Does the word "diet" fill you with dread because it conjures up images of tasteless salads and hours spent on the treadmill? This strategy might make you lose a few pants sizes, but is it helping you feel better, as well? Instead of dooming yourself to failure by starting your next diet off on the wrong foot, here are a few simple tips you can utilize to ensure you lose weight without sacrificing your health:
It All Starts In Your Kitchen
Before you splurge on expensive new running shoes or begrudgingly sign-up for a costly gym membership, start your journey to a healthier lifestyle in your own kitchen. Grab a garbage bag and begin tossing out everything that is high in fat or calories and generally unhealthy that has already been partially consumed. If you have any foods that are nonperishable and haven't been consumed, but you no longer want, donate these to your local food pantry!
If you're not sure what is truly healthy, or what simply appears to be healthy, take a look at the nutrition label and ingredients list. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends eliminating any foods that contain 5 percent or less of your daily recommended intake of fat, cholesterol, and sodium per serving.
In addition, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends keeping foods that are higher in fiber, vitamins and minerals than fats.
Once your cupboards are bare, begin filling them with foods that are both nutritionally-balanced and appealing to you. If you have food you'll actually eat that is good for you on hand, you're less likely to make a quick trip to the corner store for your favorite chocolate chip cookies!
Set Realistic Goals and Choose Amazing Rewards
As you begin your weight loss journey, one of your biggest driving forces might be the thought of fitting into the clothes you wore decades or go, or never dreamed you could wear. However, before setting yourself up for failure by creating unrealistic goals, WebMD instead recommends keeping your aspirations in check.
According to WebMD, it's best to set a goal to lose no more than one to two pounds each week. Any more, and you could do serious damage to your body and metabolism. These realistic weekly or monthly goals are much easier to achieve and when you do, you'll be more positive – and willing to stick to your new diet.
In addition to creating realistic goals, it's important to reward yourself for all that hard work. However, don't use food as a reward and instead, give yourself something that is healthy for your body or mind. For example, once you lose that first crucial five pounds, go ahead and treat yourself to a spa treatment.
As you lose more weight, continue to reward yourself handsomely for all your amazing accomplishments!
Speak to Your Doctor
Finally, because you're losing weight to improve your health instead of fit into a smaller jean size, it's important to work with your doctor, especially if you have any underlying medical conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease.
While meeting with your doctor, Family Doctor recommends asking questions about how to carefully cut calories or which exercises are best for your age and activity level. In addition, it's important to also learn your body mass index, BMI. This number will help you determine how much body fat you should shed, in addition to pounds.
Starting a new diet can be exhilarating, and a little overwhelming. However, if you speak to your doctor, clean all the junk food out of your fridge and keep your goals and expectations in check, you can achieve the healthy, amazing new body you've always wanted! To learn more about supplements you can take to help you shed fat, follow the link.