If you are trying to lose weight, you are far from alone. Although you can learn from others’ mistakes, you also can learn from their successes. Suggestions from people who have learned how to lose weight and keep it off may give you some ideas to adapt for your use.
Keep a Food Diary
Faithful Weight Watchers members write down everything they put in their mouths. Why? Mostly because it keeps them accountable and aware of where they are getting their calories. It also can illuminate bad habits, help you zero in on any food-related side effects and reveal whether you get proper nutrition.
It does not have to be boot camp, but exercising regularly can speed your metabolism, burn calories and may even reduce appetite. Just walking two miles a day can burn up to 1,200 calories per week, reports the “Encyclopedia of Foods, a Guide to Healthy Nutrition.”
Read Food Labels
Learn how to read the nutritional facts box on foods so you become familiar with calories and serving sizes. In a brief period of time, you will teach yourself which foods to eat more of, and which to eat sparingly. A simple, but effective tip comes from Jethro Kloss in his “Back to Eden, the Classic Guide to Herbal Medicine, Natural Foods and Home Remedies.” He says to recognize foods that are high in calories—and avoid them.
Change Your Mindset
Eating to lose weight does not mean depriving yourself. On the contrary. This is a time to focus on making sure your body is properly fortified with good nutrition. So instead of believing you are “dieting,” tell yourself you are embracing a healthier lifestyle—and follow through. Take a cooking class if necessary. Enroll in an exercise program. Do what you need to create that lifestyle.
Make Your Own Rules
Do you get the nighttime munchies? Do you “clean your plate”? Does the ice cream call your name from the freezer each night? Create rules that you know will help you beat your weakness. Maybe it’s no food after 7 p.m. Or eating from a smaller-diameter plate. Or, maybe you have to stop bringing ice cream into the house. If you find yourself grabbing candy when you pass the candy dish at work, find another route to the copy machine. Maybe you can’t watch television without a snack; take up knitting or something else to keep your hands busy instead.
About this Author
Amber Smith is health and fitness editor at “The Syracuse Post-Standard,” where she has worked since 1988, specializing in medicine, health and fitness. She has also written for “Woman’s Day,” “Parenting,” “Weight Watchers Magazine,” DiscoveryHealth.com and Cancersource.com. She blogs about dementia at DementiAwareness.blogspot.com.