The 10 Golden Rules of Dieting

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If you have tried to lose a few pounds by dieting, you know that it is not exactly the easiest thing to do. Many people end up sabotaging their own weight loss efforts allowing themselves to be caught in a vicious cycle. The good news is that it is possible to break that pattern of failure. Kiss the yo-yo dieting syndrome goodbye by following the 10 Golden Rules of Dieting outlined below.

1. Make a Lifestyle Change
Look at dieting as a positive part of your everyday life. Dieting is actually eating right and this is what you should aim for. If you see dieting as simply a way to lose weight, you are bound to regain all the weight you have lost once you return to your old eating habits.

One of the top suggestions by weight loss experts is that if you usually eat healthy foods in the right portion size for you, it will be much eaiser for you to remain at your desired weight.

2. Exercise
If you want quality weight loss and better health, dieting alone is not enough, you need to exercise regularly as well. It is an essential part of any healthy lifestyle. The ideal fitness regimen should include aerobic activity for fat burning and cardiovascular conditioning, and resistance training for strength and muscle toning. If you have been sedentary for quite a while, you may want to consider working with a personal trainer. Of course, you need to first consult with your doctor before you start on any new exercise program.

3. Drink Plenty of Water
Part of our daily intake of water comes from foods and other fluids but experts advise that we also drink at least eight glasses (8 ounces each) of water everyday. It is also important to drink water before, during and after working out to avoid dehydration.

In his bestselling book, Your Bodies Many Cries For Water, Dr. Bhatmanjhelig says that you should drink at least one half ounce of water for every pound of body weight. If you weigh 150 pounds you should drink a minimum of 75 ounces of clean purified water every day.

4. Monitor Your Portions
Have the courage to ask for a doggie bag. Restaurants are prone to create huge servings and often times one serving at a restaurant can feed you for at least two meals. Be careful that you don’t become afflicted with portion distortion. Keep in mind that even with healthy foods, eating too much still piles in the calories. Find out how much food is right for you and don’t feel guilty about not cleaning your plate every time you eat out.

Portions sizes are very descriptive. For example, a 3 ounces of meat, chicken or fish is about the size of a deck of cards. One cup of cottage cheese or Yogurt will look like a baseball.

5. Keep a Food Journal
Journaling helps people become more in tune with what they do, when they do it and why they do it. The information you put in your food journal will not only help you monitor what you eat but will also make you more aware of your eating behavior, both good and bad. Pinpointing the undesirable ones will help you deal with them properly.
Journaling creates accountability and can quickly put an end to the vicious cycle of overeating.

6. Don’t Skip Meals
Skipping meals may result in bingeing later on. You might end up overeating to compensate for the meal you skipped. Also, irregular eating habits wreak havoc on your metabolism making it harder to burn calories efficiently. To keep your metabolism regular, take smaller portions but eat more often throughout the day. Successful dieters often will break their meals into mini meals and eat every two to three hours to avoid hunger.

7. Lose the Junk Food
As long as there is junk food within easy access (as in your cupboards), it will be hard to kick the munching habit. Clean out your pantry of chips, cookies, chocolates or whatever favorite empty calorie food it is you fancy. Keep the stuff out of your house. Also, after a dinner party, send your friends home with the leftovers.

8. Modify Your Favorite Recipes
Eating healthy does not mean you will never enjoy your favorite foods again. It is all a matter of attitude. If you feed your mind with the idea of deprivation, you will crave for the wrong food even more and you would, in all likelihood, abandon your diet. Be creative. All you need to do is give your favorite recipes a healthy make-over.

9. Manage Your Stress
Stress is a normal part of life but too much is bad for the health. Anxiety and tension have a way of reducing ones appetite causing people to skip meals, eat the wrong kinds of foods or snack compulsively. It is important that you learn to find a healthy way to manage your stress. Taking control of stress in a non-destructive manner is part of a healthy lifestyle.

10 . Develop a Support Network
Going through a personal challenge is made easier when there are people rallying behind you. If you want to lose weight, you would be surprised at the kind of support you can get from your friends. These people would love to see you succeed as much as you do.

Research has proven that support is one of the most critical elements of weight loss success. People who have a support network are more likely to achieve their weight loss goals. Also, members of a group can be more successful together than having to do it on their own.

Charles Volcolatte is a health and weight loss researcher for www.skinnyasap.com. He writes and researches actively on Healthy Weight Loss and shares his knowledge at http//www.skinnyasap.com where he works as a staff writer.

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