January is the month of resolutions, and with the new semester already here, we are more determined to hit the ground running. Most collegiettes promise to maintain a healthier lifestyle for the upcoming year; however, there are right and wrong ways to doing so. Dieting, unfortunately, is one of the worst ways to lose weight and get healthy.
By definition, a diet is restricting yourself small amounts of food in order to lose weight – key phrase being “small amounts.” If you were not aware of this already, dieting has many negative side effects in comparison to positive side effects – each varying between individuals. You probably would never imagine yourself having a weight loss disorder; but, why take that risk?
There are simply no short cuts when it comes to losing weight.
First, determine whether you are making this lifestyle choice for yourself: not for your significant other, your family members, or for anyone else. You have to choose to do this for yourself. By doing so, this will help to motivate you to push through, and prevent you reverting back to your old habits.
Second, establish your short term and long term goals. Additionally, I recommend using an app called My Fitness Pal as a starting point. This app allows you to save both short term and long term goals, as well as helps you track and visualize your progress. I encourage you to use this app so that you can keep your personal data, and entries in one place; however, if you are not careful, you can easily become obsessed with this app, or any other weight loss apps and programs.
Third, find a regime that works for you. Everyone is different in terms of what they like and dislike. Regardless of your preferences, to lose healthily lose weight, you have to learn portion control, and find ways to substitute certain ingredients in your daily eating. It’s not a bad idea to start meal prepping here and there. Meal prepping allows for you to plan out the bigger meals of your day for that upcoming week. This helps you control the type of ingredients and the number of calories you are using for each meal. This doesn’t necessarily have to dictate drastic changes in your eating habits – it’s simply a guide to help you.
It is never a good idea to starve your body of the food it craves, or prefers. This may cause you to become tempted, and may potentially lead to binge eating the food you deprived yourself. To counter act certain foods, such as pizza, or burgers, etc. portion control is going to be your new best friend. Portion control can range from how much of an item you eat in a week, in a day, in a meal, etc. This allows you to make changes to your new diet based off of your demands and preferences. Allow yourself to have 2-3 cheat meals per week. This will allow your body to ween off old food choices without depriving it from what it craves.
A way to help portion control and meal prep is ingredient substitutions. Try to switch out fatty, empty calorie, sugary, etc. ingredients with healthier ones. Stick to lean meats, and try to avoid as much red meat as possible. Don’t cut your carbs, just be mindful of them. Keep in mind that carbohydrates break down to simple sugars; therefore, if you’re cutting down your sugar intake, you don’t have to worry as much about the number of carbs you put in your mouth. Replace items with artificial sugars and sweeteners with real sugar, and or fruits.
These are some general tips and tricks, but there is an endless amount of heathy combinations you can indulge in. All you have to do is take the time to look it up, and apply the information you found to what accommodates to the lifestyle you want.
You should go through this lifestyle change at your own pace. Remember, every body works differently, and it’s not a competition to see who can lose the most weight, the quickest. It is important that you start and continue this process in the healthiest way possible. Everything is healthier in moderation.
Here are a few more of starter tips to help you lose weight:
- Drink lots of water: Similar to the Earth, your body is composed of 70% of water. In fact, your body sometimes confuses itself with dehydration, and hunger. Therefore, by drinking water, this may reduce the amount of hunger you feel throughout the day, and prevent you from over snacking. To bring some life and flavor to your daily water intake, try adding ice and infusing your water with delicious fruits.
- Cut back on the sugar: Your body is like a sponge when it comes to finding a quick source of energy. However, sugary foods and drinks are a cheap way for your body to gain energy. Instead of drinking bubbly sodas, and sugary juices, find healthier alternatives that also taste good.
- Don’t skip breakfast: Breakfast is an amazing time to eat (especially with delicious breakfast foods). There are many benefits to eating a healthy and balanced breakfast – including the improvement of your metabolism. Breakfast will help you feel more energized and full throughout the day.
- Hit the gym: The gym is where all the magic happens. Working out is fastest way for you to shed off your body fat and convert it into muscle. Many don’t understand how one can go to the gym regularly, but in all honesty, getting started is the hardest part. Once you get into a set schedule, it becomes habitual. The more you exercise, the more you burn, and the more energized you feel. Keep in mind, numbers aren’t everything because muscle weigh more than fat.
There are many different ways to lose weight and becoming healthier overall. However, it is a hard earned effort and commitment to maintain a healthy lifestyle, which you will come to love. Overall, becoming slim, fit, and toned does not revolve around numbers, or anyone else except yourself.
Until Next Time xoxo
**as written on her campus.com/unt**