Healthy Red Tomatoes: Courtesy of Epsos.de's/flickr.com
When it comes to weight loss it is not a 'one size fits all' sorts of a deal. Genetic make up, food sensitivities, health concerns there are many factors to take into account when developing and executing a weight loss plan but the old adage will always hold true. A healthy diet and moderate exercise are the key 1:2 combo when trying to achieve your goals.
The biggest mistake that many dieters make is taking the "all or nothing" approach. While it would make sense that the more strict you are with your diet and exercise plan the faster you'll lose the weight. Although this may be true, for many this is a recipe for disaster that will backfire leaving the most dedicated person feeling defeated. Rather than leaving you feeling lighter and more energized the drastic switch can do the exact opposite leaving you foggy, moody and drained.
One of the best ways to achieve permanent weight loss is by making small gradual changes.
When you consume a diet rich in highly processed foods which are void of any true nutritional value coupled with a high fat and sugar content, your body becomes reliant upon this as fuel. Does caffeine help give you the energy to get you through the day? When the afternoon energy 'crash' comes into play do you find yourself making a run for the nearest vending machine? Sure, the sugar or salt filled snack may do the trick but it's for the short term. Fast forward an hour or two later and you're back in the same boat.
Trying the 'cold turkey' approach and doing a complete 180 to a healthy diet can have the same effects that someone with a clean diet making the switch to a fast food diet would have believe it or not. Your body won't know how to process all of the 'good stuff' when overtime it has gotten used to breaking down toxic foods. Headaches, nausea, diarrhea an overall feeling of sickness will occur for many because the body is going through drastic withdrawal.
The key is to break it down into small goals. One goal may need to be broken down into steps but the key is to focus on pieces not the whole big picture and get discouraged.
Rather than clean out your cabinets and force feed yourself pounds of carrot sticks when you absolutely hate them, try to add foods that are healthy and that you do like to your daily diet and start swapping out unhealthy products for their healthier counterparts. For example your turkey sandwich on white bread- try some lean turkey on a heartier whole grain bread and throw some lettuce and tomato on there while you're at it. The vegetables offer crunch, the grain bread offers a rich taste. These flavors and textures will satisfy the senses and offer a good serving of protein and fiber which will keep you feeling full for a longer period of time. Need to beat the afternoon energy slump? Grab a cup of natural plain yogurt, add some fresh berries and a tablespoon of granola and mix. You'll get the sweetness you crave along with a healthy dose of calcium and antioxidants that selection D5 from the vending machine could never offer!
Eating healthier is a lifestyle change and in order to achieve this you need to approach it bit by bit. It is all trial and error and don't get discouraged. Every body is different the key is to find a happy medium of what works for you and build on it gradually.