Planning Your Diet
I planned on losing weight, the problem was I didn't plan.
Before you go on vacation you plan and before you have a party you plan, you make a plan before you go on a job interview, so why not plan your weight loss? Half the battle of losing weight being organized as you do it. Think about your weight now and try to remember how you got that way. I'm sure it wasn't because you made an eating plan and stuck to it. You, like most of the world you are busy. Most of your eating is done on the run which usually means consuming fast food calories from drive thru's and vending machines. Before you know it you are carrying around extra pounds. Time to get organized and get a plan. Even if you are not organized in the rest of your life you can get organized with your diet and who knows maybe it will spill over. Follow these 9 steps to thin.
1. Keep a food diary. Write down what you eat for the next two weeks and see where the bulk of your calories come from. You may take long over indulgent lunches with work mates or, you may be an oblivious eater consuming most of your calories in front of the television. You want to see what your eating day looks like. Don't lie, because you are only lying to yourself. Two weeks ought to give you a glimpse of what your eating style is. Food diaries also help combat mindless eating, because you can't change what you don't acknowledge.
2. While keeping a food diary also do some research on weight loss programs. Don't just dive into a diet, research it first. I have a hard time with no carbohydrate diets because they give me headaches. I do much better on a portion control program. Not every diet fits every person. Read up and find which plan most caters to your life style. Some of the most popular programs are Weight Watchers, Atkin's Diet, Mediterranean Diet, Nutisystem and Jenny Craig. If you look on line you can probably find thousands more. You may even want to join one of the online programs where you make a bet on how much you can lose. Then you can actually make money while losing.
3. Decide how much you want to lose and don't just pick a number. Use a weight chart. You may decide you want to lose twenty pounds when you should only lose fifteen. There are weight charts on line (www.choosemyplate.gov) that give you an idea of what you should weigh according to your age, gender and height. Choose to get within range of one of those charts. Also check what your BMI or Body Mass Index is and what it should be.
4. Look at RDA (recommended daily allowance) guide lines. Most of us eat double even triple what a normal serving size is. I use to, but I know better now. When it comes right down to it we should be eating to nourish our body. Over indulging not only packs unwanted pounds its unhealthy. Serving sizes are set up for optimal digestion. The Department of Health & Human Services says a normal serving size is a half cup. Again a serving size is a half cup. A serving size of meat is the the size of the palm of your hand, or the size of your fist. A serving size of salad dressing is three tablespoons. A serving size of bread is one slice. There are sites that also show you what a serving size looks like.
5. Knowledge is key to weight loss so start reading labels. Its amazing what you can learn. Did you know that the average American consumes twenty-two teaspoons of sugar a day? That's just by eating a normal diet!!! Most of us are oblivious to what we eat. You want to know how much sugar a product has what a serving size is and what types of preservatives are used. Does your food contain high fructose corn syrup? The more educated you are about your food the better your chances you have of making better choices. Again you can't change what you don't acknowledge.
6. Don't eat foods you don't like. How many of you have eaten foods you don't like because it was on a diet you were following? I actually choked down grapefruit because it was on a diet I was on. Not only do I dislike grapefruit but citrus gives me canker sores. How crazy was that!!! Starting a diet eating foods you don't like is a sure way to set yourself up for failure. Make a pact with yourself right now to never eat another food you don't like.
7. Find a plan that fits your lifestyle. This is the most important part of planning. If you have a tight schedule and are constantly on the go your chances of sticking to a very stringent diet is pretty close to nil. Don't set yourself up for failure. Plan ahead and set yourself up for success. If you are a busy soccer mom and you depend on fast food a lot you are going to want a diet that fits that type of schedule. You may decide to start packing healthy snacks in order to avoid eating at the local drive-thru. What ever your plan you have to fit it into your lifestyle, not the other way around.
8. Get Moving!!! Every good weight loss program includes exercise. If you don’t exercise now you will have to find a way to fit it into your daily schedule. You only need ten minutes a day. What you do at work doesn't count. It has to be ten minutes concentrating just on you! And do it everyday! You have a better chance of making it a habit if you do it everyday. If you like yoga find a ten minute yoga tape. Can you do more, yes, but if you don't have a plan in place start slowly. You will be more likely to stick to your plan if it isn't too cumbersome. The important thing is to get moving for at least ten minutes every day.
9. Time to go shopping and stock up on the foods you will need. Having the foods on your program in your house will help thwart temptation. I keep plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. In the winter I rely on fruits packed in juice. Stock your cupboards and your refrigerator with the new foods on your program. You may decide to start packing a lunch. I normally take one cup of soup, a hand full of potato chips, or corn chips, a fruit cup, a slice of cheese and a cup of decaf for my lunches. Be sure you buy plenty of healthy snacks for those soccer games.
10. See your doctor before you start. Your doctor will probably be your biggest ally. How happy will they be that you've decided to lose weight and get healthy? A physical is a must before starting any weight loss program. Get blood work done because you are going to love comparing your before blood work with your after. My cholesterol, blood sugar and other panels went from over what they should be to being in the normal range just because I lost twenty pounds. How wonderful will it be when you don't have to take drugs for high blood pressure, diabetes or high cholesterol? You may be able to get to that point.
11. While planning the rest of your diet don't forget to plan an eating day. Yup, one day a week indulge and enjoy yourself. If you have a party to attend, no problem. The holidays??? no problem. Stay on program all week and then splurge!!!
Make yourself successful at weight loss by making a plan ahead of time. Understanding your lifestyle and what diets will fit into it is more than half the battle. Losing weight doesn't have to be daunting if you do the planning up front. Remember to keep a food diary and decide what plan will work for you. To be successful transition slowly. Stock your house with what you will need. Be sure to see your doctor and get moving!
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