All too often, we make weight loss complicated and difficult. Yoyo dieting and see-saw battles with the bulge are all too common these days. Many people are taken by diet fads and weight loss myths that have been proven to be not effective at all.
As a result, repeated weight loss and weight gain have discouraged some people who wanted to lose weight and start to live healthily. But those who are serious about losing weight and doing it the healthy way should not lose heart. While there are no fixed solutions for everyone, healthy weight loss is actually easier than what it seems to be. Here is a simple 3-step process of healthy weight loss.
Step #1. Do not deprive yourself
This is the most common pitfall in weight loss. Extreme diets that lead you to starve yourself often leave you cranky and hungry. Fasting diets are counter-productive. During fasting, your metabolism slows down but when you start to eat normally, your metabolism remains slow.
Healthy eating is a lifestyle that should be sustained. Eliminating an entire food group or two doesn’t allow for a healthy diet because it creates nutritional imbalances. Follow the food pyramid. The 3 food groups in the pyramid present a wide variety of healthy choices. The key is to eat in moderation. Diets that severely reduce carbohydrate intake and restrict most foods may work initially but your weight loss will only be short-term.
Step #2. Eat when you are hungry
We don’t always eat because we are hungry. If we did, not many would have a weight problem. Emotional eating is a major cause of weight gain. You turn to food at the end of a long and tiring day at work. You reach for a quick snack when feeling stressed or bored. You can’t watch TV without a big bowl of popcorn and cans of soda.
Combat emotional eating by turning to other activities whenever you feel the urge to eat. Walk around the block when feeling low in energy. Listen to some fast music or do some stretching for a quick mid-afternoon pick me up. Reward yourself after work with a soak in the hot bath, a steaming pot of herbal tea and a good book or a short walk in the park. If you really can’t avoid eating, munch on an apple or pear and drink lots of water.
Learn to recognize the emotional triggers that are making you reward yourself with food. Respond with healthier solutions.
Step #3. Make your food environment healthy!
The success of your weight loss program is largely dependent on your food environment. Set yourself up for success. Take charge of your food environment. Know when, how and what to eat.
- Breakfast jumpstarts your metabolism. Eat a healthy breakfast and avoid overeating within the day.
- Be mindful of your serving portions. Control portion sizes by using smaller plates and bowls.
- Cook your own meals and control what goes on in your meals. Restaurant foods usually contain a lot of sodium, calories and fats. Choose lean cuts of meat and include fish in your menu. Add more vegetables in your dishes. Serve fruits for desserts or use them to top your breakfast cereal.
- Use healthy oils such as Argan oil in your dishes. The oil is packed with essential unsaturated fatty acids, vitamin E and antioxidants that provide health benefits and does not contribute to weight gain. In addition, the oil will not clog arteries and even help improve your cholesterol profile. Drizzle argan oil on grilled meat and vegetables or use in salad dressings.
Learn to develop a healthier and more satisfying relationship with food. Avoid common dieting pitfalls and practice a healthy lifestyle to effectively lose weight and keep it off.