Overweight people face numerous obstacles when they want to lose weight. Their excessive weight may already contribute to health and mobility problems that make dieting and exercise more challenging. A strict diet and exercise regime can be quite discouraging when trying to do it all at once. Here are some gradual lifestyle changes that can get you on the road to success.
Use Herbs and Spices
It is possible to liven up healthy foods such as lean meat, and chicken by adding herbs and spices. Garlic and ginger are excellent additions to your meal and have the added advantage of being classified as fat-burning foods.
Try Different Vegetables
Vegetables don’t have to be boring. Peas, Carrots, and Corn are not the only vegetables out there. Mediterranean vegetables (i.e. eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers) are delicious when roasted with a small amount of olive oil (remember you need some healthy fat in your diet) or bake with water and plenty of garlic and herbs.
You can make some delicious curry dishes using just vegetables or with lean meats. A main curry spice, tumeric, has been shown to have many health benefits including being an anti-inflammatory.
You don’t need to feel left our when it comes to dessert there are plenty of low-calorie options. One good example is baked apples stuffed with raisins and served with low-fat yogurt. Fruit salad is another option – berries, melons, and bananas are delicious and nutritious.
Exercise is Fundamental
Exercise is a very important predictor of long-term weight loss, but that doesn’t mean you have to start out with hours at the gym. If it has been a while since you worked out or were active easing into activity will be less discouraging and set you up for maintaining it long term.
Start by adding movement into your daily routine. Park a little further from the store, so you have to walk more to do your errands. Do you live near work? Maybe walk or ride a bike instead of driving. Have a dog? Get outside and walk that pet around the neighborhood gradually adding a little more time each day. Think about your routine and see where you can add just a bit more activity.
Once you start adding movement and begin to feel the benefits, build on it. Research has shown that three 10 minute active sessions a day a required to create a healthy body. Walking is great because it is a weight-bearing exercise and for older individuals helps keep bones strong.
Picking a routine that you enjoy is vital to sustaining it over time. So, if the gym isn’t your thing hike, dance, jump rope, climb stairs or play tennis – whatever you enjoy.
Keep a Food Diary
A food diary can be a huge asset in successful weight loss especially if you share it with others. One thing it does is make you think about everything you eat. You’ll soon discover your food weaknesses that may be adding extra calories. Sharing your diary with another person helps with self-control. When you are tempted by a treat or snack, you may be able to overcome it because you don’t want to write it down and have your diet buddy see it. Recording the time when food is consumed also helps to see times of day when you are most likely to eat more and contributes to avoiding those pitfalls.
Control Instead of Exclude
Eliminating foods from your diet often makes you crave them. Don’t exclude foods from your diet, just reduce the amount or frequency they are consumed. By allowing these foods you never have to feel deprived. Record them in your food diary to balance out your calorie intake.
Drinking water has many healthy benefits. Besides keeping you hydrated which helps the body function properly, it keeps you from feeling hungry. Different types of water (i.e. alkaline, mineral, spring, etc.) have claimed various health benefits but consuming any safe water is beneficial.
Most people can’t handle quick, drastic changes. Start changing your diet with minor changes. Eat a lot of fast food? Cut one meal out per week. Is that cream in your coffee? Try whole milk, then 2% milk. Never eat vegetables? Add one to your evening meal. Drink fruit juice (loaded with sugar) every day? Eat a piece of fruit instead. Small changes over time will add up to big benefits.
Take the time to savor each bite. Eating slower gives the body time to register that food has been consumed. You will feel full with less food. The number of calories consumed before you start to feel full can be the difference between failure and success.