Click the Print button to print this page:

Winning At Weight Loss Without Dieting

By Mary Curtis

I must have lost at least a half ton of weight during the years between graduating high school until my late thirties. Hard to believe? Not when you consider that back then I still believed the myth that diets work. They don't.

Almost all of us have tried a new diet which alleges "spectacular fast weight loss." Dieting means - to all of us who have ever tried them - eating foods that we don't like, complicated measurements or weighing foods, or just plain going hungry being restricted only to drinking the claimed "diet" liquid. Most of us who have battled the scales have also tried starving ourselves in order to fit into an outfit for a special event or party. We learn from these experiences - the hard way - that the results are less than spectacular, the weight comes back even greater than before, and we come away tired and frustrated.

All these methods for losing weight are false and can even be dangerous. There is no such thing as "quick" weight loss - it is a myth. Fast weight loss is false because any weight that you do lose is not real and will only come back as soon as you end the diet.

When you deprive yourself on a quick weight loss diet, you are denying yourself proper nutrition because you are consuming less calories per day than you need. If you are on a single-food diet (like cabbage, for instance) or are drinking only a diet liquid, you are also depriving yourself vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein, and other vital nutrients which you get when you combine a variety of foods.

If you do manage to lose a few pounds on a fad diet, it will most likely be only water weight. This will come back as soon as you stop the diet and begin eating and hydrating normally again. But there is another reason why your weight will come back and why you might even get heavier than you were before you began the diet.

When you starve yourself or greatly reduce your calories to less that you need, your body begins a process to conserve any energy it intakes. What this means is that any calories you consume have greater ability to be stored as fat.

Diets - or quick weight loss plans, in other words, fad diets - don't work to get the weight off and keep it off for good. Weight loss to be permanent is a slower process - no more than about 2 pounds per week is a good way to make sure that the pounds stay off. Also, any changes you make in what you eat or how you eat need to be changes that you can live with for a long time - these changes must fit into your routine and be things that you like.

Here are four steps to get you started to permanently getting those extra pounds off. Follow them and you'll be on your way to a better looking figure, more energy, and a healthier, happier, thinner you:

  1. Be honest with yourself: Be realistic about what you want to achieve for yourself. Most of us are not super models so don't shoot for a body shape that is not you. For most people, a weight drop of even five to ten pounds is good. Losing just a few real pounds (not water weight) is better for your health and will result in a curvier figure.
  2. Select foods that you like: Any changes you make must be changes you can live with long-term. Begin by making a list of foods that you enjoy. List your favorite fruits, vegetables, bread and grain products, and high-protein foods like soy beans, cheese, eggs, fish, nuts, and meat (if you're not a vegetarian).
  3. Try lower calorie subsitutes: Substitute low-fat milk for whole milk, for instance. Soy cheese may be a good choice instead of cheese made with cow's milk. If you eat meat, try skinless poultry or lean cuts. Try olive or peanut oil as a topping rather than butter. Try honey or sugar substitute in coffee or tea, or try it without any sweetener. Again, any choices you make must be ones you enjoy and live with long-term.
  4. Enjoy high calorie foods by taking smaller portions: Most of us will have at least one high calorie favorite that we don't want to give up and that's alright if you don't overdo it. Remember that this is for the long haul so you don't want to make a bad deal with yourself to permanently deny yourself your favorite sweet or fatty food. Learn to enjoy your favorites by taking a small portion. A handful of potato chips, for instance. Or one or two pieces of candy rather than a whole box. A good idea is to buy "snack" sizes of chips and candies as these are generally small portions.

Now that you're on your way to getting rid of those extra pounds for good, here are some tips to keep you going to your goal and help you energize your metabolism:

Easy Ways to Increase Your Activity:

1. When shopping: Don't fight for the closest parking space. Instead, park at the end of the lot and walk to the building. Those extra steps burn calories. And you'll be a lot happier too because you'll almost always find a spot at the end of the lot!

2. At work: Walk on breaks and at lunch. Instead of sitting during meetings, suggest or arrange for a walking meeting. If your job is sedentary, donít just sit still in your chair; move your feet and arms and do stretches while seated. Also, take the stairs when you can.

3. At home: Donít just sit in front of your TV at home. Instead, do stretches during commercial breaks. Lift hand weights and do leg lifts in your chair while watching your favorite programs.

4. Too busy to work out? If you belong to a gym, stop on the way home from shopping or after work. Just a few minutes one day on the treadmill and the next day on the weights will increase your activity and fitness.

5. With you family: Plan a day once a week devoted to your family. Go for a walk, go to a park, or take a pleasant walk around the shopping mall.

Please feel free to print this page out and refer it often. This process worked for me and I know it will help you too. Here's to a happier, thinner you!

© 2011 Mary Curtis The Practical Vegetarian, all rights reserved. Printed from http://thepracticalvegetarian.com/winatweightloss.html.