Losing or maintaining your ideal weight takes more than positive or wishful thinking. It takes putting into action a weight loss strategy to help you make the right choices regarding what you eat and how you go about burning those 1,500 to 2,000 calories you take in every day.
You are what you eat and it’s the decisions that you make in the kitchen, at the restaurant or the coffee shop that plays a big role in whether you maintain, gain or lose weight. With practical food wisdom and a weight loss strategy you can get on the right path to eating healthy. Here, you’ll find 7 tips that will give you a leg up on taking control of your eating plan and help manage your weight. The more of these you can put into action the better off your body and mind will be and help you with your weight loss strategy.
- Eat more fiber. Fiber is an important part of a healthy diet and can be obtained by eating fruits and vegetables, whole grain foods and nuts. Each of us needs about 25 total grams of dietary fiber (consisting of both soluble and insoluble fiber) and there are numerous benefits. The benefit of doing so is that fiber helps the food we eat pass through our system fast enough so it doesn’t sit around and get stored as fat. Eating more fiber is an easy weight loss strategy you can start now.
- Eat more peas and beans. They are the highest-fiber foods you can find besides breakfast cereals made with wheat bran. Ideally, you should eat beans five or more times a week. They add protein and fiber to any dish and can be used in salads, a stuffed potato, or veggie chili. If you use can beans rinse them off first to get rid of the high sodium content. Again, this is an easy weight loss strategy to implement right away.
- Go with the whole grain cereals. Whole grain cereals contain fiber and vitamin E which helps to keep your blood sugar levels steady. They also contain less sugar and refined white flour which doesn’t have as much nutritional value. You will find that the cereal aisle contains boxes of cereal loaded with sugar. There are still some good options to choose from. Take a little time and carefully read the labels of some of the cereals and look for the high in fiber ones that meet your needs.
- Create and stick to a fat budget. Plan on getting between 50 to 60 grams of fat each day as part of your weight loss strategy. Try switching to fat-free milk or low-fat dairy products, if you haven’t already done so. Make sure you trim visible fat from pork and beef and remove the skin from poultry. Use salad dressing moderately. Instead of using a salad dressing ladle use a regular spoon and you will save 24 grams of fat.
- Use plate power to lose weight. Plate power is when you make it a point to fill half of your plate with vegetables and /or fruits. Fill the other half with roughly equal amounts of starch and a high-protein food. If you implement this weight loss strategy you can watch the weight come off – along with lowering your risk of diabetes and other diseases.
- Implement portion control when you eat out. Resist the temptation to pile food on your plate at the all you can eat buffet. Don’t use the big bowl for your healthy salad. Avoid taking the super-sized meals at your favorite fast food place as part of your weight loss strategy. It may be difficult but it’s better to get the happy meal instead of the “I don’t care how many calories I consume” deluxe double burger just because it’s on the dollar menu.
- Reduce or get rid of trans fats in your diet. Most times trans fat is created when liquid oils are turned into solids like margarine. Trans fat has a tendency to raise the “bad” cholesterol or LDL that increases your risk for heart disease. One way you can reduce your trans fat intake is choose soft margarines and vegetable oils over solid shortenings or hard margarine because these have higher amounts of saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol. Read labels carefully and begin to cut out or reduce your trans fat consumption when possible, as part of your weight loss strategy.
Changing your eating habits is a great start to getting healthier. The goal should be for you to become healthier and I hope these weight loss strategies help you get started. You will also need to combine these steps with some basic exercise activities.
A simple and cost effective way to increase your physical activities is to start walking more. Start with small, short-term goals you can reach. For example, if you have not been active in a long time, start with 15-minute walks 3 times per week. The next week, increase our walks to 20 minutes. Start each walk with a warm-up. Pick up your pace in the middle of the walk, and then slow down at the end.
Walk fast enough to raise your heart rate and make you breathe harder. But do not walk so fast that you can’t talk. Wear comfortable shoes with good arch support. Combining exercise with your new eating habits is critical to the success of your weight loss strategy.