No matter what the experts say, dieting is not like riding a bicycle. Whether you’ve ridden in the Tour De France or are still on training wheels, bike riding technique always comes back quickly and with ease like you never stepped away from the saddle. This is NOT the case with dieting, however.
Whether you’re 65 and you’ve been “dieting” all your life or are on your first bout to try and get rid of the freshman 15, dieting does not come with any more ease on the tenth go around than it did on day one.
The following list is comprised of diet tips for “beginners,” but let’s face it, every time we hop back on the bandwagon and pick up the diet reigns again we all tend to feel like beginners.
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1. Set Realistic Goals
We know this isn’t what you want to hear (what you want to hear is that we’ve discovered a method of breathing that allows you to shed 5 pounds a day), but it’s the reality of it. Those who set realistic weight loss goals are more likely to hit them and remain motivated than those who vow to lose 10 pounds per week.
Why? Because those who set attainable goals are more likely to maintain their diets when they hit those goals. It seems obvious, right? You’d be surprised however at the number of people who set out with big dreams of tremendous weight loss and then crash and burn after week one and run to the Oreo aisle to soothe their confidences.
Start small, especially if this is your first time dieting. Even if you have ample weight to lose it’s not safe to lose more than 1 pound per day, and realistically, a goal of 1 pound per week is considered “attainable,” especially if you’re working your way into habits that will turn into a lifestyle.
2. Up Your Water Intake
For those who aren’t used to drinking that much water daily, this is going to be a shock to your body (and in the number of times you’ll be visiting the restroom). The rule of thumb for daily water consumption is:
***Drink half your body weight in ounces of water daily.
For an individual weighing 150 pounds, this means 75 ounces of water or 3-4 medium water bottles. Starting carrying a water bottle with you everywhere you go. The plastic kind with a straw tends to be the best because you can sip out of them whenever you want (without having to screw and unscrew a cap).
Drinking water is going to affect your body and weight loss in 3 main ways:
1). Staying hydrated allows your body to function at its peak (this means your metabolism will stop being so sluggish and start burning calories).
2). Consuming more water than usual is going to flush your system of excess water that’s causing you to bloat as well as rid your body of toxic build-up that can attribute to weight gain.
3). Drinking water when you’re hungry helps bring on a temporary feeling of fullness. You can naturally control your appetite and fight off hunger cravings by drinking more water.
3. Follow the 3-3-3 Rule
When planning meals, it’s important that you follow the 3-3-3 rule. This means you divide your plate into thirds and fill one third with veggies (or a salad), one third with protein (preferable lean meats like chicken, turkey, or fish), and the last third with a healthy grain like brown rice, quinoa, etc.
Dividing your plate this way (particularly your lunch and dinner plates) allows you to balance your meals properly and also helps with portion control.
You can use this method while grocery shopping as well. Another rule of thumb for the healthy eater is to only shop around the perimeter of the grocery store (where less processed foods are found). This way you can focus your meals on foods consisting of the 3 groups we mentioned above.
4. How to Avoid Hunger Cravings
When you start a diet (no matter how many diets you’ve done in the past), you’re going to fall victim to hunger cravings as your body weans itself away from being fed whatever, whenever it wants.
Hunger cravings can range from simply being irritating to causing painful headaches, especially if you’re trying to come down from a diet high in processed sugar.
The headaches will go away but to avoid catering to these snacky needs you can:
• Chew a piece of sugar-free gum
• Drink more water (adding lemon to your water makes it less bland and more appealing)
• Get up and walk around
• Take a power nap
• Sip on coffee (the caffeine will settle your appetite)
• Eat a handful of nuts
• Brush your teeth
5. Find a Supplement that Caters to your Needs
Although weight loss supplements often get a bad rep, there are several on the current market that are not only safe, but that will actually help you reach your weight loss goals.
When looking for a weight loss supplement that’s right for you, it’s important to consider your weight loss needs and decide what you truly struggle with.
If portion control is the issue, you need to look for an appetite suppressant, if you have trouble maintaining an exercise program because you’re constantly tired, then fat burners often contain mild stimulants to give you the “get-up-and-go” you need to go yourself to the gym. Lastly, if you’re over 30 and you feel like your metabolism is keeping you from burning an adequate amount of calories then you should be looking for a metabolism booster or thermogenic diet pill.
The most effective weight loss supplements are those that contain a variety of ingredients that attack weight gain from all of the angles mentioned above.
diet tips for beginners additionally, to be absolutely safe and take care of your health, we suggest speaking with your health care provider and discussing and medications you’re currently taking to make sure the weight loss supplement you choose isn’t going to interact negatively with any of the meds you’re currently taking.
Ready, Set, Go
Whether you’re a rookie or an old-timer in the realm of dieting, the first week is going to be the hardest as you change your diet drastically and begin to exercise regularly. Don’t give up though when the headaches set in and your energy drops. Your energy, stamina, and mood will improve as you begin to see your efforts rewarded with results.
Start now and don’t become frustrated when you cheat or skip a day at the gym. There’s never going to be a good time to give up your favorite foods and losing weight is a process that takes work but as you make the practices we talked about part of your daily routine, you won’t find yourself having to “diet” quite so often.