Think losing those 10 pounds seems insurmountable? Remember that it only takes a deficit of 3500 calories to lose a pound of body fat. While that may sound like a lot, if you do moderate exercise each day to burn off 300 calories, and just cut out a modest 200 calories per day, you will lose a pound a week! It's that simple! You can cut additional calories out of your diet to lose even more. Here are more tips for giving yourself a "diet makeover!"
1. Looking to cut calories? Eat them…don't drink them! Many of the hidden calories we eat are found in the beverages we drink. Whether it's soda, juice, iced tea, or even that little bit of sugar in your coffee, these calories add up over the course of the day. Make water your primary beverage. If you're really craving soda, switch to diet, and if you need to drink coffee or tea, use non-nutritive sweeteners (like Splenda®) to add some flavor.
2. Fluid, fluid, fluid. Even if you're not an avid exerciser, your body needs a minimum of 8 cups of fluid a day. Caffeine-containing beverages don't count towards your daily allowance, since they tend to dehydrate you. When you don't get enough fluid, your body doesn't burn calories as efficiently as it does when you are well-hydrated. If you exercise, you need even more water (a good rule of thumb is one cup for 20 minutes of exercise). Drinking fluids can also help to make you feel fuller.
3. Eat your vegetables! I can't say this enough. Not only are vegetables great sources of vitamins and have health-protective benefits, including cancer prevention, but they are a great thing to include in your diet in large amounts if you are trying to lose weight. Vegetables are very low in calories (only 25 calories for a whole cup of fresh vegetables! Compare that to a cup of rice, which is about 240 calories!) Vegetables are also full of fiber, which can help you stay fuller for longer, helping you to decrease your overall calorie intake throughout the day.
4. Fiber….you need more of it! Not only does fiber have many health benefits, but it helps to fill you up and takes longer to digest, so you may end up eating less calories overall. Where does it come from? Fresh vegetables, fruits, beans, and whole grains all have a lot of fiber. Aim for at least 30 grams per day.
5. Eat more often! Eat regularly (about every 3 hours), including some lean protein at each meal and snack. Ever wonder why when you're famished, you end up overeating or choose foods that aren't as healthy for you? Eating at regular intervals helps to regulate and stimulate your metabolism, balance your blood sugar, improves your energy level, and enhances your athletic performance. Lean protein sources include lean meat/poultry, seafood, egg whites, low-fat dairy products, and soy protein.
6. All fats are not created equal. Fats got a bad reputation when we discovered the role that saturated fat plays in heart disease. But some fats are good for you- including the mono and polyunsaturated fats found in olive oil, fish oil, nuts, flaxseed, and avocado. These healthy fats should make up about 30% of your total calories.
7.Plan and be prepared! If you don't have healthful foods around when you're ready to eat, chances are, you won't make good food choices. Get in the habit of planning and cooking meals in advance, packing your lunch, or going to a restaurant that you know will have healthy options. When going to a party, plan on taking a dish that you know you will eat because you know how it was prepared.
If you follow your plan 90% of the time, the other 10% won't ruin your path to weight loss success. Be realistic. You should be able to enjoy an occasional meal out or a special treat at a party. But if you resume your normal eating plan with the next meal and continue with your workouts, you won't ruin your weight loss efforts.
EATING RECOMMENDATIONSEat at least six meals daily.
Make each meal count. If you eat anything, consider it a meal.
Eliminate any and all refined sugars and sweets.
Reduce caffeine intake and increase water intake (should be half of your body weight in ounces). No Alcohol!
All heavy starches to be cosumed by 1 pm or 3rd meal of the day. For example: bread, pasta, and rice.
1 serving of protein should be consumed with every meal. For example: 4-6 ounce piece is considered 1 serving.
Limit dairy intake to 1st and 2nd meal.
All fruits should be consumed before 1 pm. No fruite juice! Multi-vitamin every day.
Protein always first choice then carbohydrates to be added.
Limit sugary condiments such as salad dressings.
Meal replacements bars and shakes to be used if sugar free.
The Seven Habits for Weight Loss and Healthier Eating