You might say that one of the simplest dieting tips is that losing weight is easy. But maybe you have heard this before: it’s keeping the weight off that is the hard part. Pretty much anyone can drop a few pounds without much real effort. But to lose a few pounds of genuine fat and keep a healthier, slimmer figure can prove more of a challenge. This article aims to provide some key tips for losing the pounds and then keeping weight off — for good.
No dieting tips would be ‘responsible’ if they did not include the recommendation that before making any kind of major lifestyle change — and starting a dieting and fitness regime is counted as such — you should always consult with your medical adviser and see what they say about your choice of weight loss strategy. There a few good reasons why you should do this whether you are adult dieter, or a the responsible parent of an overweight child who wants to lose some weight. Your doctor will be able to confirm that there should be no physical or health reasons why you should not make the changes you plan, and also s/he should be able to give you an indication of healthy and wise weight loss goals to set yourself.
Long term weight loss is only sensible if it is part of a general plan to improve your health and well-being. If you want to lose weight sensibly and healthily and keep the pounds off there is just no way of getting around ‘tipping you off’ that you’ll not only need to overhaul your diet but also increase your activity. After all there is little point in transforming yourself from being ‘unhealthy and overweight’ to ‘unhealthy and a bit slimmer’! So adding some exercise into the weight loss program is a must. If this seems a little off-putting, take comfort n the fact that we are not talking about heavy-duty, hard core training or serious sports activity. Even introducing a bit of regular walking into your daily routine will be a step in the right direction (to coin a phrase!) Naturally as you progress and begin to hit your targets you will most likely feel motivated to do a bit more, and being lighter and fitter will be able to do more, too.
In fact, not to labor the point, but introducing the exercise element into any new diet and fitness regime is actually critical. Research by noted authorities, such as the Mayo Clinic, has shown that starting to do half an hour or so exercise per day is a key factor in achieving permanent weight-loss. The good news is that even f you break your exercise down into several ‘smaller portions’ during the day — for example you could do between 3 to 6, ten minute sessions — it will have the same positive effect on losing weight. So even making it a regular thing to walk to and from work (or get off the bus or train ten minutes from work/home for the same effect), regularly using the stairs instead of the lift, or getting out at lunchtime for a brisk stroll, will all contribute to keeping that weight off.
Another of the best dieting tips that you might also consider is investing in a good pair of digital scales. Digital scales are now much more accurate that the old ‘wobbly finger’ dial type, and if you use the same scales regularly you will get a fairly accurate ‘snap-shot’ of your progress. Naturally you do not want to make weighing yourself become an obsession, but ‘weighing-in’ a couple of times a week can be quite a good idea,. Bear in mind that you will weigh heaviest at the end of the day (most likely, due to food and liquid intake) and lightest in the morning just after waking, due to the dehydration you will experience overnight. So be sure to weigh yourself in the same place (same floor surface, that is), with the same scales, wearing similar light (or no!) clothes, and at the same time of day to get the best idea of what is going on.
It can also be quite fun, and motivating, if your scales also provide a body fat analysis. Weight and body-fat monitors are now quite economical to buy. They use a small electric current from an ordinary battery to measure body fat (so, note, if you have a pace maker or other electronic health support you should NOT use these scales unless a doctor has categorically said it is OK to do so). The interesting aspect of the body-fat monitor that you may well see a downward trend in fat, even when your weight is not reducing. This is generally a good thing, of course, because it implies you are developing lean muscle through exercising. It can be a reassurance that if you ‘hit a plateau’ and appear to stop losing weight for a while, as many dieters experience, you will know that this is because you are getting leaner, and fitter IF your body-fat percentage is still dropping. Good muscle strength is also critical to reducing pain and wear and tear on joints so the benefits of exercise are multiplied.
When it comes to the dieting plan that you adopt there are also some key things to bear in mind if you want to avoid losing weight then gaining it again just as quickly. One of the important dieting tips is not to be tempted to skip meals. Dieters are often try ‘skipping’ breakfast, but this can be a real mistake as it leads to low-blood sugars by mid morning which can give rise to cravings for sugary snacks! A couple of unplanned, small but ‘calorie intense’ snacks in a day can put paid to any benefit your dieting plan might have offered. So be sure to eat breakfast, and then eat up to six small meals spaced evenly through the day, rather than larger meals at longer intervals. Smaller meals are easier on the digestion and more readily metabolized. If you should get ‘hunger pangs’ then be sure to try drinking a glass of still mineral water first. Research has shown that thirst is often mistaken for hunger and a glass of ‘calorie free’ water may just satisfy the real need your body has — hydration!
The small meals strategy makes the food you eat easier for your body to handle. In fact human biologists know that digestion is one of the most demanding processes the body undertakes and. In effect ‘digestion’ is part of the ‘aging’ process. But it can take a while to get used to small portions. It is tempting to return for ‘seconds’ and undo your good intentions. Naturally, if you are genuinely hungry you may meed to work at the small meals strategy for a while. But a final tip for successful dieting is always to let the first portion ‘go down’, by allowing say a good 10 minutes after finishing it, before considering a second helping. Often this allows the full ‘satisfying’ effect of the first portion to be registered by the stomach where chemical messages are sent to the brain to confirm that hunger has abated. This way you can ‘re-educate’ your body and establish new healthier eating patterns.
Ultimately though, all the dieting tips in the world will have little effect without a little will power, and motivation. You have to want to achieve the weight loss, and it helps to know it will benefit you in so many ways. You also have to accept that permanent weight loss is the result of a combination of the right diet program, correct portion size along with some regular exercise, all under the watchful eye of your MD/GP of course!