12 Tips to Help Overcome Your Diet Failure:
Being overweight is the most common nutritionally related health problem in the United States affecting over 60% adults. Of these over 35% of us are considered obese. Even 20 % of our children are considered obese. The statistics are quite alarming especially when we are reminded of the health consequences of being overweight which include things as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancers and joint pains.
Because being overweight is such a common problem, it seems like everywhere we turn there is a new diet on the horizon or another gimmick that might help us to be successful. You are probably wondering what if anything can be done to help you lose weight, keep it off, and feel good along the way so that you don’t hit that dreaded plateau that might keep you from reaching your goal.
Here are a few basic guidelines to help you meet your weight loss goal and stay healthy along the way.
1. Decide on a realistic goal based on your height and weight – there are many tools available to help you to determine what weight is right for you. If you are struggling, consider a visit with your doctor to help you to determine a healthy goal weight.
2. Stay hydrated – our bodies are over 70% water and in order to burn calories and have our bodies process the energy we consume, our system needs to be maximally hydrated. Usually 6-8 glasses of water a day is a good start.
3. Understand the math – the simple truth is that in order to lose weight we need to burn more calories that we consume. If your weight is stable you can lose 1-2 pounds a week by either taking in 500 less calories a day and/or burning up 500 or more calories a day.
A general range for most women to be able to lose weight safely is to consume about 1200-1500 calories a day and for men to consume about 1800-2000 calories a day.
Keep in mind that more activity is better. Most experts suggest that getting 60-90 minutes of activity every day will help you get your weight down more quickly.
4. Consume foods high in protein – chicken, fish, legumes and low fat milk and cheese are most beneficial.
5. You need some nutrients to lose – when we are too low in calcium (dairy) it seems to be a cue for hunger. In addition other vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, B12 and vitamin D need to be consumed in adequate amounts in order to facilitate weight loss.
6. Breakfast is important – eat breakfast especially with whole grains and proteins such as eggs.
7. Fiber – Remember to eat foods that are high in fiber and tend to take longer for our bodies to digest which can make us feel fuller longer.
8. Veggies – consume lots of veggies like broccoli, carrots, celery and dark green leafy salads to aid vital nutrients and add water to your diet and help you stay hydrated.
9. Buddy – enlist the help of a friend who can help you stay on track.
10. Write it down – journal your intake and exercise to help keep you inspired.
11. Stay on track – try to stay consistent. For many of us, we lose a few pounds and then go celebrate with food, alcohol, high sugar and fat containing foods which makes all the hard work we have done get easy off track.
12. Don’t give up – if you fall off the wagon one day, get up and go! Before long you will arrive at your healthy weight.
Good luck and don’t stop trying!
Until next time, here’s to the best of your health!
Elizabeth Salada MD, MPH
Internal Medicine and Wellness