It’s easy to lose the first few pounds when you go on a
diet. Why do the last 5 seem impossible?
It’s frustrating to feel like you have made so much progress and
still cannot reach your goal. You may think the only thing left to
do is crash diet or take some other extreme measures, but there are
some easy steps to follow for shedding those last few pounds. These
are not temporary quick fixes; they’re lifestyle changes you should
implement long-term. Here are some common habits that are easy to
break and will provide you with many benefits. Don’t worry, you
don’t have to try them all to get the results you want.
First, eat a well-balanced breakfast. You may think you’re too
busy, not hungry, or better off getting some extra sleep than
eating. But that’s not true; breakfast is actually very important.
Make time for it every morning. If you don’t, you will end up
hungry later in the morning and you will probably eat whatever is
convenient, like a high-calorie latte and a high-fat muffin. This
combination could cost you 45 grams of fat. This is a lot. If you
are on a 2000-calorie diet, your recommended daily amount of fat is
66 grams. A healthy breakfast would consist of fruit or fruit
juice, whole-grain cereal or bread, and milk or yogurt. Including
protein, like yogurt, will help keep you feeling satisfied longer.
You will not feel as tempted to reach for a high-fat snack later in
the morning. If you drink coffee, use skim milk instead of cream to
decrease the fat content.
Choosing the right breakfast is not enough. Be prepared when
lunch comes around. Try packing a lunch a couple times per week. If
you must eat out, make healthy choices and choose a sensible
entrée, and make sure your side dishes are equally sensible. For
example, a grilled chicken sandwich won’t do you much good if you
eat it with french fries. Opt for a side salad with low-fat
dressing or steamed vegetables.
Change your mentality about exercise. Most people think of exercise simlply as a vehicle for losing and keeping weight off. They end up dreading it and making excuses to not engage in physical activity. Think of exercise as a fun way to relax and enjoy time by yourself or with your family. You should also pick enjoyable activities like swimming or hiking to do with the whole family. You can even go on a bike ride together. Exercise does not have to be your enemy!
Since exercise won’t seem so terrible, squeeze a 20-minute
workout into everyday. Consider getting up 20 minutes earlier or
stopping by the gym for 20 minutes after work. Try a running
routine. Jog about 2 miles in those 20 minutes. If you run 2 miles,
6 days a week, you will end up running almost 2 marathons every
month. That will really help you lose those pesky last 5 pounds.
Another way to get to your 20-minute goal is to walk in response
to emotions. Many people eat not only when they are hungry, but
also when they are bored, sad, or angry. Walking is a more
productive way to feel better. When your pulse quickens and your
body temperature rises, your appetite is slightly suppressed. This
will give you time to choose your snack. You’ll also be able to
determine if you’re hungry or just trying to suppress an emotion
through eating. Walking is also a great way to blow off some
stress… try it!
If you already exercise on a regular basis, congratulations!
There is still something else you could do to lose more weight.
Change your routine every 6 to 10 weeks or try cross training. Your
body adapts to your exercise routine and makes you spend less
energy to do the same movements, which could slow your progress.
You may even end up with sports-related injuries as a result of
using the same muscles over and over again. Instead of just biking
or walking 6 days a week, alternate days you bike with days you
walk, or try swimming a couple of days per week. This will give
your body time to recover after each activity. It will also keep
Do not eliminate foods you love from your diet simply because
they’re too high in fat. Everyone deserves a treat once in a while.
Try some low-fat alternatives such as frozen yogurt, sorbet, or
sherbet instead of ice cream. If you feel you can't do without ice
cream, have a small serving and do not make it an everyday habit.
Carbohydrates get a lot of attention and they come in many
different forms. Choose them wisely. Simple carbohydrates include
white bread, pasta, candy, and sugar cereals. Your body quickly
digests them, so you end up feeling hungry shortly after you eat
them. Try pairing simple carbs with protein in order to stay
satisfied longer, or look for complex carbohydrates. Complex
carbohydrates, such as whole grains, bran, and oatmeal, take longer
to break down.
Try eating less butter. How often do you use butter? Do you put
it on everything from toast to vegetables? There are other ways to
make foods taste great. Try a butter substitute, or use
alternatives like jam, honey, or peanut butter on toast. Cutting
out some butter fat grams will help you lose weight long-term.
Choose your snack foods wisely. Snacking will keep you from
getting overly hungry before your next meal. If you are too hungry,
you could end up overeating. Eat fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy
products, and other healthy snacks when you are hungry, and be
careful about grazing on energy bars. They tend to be loaded with
Burn more calories than you consume in order to lose weight and
keep it off. The points made in this article will help guide you
toward your goal, either by consuming fewer calories or burning
more, so that your diet works and keeps on working. Once you reach
your target weight, don’t return to your old eating habits. The
result will be weight gain and frustration. Instead, change your
lifestyle and your mentality. Your healthy new habits will stick
with you forever!
*Specialist in sports nutrition and physical activity with MyDiet™
© 2016 HolaDoctor