9 Strategies for Successful Weight Loss

Posted on : 18 Apr 2015 by admin | No Comments

When trying to lose weight, it is a common belief that the secret to success lies in the apparent quick fix methods of the Lemon detox, Paleo, Atkins, Raw Food Diet, Macrobiotic Diet and many more. We all know someone who has tried these diets with varying degrees of success but there is one fundamental flaw in them all…they are not sustainable long term. When considering what changes you need to make to lose weight, it is essential that your new way of eating is something you are able to keep up for the rest of your life.

 

Our bodies are amazing mechanisms that don’t require detoxing as we have vital organs to do this for us. If you eat only goji berries and quinoa, you will definitely lose weight but once you reach your goal weight and return to normal eating the weight goes back on….why??? Because people commonly perceive weight loss as something that is done until their goal weight is achieved. If you perceive weight loss as a lifestyle change, as something you will do for the rest of your life, then you will have greater success. That is why it is important to still include those foods that you enjoy as it will make your new way of eating more sustainable; but making sure they are not a regular part of your diet is the key. It’s time we give ourselves a break and stop trying to remember whether we are ‘allowed’ to include dairy and grains in our diet and think sensibly about healthy eating. We require a certain amount of meat, vegetables, fruit, dairy and grains to maintain optimal health and it is essential that we not remove these from our diets or we run the risk of suffering from nutritional deficiencies. Don’t make weight loss your goal, make a healthier lifestyle the aim and the weight will come off in the process.

 

 

 

9 Healthy Eating Strategies

The following weight loss tips or healthy eating strategies can assist you on your journey to a healthier lifestyle:

 

  • Don’t make drastic changes to your diet all at once. This will only make your new way of eating less sustainable. Make small changes over a longer period for greater success
  • Allow yourself to have the ‘occasional foods’ you crave (foods higher in fat and sugar). The key being to ensure that you only have them as their name suggests…occasionally. Allow yourself to indulge every now and then
  • Change the way you think about food. It can be enjoyable and traditional in celebrations but its main role is to fuel the body. Those who view food more as an energy source tend to find it easier to maintain a healthy weight
  • Ensure your portion sizes are not too large. This can be affected by how regularly you eat. If you only eat three meals a day, they tend to be larger as you are hungrier at each meal. If you have 3 small meals and 2 snacks, you will be less hungry, resulting in smaller meals
  • Eat foods that are lower in GI, these release glucose into the blood stream at a slower rate and keep you feeling full for longer. This can assist with prevention of snacking and also decrease portion size as you will not be as hungry at your next meal
  • When you do indulge in ‘occasional foods’, make sure it is something you really want to eat. Use mindful eating strategies such as being in the moment while you are eating and really take the time to enjoy the food
  • Listen to your body rather than eating to a schedule. If your body is telling you that you are hungry, that is when you should eat. Not when you are bored, stressed, tired or emotional
  • Eat to 70% full as this will prevent over eating. The body takes time to recognize the amount of food in your stomach
  • Whatever exercise you are currently doing, any increase is going to be beneficial to your health and assist with weight loss

 

These strategies can be challenging at first but if you introduce them slowly, you are more likely to maintain the changes over a longer period as they will become a normal part of your life.

 

9 Reasons to Exercise

 

Research shows that weight loss is more successful if a change in diet is made in conjunction with regular exercise. There are two main types of weight loss exercise 1) activities of daily living (eg. vacuuming) and 2) planned exercise done to expend energy above that of daily living (eg. going for a run/walk).

It is recommended that adults participate in 150 to 300 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity (still able to talk while exercising), or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous intensity physical activity (make you breathe harder and faster) per week. It is also recommended that you participate in muscle strengthening activities at least twice per week.

Currently less than half the population partakes in regular exercise. This is unfortunate, as regular exercise has been shown to not only:

 

  • Prevent unhealthy weight gain and assist with weight loss

 

But also:

 

  • Reduce risk and help manage cardiovascular disease (CVD)
  • Reduce risk and help manage type 2 diabetes
  • Reduce risk of some cancers
  • Maintain or improve blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels
  • Build strong muscles and bones
  • Help prevent and manage mental health problems
  • Help develop and maintain overall physical and mental well-being
  • Create opportunities for socialising

 

So lets look at healthy eating, not as something we do for a short time, but something that we do for life. Even small improvements in weight and exercise can result in improved health. For more information, why not see an Accredited Practising Dietitian who can educate you on the finer points of weight management. They can also work with you to develop a meal plan, which you can use as a basis to start you on your way to a new, healthier lifestyle.

 

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