10 Tips To Be A Successful Dieter
The first rule of dieting is not to take off too much too fast. Do that and you lose energy, which is bound to show up in your job performance. Go slowly and don’t expect miracles.
Studies have shown that the most successful dieters lose about a kilogram a week, at the most. It doesn’t sound much, but the weight loss is steady and tends to be permanent.
The second rule is to be prepared for fluctuations and plateaus in weight
Retention of water in the body, food in the stomach, the amount of water lost through perspiration and daily kidney and intestinal functions can make your body weight vary a kilo or so.
Further more, your pattern of weight loss might not be steady. Sometimes your tissues and skin may not shrink back as fast as the fat is being lost and the resulting “empty space” gets filled with water.
Eventually, the underlying tissues and skin will shrink and the fluid will stop accumulating. Then, too, weight is affected by activity and in periods when you are less active you’ll probably experience a temporary slowing of weight loss.
Another important guideline to successful dieting is to eat slowly and chew food well
If this sounds like your mother talking, well, mum is right. When you gulp food down, you won’t feel satisfied because it takes at least 20 minutes for the stomach to signal the brain that it is satisfied.
Eating fast also tempts you to have seconds. One student, who fights a daily battle against gaining weight, has found that eating with chopsticks forces her to eat more slowly.
I always put my spoon or fork down between mouthfuls so I won’t gobble, and when eating out, I always tell the waiter to serve the courses slowly (besides being a more pleasant way to eat, I find that I don’t eat as much).
Edith, a magazine editor, who was gaining weight because people were constantly taking her to lunch, loves this because “it doesn’t give me any time for dessert.”
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Following are more guidelines:
- Maintain a fairly constant calorie intake rather than the yo-yo kind of dieting where you alternately starve and gorge. The latter is not only unhealthy, it rarely results in a permanent weight loss.
- Many women eat too many calories because they are not aware of calorie traps. Buy a good pocket calorie counter and read it. Look up your favorite foods and see if you can find lower-calorie substitutes.
- Start a diet when you’re “up.” If things are going wrong, you’ve just changed jobs, or you’re up for a promotion, it will be harder because you’ll be worrying about other things.
- Be assertive. Eat only what you want and don’t let other people sabotage your diet. You must learn to say “no.” I have, and believe me, I haven’t lost any friends in the process. Many women use the “Well, he/she insisted” line as an excuse to indulge their own desires.
- Try eating four or five mini-meals a day, rather than limiting yourself to three. By eating more often, you won’t have as much of a desire to nibble.
- Listen to your stomach and eat only when hungry. Remember that hunger is different from appetite. Hunger is your body’s signal for food and it usually registers as pangs in your stomach; appetite is a highly emotional state based on the pleasure of eating.
- Be sure to include fiber in your diet. It is needed to make the digestive system function at its peak. Without it, you won’t have proper elimination. High-fiber foods are unprocessed fruits and vegetables, wheat germ, bran flakes, whole grain bread, soy beans, lentils. Have a variety so interest does not flag.
- Don’t skip breakfast. Your energy reserves need to be replenished to put you in peak shape for your working day. This doesn’t mean you need to eat a huge country breakfast, but have some thing to get you going. A cut up orange sprinkled with coconut, a bran cereal with honey, plain yogurt with fruit, a piece of cheese with fresh fruit and a couple of plain savory biscuits.
- Get enough sleep. Willpower weakens with fatigue.
- If you’re a snacker, save part of your lunch to satisfy your growling stomach at 3 o’clock or your dessert from dinner for a before-bed snack.