Researchers are saying that 60% of Americans are overweight. Studies are showing its cause may be linked to chemicals in our foods, things we were exposed to when we were children or still in the womb, and even to plastic containers we reheat our food in. One thing is certain though, American’s have lost sight of portion control. Even if the reason for our being overweight is due to the things above, we make it worse by our eating habits and lack of exercise. We can’t continue to blame outside forces when we’re not doing enough ourselves.
There are some simple rules to follow when you’re trying to lose weight. Just like with every new thing you learn, it takes practice and patience and you have to make good choices a habit. The first thing you can do is to eat right. We all seem to have excuses why we can’t eat right. We don’t have the money, we don’t have the time, we don’t know what to eat. But all of us can eat better. When you buy extra veggies at the grocery store then you don’t buy that extra package of cookies. You are putting one healthy thing in your grocery cart and eliminating something unhealthy. The will not only balance out but eating healthy can actually save you money. If you’re not eating out all the time, running to fast food places several times a week, then you will have more money in your pocket by the end of the week. Eating your meals at home, or preparing foods to eat on the run, can take more planning. But if you’re serious about losing weight and being healthy you will find ways to take the extra time to plan and prepare your foods.
Eating well doesn’t have to mean that you cut out all of your favorite foods. You need to make sure you get at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. You also want to limit the sugar and fat you consume on a daily basis. But it’s ok to have a piece of chocolate cake once a week if you want. Just make sure it’s not a huge piece. If you enjoy having chocolate every day then purchase a bag of mini chocolate bars and have one every evening. The key to being healthy, and staying sane while you do it, is moderation. If you have a day where you over-do it don’t kick yourself too much. Just acknowledge that you had too much and move forward and start making better choices immediately. Take a moment to think about why you over ate. Was the food great, did it make you feel better, were you distracted and not paying attention to how much you ate? Realizing why you make certain decisions will help you make better choices in the future.
You also need to exercise. This is another one of those things where people come up with excuses of “there just enough time”. Exercise doesn’t have to mean you spend hours at the gym. It can mean you take a walk with your family once a day or by yourself to clear your head. Or it can mean that on your lunch break you with co-workers and then eat your sandwich at your desk. You can also lift dumbbells while watching TV for 15-20 minutes each day. Think about ways you can bring exercise into your life. It’s ok to start out small but you need to do something active every day, even if that means going outside and playing with your kids.
While you’re exercising and eating well it’s helpful to keep a food journal. This will help you keep track of everything you have eaten, the amount of water you’ve had and any vitamins you’ve taken. You can also keep track how much you’ve exercised and what you’ve done. Some journals even give you extra space to right about how you were feeling that day. A food journal will help keep your honest about what you’re eating, help you to find patterns in why you over eat, and will be a great motivator when you can see that you are making a difference in the way you feel and look.
And lastly, invite someone to go on this journey with you. Everything is more fun if you have someone to do it with you. You can encourage each other, motivate each other and make exercising less boring. If you follow the above tips you will see a difference in how you look and feel. You will be happier, healthier and have more energy. People will notice the difference and want advice on how they can look and feel as good as you.