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Healthy eating and exercise for life

 Say Good-Bye to Those Unwanted Pounds for Life
10 Tips for Successful, Long-Term Weight Loss

You see it all the time on TV or in magazines – people who have lost a significant amount of weight and have managed to keep the weight off.  The majority of people have the ability to lose weight but it’s a whole other ballgame trying to keep it off.

We have good news for you.  We’ve compiled 10 weight loss strategies that will not only help you lose the weight but keep it off forever.

Don’t skip breakfast. 

You have probably heard it before, but it’s true – breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  Starting every day with a good breakfast can boost energy, concentration and aid in weight loss.  In fact, having a healthy breakfast in the morning may prevent you from overindulging later in the day.  Studies indicate that people trying to lose weight tend to have more success when they eat breakfast every morning.  Make breakfast a priority every morning before you start your day.

Stay away from the gimmicks and fads. 

Weight loss is a simple formula – the calories you expend must be greater than the calories you consume.  No fad diet, pill or supplement is going to change that formula.  Instead of trying the latest “quick fix,” focus on calories in and calories out by using an online food journal and exercise calculator like CaloriesCount.com, to track your daily energy “equation.”

Try eating mini-meals. 

Eating small meals throughout the day will keep your metabolism up and stave off hunger pangs.  You may also find that eating small meals will give you more energy to tackle the challenges the day may bring.  Instead of the typical three meals a day, try eating five smaller meals. 
Make small changes.  Don’t try a complete diet overhaul overnight.  Drastic changes are hard to maintain and can be a set up for disaster.  Instead, start by making simple changes in the diet that your taste buds won’t notice but will help cut calories.  For example, try using a low-calorie sweetener in your coffee in place of sugar or switch from regular soda to diet soda.  Small changes such as these can really add up to big weight loss in the long run.

Keep a food journal. 

Recording everything you eat will help you to recognize your eating habits.  Do you tend to overindulge when you get mad or upset?  By writing down what you eat and how you felt during the day, you will better understand your eating habits and how to avoid emotional eating when you’re not hungry.
Watch portion sizes.  All calories count. Even those from low-calorie foods can really add up if you consume them in large portions.  At meals, start by filling half your plate with salad and steamed vegetables.  Use the other half of your plate for your protein and carbs.    Another good way to control calories is by making your own pre-measured snacks, especially for snack foods like cookies, pretzels and chips.  Measure out small servings and put them into plastic bags.  When you feel the urge to snack, you will have calorie-controlled snacks ready and will help you avoid mindlessly munching.

If you have a bad day, don’t give up. 

Everyone has a bad eating day once in a while.  If you consume too many calories one day, don’t dwell on it or use it as a reason to give up.  Instead, move on and focus on the long-term benefits of a healthy lifestyle.  Start over and promise yourself that tomorrow you will nurture your body with exercise and sensible eating.  

Don’t cut out food groups. 

Eliminating food groups is not practical and may be detrimental to your health.  Cutting out an entire food group may also lead to bingeing later.  All foods can be part of a healthy diet as long as they are consumed in moderation.

Exercise!

A healthy weight loss plan must include diet and exercise.  If you want to get the weight off and keep it off, then you need to get up and get your body moving.  A balanced exercise plan includes cardiovascular exercises, such as walking, running and aerobics as well as strength training and stretching.  Before you start an exercise program, remember to check with your doctor first.  Once you get the go-ahead, start by adding 5 minutes of exercise daily and then work up to at least 30 minutes a day of moderate activity. 

Remember that this is a lifestyle, not a diet. 

Many people can lose weight but those that keep it off know that cutting calories and exercising are two habits that must be sustained. If you lose the weight and then return to your normal eating habits, the weight will come back.  Try and make simple changes to cut calories and increase daily activity.  These are simple changes that you can sustain over your lifetime to keep the weight off.

If you keep these tips in mind, you are sure to be successful in your weight loss journey!