It’s not just about how great you look that makes losing weight so wonderful. Learning to manage your weight is one of the healthiest things you can do for your body. The scary thing is that carrying around excess weight could be doing more damage than you know. Your back, knees and feet undergo serious strain for every 10 pounds of extra weight. Starting today, make the decision to begin losing the excess pounds. It won’t be easy in the beginning but if you fully support your efforts, you can learn to manage your weight and keep those pounds off.
1. Eat often, but eat in small portions. Plan your meals about 3 hours apart keeping portions about the size of the palm of your hand.
2. Don’t skip meals. This is one of the biggest mistakes dieters make. Skipping meals will not help you to manage your weight.
3. Don’t forget your fiber. Fiber reduces body weight and body fat. It’s rich in vitamins and minerals. For optimum colon health, 25-35 grams of fiber is recommended each day. Fiber helps to stabilize your blood sugar and helps to stave off hunger cravings.
4. Eat plenty of protein, but get it from lean sources. Lean meats, egg whites, vegetables, nuts, yogurt and skim milk are all healthy low calorie choices that are rich in protein.
5. Within reason, eat as many servings of fresh fruits and vegetables as possible. The USDA suggests 5 to 7 servings each day, but you don’t have to limit yourself to those numbers. Vegetables especially are low in calories and fat so you can eat plenty and still manage your weight.
6. Reduce your intake of refined carbohydrates. Limit or avoid soda drinks, cereals that are high in sugar, candy, cookies, cakes and donuts. Go easy on dishes like pasta and bread.
7. Reduce dietary fat generally, and particularly reduce unhealthy saturated fat. Use minimal amounts of oil when cooking and try to use oils such as Olive and Canola. Avoid fried foods, creams, and fatty salad dressings. Squeeze a lemon over a salad in place of salad dressing.
8. Reduce your intake of salt and sugar. Check nutritional labels and pay attention to how much salt and sugar has been added. Gradually decrease the amount of salt and sugar you add to the foods you prepare. If you like coffee, begin cutting back on the sugar and cream.
9. Avoid alcohol. Alcohol is high in calories and slows metabolism. A glass of red wine can be beneficial to the heart but so can grape juice.
10. Drink plenty of water. About 8 glasses a day is suggested to keep you well hydrated. Of course, if you are active you will probably drink more. Strive to replace your higher calorie beverages with water, especially during meals. Water removes toxins from the body and it’s calorie-free!