The old saying that an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure is the best advice when it comes to weight management. Once you allow fat to accumulate, it becomes difficult to get rid of it and slim down.
The best method to lose weight in a healthy way is a combination of decrease of calorie intake by 500 to 1000 calories per day and a gradual increase in physical activity.
To begin this hard but gratifying and essential journey, consider the following steps:
Buy a diary. On the first page, write down the date, your weight, BMI, blood pressure and any other body measurement that you might wish to note.
Make up your mind to lose weight and promise yourself to keep off excess fat by choosing a healthy diet.
Set yourself a realistic goal. It is quite unrealistic and dangerous to think that you can lose 20-30 pounds in one month.
Get to know your own dietary habits. Over the next two weeks, write down diligently everything that you eat and drink in this diary. You will be surprised to see how many high calorie foods you consume without realizing that are bad for your overall health. Circle these foods in red.
Try to discover if there are any fattening snacks you are addicted to, a particular time of day when you crave unhealthy food or mood related lapses, weekend binges etc.
Using your food diary, discover foods in your diet that are high in sugar and fat such as butter, cream, cakes, doughnuts, salad dressings, fried food etc. Try to find alternatives for these foods.
For example, ice cream can be substituted by frozen yoghurt, sugar with honey and French fries with sautéed vegetables. If you have strong will power, just promise yourself not to consume these foods for six months and see the results.
Plan ahead. Never leave the content of your meals to chance. Otherwise you might order unhealthy takeaways or buy too much convenience food.
Eat your meals on smaller plate. Avoid second helpings of rich foods.
Eat smaller portions of your favorite desserts rather than give them up entirely.
Avoid eating and drinking while watching TV, using computer or reading.
Flavor your cooking with herbs and spices instead of gravies and sauces.
Try to eat from all food groups each day so that you do not feel deprived. Eat more proteins, fiber and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables each day.
Cut down packaged juices, drinks and substitute with fresh fruit juice, green tea and plain water.
Eat slowly and savor your food.
Avoid temptation by keeping junk food out of your house. Shop with a carefully written shopping list and avoid shopping on an empty stomach.
Get moving. If you have been living a sedentary lifestyle, start with walking at moderate speed. You can take up swimming, yoga classes or any other aerobic exercise that appeals to you but this activity should not be for less than 30 minutes each day.
Don’t weigh yourself too frequently. Twice a month is enough to know whether you are on the right track. Also remember that if you have spent the last three decades piling up pounds, they will not evaporate in 2-3 weeks Give yourself at least 6 months but with care and some planning, you will begin to see results much sooner.
Stay motivated. Tell yourself that you can and will succeed in losing weight. And above all, believe in yourself!