– by iTrackBites Coach Mindy Matus
Fad diets come and go, and there is no shortage of diets claiming to give you fast results. We are such an instant gratification society, we fall for it… hook, line, and sinker. But diets such as these usually aren’t sustainable, and more importantly, can be unhealthy. So what should we do when we want to begin the journey of weight loss
First and foremost, we have to realize that maintaining a healthy weight isn’t a short term situation. It is something that, with time, we can obtain. This is why so many diets fail, it isn’t something you “go on” because typically, we “fall off” so to speak. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle should be our first priority. A lifestyle that consists of healthy eating, regular physical activity, getting good quality sleep, and taking care of ourselves. Once we understand that our health should come first. Then we can focus on how we eat to lose weight.
The key to losing weight is balancing the number of calories you consume with the number of calories your body uses. Think of it as a checkbook. You have a daily allowance your body needs before you start to store the access as fat. Fill your plate with plenty of healthy fruits, vegetables, lean protein, whole grains and dairy. Use a tracker to keep record of your daily caloric intake and stay within your caloric range.
Exercise and regularly activity is important not only to weight loss but over all general health. Activity adds to that daily allowance balance, the more you move, the more you can eat without gaining weight. But remember, the most important thing in losing weight is to create a caloric deficit. When losing weight, nutrition plays roughly a 70% role in your success, while physical activity counts as 30%. So while activity IS important, nutrition is more so. You can’t out run a bad diet.
Now that we have covered all the basics, here are my top 5 tips for lasting and successful weight loss
- Make sure you are ready. You need to have the right mindset before beginning any weight loss program. No one can force anyone to do anything so it has to be something you want, and for the right reasons. Long term success is dependent upon consistency. It is ok to have short term goals such as fitting into a dress, or getting ready for a high school reunion; but for longterm success it’s important to view it as a life style change and not a diet it you go on and off of.
- Understanding that this isn’t a “quick fix” and weight loss isn’t going to happen over night. You need to make sure you give yourself some room to make mistakes and do it wrong sometimes. Don’t have an “all or nothing” mentality. If you drop an egg, are you going to throw down the rest of the dozen?? NO! Of course not, that would be silly. Remember. You don’t fail until you quit trying.
- Eat SMART!! Food is fuel. You are what you eat. Food is medicine. Heard all of those phrases before? It’s because they are true. Choose whole, unprocessed food to fill a majority of your daily caloric intake. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean protein and dairy will carry you a long way on your weight loss journey.
- Limit simple carbohydrates. This goes along with number 3. Now, I’m not saying you have to go low carb or keto, unless that’s the plan you are on. But, there is significant clinical research that shows, a diet low in SIMPLE carbohydrates contribute to a lower obesity rate and overall better general health.
- Reward yourself! I feel this is so important. Go get a pedicure. Take a hot relaxing bath. Take a class. Get a massage. There are many ways you can reward yourself. Using non food related items can be a fun way to give yourself some incentive and motivation to help you reach your long term goals.
In conclusion, you can set yourself up for longterm success when you have the right mindset and have the proper tools to help guide you on your weight loss journey.