The most important reason for success in losing and maintaining weight and feeling good about yourself does not come from following the latest diet or from buying expensive dieting products. It comes from making the decisions yourself about what actions YOU are going to take to change your diet and your lifestyle. A lot of people do enjoy short term success but if you ‘go on a diet’, what happens when the diet finishes? It’s very hard and practically impossible to be constantly on a diet and if you learn to incorporate the right changes in your life, then it’s much easier to maintain a healthy weight and balanced meal plan in your everyday life.
The supermarkets shelves are full of products that tell you they are ‘low calorie’ and ‘low fat’. You can buy such delights as cheesecake, ice cream, chocolate, macaroni cheese and biscuits. However, be warned. The promise of low fat can actually mean that you pile on the pounds instead. These products often contain a high level of sweeteners, sugar and carbohydrates that can cause weight gain. They can lead your body to crave more and the more you eat these products, the more likely they are to affect your health as well. A really good solution would be to choose a healthy snack instead of a ‘low fat’ one. Choose an apple, a handful of fruit and nuts or pre-prepared cut up carrot and celery sticks. They can be just as tasty and are so much better for you.
When we talk about exercising as part of your plan to lose weight, it not just about the exercise! Most people believe that exercise = weight loss by burning up lots of calories. Running for instance, uses up to one to two hundred calories but this is still not a lot compared to the amount your body needs during the day. Most of the calories you burn up in one day are known as your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate). Only around 20% of the calories you need are used up in actual physical activity.
What influences your BMR is your size, your fat to muscle ratio and your body’s ability to metabolise the amount of food you eat i.e. the bigger you are, the more food you need to eat. If you exercise more, you become more toned and one of the most effective ways of losing weight is to increase your metabolism by toning your body through more activity.
4. Snacking between meals is good for you
This brings us on to the best news yet! Snacking between meals is actually going to help you lose weight! Of course, this does depend on you choosing the right snack.
Whenever you eat, your metabolic rate will increase for approximately 90 minutes afterwards. The more often you eat therefore, the higher your metabolism. For example, someone who eats five meals of 300 calories each will burn more fat than someone eating three meals of 500 calories and if you wait longer between meals, the likelihood is that when your meal comes, you will eat a lot more.
Water really is your friend! It helps your body to eliminate toxins and waste and keeps your internal organs in good health. If you don’t drink enough, you could encounter problems and this could include a reduced metabolic rate. There’s no hard and fast rule about exactly how much to drink but you should hydrate your body throughout the day and don’t allow yourself to become thirsty.
What you should avoid however are drinks containing artificial sweeteners as these can make you put on weight. When you drink a can of soda, your body is fooled into believing that it must now deal with lots of calories and sugar and this can lead you to crave the wrong kind of foods to compensate.