Monday, May 4, 2009

The 10 Golden Rules of Dieting

No matter which healthy meal plan you choose, there are some golden rules that everybody needs to follow to drop those extra pounds and keep them off for good. If you are finally ready to make yo-yo dieting a thing of the past, adopt this list of tips as your personal 10 commandments:

Make a Lifestyle Change
Contrary to what you might think, dieting is not a temporary solution. If you only diet to lose weight, those extra pounds will return as soon as you go back to your old eating patterns.

"The primary definition of the word 'diet' is what you usually eat," nutritionist Susan Burke says. "If you usually eat nutritious foods in the right portion size for you to stay at your desired weight, then you're on the right diet for you."

If you want to lose weight, you have to get moving. Regular exercise is an essential part of any healthy lifestyle aerobic exercise and resistance training. If it has been a while since you last exerted yourself, you may want to work with a personal trainer. Also, remember to consult your personal physician before beginning any new exercise program.

Drink Plenty Of Water
Although you get water from foods and other fluids, experts recommend drinking at least eight glasses (8 ounces each) of water every single day. You should also be sure to drink water before, during and after each exercise session so you don't get dehydrated.

"Cool, clear water helps keep you regular, is good for your complexion and takes the edge off your appetite," Burke says. "Keep a half-liter bottle at your desk and one in the refrigerator."

Monitor Your Portion Sizes
Don't let yourself become the next victim of portion distortion. Remember that bigger is not always better, especially when it comes to the amount of food on your plate. Even healthful foods can provide excess calories if you eat too much of them. Learn how much food is right for you and don't feel the need to clean your plate every time you eat out. Don't be afraid to ask for a doggie bag.

"Your eDiets meal plan shows you the portion sizes that are right for you," Burke says. "For example, a 3-ounce portion of meat, chicken or fish looks like a deck of cards; a cup of cottage cheese or yogurt looks like a tennis ball; an ounce of cheese looks like a pair of dice; and a tablespoon of fat looks like the tip of your thumb."

Keep a Food Journal
When you are trying to lose weight, a food journal can be an invaluable resource. It is important to keep track of everything you eat so that you learn to avoid mindless eating in the future.

"Keeping a journal is one way to stop the vicious cycle of overeating and over-gaining," psychologist Susan Mendelsohn says. The act of writing in and of itself, will prevent you from grabbing for the goodies in the kitchen, office or convenience store."

Don't Skip Meals
Some people think they will be able to lose weight faster if they skip meals, but this isn't the case. Eating regular meals is an important way to keep your metabolism regular. In fact, you may even want to divide your meals into smaller portions and eat more often throughout the day.

"If you're not succeeding on your weight-loss plan this week, try breaking your meals into mini-meals and eat every 2-3 hours to maintain your energy and to avoid hunger," Burke says.

Lose the Junk Food
The best way to avoid the temptation to eat junk food is to go through your cupboards and do some cleaning. Get the junk food out of your house. Also, when you have a dinner party, send your friends home with the leftovers.

"If you're used to snacking on chips and dips, you need to prepare to succeed with some new and tasty snacks," Burke says. "Sugar-free Fudgesicles, ice milk and frozen fruit bars are good choices instead of full-fat ice cream. If you're wedded to chips and dips, try baby carrots and cut-up veggies with salsa instead. Make a tasty but healthy dip by mixing a cup of half nonfat yogurt/half low-fat sour cream and onion soup mix."

Modify Your Favorite Recipes
Following a healthy lifestyle doesn't mean you will never be able to enjoy your favorite foods again. If you adopt an attitude of deprivation, it is unlikely that you will stick to your diet. Instead of depriving yourself, give your favorite recipes a healthy makeover.

"Frying adds fat to food, which adds calories," Burke says. "Some favorite fried foods can be baked instead. Chicken and French fries are two favorite fried foods that are better when made in the oven than on the stove."

Manage Your Stress
Though a certain amount of stress is normal, too much stress can be unhealthy for your body. Anxiety and tension also commonly drive people to skip meals, eat the wrong kinds of foods or snack compulsively. Finding >healthy ways to manage your stress will make it easier to adopt a healthy lifestyle.

"Life is tough, and most of us lack certain coping tools," says psychologist Matthew Anderson. "We then are driven to food as a comfort and denial mechanism."

Develop A Support Network
The road to healthier living doesn't have to be a lonely one. If you are trying to drop those extra pounds and keep them off, your best bet is to follow the advice of the Beatles and "get by with a little help from your friends."

Research continues to demonstrate that support is one of the most critical ingredients in achieving successful weight loss. People are more likely to reach their weight-loss goals with the help of a support network. Members of a group can also be more successful together than any of them would have been on their own.



senget said...

diet diet...
susah woo.. :P