Everyone wants to lose weight, whether it is a few pounds or a hundred pounds. But no matter how little you want to lose, it is important to lose it safely. Unsafe weight loss could result in dehydration, vitamin and mineral deficiency, hair loss and loss of muscle mass. It also can affect your concentration level, attention span and memory. Stay away from the fad diets and quick fixes.
1) Set realistic goals
You have heard many times, you didn’t put the weight on overnight and you can’t take it off over night. Rule of thumb is 1-2 pounds per week. Initially you may lose more due to water retention and that is acceptable. Losing 2 pounds a week will result in 104 pounds in a year’s time. Wow. Stressing out your body by trying to do it over night by starving yourself and exercising until you pass out is unhealthy. Slow and steady wins the race.
2) Seek out the support of your family and friends
Ask them for their support and understanding. They want to help but many times don’t know how. Teach them, talk to them and reach out when you are having a good day and when you are struggling. Seek out people who have a positive outlook. Avoid those who may try to sabotage you.
3) Watch what you are drinking
The absolute best thing you can drink when you are trying to lose weight is water and plenty of it. Your body needs between 48 and 64 ounces of fluid each day to keep hydrated. Stay away from soda, coffee, caffeine saturated beverages, high sugar drinks such as Kool-Aid, fruit juices and alcohol. These beverages are full of empty calories.
4) Make your meals small
Use a smaller plate for your meals. For many people, sight is a trigger. If you use a big plate and only fill up half of it, you may feel cheated and deprived. Your body can digest and burn the smaller meals better.
5) Avoid Alcohol and smoking
Alcohol is full of empty calories and does not count toward your daily intake of fluid. Snacking usually accompanies alcohol and before you know it, you have consumed all of todays and tomorrows calories in just a short time. Smoking just isn’t good for your body. Smoking can cause the elasticity in your skin to deteriorate. So when you lose the weight, there may be stretched skin that takes longer to tone.
6) Go for a low carbohydrate diet
Reducing carbohydrates lowers calories and that means weight loss. You don’t need to cut out carbohydrates completely because your body can convert them to glucose or sugar that gives you energy.
7) Have a salad
Boring, boring, and boring. Not really. There are many low calorie items you can add to your salad to make it more enticing. Spinach, mushrooms, radishes, onions, grated Parmesan cheese, different lettuces, fruits and protein such as tuna or eggs make your salad more enjoyable and filling. Eating a salad gives you a feeling of being full.
8) Eliminate artificial sweeteners
Studies show that artificial sweeteners can and do increase your appetite. They are not the best choice to put into your body. It will be difficult at first but like all things will get easier as time goes on.
9) Have protein rich meals
Protein is a very important item to help you lose weight. It satisfies your hunger craving while giving you much needed nutrients. Recommended amount of protein per day is 60 to 85 grams.
10) Follow an exercise regimen
Exercise has many health benefits such as better sleep, less stress, improved muscle tone and burning calories. Exercise can put you in a better mood and help you to face the day ready. It doesn’t matter when you exercise, just do it.
11) Eat less at night
Your body’s metabolism slows at night and by therefore will not burn the calories as fast. Going to bed on a full stomach can cause you to experience acid reflux, have strange dreams and a restless night in general. Our bodies crave the rest and we need to let every organ possible also have that rest.
12) Journal your daily eating
Writing down what we eat on a daily basis can open our eyes to exactly how many calories we are ingesting every day. You can make it as detailed as you want or even just write it on a napkin that you throw away later. Include in your journal the amount and kind of exercise you did. Later on, when you reach a plateau, you can look back and see what days you were most successful and maybe you will reuse that week’s journal to help you out of your plateau.
13) Consult with your Physician
Yes, you read that right. Always consult your physician before beginning any weight loss or exercise journey. Present to the physician your plan of attack for diet and exercise. Ask for suggestions for daily calorie intake and what amount of carbs, fats and protein you should strive for each day.
14) Heal your mind
Having the right attitude towards your safe weight loss journey is a key component to being successful. There may be skeletons in your closet. Cleanse yourself with positive thoughts, daily.