Moderator's Note: OK, so this probably isn't a tip from a FitDay member (there's an earlier upload floating around the internet dated December 5, 2010). But it was posted by a FitDay member and is excellent advice. If anyone objects, I'll consider removing this post, but then again I probably won't.
The thought of losing weight may be overwhelming. Especially if you have a goal to lose over 15 pounds. I've made a list of ten things you should do to help you lose weight. ( in no particular order)
Orient yourself with servings sizes
- there's nothing quite like portion distortion. Get to know what ounces , cups, and grams look and feel like. At a restaurant you're served at least twice as much as you're supposed to eat. Do yourself a favor and share a meal with a friend/spouse. Here are a few ways to remember portion sizes : A cup is approximately the size of your fist. 3 oz (protein) is just about the size of your palm or a deck of cards. a tablespoon of butter is the size of the ditstal (from knuckle to tip) of your thumb. 2 tablespoons is the size of a ping pong ball.
- It's important to eat breakfast, you don't have to eat it first thing in the morning. Eat breakfast when you feel a little hungry. Your breakfast doesn't have to be a feast either, just give yourself enough food so that you won't empty the fridge by lunchtime
Read food labels
- "low fat", "diet" , " low carb" and "zero calories" Don't mean a damn thing !!!!!! An item may claim to have less fat , but does it tell you that more sugar or salt was added to compensate for the loss of flavor ? A food item may claim to have zero calories, but does it also claim to have Zero nutritional value ? Don't believe the hype , look at the Nutritional facts label on the back to really see what your eating , make note of the serving size and read the ingredients.If you don't know what the ingredients are google it !
Plate your food
- Cows don't eat from a plate , they graze all day, there's no telling how much they eat. Don't be a cow ! Plate every food item so that you can visualize how much you're taking in. The easiest way to consume way too many calories is to mindlessly eat out a container. Be aware of how much you're eating.
Grocery shop on a full stomach
- You are less likely to buy junk when you're at the supermarket when you aren't hungry. First and foremost you should make a grocery list and stick to it. Not only does this method help you save money, it helps you save your waistline
Make fiber a part of your diet
- Foods like whole grains, Bran, leafy green veggies, apples ( with skin), pears, peaches, citrus( with pectin- the white stuff), beans, legumes, nutsand seeds are foods high in fiber. Fiber helps you feel fuller longer and slow the absorption of fat and cholesterol into the bloodstream.
Avoid canned and/or processed foods
- they are full of sodium, fat and sugar. These " food" items tend to be void of any nutritional benefit. Stick to wholesome fresh foods. " If it comes in a box , tell it to kick rocks ".
Prepare your meals
- Put the power in your hands. When you go to a restaurant or eat processed foods others make the decisions as to what you're eating. When you prepare your own meals you're in control of what goes in your mouth, you're also in more control of your weight.Besides , cooking is fun. If you have children , make them a part of the process.
Follow the 80:20 rule
- It would be unreasonable to expect you to cut out all your favorite foods. On a diet like that you're 100% sure to fail. the 80:20 rule says that you should eat 80% healthy foods and let you have a little fun 20% of the time. It's like work, monday through friday from 9-5 you're on your best behavior, on the weekends you let yourself loose. There's no need to be stringent about what you eat all the time. ( unless you're on the "reduced joy diet")
Make smart substitutions
- Lets say you're following the 80:20 rule, on those 20% foods be wise about your choices. Instead of ice cream have sorbet, you still get to enjoy a nice cool treat without the excess fat and calories. If you want to have a beer make it a light one. If you crave chocolate , try dark chocolate- it has flavinoids and antioxidants.
Bonus *11* Write down everything you eat and drink for a week
- include calories if possible. Try to also record how much vitamins and minerals you're getting from your food. You'll be able to look at your eating habits and make a change immediately. If you feel bad throwing food away, donate those canned/processed foods to your local pantry for the needy- you'll be feeding the hungry and improving your health.It's holiday season we should all be willing to give.