If you’re like most people, you want to lose weight. It’s a pretty normal desire, and one that is simultaneously motivating and debilitating. We’re surrounded by endless sources of information that tell us to eat this, not that; this study says this, this study says that; if you just do this, you’ll lose that; if you don’t do this, you won’t lose that. It’s confusing and wearying, yet each time another study or article catches our eye, we hope that this will be the one that has that magic piece of information that will make the weight loss happen, or happen quicker, or happen easier.
Weight loss is something you have to work at all day, every day. There is no magic pill or food type or supplement that will make it happen without time and effort. You will have to deprive yourself of food that you enjoy and there will be plenty of times when you will have to say no when you want to say yes. It will be difficult. But yet people do it successfully every single day.
The good news is that there are many paths to successful weight loss. The bad news is that for the average person, at least 80 percent of losing weight has to do with eating. Unless you are a full-time competitive athlete, there is not enough time in the day to exercise enough to counteract any significant portion of calories consumed. Your weight loss goals will be attained quicker and more effectively with exercise — both cardio and strength training — but for this column, let’s focus on nutrition tips, with the ultimate goal to eat less calories.
1. Keep a food diary. Write down everything, and I mean everything, you eat. You will be amazed.
2. Drink more water. Invest in a really cool water bottle, it helps a lot. Or write down your water intake.
3. Plan your meals in advance so you don’t end up downing a bag of chips for dinner.
4. Be cautious eating out. A restaurant’s job is to make food taste good, not help your weight loss goals.
5. Make friends with vegetables. Full of fiber, good for you and you can eat large quantities because most veggies are so low in calories. (Careful with potatoes.)
6. Just because it’s healthy, doesn’t mean its low calorie. For example, nuts. It is very difficult to stop at just one ounce.
7. Alcohol is high in calories and tends to stimulate appetite. Choose accordingly.
8. Every day is a new beginning. If you did eat that bag of chips the night before, let it go and start anew.
9. Don’t bring it into your house and you will not be tempted to eat it.
10. Eat more whole foods, eat less processed foods.
Pritam Potts, owner of Advanced Athlete LLC, is a NSCA-certified trainer and strength coach with 12-plus years of experience working with athletes and clients of all ages. Her specialty is in functional strength applications, developing core and overall strength and coordination specifically for the purpose of enhancing the body’s ability to function optimally and safely in athletic movement. She is now accepting new clients, and you can connect with her online at www.facebook.com/mrsathlete and www.twitter.com/mrsathlete.