Effective dieting requires a healthy combination of positive intellectual and emotional outlook.
Want to lose weight? As obesity reaches an epidemic scale, one of the best decisions you’ll ever do is to trim down your body fat. But with many dieters expressing their frustration in keeping up with their fitness regime, it pays to double-check your dieting methods to ensure success.
Dieting is not an easy task. It requires tons of self-discipline and determination to make it work. Aside from these values, researchers have found out another important ingredient to make dieting an astounding success: positive emotions.
A study found out that emotions play a vital role in determining the success of dieting. While thoughts are used in planning for a diet, feelings come in when the person actually experience hunger. Since in-depth thinking and self-control are clouded when powerful emotions get in the way, dieters would eat on impulse, thus sabotaging the original plan. Feelings come automatically and intrude only when actual dieting takes place.
To regulate the negative effects of emotions to dieting, researchers recommend associating positive feeling to the dieting program, like choosing healthy foods that they really want. They also advise dieters to pause for about one minute before making any food decision.
While limiting food intake requires discipline coupled with positive emotions, doctors and nutritionists recommend these smart tips for a successful dieting regimen:
- Forget crash dieting
Crash dieting not only takes a toll on your body, it also throws your body into a starvation mode. Once in a perceived famine, the body reduces its metabolic rate, making it harder to burn calories. Afterwards, when you begin eating again normally, your body stores as much food as possible in fat cells inside your body in case of another “famine”.
- Substitute healthy foods for less healthy ones
The successful dieting means not to starve yourself but to eat healthy foods in place of the less healthy ones. Consuming healthy foods means taking in more fresh, raw fruits and vegetables and cutting down canned and other processed foods. If you cannot resist eating snack foods, substitute high-calorie variants with lower-calorie ones. The trick is to choose the less dangerous ones.
- Cut down soda with plain water
Soda drinks contain a huge amount of calories and sugar. Statistics shows that you can save around 360 calories or more by completely removing soda from your diet. Also, don’t be deceived by “diet”, low-fat, no-sugar variant. A Journal of the American Geriatrics Society study published in Time magazine revealed that diet soda drinkers gained almost triple the abdominal fat over nine years as against nondrinkers. Nothing can replace water in replenishing our thirst.
- Exercise often
Keeping your body moving is an important ingredient to an effective dieting program. The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least a total of 150 minutes to 300 minutes (roughly 20 to 40 minutes) of moderate aerobic exercises weekly. These activities should be done at least thrice a week. While entering into a sport or any fitness activities is ideal, a simple walk to school or work or riding bicycles will do.
- Reach your diet goals one step at a time
Small gradual changes are key to a long-term change in diet. Aside from being easier to stick, it ensures a more lasting effect. Create a diet plan for the entire year segmented into workable weekly goals to achieve results.
- Don’t overeat
Stop eating when you feel full or even satisfied with a meal. Our body does not need an overfilled stomach, which overburdens our body. Instead of overstuffing your digestive system, eat small portions of food more frequently throughout a day. This way, your stomach will have an easier time to absorb the nutrients from your food.
- Savor your meals
It will take a while for the nutrients in your food to reach the area in your brain that regulates appetite. So it is ideal to eat your meal slowly to savor the aroma and the flavor of the food. Your mindful eating will give time for your brain to release leptin and other hormones to make you feel full.
- Change your lifestyle
To gain a lasting effect on your diet, you should change your lifestyle completely. Forget about crash diets and unsustainable exercise regimen. You need to change your focus to cultivate habits that will lead you to reach your realistic, achievable goals.
One’s success in dieting is also dependent on age. Both men and women start to feel changes in their bodies associated with lower levels of sexual hormones, diminishing the supply of testosterone for men and estrogen for women just before or during menopause. Natural bioidentical hormone replacement therapy or testosterone replacement therapy may act as supplement for weight loss dieting for people 40 years old and above.
Losing weight and maintaining ideal body mass index (BMI) needs a mixture of an intelligent approach to dieting and positive emotions to be successful.
Tony Chester Miller is a freelance content editor who wants to promote wellness and healthy living by writing articles and blogs. He is an EzineArticles expert author.
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