Guest Author - Stephanie Watson
If you've recently embarked on a weight loss journey, sometimes it can feel like a boring and lonely expedition. But, the truth is, everyone -- baring serious health issues -- can lose weight if they need to. Eating healthy and weight loss does not have a final destination and being healthy and a normal weight go hand in hand. Successful weight loss is a simple matter of just following a few easy tips and making lifelong changes
1. Set Goals
Goal setting is your friend when it comes to successful weight loss. If you do not have a goal, it's hard to know how you're going to get there. Most successful people are expert goal setters. When you set your goals make sure they are realistic and encompass both short and long-term achievements. Do you want to lose a specific number of pounds by a certain date? Do you want to be able to walk or run a certain distance by a certain date? Are the goals realistic and reasonable? If so, move forward.
2. Create Plans
From your goals, it's important to create a plan to reach the goal. Start with the final big picture result you desire and work you way back to the present. In the present you should be able to look at your calendar today and see what you can do today to make today a good healthy day. For instance, today my calendar says: Eat plants, (plus I have a meal plan for the entire day spelled out, including snacks), walk 30 minutes twice today, meditate for 30 minutes. Get as specific as possible each day, and you'll find that you are more successful.
3. Track Yourself
Life gets super busy so it's important to keep track of what you're doing and evaluate your progress. You may need to tweak some goals to be more realistic, or you may determine you need to change things around completely. It's okay to have to change how you do something if what you're doing isn't working. In fact, that's the best way to reach any goal. Do what works, and throw out the rest.
4. Clean up
It's near impossible to stick to any weight loss plan if you haven't cleaned up your surroundings. Go into your kitchen and remove every last thing that isn't good for you. If it's processed, full of sugar, full of salt, and full of oil, get rid of it. If you have adult family members who refuse to participate put everything that's off limits into a locked cabinet and give them the key. Remember, you do not have to provide or cook unhealthy foods for anyone. But, if another adult wants to eat what they want to eat you can't stop them, so don't, but do protect yourself and stand up for your own right to be healthy. As to children, they don't need processed food that's full of salt, sugar and fat. It's not a food group.
5. Move More
Whether it's actual calisthenics, or an exercise class of some type like yoga, or aerobics or it's just playing a game like tennis or even paint ball, it doesn't matter. The important thing is that you move more each day than you do now. Start according to your current ability and add a little each day. If all you can do is exercise in your chair today, that's okay, make a plan to exercise in your chair each day the maximum amount of time you can do it, adding more each day until you reach your goal. Walking is still, hands down, the best thing you can do and does not put any type of obstacles in your way. You can do it barefoot in the living room if you need to.
6. Drink More
Fluids are very important to your body. Staying hydrated can make you feel better, less achy, and aid in elimination of toxins. The guideline is to drink 8 glasses of water per day. But, did you know that if you eat fresh fruits and vegetables that you can drink less water? At first, drink 8 glasses a day because most of us have ignored our thirst cues for so long that our body really doesn't know when it's thirsty or hungry. Later you can go by your body's cues. Drinking fresh water and eating water rich raw fruits and veggies will keep your body hydrated and working at its optimum level.
7. Eat Plants
Eating things that grow from the ground is the best thing you can do for your body. It doesn't even matter what type of diet plan you've chosen. The one thing almost all of them have in common is riding yourself of eating processed foods, too much salt and processed sugars and adding in more fresh raw fruits and veggies. Eating a variety of plant foods in their natural state will improve your health in numerous ways but they will also help stave off hunger. If anytime you're hungry between a meal you enjoy an apple, a peach, a cucumber, a tomato, some celery with oil and dairy free hummus, you'll improve your health, hydrate your body, and avoid over eating due to excessive hunger.
8. Don't Starve
Any weight loss plan that includes uncomfortable hunger pains is not a diet plan I can recommend. You should be hungry at meal times, of course. In fact you should be hungry enough at meal times that your salivary glands activate at the thought and site of your dinner, as this is part of proper digestion. But, you should not be so ravenous that you cannot concentrate on your work, or you are nutritionally deprived. If you have a caloric goal to reach each day, spread it out in the way that works best for you. Usually that would be three meals a day, plus two snacks. However, as an individual it's fine to spread it out in a way that works best for you that avoids being overly hungry, but allows you to digest properly before going to bed for the best rest.
9. Cut Empty Calories
There are many foods, even on some diet plans for weight loss that offer a variety of empty calorie snack foods. While you're in weight loss mode, cut these empty calories out. Try to ensure that everything you put into your mouth offers nutrition and not just hunger satiation. A good way to do this is to avoid drinking any calories. Eat the fruit, rather than juicing it, make salad dressings from natural fruits and nuts rather than processed oils and sugars, eat an apple for a crunchy snack rather than dried apples or one of those 100 calorie packs of empty calorie snacks.
10. Enjoy the Journey
If the weight loss plan you've chosen is right for you it will not feel like a punishment. It will feel good and even fun. You should be able to enjoy the journey you're on in your life and the diet should be something that is easy to incorporate into your life once you learn the ins and outs of it. Once you reach your weight loss goal, the journey is not complete, it'll be time to make another health goal, and hopefully the weight loss plan you've picked to follow can accommodate you for life.