Losing weight is never easy, but is always rewarding. The journey is almost always guaranteed to be filled with trials and tribulations, but by preparing yourself with the correct weight loss weapons, you can make sure you stay on track and eventually win your battle.Use these five tips to ensure you stay on the weight loss wagon:
1. Change your perspective
It’s not a ‘diet’ – it’s a lifestyle change. The sooner you realize this, the sooner you will stop dreading the changes and the quicker you will embrace them. Change doesn’t happen overnight, so pace yourself. Start with smaller goals (like eating breakfast every day) and work up to the bigger ones (working out every day). Don’t do a complete 180 and change everything in your life all at once. Research shows that you’ll be more likely to give up due to the sudden increase in stress. Allow your body to adapt to the new changes and schedule slowly, and you’ll see better results in the long run.
2. Lose weight slowly
Bummed you’re not losing weight as fast as you would like? Don’t get discouraged. Losing weight takes time, and rushing the process could actually be setting you up to gain it back later…plus more. Focus on losing about one to two pounds per week. This is not only a realistic amount of to safely lose every week, but by sticking to this range you are preventing feelings of discouragement and disappointment and instead are setting yourself up for success.
3. Don’t cut out all of your favorite foods
Love chocolate? Eat it. Crave pizza? Have a slice. The key is moderation. Most people assume that losing and creating a better life for themselves means completely removing all the “bad” food from their lives. Incorporating one treat into day can actually help you lose more weight in the long run. When you forbid yourself from having certain foods, it increases the psychological temptation for them. When you finally do cave, you end up binging on that food more so than if you had allowed yourself that food in small portions to begin with. One piece of 72% dark chocolate a day or a slice of pizza on the weekend isn’t going to completely ruin progress. Just make sure to have one slice of pizza and side salad instead of sharing half the pie with your significant other. Again, the key is moderation.
4. Don’t celebrate your success with food
The feeling of fitting into a pair of jeans you haven’t been able to wear in a while is amazing, and the success should be rewarded, just not with food. Instead, take the opportunity to do something really special for yourself, such as buying a new workout outfit, going to a movie with a friend, or taking a mini vacation. Food should never be used as a reward because in the moment of success, we feel as though we “deserve” to eat more. This situation has the potential to set you up for decision that you will regret later, and a celebration of your success shouldn’t be filled with regretful memories.
5. Get enough sleep
Even the strongest of warriors need enough sleep. When your body is deprived of sleep, it produces ghrelin, the hormone responsible for stimulating your appetite. Because of this, it under produces leptin, the fullness hormone. This can set you up for extra, high-calorie snacking the next day because your body is craving the extra energy in order to stay awake. Lack of sleep also produces cortisol, the stress hormone. Cortisol is responsible for protecting us during moments of stress, and does so by building a protective layer of fat over our organs (right in the belly area). This is completely counterproductive when you are trying to lose weight. Getting enough sleep is a sure way to make sure you’re rested enough to take on the next day like a champ!
About Angelique Johnson
Angelique Johnson is a Registered Nutrition and Dietetics Technician from Miami, Florida. She is the founder of Nutrition by Angelique, a company dedicated to helping individuals live healthier lives through good nutrition. She has been featured on CBS4 Miami and can be found on MindBodyGreen, The Examiner, The Inquisitir, Natural News, and FitLife.tv.
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