Long-term weight loss isn’t impossible, but you do have to be committed. Having a weight loss plan for your success is a good start. Here are ten items that should go into your weight loss plan.
1. Eat nutrient dense meals. This will help you stay full for longer periods of time reducing the possibility of snacking mindlessly or binge eating.
2. Stock your refrigerator and pantry with the foods that you categorize as “anytime” foods. These are foods that you feel best fit into your plan and consuming them helps you meet your macro goals. They are also ones you know you have a good relationship with, meaning you can control your portions and they aren’t associated with negative feelings after consuming them.
3. Fill up on Fiber. Eat foods like fruits, vegetables and whole grains. The fibers in these foods will fill you up leaving less room for choices that may not be in line with your goal.
4. Don’t go off the rails on the weekends. Many people will follow a strict diet on weekdays only to fall back into eating and drinking more on the weekends. Unfortunately, this can cause you to regain the weight you may have lost during the week. Try having a plan for dining out and drink clear liquors with soda or water. This will help create balance and a structure that allows you to be social while still sticking to your plan and achieving your weight loss goal.
5. Watch portion sizes. Your perception of what a serving size should be and a “true” serving size can differ dramatically. Measure your portions accurately, especially when you first start your healthy eating regime.
6. Set lifestyle goals – not weight loss goals. Commitment to eating healthy foods does lead to healthy weight loss — gradually. Looking at your weight daily can cause discouragement and will make many people give up and go back to unhealthy food choices.
7. Take healthy snacks with you when you’re on the go so you have an option you know fits within your calorie goals. When we are hungry our brain sends signals to the body to consume! We are likely to be less thoughtful about our choices in these moments. Having a snack on hand will not only keep you with energy throughout the day but allows you the ease of not worrying about what to eat when hunger strikes.
8. Don’t deny yourself the foods you love. If you absolutely love chocolate, go ahead and have a piece but be mindful of serving sizes and account for it accordingly. I encourage you to track your calories to get an idea of what portions look like. Tracking is not only a way to help you stay on track but it will indirectly teach you how to visually track your food; as you prepare meals you’ll see portions sizes correlating to your tracking app. Eventually you won’t have to use an app to track!
9. Start moving. Exercise is the key to long term weight loss.
10. Keep a journal. Writing down what you eat, when and how much you exercise and your moods will keep you on track and motivated to continue the course.
Weight loss is achieved by both diet and exercise. It is also achieved by persistence. If you “fall off the wagon” one day, pick yourself up and continue your healthy lifestyle the next. Don’t give up!