Whether you have successfully finished losing weight or you are thinking about going on a diet there are small changes you can make in your lifestyle that will make a difference. The truth is no one goes to sleep at night and wakes up 50 pounds heavier the next morning. The weight was added gradually, an extra soda or latte here, a dessert you didn’t need to eat there.
Changes don’t have to be big in order to be effective, neither do they have to be painful.
Since the end of the 70’s we have been eating more and exercising less. As school systems throughout the country axed physical education programs and home economics for budgetary reasons, waistlines have expanded at an alarming rate. We have the worst possible combination of events; a growing population that knows very little about the food they eat or how it is grown and produced. The lack of understanding and ignorance about our bodies and the importance of exercise is tragically breathtaking.
So, what to do, what to do? Consider that if you go back to your old eating habits after losing weight you will most likely gain back those pounds. If you lost the weight, the diet worked. Making the necessary lifestyle changes a permanent commitment is the difference.
Here’s a list of simple changes you can make that will make a difference. Taken individually, they won’t do much, but remember we are looking for lifelong lifestyle changes. Taken together they will make a difference between pounds gained or lost at the end of a year.
- Eat fresh fruit daily if possible, or a minimum of three times a week. Buy canned fruit packed in extra or very light syrup or juice, never heavy syrup where all the calories are.
- Buy tuna packed in water, not oil. When making tuna salad, consider the number of calories in mayo and sour cream and consider that less is more. A mixture of both will lighten the calorie load.
- Need a chocolate fix? Buy the miniature size dark chocolate candies and place them in the freezer. You don’t need to completely eliminate any food; that will only make you feel deprived. Instead, limit the number of miniature candies in a day to four or approximately 125 calories.
- If you are heavy salt user try a product like Salt Sense. It is real salt, not a nasty tasting substitute. Start using more pepper. There are so any types of pepper. Best of all, pepper adds taste without adding calories.
- Add olive oil and garlic to your regular diet, both are proven to be very beneficial in addition to adding flavor to foods. They are a big part of the Mediterranean diet which is once again gaining in popularity. CNN reported that recent studies show people eating this heart-healthy diet have healthier brains.
- Skip the cheese and never super-size anything if you are eating fast food. An extra slice or two of cheese can add as much as 250 calories to an already calorie burger.
- Always return your shopping cart. Why? Because this is a way to get you burn additional calories. While you are at it and if time and children permit, take an extra lap around the grocery store. There are multiple ways to add extra calorie burning activities to your lifestyle if you take the time to stop and think about it.
These are easy steps that can make a difference in your health. There are many more, but this is a good start to get you thinking about the kinds of changes you can make that can become a permanent part of your life.
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