Many people think that dieting is one of the hardest thing that they have ever done. For most of them, that is probably true. Unfortunately, what many of these dieters do not realize is that dieting is a lifestyle. A person cannot go on a six-month diet, lose a lot of weight, then go back to their old ways and expect to maintain their new weight.
Luckily maintaining a weight is much easier than actually losing weight. There are a few simple lifestyle changes to make that will work for a vast majority of people. Here are four.
1. Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is not dieting. Rather, it is choosing when to eat and when not to. It involves scheduling out your day so that you skip certain meals and eat more for other meals. Many studies have come out that show that this actually works incredibly well. It can be thought off as a semi-diet that lasts forever.
There are dozens of ways that people choose to structure their intermittent fasting, whether it is one day of fasting a week with six days of eating what you want, or skipping lunch every single day.
The concept is that if you skip a meal and eat as much as you want later, you will still end up eating less overall. Many people have reported that intermittent fasting helps them to not only maintain, but continue to lose weight after a diet.
2. Avoid Bored Eating
A lot of research has been done on bored eating. Let’s face it. Eating is interesting and fun, and when we get bored the first place we often go is the refrigerator.
Unfortunately the foods we eat while bored are usually the worst foods for us. There are a number of ways to eliminate bored eating, or to dampen it. One great way is to simply not buy foods that are easy to eat when bored. If you must buy foods like this then try to have some low-calorie easy alternatives on hand all the time.
3. Portion Control
This is one of the biggest influencing factors on whether or not an individual gains weight again after dieting. There are many different reasons that people eat more than they should. Surprisingly it often doesn’t stem from simply a desire to eat until one’s stomach hurts.
Many people feel the need to eat everything that is on their plate regardless of how full they are. They will up their plate with as much food as the plate will hold when they are hungry, and then regret it halfway into the meal. However, they feel obligated to finish the meal because some people are not as blessed as the are.
This is not advocating to throw away one’s food. Rather it is important to build your meal in such a way that that the food runs out right when you are at a healthy, full level. You can do this by putting much smaller portions on your plate when you start eating, or there are actually some great programs out there, similar to dieting programs, that offer portion-controlled meal delivery. I use a company called Nutrisystems. You can see a great review and explanation of how they work here.
Researchers say that it takes 21 days to build a habit. The day you stop your diet is the day to start structuring your habits. Many people do not realize how unhealthy their habits are until they make a list and look at them. For some people it is a morning coffee run every morning. For others it is a candy bar every time they go to the store, or a 12-pack of soda that they buy every time it goes on sale.
Spend the day after you stop your diet deciding which habits you will allow back into your life. Find alternatives to some of your worse eating habits. This simple step could save you from ever having to do your diet again.
These four aren’t all inclusive, but following these simple steps can ensure that you never have to get on that awful diet again.