You want to get healthy and lose weight, but you have no idea where to start — and you’re overwhelmed. Well, I can’t tell you that there is a magic pill that will help you lose weight, the right way. I can, however, give you a list of some of the most important things I did to lose 145 pounds:
1. Stop dieting.
Diets are not sustainable and they are hard on your body. Part of the problem is that diets are focused on weight loss, usually from calorie restriction. That leads to you feeling like you are being deprived, which is not an enjoyable experience, so then you “cheat” on your diet, get frustrated, and usually give up until the next fad diet with big promises comes along and the cycle repeats.
2. Eat real food.
The key is to focus on food QUALITY. If you are eating meals that are all fat-free, no-fat, low-fat, sugar-free, or refined in any way, it also means they are NUTRIENT-free. While those types of foods may seem convenient, they won’t keep you feeling satisfied like nutrient-dense foods will. Think about balance every time you eat. You want each meal to contain a protein (like lean, grass-fed meat or wild-caught fish), a healthy fat (like avocado or coconut oil), a whole grain (like quinoa or barley), and lots of veggies.
3. Make eating simple.
Stop counting calories, points, grams, or whatever else you have been counting. Keep it simple by thinking of your plate as your roadmap to success.
Fill half your plate with low or non-starchy veggies like broccoli, green beans, peppers, mushrooms, and dark leafy greens. Then one quarter of your plate should be a quality whole grain or starchy veggie such as barley, quinoa, sweet potato, or wild rice. Finally, the last part of your plate should be filled with a protein such as fish, beef, eggs, chicken, turkey, pork, or something like tempeh if you are a vegetarian.
4. Eat breakfast every day.
Simple, right? But this is the thing that most people skip. Eating breakfast shortly after you get up revs up your metabolism and gets you ready for the day.
Imagine trying to drive your car with no gas. No breakfast is kind of the same thing. Plus, skipping breakfast can lead to binging later in the day. Eating a healthy protein-containing breakfast can not only help you lose weight, but it can help reduce cravings and burn calories. For the record, doughnuts, bagels, most breakfast cereals, and other highly refined items do not cut it as a balanced breakfast.
5. Don't keep temptations in your home.
If you have to have it in your house because someone else wants it, have them put it someplace where you can’t find it. Keep veggies cut up in your fridge so that if you feel like you need to nibble on something you have easy access to that instead of reaching mindlessly into a bag of chips.
6. Get moving.
I’m not talking about being in the gym seven days a week; even walking is a good start! Try walking three days a week for 20 minutes, then work your way up to 30 to 60 minutes per day almost every day of the week. It’s not only good exercise but also clears your head!
Photo courtesy of the author
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