Ramona Josephson has compiled 5 top reasons most people fail to maintain a healthy weight and some helpful tools to win at the nutrition game. The bottom-line. Don't try too hard. Your goal is to incorporate a healthy eating plan that is safe, fits your lifestyle and that you can sustain for life.
• Enjoy your favorite foods
Eating is one of life's pleasures. If you deny yourself your favorite foods you set yourself up to crave them. It's just a matter of time before you over-indulge! Instead, include the foods you love, be deliberate about when you choose them and savor them mindfully.
• Don't eat too little
Eating less than your body needs to maintain your metabolic rate is not smart or sustainable. You slow down your body's metabolic rate — the rate at which it burns calories to do basic functions like breathing. The result? When you inevitably return to your old eating habits, you will end up gaining the weight back and more. What you gain back is fat rather than muscle, making it harder to lose weight, because fat cells burn energy more slowly. Women need a minimum of 1,300 calories men need 1,600 calories.
• Don't skip meals
Going too long between meals without eating is a guaranteed set-up for weight gain. When your blood sugar drops too low, you can't think straight. You are no longer in control of your choices. You end up making choices that feed your cravings, not your body.
• Get support
It may be easy to begin a program on your own, because you are filled with motivation and determination. But let's face it, life can get in the way. Seek out a support system such as a buddy, a coach or an on-line chat room to share your challenges and successes.
• Avoid quck weight-loss
The maximum weight you can lose from fat cells is 1–2 pounds or ½ - 1 kg a week. Further weight loss is from water (a temporary loss) and lean muscle mass. This short-term weight-loss leads to long-term weight gain, since muscles help burn fat.
Ramona Josephson, RDN, BSc, is recognized nationally as one of Canada's leading nutrition experts. A best-selling author with the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, professional speaker and popular media guest, Ramona has won provincial and national awards for excellence in nutrition and health education. She is a spokesperson for Dietitians of Canada and Ask an Expert for Chatelaine magazine. Ramona runs a nutrition coaching practice in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada at 604/266-5517 and is the creator of the 90 Calorie DEAL™ weight-loss program now on-line at www.weightlossdeal.com.