Set a time limit of 20 to 30 days for your diet and stick to it. You can do anything for a short time period. If you do cheat, forgive yourself and begin again.
Add more fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables to your diet. Twice as many vegetables as fruit is a good rule. Fresh from the garden or from a local farmer is best, but when that is not available, frozen is often just as good. Stay away from most canned foods.
Eat what is natural. Read labels. Even foods that claim to be healthy or have a lot of fiber, may contain unnatural ingredients or sweeteners. In If It’s Not Food, Don’t Eat It Kelly Hayford says that 90% of our food budget is spent on processed foods. She also says that poor diet is causing more health problems (including obesity) than alcohol, drugs, and tobacco combined. Healthy eating is the only way to long term weight loss.
Stay away from sodas and sweetened drinks. Our over indulgence in these beverages is causing poor health nationwide. It is a threat that many are just beginning to be aware of.
Drink a lot of water. It speeds up your metabolism and even prevents problems such as headaches and confusion. The rule is that you should drink half your body weight in ounces. If you weigh 200 pounds, then you should drink 100 ounces.
- Exercise. A balance of aerobic, strength and stretching exercises is best. Simply walking at a brisk pace is a great. Exercise keeps us fit, strong, and flexible. It’s another metabolism booster, so a little in the morning will speed it up for the day. It will even put you in a better mood.
- Get enough sleep. Studies show that those who sleep less weigh more.
- Get away from your fridge, computer and T.V. If you’re not working, then volunteer. Not only will it give you purpose, but it will keep you from eating just because you’re bored. Go to the park, the zoo, the river, the beach. Keep active.
- As much as possible, eliminate long term stress from your life. Long term stress releases cortisol which among many other things causes stomach fat, and LDL cholesterol. Some stress reducers are soft music, exercise, deep breathing, and visualizing a calm scene using as many senses as possible.
- After your 20 to 30 day diet, then allow yourself to cheat, but do not indulge in foods that you were previously addicted to. Eating more will even speed up your metabolism and help you get off your plateau. Do it for a few days or weeks, but do not overdo. If you gain two or three pounds, slow down. Always remember moderation.
Make good health your goal and permanent weight loss will follow. For more weight loss information see Weight Loss and Maple Syrup.