I am a distance runner, yet still had issues with maintaining weight. I fell into a mindset shared by many; if I worked out a lot I didn’t have to worry about what and how I ate. Nothing could be further from the truth! Active or not, below are 10 lifestyle changes that have made all the difference for me in losing and maintaining weight also see details.
1. Eat smaller meals but more frequently through the day. Each time you eat you fire up the furnace, so to speak, you burn more calories. It’s a way of revving up metabolism.
2. Cut back on carbohydrates and eat more protein, fruits, and vegetables. You can load your plate with the right foods, achieve that “full” feeling (protein stays with you longer), and not come away feeling cheated by small portions. Carbohydrates that aren’t burned in activity get stored by the body as fat.
3. Move! Walk, run, bike, garden, take the steps rather than the elevator, swim, anything that gets you up and moving. And don’t allow your exercise to be your only attempt at weight loss. Exercise is not enough. Let me say that again…EXERCISE IS NOT ENOUGH! Many people adopt an exercise routine and then reward themselves with treats, which negate all that they did. Keep in mind when you eat that Oreo cookie it will require almost a mile on the treadmill. Is it worth it?
4. At the same time, don’t cut yourself off from all the foods you love. Anything in moderation. You are not on a “diet”: A diet is a temporary plan. Lasting weight loss requires a commitment to a lifestyle change. Who wants (or who can) forego ice cream for a lifetime? Really, you don’t have to. Just don’t make it an every day occurrence.
5. Drink more water. Drink an eight ounce glass before a meal to help you feel full faster. Water cleanses our insides, helping us flush waste products. Many of us don’t drink enough.
6. Avoid yo-yo dieting. “Diet” should not be in your vocabulary. A common mistake is to fast, wanting quick results, only to gain everything back and then some when we start eating again. We train our body to conserve when we fast. Yo-yo dieters eventually find themselves unable to lose weight, even when they cut back, because the body has been trained to hold on to what it takes in.
7. Buy good foods and have them available for snacking. If there are no cookies in the house it’s hard to eat them. If there are cleaned fruits or veggies on hand, that is what you will reach for. And once you get in the habit of snacking on those you learn to love them and crave them rather than the starchy, sweet snacks you once craved.
8. Avoid processed foods. Most have the preservatives, starches, and carbohydrates that will sabotage your goals. Eat fresh!
9. Eat off a plate rather than from a container. Watch portion sizes by reading labels. It’s so easy to forget how much has been eaten when you snack directly from the package.
10. Limit alcohol. It’s full of calories, dehydrating, and lowers metabolism. Drinking alcohol usually is accompanied by some sort of noshing, too. Double whammy! Have that occasional glass of wine or beer but remember, liquids count as calories.
Follow these basic, easy, common-sense habits and you will be amazed at the results. I can attest to their success and know you will be successful, as well. To your health!