There are thousands of diets, with a thousand different strategies for how to reach the goal of optimum weight and physical health via exercise and nutrition. Because people are different with so many variables on how much physical activity they get in a day, age, bone structure, height, blood type, chemistry, there could not possibly be one solution that fits every person.
It is important, instead, to look at the most successful weight loss programs to see what they have in common. After that, each person can start with these tried and true fundamentals and modify them to keep whatever works and change the parts that don’t. Throughout the past few months I have volunteered myself to be a human experiment and I’ve assembled the top ten things that I’ve found to have worked when implemented. Start with one or two things on the list. After three or four days, add another. The scientific statement about “it takes 21 days to form a new habit” is actually an unfounded fallacy. New habits really take quite a bit longer to become ingrained to where they are second nature. The good news is that it takes one day to make up your mind to change your routine to incorporate good choices. For example, let’s say you usually drink a glass of orange juice every morning while you’re getting ready for work/school. If you decide today to substitute your OJ for water and an apple, you have just changed your habit. It will take a while for that change to feel like an automatic tendency, but when your refrigerator is full of whole fruit instead of bottled juice you will have some reinforcement to rely upon.
In no particular order, here are my top ten recommendations:
- Eat veggies at every meal
- Drink three 16 ounce glasses of water before each meal
- Don’t skip breakfast
- Don’t eat too few calories
- Eliminate sugars and starches
- Plan, plan, plan – think ahead
- Learn to be OK with hunger
- Eat to live instead of living to eat
- Find someone to partner with
- Cut out fried everything (see below)
OK, about number 10. This may be the hardest one to implement. Fried food simply tastes great. Growing up in the 70s with a Southern Baptist family, my mother fried everything from pork chops to potatoes to green beans. We used to cook with lard and bacon grease so it’s in my genes. As impossible as it sounds, cutting out foods can be done. Don’t tell yourself you can never eat it again; just know that eating fried food (and any fast food) has to be the exception not the rule. Fried food is not only unhealthy because of the amount of fat and calories, but usually the food itself (potatoes, hamburger, dough) is low on a nutrition scale. Equally important is the reduction of processed foods. Health benefits are found abundantly in whole foods, produce and grains in their most natural form.
For more on Dee’s journey to better health–visit http://www.gettingthebestoffood.com