Dieting Without the “Die” – Manageable Lifestyle Changes For Weight Loss

There are more people overweight in North America than at a healthy body weight. Maintaining a healthy body weight in North America is very difficult: expert mass advertising, the explosion of fast food restaurants, and appealing product packaging at the grocery store creates a challenging environment. Not only are we tempted, but we are able to have whatever we want, whenever we want it. In addition to this, the advertising that supports the food industry has effectively sold the idea that food equal happiness. It is the one pure pleasure that never disappoints; but although the savouring of a luscious hunk of cheesecake or the satisfying crunching of potato chips is blissful, the inevitable weight gain as a result of such habits causes disappointment and unhappiness when weight is gained.Most people in North America would say that they need to lose weight, but few are successful at losing it and maintaining the weight loss. To maintain an appropriate body weight after weight loss there must be changes in lifestyle that can be continued in the long term. Trying to lose weight quickly through a diet based on fads and deprivation will not last. The weight loss will only last if you make realistic lifestyle changes that can be maintained for years. The process will be slower, but you will experience success.The basic premise of weight loss, no matter what program or method you are following, is to eat less calories than your body will use. The low-carbohydrate diets, the most common being the Atkin’s Diet, are very regimented programs that eliminate bread and starch from the diet. The foods eliminated are high in calories, so caloric intake is reduced. Weight Watcher’s encourages a healthy balance of foods following the Canadian Food Guide, but by following their regiment the dieter’s calories are also reduced. Whatever method you use, you must reduce the calories you consume.There are many ways to approach the task of reducing calories, but to be effective it must be done realistically. Forcing yourself to eliminate all the foods that you previously enjoyed will likely end in a binge. Likewise, forever eliminating particular foods from the diet is nearly impossible and often unhealthy. High protein diets force you to eat protein several times a day to curb your hunger and has you control your combination of foods. Although effective, can you or would you even want to maintain this habit in the long term? You need a plan that allows you to eat your favourite foods in moderation. Whatever plan you follow, it’s important to occasionally allow yourself a treat. Balancing your diet with a variety of foods, while controlling caloric intake will be successful in the long term.In addition to healthy eating, you must also change your activity habits. Eating healthy is only one component of effective weight loss – exercise is crucial. If you already have a physically active lifestyle, you will experience results just by changing your diet. If you do not, you need to determine what activities you enjoy that could become a part of your lifestyle. Walking and running are the easiest form of exercise as they requires no equipment and do not operate on a schedule. You can do it early in the morning or late at night! Biking, swimming, skating, and skiing are other possibilities that you may enjoy. Get a membership at your local gym. Join a team sport. Exercising with someone can provide motivation and support to continue your new healthy habits. Enjoyment is key to continuing the physical activity.Incorporating good health habits are an important support to your new eating and exercise habits. For instance, boost your metabolism by eating within two hours of waking and eating several small meals a day. Also, drink water to flush our fats and toxins. Eat several fruits and vegetables each day to provides fibre and essential vitamins and nutrients as well. These habits support your new lifestyle.Changes that you make in your eating and exercise habits must be ones that you are willing keep over a long period of time. It is not as likely that you will lose weight quickly, but you will consistently lose weight over a longer period of time. Weight is usually gained slowly over a long period of time through poor habits; weight can also be lost slowly over a long period of time through good eating, exercise, and health habits.Ignore the constant hoopla of fad diets found on magazines at the checkout; create an eating and exercise regiment that can be adopted as a new lifestyle. The payoff will be increased confidence and energy.When tempted to stray from your regiment, remember this. Every pound you lose is like a block of butter; every ten pounds you lose is like a bag of potatoes. Pick them up to remind yourself of the extra weight you used to carry around. This will help deter you from indulgence!

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