Good news - the same eating and activity habits that will protect your overall health will also enable you to reach or maintain a healthy weight. Following these simple guidelines will help you achieve both goals at the same time.
The Food Guide Pyramid can help you plan a diet that is low in fat and high in carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables.
Increasing your physical activity doesn't necessarily mean strenuous exercise, it just means moving more.
Attitude plays a big part in taking positive steps to live more healthfully. Keep in mind:
If changing your nutrition and activity habits seems overwhelming, remember you don't have to do it alone.
Eating Light and Healthy
At one time or another, half the women and a quarter of the men in this country have tried to lose weight. There are no shortcuts. The secret to weight loss, is consuming less calories than you burn. The way to accomplish this is by eating fewer calories and increasing activity.
The only way to step off the diet treadmill is to find a weight-loss program that helps you lose weight slowly and steadily; one that trains you to adopt a healthy eating plan so simple it becomes a way of life. With that in mind, here is an introductory guide to the last diet you may ever need.
Establish Good Habits
Start Strong. People who eat a healthy breakfast generally feel less hungry throughout the day.
Curb Your Appetite. Drink a glass of water or some tea just before a meal.
Stop Counting Calories. The best diet foods are complex carbohydrates. Low in fat, fast-burning and rich in vitamins and minerals, they are also high in fiber, which means you can feel full on fewer calories. Eat whole-grain cereals, rice, breads, pasta, beans, nuts and some types of fruits and vegetables.
Eat What You Like. Nothing makes a diet more difficult than having to eat rice cakes when you can't stand them. A variety of foods keeps you interested, not bored with the same few foods.
Sit down. Train yourself to eat in one place, preferably at a table. It's too easy to overeat when meals are grabbed on the run or while standing in front of the refrigerator.
Slow Down. Eat slowly enough to give your body time to release the enzymes that tell your brain when you've had all you need.
Exercise. It burns calories and suppresses the appetite and it's awfully hard to lose weight without doing it. An easy way to get started is to strap on a pedometer and go for a walk, then work on increasing your mileage from one week to the next.
Don't Give Up. Falling off your diet once or twice does not mean the effort is hopeless. Simply acknowledge that you overate and get back on the plan.
Reward Yourself. Treat yourself with a massage, a piece of gourmet chocolate or whatever, for each week that you maintain your new weight.