The following are my top ten dieting tips you should be following when you start a new fitness program. Incorporate these tips if you want to reach your weight loss goals.
Drink a Lot of Water
The human body is around 60% water, and certain parts of it like the brain, lungs, and muscle are even higher. It plays a vital role in nearly every body function. A short list includes:
- Transports nutrients through the blood
- Lubricates joints
- Helps control body temperature
- Helps digest food
- Transports waste material from body
Water is essential to life, and is a major component of every cell in the body. It makes every body function work more efficiently. It’s a great weight loss aid because it helps reduce confusion between hunger and thirst.
The two most popular days that people start their diets are tomorrow and Monday. Maybe you’ve heard it before, or maybe you’re guilty of it yourself. It goes a little something like this:
You want to start losing weight, but pizza sounds really good tonight. So you tell yourself that you’re starting your diet tomorrow. Or hey, why not Monday? That way you can start off the whole week right.
Start your healthy diet today. Chances are, if you tell yourself you are going to start your diet in the future, you will continue to push it off to another day.
Today is a good day…start NOW!
Eat Your Veggies
Vegetables are packed with vitamins, nutrients, and fiber. They are nutrient dense and calorie sparse, and they help to fill up your stomach. This is a great benefit when you are feeling hungry. A short list of these vegetables include:
- Brussels Sprouts
- Green beans
It’s next to impossible to eat too many of these foods. They are so full of water and fiber that it makes it hard to eat too many calories from them. Eat up!
Don’t Eat Too Little
Eating too little can be just as harmful to your diet as eating too much.
Your body is programmed for survival. When you don’t eat enough calories, your body sheds what it doesn’t need first. Fat is energy. Your body does not look to shed fat first. It needs the energy. Instead, it sheds the unnecessary muscle that it would need to carry around and maintain.
If your body thinks it is starving, its survival mechanisms will kick in, and it will rid itself of what it doesn’t need. Muscle is highly energy intensive to maintain, and that will be the first to go.
If you don’t want to lose muscle, you need to maintain a positive nitrogen balance by eating enough food to keep the body’s starvation mechanisms at bay.
Shop the Perimeter of the Grocery Store
Where you shop in the grocery store is directly correlated to your fat loss success.
Stop and think about where you shop. Do you go up and down all the aisles? Do you tend to avoid the aisles and shop around the perimeter?
The best foods for losing weight and being healthy are going to be found around the perimeter of the grocery store. This is where you will find the fresh meats, eggs, poultry, dairy, fruits, and vegetables.
Try to avoid the aisles. They are mostly packed with processed foods that will work against you in your dieting efforts. The foods there are calorie dense and nutrient sparse – not a good combo for fat loss.
Buy Body Fat Calipers
Body fat calipers are one of the best progress measuring tools out there. They differentiate between weight and fat. They are cheap, and you can usually do most of the skin fold tests yourself.
The most important thing to be measuring when dieting is your fat loss, not your weight loss. Your body composition is what matters.
Body fat calipers can keep that motivation going when the scale isn’t moving and your mind starts to play tricks on you. You are making progress – measure it the right way.
Get Past the First 48 Hours
The majority of diets fail in the first 24-48 hours. There are many reasons for this, but the main one is because food is addicting. When you eat food, your body undergoes many of the same physiological and emotional responses as it does when drugs are ingested. Neurotransmitters are released, and the “feel good” chemicals circulate the bloodstream.
Before you started dieting, you were more than likely eating a lot of processed foods that were high in sugar that registered high on the GI (glycemic index) scale. When these foods are ingested, it sends a lot of glucose to the brain at one time, and because of this, many “feel good” neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin are released at once.
During the first 24-48 hours of dieting, these neurotransmitters are lower than usual because you are eating slower digesting/lower GI foods. Because of this, your body starts craving what it used to have – sugar.
You had an addiction to processed food, and withdrawal is setting in. Stay strong and get past those first couple of days. Once you have a new eating routine down, it gets easier.
When Eating Out, Look Up the Menu Online First
Most restaurants nowadays have their menus posted online. Planning what you are going to order beforehand can help prevent you from making bad food choices when rushed at the restaurant.
Many times when we are out eating with friends or family, we end up being rushed or pressured to find something to eat. Healthy eating takes time and planning. Know what your meal’s calorie content is supposed to be before you go to eat, and then find something that fits from the online menu.
Take 5 minutes before you leave to view what’s healthy on the menu. You’ll end up thanking yourself when you walk out of the restaurant, and you won’t get discouraged from derailing your progress.
Make Your Diet Public for Motivation
Is being overweight and unhealthy not enough motivation to keep you going? Then why not try making your diet progress public for motivation.
Try starting a free blog and keep a daily journal of what you eat, your exercises, and your progress. You should do this anyways. But instead of keeping it private, invite your friends and family by giving them the link.
Sometimes a little accountability is what we need to keep us motivated. I think you might be surprised by the amount of positive reinforcement you receive from friends. And who knows, you might even inspire them to start a blog of their own.
Stop Looking at the Scale
The scale is a poor tool to use to monitor your fat loss progress. A scale measures the force of gravity on your body. Weight is far down on the list of valuable measurements when it comes to dieting.
Lets look at an example:
Man # 1 – 180lb man at 20% body fat = 36 pounds of fat
Man # 2 – 180lb man at 10% body fat = 18 pounds of fat
Both of them check the scale weekly and see that their weight never changes. It’s obvious that Man # 2 is going to have the better physique. He carries half the amount of fat on his body that Man # 1 does. But the scale will never show that.
There are much better ways to measure your progress. Try looking in the mirror, using a tape measure, taking progress pictures, or using body fat calipers. Whichever method you use, try to stay off the scale. I’ve seen it discourage too many people that were making good progress.
Use these top 10 dieting tips when you’re ready to embark on a new weight loss journey. They can save you a lot of the frustration that comes with changing your lifestyle.