1. Anticipate Diet Cheats. If you’re going on a cruise or your grandparent’s 50th anniversary party then plan your food choices in advance. Cruise lines and restaurants often have their menus online. Check what’s available and choose ahead. If you’ll be at someone’s home offer to bring a side dish that supports your weight loss plan. If they serve a mixed salad, then load up on leafy greens & veggies, then eat a smaller main course portion.
2. Surround Yourself With Support. Avoid negative toxic people who criticize your new healthy diet habits. The best success comes support so choose a diet that fits the bill.
3. Make Exercise Fun. Your workout doesn’t have to be boring. How about a morning game of singles tennis? Try 20-30 minutes of a new exercise or Wii Active game. Get your kids involved and play a quick game of soccer or basketball. A 2 mile walk after dinner only takes 30 minutes. Visit a big weekend flea market or swap meet and walk down every row. It’s easy to make exercise fun if you look for opportunities!
4. Avoid Temptation. Set yourself up for success by avoiding high calorie foods. Don’t keep junk food snacks in the house. Avoid the dessert and bakery aisle at the grocery store. Skip sugary drinks for 14 days and work up to 30 or 60 days. Ignore the goodies in the break room and find snacks you can keep at your desk.
5. Build a Smart Plate. Make it a habit to load up your plate 1/2 with salad vegetables and dark leafy greens. Then add 1/4 plate of lean protein and 1/4 with starches like potatoes, rice or pasta. The 1/4 portions should be average size not piled high to compensate! Choose low fat salad dressing or the new salad spritzers to cut fat calories. Try different sugar substitutes like Splenda, Equal or Stevia to banish empty sugar calories.
6. The Latte Factor. Stop spending $5 a day on high calorie specialty coffee drinks at Starbucks, Coffee Bean or that little neighborhood shop on the corner. Not only will you save $150 a month, you’ll also save 300-800 calories per beverage! Some coffee drinks are little more than a hot milkshake. That simple change can help you lose 2-8 pounds in 1 month.
7. Cut Fat Calories. Rethink the high calorie high fat foods you eat. Find low calorie substitutes with lots of flavor. Use mustard instead of mayonnaise or mix mustard and low fat mayonnaise half & half. Add a half slice of low fat cheese instead of a full slice of regular cheese. Use salad spritzers which are 1 calorie per spray instead of 200 calories of regular salad dressing. Swap high carb regular pasta or rice for zero carb Skinny Dip Noodles.
8. Eat Out With a Plan. In restaurants build your meal with a large mixed greens salad, then choose an appetizer or split an entree with a friend. Avoid heavy creamy based and choose low calorie broth based soups. If dining alone, ask the waiter to divide the portion in half and bag it “to go” in the kitchen to avoid temptation. Ask the waiter to remove bread, rolls or tortilla chips from the table immediately. Out of sight out of mind!
9. Avoid Alcohol. If you’re going to your cousin’s wedding wedding, plan hat you’ll eat ahead of time and how much you’ll drink. Avoid alcohol (except to toast to the bride and groom!) If you choose to drink alcohol, then limit yourself to 2 drinks then sip glasses of water or diet soda in between.
10. Make Fast Food a Special Treat. Most fast food choices are high calorie and high fat. Promise yourself not to eat at fast food restaurants more than once per week. Plan ahead and choose food that will help your weight loss. If the family is going out for pizza, try choosing a large mixed salad topped with grilled chicken and enjoy one slice of thin crust pizza topped with low calorie veggies. Always drink a glass of iced water before eating each meal.
To sum it all up you need to change your lifestyle and how you approach food. A diet isn’t a short term solution to obesity. New healthy habits must become part of permanent lifestyle changes. You became overweight from poor food choices. You ate more “energy” (calories) than you burned. Time to put that car in reverse!
Promise to make your new food habits a lifestyle change. High nutrient foods, daily activity, a daily multivitamin and 7-9 hours of sleep are key tips for permanent weight control. Lose weight and keep it off!