Diets don't work. Gadgets don't work. What does work is moderation and sensible choices. If we were given a choice between a brownie and two cookies, which one would be better for us? In actuality, neither choice is good, but we can compare the benefits of both and choose the lesser of the two evils.
Diets invariable set one up to fail. One may see success, for a time, and as soon as the diet behavior is done. Failure sets in. We gain back everything we lost, plus more. Most diets are based on deprivation. Something that we normally have is now our worst enemy. Deprivation only serves to make us want what we can't have even more. So, what do we do?
We make choices and strive for moderation in all things. Given a choice between two things we enjoy. Choose the one you would prefer, but only eat half. We can then give ourselves a very similar choice at another time with the other half. Let's say we are desperate for a candy bar. Let's go ahead and treat ourselves with the understanding that we'll either give something up later in the day or exercise for that much longer to make up for our weaknesses.
Some things that we can do:
Trade that tall glass of milk with your meal for a smaller glass. Even better, have water with your meal. If you drink a glass of water before your meal, you'll feel fuller when you eat. We want to eat our calories. Drinks can supply a whole bunch of extra calories without any nutritional benefit.
Serve yourself only what you intend to eat. Take only the one roll or one handful of potato chips that you want and leave the rest in the kitchen. Potato chips now come in individual servings. These little containers are great for portion control!
Stop eating when you are full even if there are still a few bites left on your plate. It is NOT necessary to clean your plate. A meal that normally lasts for two nights can be stretched to last for three. This not only helps you, but it helps your grocery budget.
Serve smaller portions and eat slower. Try using smaller plates so that the plate still looks full. By eating slower, you give your body enough time to register a full feeling before that point has been passed. If you normally eat three slices of pizza, try settling for two slices. Leftover pizza is just as good the second day.
Don't hesitate to reward yourself with goodies. Just do it less frequently than you currently do. If you have chocolate a few times a week, cut back to once a week. Eventually you'll be able to cut it down to once a month or use chocolate as a special treat when you've done something wonderful in your life. Turn your three-cookie treat into a two-cookie treat. The cookies will last longer. You'll save calories and money.
Moderation is the key. Small changes in our daily lives will eventually add up. Success won't be overnight, but results will be long lasting. Since we don't deprive ourselves, we have less of a chance of binge eating to recoup our losses. We are allowed those forbidden pleasures. We only need to have them less frequently and in smaller portions. We will savor them more because of this.
Don't panic if you've ignored all of your self-imposed rules for a day or so. We're aiming for a change in the way we live. Any change taoverindulgedf we overindulge today, we'll walk an extra block tomorrow. It doesn't mean we've lost the war.
Try to be more active. During the workweek, I aim for 10,000 steps a day. It gives me a goal to work toward. One week, recently, I made 10,000 steps each day that I worked. If I could only increase my activity on the weekends, I'd be that much better off.
I'm not an exercise freak. The pedometer allows me to compete with myself. If I usually do a specific number of steps during a day, I can try to increase that number a little bit each week. During the warmer weather, it is easier to get outside and be active. Walking during your lunch hour can help to achieve the goals you've set.
Two years ago, I started wearing a pedometer and riding my exercise bicycle. I would love to say that I get on the bike every day. I don't. I try to, but I'm quite happy if I get on five days during the week. I'm thrilled when I go a whole week without missing a day. At first, I was doing 30-minute rides. Let's face it, though, most of us are tired after working all day. I made a compromise. I would ride 30 minutes the first and 20 the next. After some time, I went down to a straight 20 minutes a day.
I've only dropped 14 pounds, but it seems to be 14 noticeable pounds. I've had many comments from people at work. I know that I can lose more if I was really interested in doing so. In the meantime, I'm healthier now than I was and it shows in my test results when I'm in the doctor's office. These are good things. And the really wonderful thing is that I didn't really change my eating habits. If I were to incorporate some of my own suggestions, I think I would be quite pleased with the results.