Friday, May 09, 2008

8 Healthy Habits for Weight Loss

"Eat slowly. Chewing and swallowing your food at a leisurely pace can help you keep from overeating. ... It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to "tell" you when you feel full. Until then, you continue to feel hungry and want to eat. ... .

Make changes gradually. Don't expect to change your diet and activity level overnight. Instead of switching all at once to a low-calorie eating plan, try gradually decreasing the calories of your meals and snacks. ... .

Keep a record. Keeping a daily log of what you eat and what physical activities you engage in can help keep you motivated to stay with your diet and exercise plan. ... .

Seek social support. You'll find it easier to maintain behavioral changes if you have the support and encouragement of others. ... .

Use a list when buying food. Stick to your grocery list, and steer clear of those aisles or areas with the kinds of calorie-dense foods that you need to avoid.

Out of sight, out of mind. At home, put the most tempting foods high up in the cupboard, at the very back of the fridge, or in other inconvenient spots. ... .

Don't go all out when eating out. Eat a low-calorie snack before going out; you're less likely to go off your diet if you're feeling full when you get to the party or restaurant. Go elsewhere for after-dinner coffee so you are less tempted to segue right into dessert.

Make a plan for special occasions. Decide how much you're going to eat before an event, and do your best to stick with that plan. ... .

Be a copycat. When eating with a group of people, look around. Who's eating the least? Who has the healthiest food on their plate? Model your eating habits on those people's.

Find physical activities that you enjoy. For example, if you don't like exercising outdoors on cold days, join a fitness club, or get an exercise bicycle and hand weights to use at home. If the problem is a time crunch, exercise in increments of 10 minutes whenever you have the time — before work, after work, or during your lunch hour.

Reduce stress. If you overeat when you are under stress, find a stress-reduction method that works for you: meditation, relaxation techniques, listening to music, exercising, or talking to a friend."

More here: How to Lose Weight and Keep It Off: Adopting Healthier Habits

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