POPSUGAR FitnessSource: 6 Habits For Successful Weight Loss
If you're trying to lose weight, you may be confused by conflicting information about how diet and exercise affect dropping pounds. To lose weight and keep it off, you need to create a healthy lifestyle and healthy habits. Put thes six habits of successful dieters into practice and watch the pounds begin to melt away.
- Eat Your Veggies: Eating five to seven servings of fruits and veggies a day is important for everyone, but dieters who go heavy on the produce are more likely to lose and keep the weight off. Fruits and veggies are low-calorie foods often loaded with fiber and water, which is filling. Eating a diet full of plant-based foods offers a greater variety of nutrients with fewer calories.
- Get Cooking: Dining out occasionally is a lovely way to spend an evening, but don't make a habit of it. The secret ingredient at many restaurants is butter and excessive oil - in other words, fat. Studies have repeatedly shown a relationship between number of meals eaten out and greater weight gain. Cooking your own meals helps you not only control the ingredients in your meals but also helps you manage the portions.
- Eat Whole Grains: Whole grains are high in filling fiber and offer important nutrients like vitamin B6, which helps reduce PMS symptoms (and hopefully keeps those intense chocolate cravings at bay), and skin-beneficial vitamin E. Eating whole grains means your calories from carbs provide nutrients you need. Choose whole grain breads too, since refined white flour has little nutrient value and is higher on the glycemic index than whole grain flour.
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- Get Active and Stay Active: Physical activity, be it training for a half marathon or biking to work, is important for losing weight and keeping it off. Going to the gym is great, but don't skip out on everyday movement that helps burn calories - take the stairs, walk your dog, vacuum vigorously, bike to dinner, garden.
- Practice Portion Control: Portion control is essential for taking off weight and keeping it off. Healthy foods, like nuts, eaten in mass quantities will still pack on the pounds. Moderation is the key for a healthy lifestyle. One food where we tend to go overboard with portions is pasta; a portion of cooked pasta is one cup, about the size of a light bulb. Go with whole wheat pasta too. You can have your cake and eat it too, but just not everyday and not the whole cake.
- Keep Track of Your Eats: Keeping a tally of all the calories you consume in a day can help you stay on track. Many studies have shown that dieters who keep food journals lose more weight. If you have made it to you ideal weight, keeping a food journal is way to ensure you maintain your healthy weight. Here's our downloadable food journal if you like to use pen and paper. Or track your caloric intake on your iPhone.