Shape Fit website offers a sample diet to get you started. For breakfast, eat oatmeal, three egg whites and a banana. Have a snack of non-fat plain yogurt, mixed with berries and nuts. For lunch, have a chicken breast with salad and non-fat dressing and some brown rice. Have another snack of two rice cakes and some chopped broccoli. For dinner, have a piece of steamed fish with spinach and a potato. You can have a protein drink for a third snack. With a diet like this, you should lose about 2 lbs. per week.