Over the years, you’ve probably learned the hard way that dieting simply does not work. Almost any of the popular weight loss programs will show results in the short term, but when you return to your old eating habits, the pounds come right back.
â?¨So, before you think about trying another diet, I want you to “reframe” how you think about food. Say to yourself: “I’m not going on a diet to lose weight; I’m going to change how I eat, once and for all.”
This is the key: altering your relationship with food—permanently. Not for two weeks, or three months, or even a year—but forever.
There are no “quick fixes.” You have to make a lifestyle switch that focuses on controlling your behavior, not the food (which is what most diet plans amount to). Fortunately, these five tips that help you reach your ideal weight will as little discomfort as possible.
- Eat Lots of Fiber—Soluble and insoluble fiber are a key part of weight control. Soluble fiber comes from fruits and berries. Insoluble fiber is found in low-glycemic, complex carbohydrates like beans, lentils, chickpeas, asparagus, and broccoli.
As a bonus, foods with a low glycemic index put glucose into your body in a slower, more sustained way, for fewer food cravings and steadier energy. Plus, fiber gives you a feeling of fullness, and cleanses the gastrointestinal tract on a regular basis.
- Drink Lots of Clean Water—Eight to 10 glasses a day of ordinary, clean water help flush toxins through the kidneys and keep your body hydrated. Water also swells the fiber in your stomach, making you feel fuller, reduces the amount of fat stored in your body, and cleanses body organs of the excess sodium hidden in many processed foods (prepared soups, potato chips, pretzels, soy sauce, beverages, pickled foods, and cured foods like hot dogs, ham, and bacon).
Note: Plain water is better than “mostly water” drinks. Caffeinated drinks may artificially overstimulate the nervous system, while soft drinks and alcoholic beverages are loaded with useless calories and sugar.
- Eat Plenty of Green Foods—Green foods, also known as superfoods, are rich in chlorophyll, minerals, and other precious nutrients and fiber. I always recommended one to two servings a day of leafy dark green veggies (such as spinach, kale, and broccoli), and juicing with a variety of vegetable sources two to three times a week.
- Exercise Regularly—No diet is complete without regular exercise, which increases your metabolic rate, allowing you to burn more calories, even as you rest. Find an activity that you enjoy, such as walking (a least a mile a day), dancing, swimming, strength training, aerobic exercise, or some combination—and do it enthusiastically at least four times a week. Over time, not only will you keep your weight down, but invigorate your heart and other vital organs at the same time!
- Eat More Healthy Fats—Healthy fats, such as those you get from fish, nuts, and olive oil, will help increase the rate at which you burn calories. One of the best ways to lose weight and improve your health is to replace the “killer” fats so prevalent in most diets with the healthy fats essential to proper body functioning.
Unhealthy, or saturated, fats are abundant in such “favorites” as red meat, cold cuts, mayonnaise, and dairy products (especially milk fat and butter). You must avoid all hydrogenated fats like those found in pastries, cheese, crackers, margarine, and processed oils. These products contain the worst killer fats, the so-called “trans-fatty acids,” and are truly dangerous.