Saturday, February 10, 2007

Beyond Dieting: How to Keep the Weight Off For Good

For many people the hardest part about dieting is not losing weight but keeping the weight off. The reason for this is because many people fall back into their old habits of eating not long after their diets have ended and become afflicted with yo-yo dieting.

However, successful dieters will tell you that it is important not only to know how to lose weight but how to keep it off for good.

One method that successful dieters use to keep their weight off is by proper planning of their meals and activities.

Planning Your Meals

Meal planning is perhaps one of the single most important steps you can take to keeping the weight off and getting control of your eating habits. As a part of your weight management efforts, you should try to plan your weekly meals so that you stock your kitchen with the healthy and nutritious foods and snacks. Having a healthy choice of food in your pantry and your refrigerator can serve as a preventative measure against binging or snacking on foods that may cause you to fall back to your old eating habits.

Planning Time for Exercise

Additionally, your weekly planning should also include some form of exercise. Keep in mind that research shows that exercise is one of the most important factors for maintaining weight control. Therefore, scheduling exercise into your routine is a crucial step to managing your weight.

Keeping a Food Diary

Keeping a food diary may also be essential to you keeping your weight under control. By monitoring your food and activities in a diary, you may be able to identify any problem areas you might have, before they become major issues.

Additionally, one of the things you can record in your food diary is the times of day that you feel tempted to snack. By writing these times down, you may be able to plan activities for yourself instead of succumbing to your cravings.

Dealing with Cravings

Being prepared to deal with your cravings is another important aspect of weight control. Most people experience cravings at one point or another. However, knowing how to deal with these cravings separates the successful dieters from the unsuccessful ones.

One strategy that you can follow when you begin to experience cravings, is try to outlast your cravings. Research shows that most cravings go away after 20 minutes, so if you can outlast your cravings without giving in, it will eventually pass. Additionally, instead of giving in to your cravings, do something pleasant like taking a relaxing bath or talking to a friend on the phone.

Eating Out

Long term weight management doesn't mean you can never eat out. What it might mean, however, is that you may need to prepare yourself mentally in advance for the experience. For example, one strategy is if you know you are going out for dinner, maybe you can try to mentally plan out what you might order before you get to the restaurant. Having an idea about what you are going to eat before you get to the restaurant may prevent you from over-eating once you get there.

Additionally, if you know ahead of time that you are going to eat out, try to eat a little lighter, earlier in the day. Also, once you are at the restaurant, try to skip any appetizers and desserts and go with the main meal of the evening.

Although learning weight control can be a challenge for many people, it is important to realize that by being conscious of your habits and by monitoring yourself, success can be yours and you can learn to manage your weight and keep the pounds off for good.

If you are taking your diet program seriously, make sure to check out the top weight loss site fitness calculators, diet tips and dieting news at right away.

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