Did you know that you can still lose weight even if you love to eat? You do not necessarily have to give up all the foods you love, you just need to change your habits of how and when you consume them.
Here’s how to do it!
Make a Plan
Creating a weight loss plan provides accountability and is there to help when you feel stuck. Your plan should include short-term and long-term weight loss goals, and include healthy meal and snack ideas, workout routines, motivation factors and ideas for lifestyle changes you can make that will help you slim down.
Increasing your daily physical activity will help you manage your weight, even if it isn’t enough to spur weight loss on its own. Mayo Clinic nutritionist Katherine Zeratsky says that cutting calories in your diet is more effective for weight loss than exercising, but that walking for even 30 minutes a day can help you lose an extra 1/3 pound every week. If you find a sport or activity you like and want to do often, you’re likely to lose weight even faster.
Cutting calories doesn’t mean that you have to feel hungry all the time or eat salad at every meal. If you like to eat, then eat – but make healthy, low-calorie foods the focus of your diet. Prone to pigging out on pie, cake, chips and other fatty snacks? Eat items that are similar but healthier. For example, substitute a baked spiced apple for apple pie, a frozen banana for an ice cream bar and oven-baked veggie chips for bagged potato chips. When you do indulge, have just a small serving. You’ll also eliminate lots of extra calories if you drink water rather than soda or juice.
Retool For More Realistic Portions
You can have a full plate of food at each meal and still lose weight if you change the amounts of each food group you eat. The USDA suggests that you fill 50 percent of your plate with fruits and vegetables, about 25 percent with whole grains and about 25 percent with protein foods, like stir-fried tofu or lean turkey breast. You can also have a small portion of dairy on the side, like a glass of nonfat milk or a piece of low-fat string cheese.
If the thought of brainstorming healthy meals intimidates you, or you’re not sure where to begin with forming a weight loss plan, meet with your doctor or a registered dietitian. Get help to make a plan you know you can follow, track your progress over time and return for a follow-up visit if you don’t see results in six to eight weeks.