Top 10 Tips for Starting a Weight Loss Plan
Starting a new weight loss plan can be daunting, even if you’ve done it before.
If you are thinking of starting a new weight loss plan, you’ll find the top ten tips listed in this article invaluable and give you the best possible chance for long term success in achieving your weight loss goals.
Tip 1 - Cut out all soft drinks and energy drinks,and drink plenty of water instead
Soft Drinks, Energy Drinks and Cordials are the major source of added sugar in our daily diet. If you are serious about looking after yourself and losing weight, you have to tackle this problem immediately. It will be difficult to start with as you might be addicted to the sugar and energy hit, but break the addiction and you will feel much better.
Ideally you should substitute all of these drinks with water and/or herbal teas, but you might need to do this gradually. Start by substituting one sugary drink per day with a healthier alternative and build up from there until you not drinking very few or no soft drinks at all.
Our bodies need water to absorb nutrients from food, transport them around the body and flush away our waste products. In a mild climate an average person needs to drink about 1.5 litres of water each day. In hotter climates you will need more to prevent dehydration.
Tip 2 – Control your portion sizes
One of the best ways to lose weight is to simply reduce the amount you are eating.
Start now! Halve the amount of food on your plate; you really don’t need all that food. Take your time eating. Put down your fork after each mouthful. Savouring each bite is one of the best ways to ensure you take your time to eat your meals. It takes 10 to 20 minutes for your stomach begins to tell your brain that you are full. If you stuff too much food in before that amount of time elapses, you will end up with that dreaded “I’ve eaten too much too quickly”feeling. You are not a vacuum, don’t suck your food down – CHEW.
Tip 3 – Have a great breakfast
When it comes to eating a healthy diet, if you start your day off well, chances are high that the rest of the day will follow suit. Try to have a breakfast that includes protein, calcium and vitamins. Poached eggs, or egg whites,served on toast with baked beans andgrilled tomatoes are a perfect choice. If you don’t have time for this, a wholegrain cereal with low fat milk and yoghurt will keep you going until lunch.
Freshly squeeze your orange juice and mix it up each day – variety is the spice of life and is the best way to ensure your body is getting all the nutrients it needs.
Finally, try pre-preparing some Bircher muesli, this will last a few days in the fridge and you can eat it on the hop.
Tip 4 - Eat the widest possible variety of foods
Expand your palette. Try cuisines from other countries, venture out of your comfort zone. Many cultures have a fresher and healthierdiet than westerners. The more variety of foods we get into body’s the wider variety ofnutritionitabsorbs. Most European and Middle Eastern cultures have great salads and vegetablesdishes with a variety of meats that taste great; we can all learn different ways of adding spices and flavours to food by studying the diets of different cultures.
Asians food is particularly great for fast and fresh stir fry’s and noodles.The more interesting you can make food taste, the more likely it will be that you will continue to eat it. Healthyfood doesn’t have to be as boring as cardboard.
Tip 5 - Start cooking
Get into the kitchen and cook. Don’t rely on takeaway foods or pre-packaged meals. We need to start incorporating fresher foods into our lifestyle. One of the ways to do this is to start cooking yourself. Start with what you like to eat. If you like Chinese, a stir fry takes little time to prepare and cook, and is very nutritious. Don’t be scared. We all make mistakes in the kitchen - some with good results, and some not so good, but how are you going to learn if you don’t try.
Many take away meals are unhealthy. You can make these meals at home which taste just as good, if not better, and you’ll know exactly what has gone into them.
Tip 6 - Be active everyday
Moving our bodies burns fat. The amount you burn will depend on how often and how long you are active. Set a plan to do some form of activity each day, even just 30 minutes. Do something you enjoy, or can at least tolerate, as you will be more likely to stick with it. If you can’t do too much else, just walk, walk, and walk some more. At the end of the day, small amounts of activity is much better than sitting around.
Tip 7 –Snacking
A common downfall of people who are trying to lose weight is unhealthy snacking – we all do it. Not having potato chips or chocolate in the cupboards is a start to not being tempted. Don’t put them in the trolley when shopping. If you are REALLY desperate to have chocolate, you will walk to the shop and walk of the KJ intake.
The key is removing the immediate temptation and habit of having these on hand. If you are addicted to the taste of chocolate, then Milo or Hot Chocolate is a great alternative.
Tip 8 - Set Mini Goals
We all need to feel like we are achieving something each week. Set yourself a mini goal for the week. The mini goal can be an elimination of a food or an introduction of a food. After a while the habits formed from setting and achieving these mini goals will become our norm.
Tip 9 –Get Support
It is important that we all receive encouragement and positive feedback; otherwise we don’t feel good about ourselves.
Sometimes people choose not to reveal to family and friendsthat they are on a “diet” for fear of failure. But it is important that you can talk about your goals and journey so you don’t feel alone. One great way to get the support and encouragement you need is to find likeminded people with similar goals. One place to find people like these is on our Weightloss Forum, which is free to join. Joining our forum is a great way to ask questions without being judged. Everyone has different ways of becoming healthier and you can pick up some great tips from people who are on the same journey as you.
Tip 10 - Understand your Energy and Fat Intake
When we regularly eat more energy than our body needs, the excess is stored inside fat cells. Just 1kg of body fat contains the equivalent of 37,000kJ. To lose 1kg of body fat in a week, we need to consume 37,000kJ(8,850 calories) less, or burn an additional37,000kJ per week, or around 5,000kJ (1200 calories) a day.
The best way to lose excess weight is to switch to a high-fibre, low-fat, low-energy-dense, nutrient-rich diet and, most importantly, to exercise regularly. Exercise not only uses up stored energy, but also helps to stimulate muscle development.
Remember, the more muscle tissue you have, the more kilojoules yourbody will burn. If you are over 40, have a pre-existing medical condition or you haven’t exercised for some time, see your doctor before starting a new fitness program.
The Dietitians Association of Australia recommends the following daily energy and nutrient intakes for the average person to maintain a healthy weight range:
Energy – 8700Kj (2,080 calories)
Protein – 50g
Fat – 70g
Saturated fats – 24g
Sodium – 2300mg
Carbohydrate – 310g
Sugars – 90g
Dietary Fibre – 30g
Just remember, these amounts are to maintain a healthy weight. To lose weight, consuming up to 10% less may be appropriate.
Starting a new weight loss plan can be daunting, even if you’ve done it before.
If you are thinking of starting a new weight loss plan, we hope you’ve found the top ten tips listed in this article invaluable and give you the best possible chance for long term success in achieving your weight loss goals.
Good luck with your weight loss and thanks for visiting weightloss.com.au.
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This article was written by Scott Haywood.
Scott is the editor of weightloss.com.au. Scott has developed an expertise in fitness and nutrition, and their roles in weight loss, which led him to launch weightloss.com.au in 2005. Today, weightloss.com.au provides weight loss and fitness information, including hundreds of healthy recipes, weight loss tools and tips, articles, and more, to millions of people around the world, helping them to lead happier, healthier, lives.
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