Manipal Nurse Sunday Column: How to Lose Weight

1. State your goals clearly.

Because changing your eating habits for the long term is the only way to successful weight loss, it is important to spend a bit of time thinking about your goals. There are many good reasons for losing weight, but you may have a priority. It may be to improve your health and self-esteem or to look more attractive. Having a clear idea of what you want will help you stay on track.

2. Keep a food diary or start a blog.

This should be part of your preparation.

Write down what you eat, when and where. All this information can contribute to your goals and the changes that you are going to make. Unless you understand your relationship with food and your food patterns, you will not make the changes you need that lead to successful, long-term weight loss. Sexy Heart

You can continue with a food diary for as long as you think it is helpful. It can help to keep you focused, help with discipline, reflect on and change eating habits and recognize if you are eating when you are hungry for eating because of your mood or for some other reason. A Blog will also help you by providing much needed support and motivation from the online community.

3. Look at your lifestyle.

A lot of the food we eat is fast food and so much of it is packed with excessive amounts of sugar, salt and fat. Just by cutting back and paying more attention to the type of food and changing to a more healthy alternative will mean you can still eat well but you will lose weight at the same time. Try replacing one, two, or even three fast food choices to a home-prepared meal or at least a healthier food choice if you have to eat on the run.

4. Be realistic.

Set goals for a loss of 2kilos max in weight per week. Although we all like to see the pounds dropping off quickly it is not realistic or healthy. More than that and you will just be burning up muscle rather than fat which will slow down your metabolism making it harder to loose weight long term. Weight can fluctuate for all sorts of reasons. Don’t be discouraged because you’ve agonized for a week but the scales haven’t moved. Stick with it.

5. Cut out snacks between meals.

Snacking is all too and the majority of snacks are high in calories. The best thing is not to snack between meals but if you have to eat low calorie healthy foods like fruit.

6. Eat a healthy diet.

A knowledge of basic nutrition will help you to make the right choices about the sort of food you eat. A balanced diet contains:

  • Protein such as lean meats, fish, chicken, turkey, eggs, soy foods, legumes.
  • Carbohydrates such as pasta, rice, bread and potatoes.
  • Fats such as oil, nuts and seeds.
  • Fruits and vegetables.

Build some indulgences into your plan. You want a lifestyle that works, so you need a few treats, too. Remember the adage “Eat to live, don’t live to eat”.

7. Only eat when you are hungry.

Never eat unless you are hungry. Eating simply out of habit or boredom will not help you to slim down.

8. Exercise.

Exercise will burn off calories, keep you fit and keep you toned. It also increases your metabolic rate, making losing weight easier.

9. Reward yourself.

When you reach weight goals, reward yourself with an outing or by buying yourself some goodies — in moderation, of course.

10. Don’t beat yourself over the head if things go wrong; just re-focus and press on.

For added motivation, why not consider joining a slimming club. Many people find this helpful, as good advice is coupled with regular fitness evaluations. It’s also a great way to meet new people.


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