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6 crucial keys to weight loss success

There is no one-size-fits-all weightloss plan. Your journey to a healther you boils down to a lot of hard work, and having the right support system. Whether that means finding a gym buddy to keep you from skipping a workout, or having a supportive family that doesn't mind skipping the junk food. Wherever your path takes you, there are a few key moves you can adopt to help you get where you want to me!

 

Make healthy eating a lifestyle

Sure, you may find motivation from the latest gimmick or fad diet and maybe this will kick-start your weight loss, but ultimately a balanced, sensible approach is required for long-term success. Typically diets that work for the long-term are high in fruit, vegetables, lean protein and dairy, nuts and seeds, complex whole grains and low in processed foods and refined sugars. So what does that actually look like on your plate? A good rule of thumb is that half your plate should be vegetables. ¼ of your plate lean protein like fish, poultry, lean red meat. And ¼ of your plate a complex carb like half baked potato, rice, pasta or bread. 

Identify emotional triggers

Do you eat when you are stressed? Sad? Bored? Angry? Know your patterns so that you can find other coping mechanisms. Go to a movie, read a book, go for a walk, take a bath…be aware of your emotions and have a plan before it’s too late.

Keep track of everything

Research shows that people who keep food journals lose twice as much weight as people that don’t. Why might this be? 1. The simple fact alone that you’re willing to put the effort in to keeping a journal means that you serious about weight loss. 2. Helps you become aware of your eating patterns and triggers for overeating. 3. It also helps you keep accountable of every bite you put in your mouth – this helps you become more mindful. It’s best to record in journal right after you’ve eaten rather than trying to remember at the end of the day. You’ll be more accurate if you do it right away. Also try to be accurate about portion sizes. Don’t just write a cup or a piece, etc...actually measure – you don’t have to do this for life but it will be extremely helpful learning tool. We tend to consume much bigger portions than we think. You can use a pen and paper journal or something more high tech like an app on our phone – it doesn’t matter so long as you keep an accurate record. 

Fill up on protein

Research shows that protein fills us up more than carbohydrates do. Protein also limits muscle loss during weight loss. Distribute your protein intake over the day rather than concentrating it at dinnertime. Good sources of protein at breakfasts, lunches and snacks are:

Breakfast: egg-whites – the whites have the protein, the yolks have the fat. Have one whole egg but the rest should be whites. Greek yogurt is also an excellent source of protein. You can use it in a shake or alone topped with berries. Beware of healthy looking granolas though – they tend to be loaded with sugar and calories. You can also simply make a protein shake using a scoop of protein powder – mix with water only for a low calorie breakfast or if you need a bit more substance, then use half banana, berries and unsweetened almond milk.

Lunch: tuna packed in water, cut up chicken breast, smoked salmon, turkey slices – all good choices to top salads with.

Snacks: nuts and protein bars can be good choices but watch portions. 200 calories or less…which is equal to about a handful of nuts or 1 small low calorie protein bar (check labels – this can lead into next tip)

Read labels

Now that it’s required for restaurants to provide calories beside food items, make sure you take note of them. They can be very educational and help you understand why you may not be losing weight if you’re eating out a lot. Portions at restaurants tend to be large which can up the calorie counts even if you’re making healthy choices.

Don’t rely on willpower

Set your environment up for success. Avoid keeping tempting foods at home – ice cream, cookies, chips, etc. If you want a treat, take a walk to the ice cream shop and buy one cone rather than having the carton at home in your freezer. Don’t put dinner food on the table – it’s too easy to continuously refill your plate and help yourself to seconds. Instead portion your dinner onto your plate and bring it to the table. Take the extra food and place in the fridge for leftovers.

 

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