Posted by Alison on May 19th, 2008
Stop dieting! Successful eating is all about balance and moderation. Think in terms of long-term health and long-term results. Diets are temporary, which is why they so often fail. You need an everyday eating plan, not an “until I lose 10 pounds” plan.
Start eating. Starving yourself won’t get you anywhere. If you drastically cut back the amount of food you eat, you won’t lose weight. Your body will go into starvation mode and hold on to every last pound. The fact is that eating on a regular basis helps your metabolism (the process by which your body breaks down food and burns up calories) stay elevated. Of course, you have to et the fright foods. Junk food and empty calories won’t cut it.
Breakfast is a must. Think about that first word – it means break the fast. By the time you wake up in the morning, you probably haven’t eaten a thing in at least 10 hours. Just because you can last until lunch without food doesn’t mean you should. Your body needs fuel! Set the tone for the day and jumpstart your metabolism by eating something healthy.
Don’t wait until you’re hungry. If you’re eating when you’re hungry, you’ve waited too long. At that point, you’re more likely just to grab whatever’s in front of you. Your body instinctively wants something that will give it immediate energy – so you reach for that high-calorie blueberry muffin or greasy slice of pizza instead of something nutritious. On the flip side, don’t eat so much that you become uncomfortably full.
Eat whole foods. Fresh fruit and vegetables, grains, nuts, cheese, and other foods that aren’t processed and full of refined sugar are the smart way to go.
Three meals a day? Forget it! That’s the old rule. Five or six small meals throughout the day is a better idea. This way, your blood sugar never plummets, your metabolism is consistently elevated, and you don’t need that quick snack fix. If it’s hard to break the breakfast-lunch-dinner routine, try healthy snacks in between meals.
Don’t eat right before bedtime. Your digestion slows down after hours, especially when you sleep. Avoid late-night meals or snacking. If your schedule requires late nights, make sure you plan ahead.
Pay attention. Read labels, and be aware of exactly what you’re eating and why you’re eating it. Make conscious food choices.
Indulge from time to time. Depriving yourself of the food you want will make you cranky and eat more. But use common sense. There’s a big difference between indulging in two cookies and overindulging in an entire box.
It’s never too late to start. It doesn’t mater what you weigh or how old you are. Make a change today and you’ll be healthier tomorrow.