When you’re unhappy with your weight, every day can feel like you’re on a perpetual diet. You’ve tried everything from the latest juice cleanse to the no carb, no fun diet and yet you haven’t seen the results you desire. Getting healthy can be so difficult!
Sure, these diets might help you lose a few pounds in the short-term, but they always find their way back. Instead of wasting your time and willpower on these fruitless diets – why not make a permanent lifestyle change instead?
With summer just around the corner, now is a great time to take your health seriously and ditch the yo-yo dieting once and for all. Take a look at how to turn your summer diet into a positive lifestyle change.
1. Always eat breakfast.
It really is true that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Going without it can leave you doubled over with hunger by 11 am, making you reach straight for the sweet treats to tide you over. Food manufacturers are making it easier than ever for you to fit breakfast into your routine, with oatmeal-to-go and breakfast cereal bars ideal for those who are always in a hurry.
Start the day with a healthy breakfast in the form of a smoothie, some eggs or some yoghurt and start giving your body the fuel it needs to make it through the day.
2. Don’t be afraid of getting some help.
When you first start your weightloss journey, you might want to think about following some sort of plan to help you get things started and to see some results. Choose a plan that’s healthy, realistic and one that you could learn to stick to in the long-term. Many people swear by the HCG diet drops that form a great part of a plan, helping you to kickstart your weight loss. They say that it takes 30 days to form a habit, so after 30 days of following a new lifestyle plan, you might find that it simply becomes a natural part of your routine – helping you to keep the weight off for good.
3. Take an organized approach to your food.
Food prep can sound boring, but when you’re trying to be healthy and lose weight – it’s an effective way to help you stay on track. At the beginning of each week, write a meal plan for the week ahead. This will not only help you stick to healthy eating, but it will also help you to save money too. You can leave some gaps in there for days when you want to make more spontaneous meal choices, but for the most part, a meal plan can be a great way to help you decide what to eat instead of relying on takeouts or on convenience foods.
4. Set a cut-off time at night.
Some people continue to eat right through until they go to bed, but is it necessary? I’m guilty of eating wayyyyyy into the wee hours of the morning if I’m up working late. Outside of your meal and snack times, there should be no reason for you to continue snacking. Set yourself a cut-off time for when you can only have water or herbal tea afterwards, helping your body to begin digestion and make it easier for you to sleep at night. A good tip is to brush your teeth earlier, as you’ll be much less likely to want to snack afterwards.
5. Control your portions.
Sometimes it’s not what you eat that causes issues, but how much. Many people don’t understand what makes a healthy food portion, and that can be a significant problem and barrier to weight loss. Learning to control portion size starts by measuring out your food – so if you haven’t got any scales in your kitchen, then you should invest in some. Foods like pasta, rice and cereals, for example, might not look like much in a bowl – but if you weighed them out you’d see just how much you were eating.
If you have leftovers, keep them in the fridge or freezer for another time – those second helpings can be disastrous for your weight loss.
6. Get moving.
Healthy eating alone can make it difficult to lose weight. The calorie restriction method is great for helping you to eat more of the right foods, but it’s difficult to sustain in the long-term. A combination of healthy eating and exercise, therefore, is a great way to help you make that calorie deficit essential for weight loss.
Exercise is not only important for losing weight, but it will also keep you strong and healthy. You should be aiming to complete around 150 minutes of activity a week to keep your heart healthy, and more if you want to become really fit. Exercise doesn’t have to involve slaving away in the gym for hours on end – and even walking is good for your health. Find an exercise method you enjoy and enjoy the benefits of becoming fit while losing weight.
7. Ditch the scales.
It’s easy to rely on the scales to show you how much progress you’re making with your new healthy routine, but they might not always reveal the truth – particularly if you’re exercising more. Weighing yourself can become obsessive, leading to frustration and disappointment when you see no change in those numbers.
Instead of relying on your scales to show your progress, why not try some other methods instead? Taking photos is one way to show yourself how far you’ve come while taking measurements is another way to monitor your progress. As your body builds muscle it can be difficult to see those changes reflected on the scale, so move away from the ‘naughty step’ as it’s sometimes known and rely on your eyes instead.
While you might want to get in shape for the summer, don’t beat yourself up by trying to hit a certain target by a certain date. Instead, focus on making those changes that will make you healthier overall, and give you some new rules to follow. Making a positive lifestyle change can start at any time, so why not start now?