Let’s be honest – How do you feel when you hear the word diet? For many people, dieting is a way of life. The problem with dieting is that it often persuades us to think only about the number on the scale, rather than about our health and well being. Rather than reaching for some number on the scale, it’s better to reach for health and wellness goals, even if weightloss is part of that equation. The aim to any ‘diet’ or healthy lifestyle choice should be health over hunger. Nobody should spend their days dreaming of bowls of pasta or slices of pizza. If you’re trying to lose weight, here are some tips and tricks to help you succeed without starving.
Monitoring your calorie intake
When you go on a diet, many programs and plans will encourage you to try and cut down your calorie intake dramatically. However, this is not always the best option. There’s a reason why nutritional experts recommend a daily intake of between 1,800 and 2,200 calories for women. Cutting this figure down to 500 calories per day may cause you to lose weight, but there’s also a very high risk of health problems associated with surviving on a low-calorie diet. Many people aren’t aware of how many calories they consume on a daily basis, and this can be problematic. You may be exceeding your intake every day without even realizing. It’s very easy to count calories these days. Use an app to keep a food diary for a week and see where you are in terms of the figures. If the numbers are too high, you can start trying to bring them down.
Eating to train
Health professionals always recommend a combination of healthy eating and exercise to achieve sustainable, long-term weight loss. If you’re training, you need to make sure that your body has fuel. If the tank is empty because you’ve skipped breakfast or lunch to try and drop that dress size, you’re not going to be able to give it your all in the gym. Your calorie intake should fluctuate depending on your activity levels. If you’re sat at a desk all day, you probably don’t need 2,000 calories per day. If you’re jogging in the morning, you have an active job, and you’re finishing the day with a Pilates class, you’ll need more energy. Take care with training supplements, as some may not be suitable for you. A male bodybuilder may reap the rewards of using Tongkat Ali extract, but that doesn’t mean that it’s a universal remedy for building muscle mass. Ask a personal trainer or your doctor for advice before you add supplements to your diet. Most people find that they are able to enjoy the benefits of regular exercise by following a healthy, balanced diet.
Cravings can make it very easy to throw the towel in. If you’re eating well and exercising regularly, there’s nothing wrong with having a treat meal or item every week. But consider your treat wisely. You can enjoy a piece of cheesecake or burger every once in a while, but think of those breaks in your healthy eating as a small choice. And don’t take cheat days. As you begin to eat healthy and make smart food choices your body will crave those items less, but you can blow an entire week of smart eating by gorging on a ‘cheat day.’ Plot it out. Take a cheat meal perhaps when you are going out with a friend or for a celebration, but don’t skip all healthy choices. For instance, an evening out could mean enjoying a cold beer or two but making smart choices about the food you order. Or the other way around, enjoying the burger and fries but sticking with water.
Dieting isn’t something most of us look forward to. There’s a belief that you have to cut out foods and eat less to lose weight, but this isn’t always true. Usually, long-lasting weight loss comes from a change in lifestyle – healthy choices which include much more than the food that you eat. The key lies in finding the right balance.