Many of us, just like me, put on a few extra pounds over Christmas and the holiday season. Losing those few extra pounds doesn’t need to be a chore. Here are some of the things I have done to get rid of those few extra pounds, and as a bonus, I have gotten myself fitter at the same time. Grab your partner or a friend to take along the journey with you. You will keep each other motivated.
Dieting and better eating tips
- Breakfast – Never skip this meal, as it sets you up for the day ahead. Choose a whole grain toast, add an egg or cheese, or have your favorite cereal as long as it is not laden with sugar and salt. Oats are a good choice, as they stick with you for a few hours. Choose plain yogurt, fresh fruit, and a handful of unsalted nuts.
- Drink plenty of fluids each day – Being dehydrated can make us feel hungry. By keeping a bottle of water with you during the day, you will increase the amount you are drinking. Avoid too much fruit juice because of the sugar and avoid any fizzy drinks, as they will bloat you with gas. Have your favorite tea, coffee, or herbal tea, but avoid too many milky coffees. Always choose skim milk for your favorite latte, and don’t have any sweet syrups. If you must have one, save it for a special outing when you sit down and really enjoy it.
- Fresh fruit and vegetables – Choose from the vast variety of seasonal produce, and make sure you grab colored vegetables and fruits, as they contain antioxidants and phytochemicals. By eating a lot of colored veggies, your body is getting all the vitamins and fiber it will need. Aim for five servings of veggies and two or three servings of fruit each day.
- Plan a week of meals – If you do this and then go shopping, you will only buy what you need for the week. You won’t be tempted to buy extras that don’t fit your meal plan.
- Lean meat – By choosing lean cuts of meat or removing any fat before you cook it, you are looking after the health of your heart. Turkey is leaner than chicken, and look for a mince with a lower fat content. Grill meat so the fat can run away. Don’t fry meat in butter or oils, as you are just adding fat to your diet that you don’t need.
- Eating out – You can still eat, but watch out for creamy sauces and dressings and sweet drinks.
Just by taking your tea and coffee without that spoon of sugar, you will lose pounds over a year, but by eating better and adding more fresh fruit and veggies, you will lose even more.
Getting fit tips
- Decide on a goal and stick to it – Choose a goal of how much weight you would like to lose. Don’t aim too big or you will just be disheartened when it takes so long. Pick, say, five pounds, and when you have lost that, aim for five more. If you want to lose 20 pounds, though it sounds good, it will take you quite a long time and you may lose interest before you are halfway there. By choosing smaller goals, you are more likely to achieve your weight loss and fitness.
- Change one thing at a time – Don’t get all enthusiastic and go all out and get a gym membership. Plan to run every day, and cut out all fats and sugars. Just change one thing at a time. As many of us can’t afford a gym membership or there is not one in your area, just go for a walk every day.
- Choose to do one physical activity every day – It can be mowing the lawn, gardening, housework, taking the dog for a walk, or playing in the park with the kids or grandkids. You can even look for a new activity you like, such as playing tennis, baseball, basketball, or cycling. If you like an activity, there are more chances of you actually doing it.
- Draw up a schedule for a fortnight – Plan out two weeks at a time with your activities. It doesn’t matter if you miss one day each week due to weather or work commitments.
- Don’t dismiss stretching, Pilates, or yoga as physical exercise – Be kind to your joints and do some low-intensity activities, too.
As you can see, with a few changes, you will start to lose some weight and get fitter each day with just a little exercise incorporated into your day. Remember to have fun and don’t be hard on yourself if you break out for a day. Just get back straight back into it tomorrow.
For more healthy eating tips, follow Dr. Foodle.