As the holiday season passes thankfully so does the urge to eat all the delicious food on offer. But the turkey, the pies, the candy and the treats all take their toll and before you know it you are letting your belt out to the next notch. The New Year is prime dieting time as we all look to shed these gained pounds but it is often hard for people to stick to their diet plan if they have not thought thoroughly about it in advance. Here are four tips to help you plan and maintain a diet, start losing the pounds and get fit both physically and mentally…
Good nutrition is the basis of any diet
It is tempting when dieting to strip your food intact down to almost nothing in order to see results fast but this is one of the worst mistakes you can make when dieting. Don’t try and skimp on the essentials. You always need the correct amount of vitamins and minerals to keep your body healthy. And yes, you also need the correct amounts of carbohydrates and fats to keep your body functioning normally. Most people forget that restricting the nutrients the body needs can have as drastic effect on the mind as it can on the body. If you don’t get the correct vitamins, minerals, good fats and complex carbohydrates you can become prone to irritability, anxiety and depression – all problems that will ultimately lead you back to the fridge. Keep eating good food and you’ll find dieting easier and the pounds will naturally fall off. If you do find yourself having trouble shedding the pounds it is reasonable to look at weight loss supplements as long as you thoroughly research the effects of these beforehand and talk to your dietitian about using such options.
People often start diets after they read of the latest celebrity craze in newspapers, magazines or online. It’s OK to find diets like this as that initially rush of excitement can help you overcome the first few days of dietary hunger. But beware, only start a particular diet after you have researched it thoroughly, finding both the pros and the cons of the diet and determining whether it is based on sound scientific advice or just anecdote. A recent addition to the diet canon that is based on science is the 5:2 diet. This plan suggests eating normally for five days of the week and then restricting your calorie intake on the other two. They say eating approximately 500 calories for women and 600 calories for men on these two diet days only is enough to lose 1-2 pounds per week, along with reducing biochemical markers for heart disease and diabetes. As long as you are eating well on the other five days this plan will let you lose weight steadily and safely.
Your ultimate goal should be a healthy body. Therefore you should start to incorporate some exercise into you regime as soon as you feel possible. It doesn’t have to be big. Studies have shown that just a 30 minute walk after eating can aid digestion and help the body metabolize fats and carbohydrates for energy instead of storing them. Once you feel comfortable you can always increase the speed or the distance or start going to the gym. But take baby steps, don’t try too much too quickly particularly if you are not that used to physical exercise. Just get used to a bit more physical exertion with each outing and even if you change your lifestyle slightly to just fit in a few walks each week you are already streets ahead of most dieters.
Cheating is good
The main reason people give up on dieting is cravings and the wish for a burger, or some chocolate or chips. They have a bad day, come home and gorge on comfort food and then feel bad and that they have wasted their diet. But they haven’t. Almost all dietary advice suggests having a day off once every one or two weeks. Then, even if the diet is hard, you have something to look forward to at the end of the week.
Hopefully, using this advice, you can look for a modest one or two pound loss per week and, even better than that, start to feel better in both body and mind as you become healthy and fitter.