May 20, 2011

Changing the way you think can help you lose weight

Do you think of food all the time? Are you one of those people who believe that if you drink a diet soda with a double hamburger that you won’t put on weight? Have you tried yoyo diets where you lose two pounds in the first week and three months later weigh ten pounds more? Going on a yoyo diet confuses your metabolism. Most of the time, it is the way we think about food that leads to poor food choices. And most of us make those choices when we are hungry and reach for the nearest chocolate bar.

Small changes in your thinking can help you lose weight. Don’t believe that any lotion you rub on your belly or your thighs will melt the fat; no matter what the ingredients. Also don’t believe that a strap-on electrical device can break up and remove fat. If it were that easy Oprah would be as slim as a Kit Kat stick and we would all be one size. You can only lose weight by having a proper and nutritional food plan, exercise, and refraining from eating junk. If you have tried all the slimming products on the market and got nowhere, it is time to take a hard look at the kilos on the scale and what you have to do to get rid of the pounds and keep it off.

Here are some ideas to keep you on track. Think of yourself as being on a mission where at the end of the road you can fit into a size ten or twelve and be the envy of all your friends. See yourself in a swimsuit on the beach where the towel is under you and not on top. Don’t think of the new plan you are going on as a diet, but a way to eat properly, lose weight and still satisfy yourself.

Start a fitness diary. Weigh yourself on day one. Don’t stand on the scale every day; it’s not a good way to judge results. Do this after you have urinated in the morning, before you have breakfast. Take your waist measurement at the same time. Write down everything you eat for breakfast, lunch and supper. Clean out your cupboards by getting rid of suspicious items like cookies, flour, jams, sauces, mayonnaise, cereals, and chocolate snacks.

 Try to avoid red meat and roasts. Cut out bread and rice. For six weeks at least stay away from things like fried foods, hotdogs and hamburgers. If you still want to have a glass of wine with your meals, cut out one of your snacks. Alcohol has hidden calories, and it is easy to go from one drink to two. What you are trying to do is to jump start your metabolism with a high protein, no carbohydrates program for six weeks.

If you are used to porridge in the morning, continue, but have a half portion of what you had before. Top it with half a grated apple, a tablespoon of fat-free yoghourt, and some skim milk. Stay away from sweetened cereals. Have a glass of water afterwards or a cup of green tea.

For a snack you can have a piece of fresh fruit and less than a handful of either almonds or walnut which are high in protein. For those who can’t have just a few nuts, have a big bowl of popcorn. Don’t drown it with butter. Often it is the sauces and drizzling of the creamy salad dressings that we eat with food that puts on the weight.

For lunch you can have a fresh piece of grilled salmon or white fish, a boiled potato and asparagus. Use an olive oil spray for the pan. If it is still too dry, cut up some of those small fancy tomatoes and braise it with a dollop of crushed garlic. Use the juice of a freshly-squeezed lime to keep the fish moist in the pan. Have it with a huge salad of lettuce, red peppers and spring onions with a drizzling of Balsamic vinegar.

Avoid creamy cheese dressings. Have your largest meal at lunch. The next day you could have a piece of grilled chicken with pumpkin or butternut squash. Fish is good as it is high in omega oils. Don’t have more than one piece of fish or chicken breast. Your portion should be the size of the palm of your hand.

When you go out shopping for the big grocery buy of the week, eat one of your snacks beforehand so you don’t put everything your eyes see in the food trolley or in your mouth. Shop from a list which you have put together when you weren’t hungry and you made the right choices. Don’t snack on the samples in the shop.

Buy your snacks all at the same time so you don’t sneak with a packet of crisps or cookies or ice-cream. Some of your snacks might include a high protein bar if you feel like something sweet. Don’t eat the same snacks all the time. Space your meals with three hours in between – after which you can have another snack. Have a variety of snacks – maybe a bowl of minestrone soup if it is winter, or a cup of blueberries or strawberries. Fruit is good, but avoid the high sugar fruits like pineapple, mango, and watermelon. An apple is one of the best fruits you can have as it is high in fiber and not too sweet. Don’t double up on the snacks.

Last, and very important, especially for overweight people, is exercise. You don’t have to dread it. Exercise can mean walking to the shop three or four times a week, walking in the park for at least thirty minutes, pottering in the garden, doing some stretching exercise before going to bed or first thing in the morning. After a week you will find that at least a kilo or two have been washed out of your body by all the water you’ve been drinking.