You’ve finally decided you’re going to lose weight. Getting rid of those extra pounds will not only make you look better but you’ll feel better and have more energy. Follow these 5 tips on the best ways to lose weight and get a jump start on your weight loss program.
Make a list of low cost activities that you like to do. The list could include a bubble bath, working on a puzzle, listening to music, giving yourself a manicure, or indulging in some quiet time. When the urge to eat hits choose an activity from the list instead. You’ll avoid temptation and decrease your stress levels. Besides you wouldn’t want to wreck your freshly polished fingernails by reaching into a bag of chips now would you?
Keep a food journal for a week. Keep track of not only what you’re eating, but when, and how you feel. Track what you’re drinking as well, unless it’s water or no calorie soft drinks. You may be surprised that you’re eating more than you thought. The journal may reveal trigger points for eating as well. You may not realize that you head for the vending machine at work every time a certain co-worker interrupts you, or that you munch away when your sister calls. Knowing your trigger points means you can avoid them or you can be prepared to deal with them. When Sis calls, you can nosh on celery and carrots sticks instead of cookies.
Snacks count. Many weight loss programs include a snack or two every day. Those snacks count in your total calorie consumption. If your snack is half a peanut butter sandwich on whole grain bread, don’t be tempted to eat the other half because you don’t want to waste it. If you eat the entire sandwich with a glass of milk and an apple, you haven’t had a snack, you’ve had lunch.
Portion size is important. These days when super size has become the norm for portion size, it’s easy to overestimate how much a portion is. Look on the package for how many portions it contains. A small piece of fruit is a portion. A ½ cup of vegetables is a normal portion. 2 cups of salad greens is a portion. A piece of chicken or beef the size of deck of playing cards is a portion. If you have to, measure your portions until you get comfortable with estimating.
Eat a small salad or cup of soup, before dinner. Dinner is usually the biggest meal of the day. You can cut down on how much you eat if you have a small snack about 15 to 20 minutes before you sit down to dinner. It takes your brain 20 minutes to recognize your tummy is full and you’ve had enough to eat. You can jump start that time period if you eat a small salad, or cup of soup before dinner.