This article was originally written by Gill Webster
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Weight loss is not just about changing what you eat, it’s also about adding more exercise activities during your week.
We need to change our eating habits, to stop eating the junk foods and highly processed foods and replace them with good, healthy foods. You need to eat foods that supply you with all the nutrients that are required to keep our bodies healthy.
Before making any changes, I recommend that you start a food and activity journal. In this, you not only write down what you eat, but where, when, and what you were feeling at the time. This will help you will see what triggers your hunger and what satisfies your appetite. What foods do you routinely shop for? What snacks do you keep in the pantry?
Once you start to see patterns in your journal, you’re ready to start taking action. But keep in mind that deciding to reduce the calories, fat, saturated fat, and sugar in your diet is a big step, and trying to do that at the same time you endeavour to make a drastic change in your physical activity level, may be biting off too much change at one time. Which, sadly, can set you up for failure. Instead of trying to make all the changes at once, I recommend that you set smaller, more realistic goals for yourself and plan to add in a new challenge each week.
Don’t plan to starve yourself, either. This won’t help you lose weight. It’s much better to eat small, regular meals five or six times a day, so that the body never feels threatened and tempted to hold on to its fat stores. Eating regular meals also helps to maintain your blood sugar at a constant level so that you don’t start craving sugary food when your blood sugar levels drop.
Adding fibre to your diet — such as whole grain cereals, legumes (lentils and beans), vegetables, and fruits — can help you feel full with fewer calories.
Another great tip: Prepare your meals and snacks at home. This is a great way to save money, eat healthy, and spend time with your family. When preparing meals, choose low-fat/low-calorie versions of your favorite foods.
Snacks can comprise simple of a piece of fresh fruit, cut raw vegetables, or a container of low-fat yogurt. These are portable and an excellent choice to tide you over until mealtimes. Take these snacks with you for a healthy alternative to chips, cookies, or candy.
As I mentioned earlier, weight loss success also requires that you increase your physical activity. Aim for at least 30 minutes (adults) or 60 minutes (children) of moderate intensity activity for at least three or more days a week. If you are just starting to be physically active, remember that even small increases provide health benefits. Check with your physician first, and then start with a few minutes of activity a day and gradually increase, working your way up to 30 minutes. If you already achieve 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a day, you can gain even more health benefits by increasing the amount of time that you are physically active or by taking part in more vigorous-intensity activities.
The balance of calories consumed against your activity level will either cause weight loss or gain. The more calories you eat, the more physical you need to be. For example for every 100 calories you consume and not burn a day, you will gain about 1 pound in a month. That’s about 10 pounds in a year. The bottom line is that to lose weight, you must reduce your calories and increase your physical activity.