Step 1: Setting Realistic Goals
Let's start by writing down your intentions because research has proven that clearly putting your goals on paper are more likely to turn into actions. Make sure you are specific and realistic when you write down your goals. Of course, being in a positive mood is going to help hopeful thoughts have more direction (I would like to lose 20 pounds). Next, find a suitable time frame for your goal. Losing 40 pounds before summer season starts next month is unrealistic! Also, write down your reason for wanting to lose weight. A lot of normal weight people believe that will solve their emotional problems.
Step 2: Keep an Eye on Body Composition Changes
This is the key to ensure you are losing fat and not muscle. Take your measurements once a month that include chest, hips, waist, upper arms, thigh and calf. This lets you see where you are losing the most fat and how your body composition is changing. Take measurements prior to your workout when your muscles are still cold.
Step 3: Control the Amount of Weekly Weight Loss
Everyone turns to the fast weight loss campaign because marketers use dieter's 'wants' to hook them into their program. The first week you can lose up to 4.5 lbs because this is mostly stored glycogen and water. After the first week, aim to lose 1lb per week because faster weight loss usually sees a loss of lean tissue.
Step 4: Have a Food Diary
A food diary is so important for tracking your water and food intake. You need to evaluate your eating habits for a well balanced diet or what nutrients are lacking. I look at what nutrients were lacking and take a supplement for it that day. Some days it is vitamin A and others it is calcium (or other nutrients). Every spoonful of sugar and every drop of milk in that tea counts!
Researchers believe the psychology of dieting is different between people who diet and the non-dieters. From a demonstration by Dr. Barbara Rolls and colleagues at Penn State University, those who worried about their weight had a yogurt snack an hour before lunch, continued to eat more for lunch than the those not worried about their weight. They concluded that dieters can't seem to compensate for previous food intake and have poor appetite control (Rolls & Shide, 1992). Other things noted by psychologists about dieters are:
Ignore hunger cues that lead to periods of restraint followed by semi-starvation then over-indulgence then guilt
More emotional personality when pre-occupied with weight
Rules established by allowed and restricted foods
Maintain a food diary so you are always aware of food consumption. Just because it wasn't written down, doesn't mean it wasn't eaten. Over-indulging can be burned off through exercise instead of stressing about the guilt.
Step 5: Never Consume Fewer Calories than Your RMR
You can risk losing excessive lean tissue when your intake is less than your RMR. It can be dangerous to have a low calorie diet less than 1000kcal. RMR is your resting metabolic rate which is the energy used by your body doing the most basic functions at rest.
Check out the Holistic Weight Management - fat loss program to help transform your body, learn a lifestyle change that balances hormones and helps prevent future disease. Diabetes begins with metabolic syndrome then becomes hypoglycemia, if not reversed. Hypoglycemia can develop into pre-diabetes and then type II diabetes just from years of a poor lifestyle and eating habits.