When it comes to eating, there are two types of people: Those who live to eat and those who eat to live.
People in the first group – those who live to eat – are always thinking about what they are having for their next meal. Most of the time, they aren’t wondering and worrying if they’ve consumed too many calories for the day. The pleasure they receive from food overrules the basic rules of health and nutrition.
Those in the second group – those who eat to live – still enjoy food and might also be thinking of what’s for supper, but they also incorporate working out into their daily routine in order to lose weight or maintain their current weight. They understand the basics of balancing nutrition and exercise.
Whichever category you fall into, we all have to follow the basics of weight loss: In order to lose weight, you have to burn more calories than what you eat – creating a caloric deficit. It’s just that simple. Food has calories and if you don’t want those calories to add a spare tire around your mid-section, or land on your hips, you have to burn more than you acquire from eating.
But don’t let it discourage you. With a good knowledge of nutrition and exercise, everyone can still look forward to what they’re going to eat next and not worry about putting on some extra pounds. Here are some tips to keep you in the caloric deficit and keep losing or maintaining your goal weight.
Create healthy eating and exercise habits.
Don’t fall for the latest fad diet that might have you eating only one type of food for a certain amount of time. Studies have shown that people who go on fad diets will lose weight and when it’s time to start eating “regular” food again, they start gaining. Sometimes they’ll gain more than they lost in the first place – this is called “yo-yo-ing” with your weight. It’s discouraging and unhealthy.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you shouldn’t lose an excessive amount of weight in a short amount of time. It’s just not good for you. Rapid weight loss can be a contributing factor in malnutrition, gallstones, dehydration and imbalances of electrolytes, which can cause fatigue, dizziness, constipation, irritability, headaches, muscle loss, irregular menstruation, and hair loss – to name a few. Scientific studies have proven that it can take between two and eight months to establish a new habit. Keep that in mind when you are struggling with that new goal of going to the gym every day.
Set attainable goals.
Nobody wants to fail, it’s just human nature. We all want to reach the goals we set, and when we reach those goals it makes us feel so good that we want to reach the next one and the next one – you get the picture. Look at your overall goal – maybe it is losing 50 lbs. – and break it down into smaller goals. Knowing that you are going to have eat less and exercise more, creating a daily caloric deficit, will help you determine how much you can eat and still lose weight. Start off with a realistic goal of losing 10 lbs. in 30 days and see if you can manage the daily changes in what you eat and how much you exercise to meet your goal. If it works, keep up the good work. If you have difficulties, find some non-food related rewards to motivate you and keep working on it.
If you are wanting to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, always remember that fad diets aren’t going to work in the long run. Establishing healthy eating and exercise habits can take time, and knowing that setting reasonable goals is more realistic than a complete 180-degree turnaround in everything you eat and wondering why you aren’t losing weight overnight.
And if you are one of those people who live to eat, just remember that you’ll live a longer and healthier life if you become someone who eats to live AND exercise. A caloric deficit is a secret to weight loss success.