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8 Ways To Create Balance To Achieve Lasting Weight Loss

Need to​ lose weight? Dreading the​ thought of​ another diet program? You don’t have to​ follow diets to​ lose weight. There are many people discovering this for themselves and they are the​ ones who are finding long term weight loss apposed to​ short term fixes. the​ key to​ weight loss is​ finding the​ right balance of​ what you eat,​ what you think,​ and what activity you do. it​ is​ not about following a​ perfect plan. it​ is​ impossible to​ be perfect every day! Finding the​ right balance helps you to​ decrease your calorie intake,​ increase your metabolism and keeps the​ self-sabotage at​ bay. Here are 8 steps to​ bring more balance into all corners of​ your life so you too can find weight loss success.

1. Eat more frequently during the​ day-
Skipping meals or​ waiting too long between meals can have a​ negative impact on​ your metabolism and results in​ overeating later in​ the​ day. It’s best to​ have 3 small meals and 1-2 snacks throughout the​ day. You will feel more satisfied and eat less. Plan to​ have a​ snack or​ meal every 4-5 hours.

2. Watch portion sizes-
Appropriate portion sizes are still quite misunderstood. Most Americans are eating 2-3 times the​ recommended portion sizes. Limit your grains,​ cereals,​ pastas,​ and rice to​ ½ - 1 cup serving sizes. Keep meat,​ poultry and fish to​ 4-ounce portion sizes. Restaurants are notorious for giving extremely large servings of​ food. Keep this in​ mind when eating out. Eat half of​ the​ food on​ your plate or​ take the​ rest home for lunch the​ next day. Studies show that when people are given large portion sizes,​ they eat up to​ 56% more calories without realizing it. to​ add insult to​ injury,​ our portion sizes are larger than they have ever been. Start to​ become more aware of​ the​ portions you are served wherever you are.

3. Eat the​ right fats-
Yes some fat is​ important. Omega 3 fatty acids are an​ important strategy for weight loss success and yet most Americans are not eating enough of​ these healthy fats. Some reports show these fatty acids may be helpful in​ increasing your metabolism. They are also shown to​ be a​ wonderful mood supporter and people report significantly less food cravings and triggers to​ eat when they incorporate omega 3 fatty acids on​ a​ daily basis. This is​ especially important for any emotional eaters out there. Omega 3’s are found in​ fatty fish such as​ salmon,​ mackerel,​ cod; they are also found in​ canola oil,​ walnuts,​ and ground flax seeds.

4. Increase fruits and vegetables-
Fruits and vegetables are not only packed with important vitamins,​ minerals,​ and antioxidants,​ they are also loaded in​ fiber and low in​ calories. Include 5-8 fruits and vegetables every day. This is​ one of​ the​ most important diet changes you can make. When you fill your plate up with fruits and vegetables you eat less of​ the​ higher calorie foods. For example,​ let’s take a​ sample steak dinner.

Original meal:
8 ounce steak
Whole baked potato with fixings
½ cup steamed broccoli

Meal Makeover:
4 ounce steak
½ baked potato with fixings
½ cup steamed broccoli
Side salad with mixed greens,​ tomatoes,​ and 1 tbsp light vinaigrette dressing

By changing the​ balance of​ this meal to​ include more vegetables while decreasing the​ steak and potato we​ saved approximately 350 calories. Saving 350 calories daily can result in​ almost a​ 1 pound weight loss per week. Small changes are the​ key.

5. Eat when you’re hungry,​ stop when you’re full-
Our bodies have an​ innate weight management mechanism. it​ performs this task by making you feel full when it​ is​ time to​ stop eating. Every time you eat past full you are taking in​ more calories than your body needs which will result in​ weight gain. Start to​ become more aware of​ your internal cues for hunger and satiety (fullness). You will be amazed how many times you wait too long to​ eat and how often you eat past full and enter into stuffed. It’s common for all of​ us to​ do this from time to​ time. However,​ it’s time to​ check in​ with yourself and see how often you are falling into these food patterns. Listen to​ your body,​ it​ will tell you when you are physically ready for food and when you are ready to​ stop.

6. Exercise regularly-
I know,​ this isn’t anything you haven’t heard before but it​ is​ a​ crucial part of​ weight management. it​ is​ important to​ engage in​ regular aerobic and weight bearing activity. the​ aerobic exercise helps you to​ burn the​ fat and weight bearing activity increases your metabolic rate. Muscle burns up to​ 90% more calories than fat. the​ more muscle mass you have,​ the​ more calories you will burn in​ a​ day. By adding three to​ five pounds of​ muscle you could actually burn 100 - 250 additional calories a​ day. This combination of​ aerobic and weight bearing activity is​ what really kicks weight loss into gear.

7. Limit sugar-
Sugar becomes a​ major issue for many people wanting to​ lose weight. Not only does it​ add calories,​ it​ also causes insulin spikes leading you to​ store more calories as​ fat,​ it​ stimulates your appetite,​ and is​ a​ major food trigger for emotional eaters. However,​ it​ doesn’t mean you need to​ go all or​ nothing. When people try to​ omit all sugar from their diet they can become obsessed about sugary foods and end up in​ a​ binge. Find the​ right balance for sugar. Avoid daily use of​ sugar and instead have some guiltless treats once in​ awhile. a​ little cake at​ a​ birthday party or​ some ice-cream with friends is​ a​ good way to​ incorporate sugar once in​ awhile to​ avoid the​ negative outcomes.

8. Pamper yourself regularly-
Who wants to​ argue with that?! the​ reality is​ many people eat for emotional reasons. Food makes us feel good on​ many levels. the​ problem occurs when eating becomes the​ only coping mechanism your subconscious knows of. This is​ why that pesky urge to​ emotionally eat is​ so strong. it​ is​ hard to​ reason your way out of​ it. For many people food is​ the​ only thing they know that makes them feel better. When you start to​ do other things that make you feel good on​ a​ regular basis such as​ taking a​ hot bath,​ going for a​ walk,​ having a​ hot cup of​ tea; then your subconscious starts to​ register these activities as​ coping mechanisms as​ well. Over time this will decrease the​ constant urge to​ use food. You can’t expect to​ have a​ bad day,​ go take a​ bath and not have an​ urge to​ eat. it​ is​ something you need to​ do regularly and something you truly enjoy so your subconscious starts to​ recognize it​ as​ a​ new choice.

© 2005,​ Meri Raffetto

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