More general diet and weight loss tips

1. Your goal should be to be healthy, not thin. Never get so obsessed with losing weight that it affects your health of your quality of life. Work on a sustainable plan for healthy living and start enjoying your life!

2. Balance your energy requirements and your intake. It is important for you to develop a healthy balance between the numbers of calories / kilojoules (energy) that you consume each day and the energy your body needs to sustain your current lifestyle. The better the balance, the healthier you will be. Increasing exercise and eating smaller portions of healthy food will also help your body to use up the consumed energy more effectively, and convert some of the stored fat into energy. The end result…you lose weight at a faster rate.

3. Keep in mind that muscle weighs more than fat. Charts and web-sites often suggest your ideal weight based on height alone, and do not take into account muscle mass. Never risk losing muscle to attain your target weight. When you feel healthy and comfortable with yourself, stop trying to lose and switch to maintenance mode.

4. Make sure you get a good night’s sleep! For most of us, that means around 8 hours sleep per night. If you don’t get enough sleep, you will really battle to lose weight. You will automatically be less active, and more prone to binge-eating in an attempt to lift your energy levels.


5. Keep a food diary, listing every single thing you eat every day. It can be as simple or as detailed as you like. You just have to make sure that you to keep track of everything that you eat – especially in the beginning of your weight loss program. A food diary will help you to understand your eating habits and how your body reacts to certain food groups.

6. Never starve yourself to lose weight. Your body will go into starvation mode. It will think food is scarce and will do everything in its power to protect you, including storing everything it possibly can as fat (in preparation of more lean periods ahead) and by burning as little as possible energy. You may even end up gaining weight instead of losing it! Eat smaller portions of a greater variety – but never starve yourself.

7. Include green tea into your diet. Green tea has many health benefits. One of the most important benefits for people who want to lose weight is that green tea stimulates your body’s metabolism. It increases the rate at which fat is burned! Consider switching from coffee to green tea in the morning and the benefits will be almost immediately visible.

8. If your plan isn’t working for you adjust it. If you have adopted a weight loss plan and you find it too difficult to continue, find ways to adapt the plan to suit your lifestyle or tastes rather than discard the plan in its totality. Maybe you can change the frequency, timing or duration of exercise sessions, or substitute certain foods you dislike with suitable alternatives. As long as it works for you it is fine. Just stick with it!

9. Be aware of what you are eating. One of the big benefits of just about any diet you can think of is that it results on you being aware of how much you eat. Knowing what and how much you are eating will help you to adjust your lifestyle consciously as well as subconsciously. If you keep a food diary, this will happen automatically.

10. Talk to your medical aid / health insurance provider. It way well b the case that your insurance carriers reimburse or reward members for participating in a weight loss program or a fitness club! This is a great way to offset the cost of making a healthy lifestyle change!

11. Talk to your GP / doctor before taking any weight loss pills. Many people’s lives have been negatively affected by ill-chosen weight loss supplements. Many of the hot selling diet supplements over the past decade have ended up being harmful. Before taking anything – even if it claims to be all natural – discuss the matter with your doctor or nutritionist. The short term gains these pills provide are overshadowed by the potential long term risks to your health.

12. Don’t forget that rapid weight loss is harmful. Research has proven that people who lose weight at a rate of 3 or more pounds per week are approximately 20% more likely to develop gallstones and other gall bladder related problems. When you lose weight quickly you are also significantly more likely to put it back on again (and then some!)

13. Find a cure for boredom and cut your eating. If you tend to eat more when you are bored, find something to occupy your time. Consider a new hobby or taking up reading again. Try to avoid television when you are bored, otherwise the combination of mindless entertainment and enticing commercials may tempt you back to junk food and other unhealthy snacks.

14. Work out why you want to lose weight. One of the best ways to motivate yourself is to understand the reasons you really want to change. Make a list of all the reasons you can think of. Make a shortlist of the most important reasons, and review it frequently. This list also works on a subconscious level, making it easier for us to stick to our plans.

15. Visualization. If you have a nice photo of yourself from the last time you were at your target weight, taken when you felt good about yourself, and put it up on the fridge. Visualize your ideal body everyday at least once. Imagine how good you’d feel, how easy and effortless you’ll move around and how much more energetic you will be…..

16. Learn new ways to manage stress. Most of us reach for high fat comfort foods and curl up on the couch when we are confronted with stressful conditions. Sometimes we’re so strapped for time that we eat anything just to keep going, and at the same time stop all forms of exercise. Help yourself stick to your weight loss plan during stressful times by finding healthy ways to relieve stress. A vigorous workout can be a great stress reliever. And don’t forget that a good massage is both stress reducing and a wonderful reward!

17. Never go shopping for groceries on an empty stomach. If you need to stop at the grocery store on the way home from work, make sure that you have eaten before you enter the store. Even a protein bar, glass of water or some other small healthy snack can help you to combat the urge to buy items not conducive to healthy eating habits.

18. Keep your blood sugar levels even. Eat smaller portions of healthy food more frequently during the day. This will ensure a more consistent release of energy to your body, and the also more consistent blood sugar levels. This will prevent you from getting those hunger pangs that result in an eating frenzy, and will help keep up your energy levels.

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