Although it’s now clear that the key to long-term weight loss is based on calories consumed verses calories burned, there are some easy ways you can help the process of weight loss and weight maintenance along.
And if you’ve gotten off track with your weight plans, don’t be discouraged. Success is not based on how often you fail; it’s based on persistence.
Here are seven simple steps to help you get on track and stay there:
- Be organized. Are you serious about managing your weight? If you mean business then you have to be business like. A major key to success in any business is to plan your work and work your plan. You can side step temptation by planning ahead when shopping for food, eating out or going to parties. And by all means, set up a system to keep track of your calories. Calorie management for long-term weight loss success is equivalent to time management for business success.
- Increase your fiber. Studies show that adding more fiber to your daily diet works as well for weight loss as most restrictive diets. So include more high fiber foods like fruits, veggies and whole grains. Up your daily intake to between 25 and 40 grams, rather than the average 15 grams.
- Drink plenty of water. Drinking lots of water throughout the day will cut down on your feelings of hunger by helping you to feel fuller longer.
- Start your day off right. Eating a substantial healthy breakfast can help you to get your day off on the right track. For example, a bowl of whole grain cereal with unsweetened low-fat yogurt and fruit is a nutritious breakfast that can fill you up and boost your metabolism from the get-go.
- Reverse your schedule. Most people manage their daily eating backwards from what’s recommended. They have little to no breakfast, a medium sized lunch and a big (sometimes huge) dinner. Try turning this eating pattern around. Studies show the old saying “eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper” actually works.
- Skip the midnight snacks. Eating before bedtime is self-destructive in several ways. It adds calories when you don’t need the extra energy (you won’t burn many calories during sleep) and, because you’re not hungry in the morning, late meals can promote skipping breakfast.
- Try a new 8 hour diet plan. Research done at Salk Institute shows that you may burn more calories and even improve health by concentrating eating into a limited time frame of 8 or 9 hours a day. For example, you would eat all your meals between 9 AM and 5 or 6 PM. The researchers believe part of why this works is because it increases fasting time to 15 or 16 hours – before you “break-fast” at breakfast. At the very least this plan would support eliminating midnight snacks.
Metabolism is complex and not yet well understood. Scientists are beginning to think it may work differently at different times of the day.
Contrary to popular belief, many people are successful with long-term weight loss. The seven steps above are simple enough to help you on your own journey to permanent success – a goal that offers many rewards.
More Commonsense Health for You:
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Horne BD1, May HT, Anderson JL, Kfoury AG, Bailey BM, McClure BS, Renlund DG, Lappé DL, Carlquist JF, Fisher PW, Pearson RR, Bair TL, Adams TD, Muhlestein JB; Intermountain Heart Collaborative Study. American Journal of Cardiology. Usefulness of routine periodic fasting to lower risk of coronary artery disease in patients undergoing coronary angiography. Am J Cardiol. 2008;102(7):814-819. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2008.05.021.
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