If you’re looking to lose a few pounds, hands up if your first move is to go on the mother of all diets in preparation? Don’t do it! Significantly reducing your calorie intake through a crash diet may well help you to lose weight initially but it’s not a healthy way to go about things. Adopting a more controlled approach to losing weight is a better approach and means that you’re more likely to keep the weight off afterwards. Here are some tips for losing weight healthily.
Why Crash Diets are Bad
Embarking on a crash diet may seem like the best way to lose weight but it’s not the secret to keeping it off afterwards. Think of it as a lifestyle change – to lose weight and keep it off, you need to increase the amount of exercise that you do and make sure that you’re burning more calories than you’re consuming. Crash diets are often lacking in nutrients and in restricting your calorie intake, you may well find that your body is being deprived of vital vitamins and minerals. This can have a big impact on your overall health and deficiencies can become a definite possibility.
Tips for Losing Weight Healthily
Watch out for sugar. You probably know that cutting your fat intake is necessary for losing weight but sugar can be just as bad. It isn’t always as easy as you may think to know whether something contains sugar. Other names that may be found on the packaging include fructose, sucrose and corn syrup but they all mean the same thing – hidden sugar. Where possible, swap sugary foods for fruit, raw vegetables and other snacks that won’t lead to weight gain.
Stock up on whole grains. Bread, rice and pasta made from white flour is believed to affect blood sugar levels and encourage weight gain so you’re much better off with whole grain alternatives.
Don’t cut out treats altogether. Strict diets often fail because they are so hard to sustain and many people find themselves caving in and bingeing on the very foods that they were trying to avoid. You can limit this probability by not cutting them out of your plans completely so that you still have something to look forward to. As long as you’re sensible and tell yourself that you’ll only have a small treat once a week (perhaps on a certain day), there is no reason to ditch treats altogether. The key is not to go overboard or you’ll quickly undo your hard work during the rest of the week.
Are you really hungry? Many of us eat out of boredom or other emotions and aren’t necessarily hungry as such. Before you automatically reach for something to eat, ask yourself whether you’re actually hungry. If your stomach isn’t rumbling, there’s a good chance that you’re not and won’t feel any fuller afterwards. If you suspect that you’re just bored, try taking a break from what you’re doing and the distraction may well make the ‘hunger’ disappear.
Ease yourself in gently. If you’re not currently getting as much exercise as you should, don’t push yourself too hard too soon. Start with gentle exercise such as walking and build up to more intensive workouts. Even adding five minutes more physical activity to your routine per day adds up over the course of the week.
Forget crash diets and starving yourself – the secret to healthy and sustainable weight loss is as simple as eating fewer calories and doing more exercise. As well as being largely ineffective in the long term due to the increased chances of losing motivation, crash diets can also deprive your body of important nutrients needed for good health.
So, have you ever tried losing weight? Have your tried crash diets? What has and hasn’t worked for you when it comes to losing weight? Please share.