I'm always looking for ways to motivate myself to stay the course on my diet, until I reach my goal of losing another ten pounds. I picked up a copy of 'Prevention' magazine and here are some great tips to help you get back in touch of your goal of staying fit and healthy:
1) Weigh yourself regularly - Actually this originally read as weighing yourself once a day, preferrably in the mornings. However, since I'm following Weight Watchers, I will stick to a once a week relationship with my scale. The point is, weigh yourself regularly so that you don't lose touch with your body. Going for weeks, months and even years will only support a disconnect between your brain and your body. That's when the pounds creep on.
2) Watch no more than 2 hours of TV daily - This is easy for me since there's usually nothing good to watch anyway. The point is that too much television watching leads to a more sedentary lifestyle which includes mindless snacking. This not only goes for adults, but for kids as well.
3) Contact a friend three times a week - In other words get yourself a diet and/or fitness buddy. We need to support each other in our quest for success. At the very least try, an internet group like weightwatchers.com or diet.com (click the icon in my sidebar for more information).
4) Eat at least 4 grams of fiber at every meal or snack - There is no downside to eating more fiber. It fills you up faster and speeds up your digestion. The end result is that it takes less fiber to make you feel full, which leads to gradual weight loss. Switch from white flour products to whole grain breads and cereals. Add more vegetables fruits and legumes (beans) for a healthy diet program.
5) Take 5 thousand extra steps a day - Get yourself a pedometer to help measure your steps, then find out where you can gain some extra steps to help you increase your metabolism, lower your cholesterol and your blood pressure, and help you get in shape. Park your car further from the mall, take the stairs when you can, walk your dog an extra block (they need more exercise too) and turn off your TV and get up and walk instead, on your coffee break, instead of a donut, grab a co-worker and go for a walk.
6) Keep a diary and exercise journal - Write it down! When you see it in black and white, it holds you accountable for your actions or non-actions. Keeping a food and exercise journal will help you reach your goal and stay on track.
7) Get a good night's sleep - Try to sleep at least 7 hours a night and get to bed earlier and wake up earlier, if possible. Bad eating habits start in the wee hours of the morning and if you are sleeping at that point, you are not snacking. Get up early and take a walk, you'll feel better!
8) Drink eight glasses of water a day - If you are exercising regularly, it's important to replenish fluids, but water can also speed up your metabolism and fill you up when you are looking for a snack.
9) Skip the overtime - This is hard for a lot of people who depend on over time at work to increase their paycheck. Some of the worst eating habits begin at your desk. If you must work overtime, keep healthy snack in your desk like apples, bananas, raisins or pack an extra turkey sandwich on whole grain bread and drink water instead of coffee as much as you can.
10) Stay away from refined sugar - This alone will probably keep you from gaining weight and might even help you lose some weight. Stay away from cookies, cakes, sodas and candy like jellybeans, all laden with tons of refined sugar. Let me put it this way, for every ten points you shave off your glycemic index (that's refined sugar), there could be as much as a ten pound weight loss overall. Also anything white, has more refined sugar, including pasta, rice and potatos. Switch to whole grain pasta, brown rice and red potatos for less sugar and more fiber.