One fad diet after another has led to nothing but disappointment; you need good dieting tips that work. Unfortunately, there is no magical combination of foods you can eat or pills you can take that will make the pounds fall off.
Do the Math
Losing weight is all about math: calories in versus calories out. First, calculate how many calories your body needs to maintain itself, depending on your age, height, weight and activity level. Use an online calculator like the one developed by the Mayo Clinic. Once you know how many calories a day you should take in to maintain your weight, you'll know how many you should cut out or burn off to reach your weight loss goals. For example, in order to lose a pound over the course of a week, you must cut 500 calorie per day.
Set Goals and Rewards
A healthy weight loss goal is around 2 pounds per week. Use a BMI calculator to determine a healthy weight range and set a goal for yourself. If you have more than 20 pounds to lose, try breaking up your weight loss goals into smaller targets. Make sure your goal is realistic, because if you become overwhelmed, you are more likely to give up.
Reward yourself for reaching each of your weight loss goals. Obviously, you shouldn't reward yourself by going crazy and eating whatever you want, but treat yourself to a new workout outfit or a manicure. The best rewards are those that reenforce your confidence in your body and inspire you to continue on.
Small Changes With Big Results
One of the biggest mistakes people make is telling themselves they are on a 'diet.' Instead of torturing yourself with visions of all the foods that are off-limits, which usually is a set-up for failure, focus on making small changing that ultimately add up to a healthier lifestyle and slimmer waistline. Here are some more good dieting tips that work:
- Eat your calories, don't drink them. Cut out sugary sodas, drink your coffee black or with a little skim milk, and try switching from regular to light beer. You probably won't miss these drinks that much, and it's an easy way to cut back without depriving yourself.
- Be active without going to the gym. Take a 15 minute walk when you need a break from work; park at the back of the lot and take the stairs; tackle chores around the the house and yard. These are all effective ways to burn calories and relieve stress without even putting in time at the gym. Try to fit in at least 20 minutes of activity each day.
- Eat what you love, just eat less of it. Some people make the mistake of buying low calorie and low fat versions of their favorite treats and using it as an excuse to eat the whole box. They end up taking in more calories than if they'd just allowed themselves a small but satisfying portion of the real thing.
- Start a food journal. Having to write down everything you put in your mouth might give you pause before you take a bite..
- Get a goal buddy. Call this person when you're feeling unmotivated and are tempted to eat the entire carton of ice cream, or call to brag when you've finally broke the plateau and lost those pesky five pounds. Also, consider posting on weight loss boards online or starting your own blog to document your success and hold yourself accountable.
- Don't make anything off-limits, but learn to make smarter choices.
The best dieting tips are those that you can permanently adopt as part of your lifestyle. You're more likely to lose that weight and keep it off than yo-yoing between extremes.