Ready to Lose Weight

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Getting startedNo one said that developing a healthy lifestyle is necessarily an easy task. It takes discipline and dedication. Once you get through this part and get used to your new way of life, it becomes easier as the days go by. You have to get addicted to your new healthy living and love every minute of taking care of your body and mind.

It’s time to replace the old comfort-food cycle (unhealthy food, short-lived satisfaction, guilt, need for more unhealthy food) with a healthy cycle of willpower, resisting bad cravings, feeling good, having people tell you how great you look, and getting a natural high from such compliments and sense of accomplishment.

Here are some tips for you to get started on your new healthy outlook on food:

Change your Food Attitude

We all love to look at food. Is there anything more beautiful than a black forest cake dripping with chocolate … or a steaming hot apple pie covered in vanilla ice-cream? Just writing that makes me want to race to the nearest restaurant and indulge.

Not so fast! It’s time for us to change the way we look at food.

By now you probably realize that when I talk about the way we look at food, I’m talking about our attitude towards it (as opposed to sitting staring at that black forest cake with longing eyes). We need to change our view of food. We need to be aware of our habits and emotions related to food.  

Change your attitude when it comes to food, and re-program yourself to see fat, sugar, and carbohydrates when you look at any cake or decadent dessert.  Then  think about what you are eating and what it is doing to your fat cells. It’s all about how you look at things – good or evil. So change your attitude to: fruit, vegetables, nuts, grains, lean protein, healthy oils = good; sugar, fat, white processed bread/pasta/rice, anything fried = evil. Read about each food group and what it does to your body in Nutrition 101 article.

Don’t comfort yourself with food

Are you like me? When I’m feeling a bit down, I figure a slice of that steaming apple pie will make me feel better. Or if I have a silly argument with my best friend over something really insignificant, instead of turning to the phone to call to say sorry, I want to turn to the refrigerator. When you think like that, food is no longer nourishment. It becomes your comfort or safety zone. And as delicious as that apple pie may be, looking at food like that is not healthy. Read the article about emotional eaters and find out if you are one of them and how to change that.

You have to dis-associate your emotions with food. It may take some time to go through this adjustment, but if you make the effort to consciously make that change, you will soon find that you won’t want to mindlessly stuff yourself when you are feeling down or stressed. Every time you feel upset, instead of reaching for the snacks, try doing something else that makes you feel better. It could be anything you enjoy to do, such as talking to your family member, playing with your pet, involving yourself in a hobby, or going to the salon to make yourself feel better. As long as you keep yourself busy, you will not give in to bad cravings.

Take it slow

If you’ve made the decision to lose weight, then congratulations. We now have to rethink our attitude towards food, which usually means omitting some naughty but nice things from our daily menu. You should do this gradually. Take your time when losing weight. This is not a race. You are not competing against anybody except yourself, so take your time.

I guess that means if you are secretly sneaking downstairs at midnight to eat a black forest cake every night, then it’s time to readjust. In your first week of your new eating plan, cut that down to only half the cake. Next week, a quarter, the week after that, an eighth, until you finally cut it out altogether. Don’t go from 100 per cent to zero, or you’re doomed to failure, and your black forest cake dealer will be on your doorstep again in no time. Gradual weight loss is better in the long run than rapid weight loss. Rapid weight loss is great, but it always ends in you rapidly gaining back that weight – and then some more!

Your weight loss should be about 0.5 to 1 kg per week (one to two pounds). Any more than this, and you may be losing water and muscle instead of fat. It can also cause you to “crash” and give up on your diet because you feel deprived. Any less than half a kilo probably isn’t enough to make you change your eating or lifestyle habits that caused you to get out of shape in the first place.

 

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