Dieting Vs. Making Changes

I have been involved in the health and fitness industry for over 30 years, and usually, the number one question I always get is - "how can I lose weight?" This question has baffled modern day mankind for years. Humans at any age can gain weight, sometimes within their control, other times, not within their control. Usually their initial reaction to weight gain is "I need to go on a diet."

For many, a diet may not be the answer. In fact, most people do not diet correctly, as they deprive their body of important macro-nutrients (Carbohydrates, Proteins, & Fats). For example, many people want to cut fat from their diet, but fat can play an important role in maintaining a healthy body. There are good fats to eat (Unsaturated Fats) and bad fats to eat (Saturated Fats). But, digesting fat is important to maintaining and regulating hormone levels, body temperature, insulating the body, protecting organs, and for the transport / absorption of vitamins A, D, E, & K. For many when it comes to weight loss, eating in moderation, educating oneself on nutritious eating, and simple changes to some habits can go a long way in helping you lead a healthy lifestyle.

Dieting can be effective for many, but must be done properly, usually under the direction of your doctor, nutritionist, or dietician. For many adults who put themselves on a diet, the end result is not what they expected, causing them frustration and the feeling of giving up.

So, what is the trick to losing weight? Quite honestly, there is no trick, but for many, simple changes can make a huge difference. Here are some suggestions that may help you curb your appetite and lose some extra pounds

1. Hydrate properly. Simply cutting back on the liquid candy or alcohol consumption can make a big difference in weight gain for many adults. Drinking water has many benefits.

2. Try to get physical activity every day. Going out for a 30 minute walk each day is rewarding and a giant step towards healthy lifestyle.

3. Eat a healthy portion at mealtime. The old saying, "You have a big plate to fill" does NOT apply here. Your portion can be smaller than the actual plate size.

4. Get plenty of sleep. Sleep keeps the hormones related to appetite stable, so your brain actually knows when you a full at a meal.

5. Avoid simple carbohydrates. These processed or refined foods (cookies, cake, candy) will give you a quick energy spike followed by an energy dive. They also get digested faster causing you to be hungry sooner.

6. Snack properly. For many, snacking is done out of convenience. Go to the pantry and choose something quick and easy. Try to get healthy snacks in the pantry that are filling and healthy.

7. Eat fruits and vegetables. Yes, this one is so obvious. many do not take the time to consume five servings a day as they are rich in antioxidants, dietary fiber, complex carbohydrates, and nutritious.

- Len Saunders is the author of Keeping Kids Fit a nationally recognized for his work teaching families about leading healthier lifestyles.