Do This, Not That!
Are you trying to lose weight? The truth is that even when you’re dieting, you may be consuming a lot more calories than you think. There seems to be a disconnect between what we know we should do to lose weight, and what we actually do while trying to maintain a healthy diet.
Losing weight requires a lifestyle change, along with hard work and patience. Let’s take a look at what you should– and shouldn’t be doing to drop the pounds and lead a healthier lifestyle.
Eating right is only half the battle when you’re trying to shed pounds. Staying fit by exercising is the other. To truly see results, we recommend you work out for at least 30 minutes, 4 times a week. If you don’t like the gym, try another form of exercising, like hiking, or yoga. If practiced regularly, yoga is a great way to lose weight. It’s light on the joints and can even be done at home.
Make Your Own Meals
Eating out not only hits your waistline, it also hurts your wallet. According to a report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Americans now eat out routinely, with restaurant meals making up about half of all food consumed in 2004.
Restaurant foods are loaded with trans fats, sodium and sugar. A survey done in 2010 found that 57 percent of meals at chain restaurants exceeded the 1,500-milligrams of sodium per day recommendation of the American Heart Association.
You can eat out on occasion, but don’t make it a habit.
Research shows that skipping meals, especially breakfast– can actually make you gain weight. There’s a misconception that skipping breakfast– or any meal– saves calories. The truth is that most people who eat fewer than three meals a day, usually end up eating more calories during the course of the day. For even better results, eat a breakfast that’s high in protein.
Make sure that any changes you want to make are realistic and be sure to set an achievable goal. This means don’t plan on cooking a healthy meal every night if you know you won’t have time. Instead, you might commit to making your meals on the weekends, or stocking up on pre-made, healthy meals at the grocery store.
Losing weight takes a lifestyle change. Don’t expect to lose a certain amount of weight in a short period of time. Changing your body for good takes time and effort. The more you rush it, the higher the chance you have at falling into old, bad habits. Take your time and slowly make small changes that you can sustain.
Drink Your Calories
Liquid calories from alcohol, smoothies, coffee with cream and sugar, sweetened juices, and sodas, can really contribute to weight gain. One recent study found that Americans get approximately 21% of their calories from beverages.
Choose healthy drinks like water, club soda, skim milk, vegetable juices, or green tea, and if you drink alcohol, do so in moderation– and choose lighter drink options.
If you don’t let yourself indulge in your favorite foods on occasion, you’re a lot more likely to binge and stray from your diet. It’s okay to eat fatty foods or dessert– just don’t do it every meal. Pick one day of the week to have a “cheat” day and let yourself eat what you want. Don’t go crazy– just don’t deprive yourself.
Eat Late At Night
Research consistently shows that people who eat late at night weigh more than those who eat all of their food earlier in the day. Eating late at night prevents your body from being able to burn off the calories you’ve just consumed. Try not to eat for at least 3-4 hours before your bedtime.
Stay Away From Fad Diets
Many fad diets promise weight loss but are unbalanced, and only make you crave the foods that you’re supposed to be avoiding. Another problem with fad diets is that they aren’t sustainable. You need a diet you can maintain for life, and not just for a few weeks.
Give It A Try!
It takes 21 days to make a habit. Try making small changes gradually, and stick with them. Weight loss takes time but if you take our advice, we promise you’ll notice a difference.
Dr. Randall Burba is an American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry accredited dentist, practicing in Salem, Massachusetts. He considers himself an artist–with teeth and beyond! He often paints, draws and has a passion for woodworking.