Weight Loss & Lifestyle Changes

There are hundreds of weight loss programs out there. Most make grandiose promises of quick and dramatic outcomes, but often they come at great risk to your health, and the results rarely last. But they are popular because most people are not willing to alter their lifestyle in order to lose weight. They often focus only on superficial and immediate gains, creating yo-yo weight loss and frustration.

The hard truth is, if you want to drop weight permanently, then you need to make permanent lifestyle changes. This doesn’t mean giving up everything you enjoy. Start withmaking small changes that can give you positive, encouraging feedback to help you transition to a healthier, happier, and trimmer you.

It comes down to making choices and breaking old bad habits. Is the guilty pleasure from that cookie or ice cream worth the well-being you get from being healthy and in shape? Do those brief moments of pleasure last? Do they make you feel good about yourself after the indulgence is over?

Healthy foods can be tasty and delicious; you just need to retrain your taste buds. The first ingredient to cut from your diet is salt, first by removing the salt shaker from the table, then by cutting out salt when you cook. Salt overexcites your taste buds and makes anything that doesn’t contain salt taste bland. There are plenty of sodium free seasonings that will give your food plenty of flavor—try new, exotic spices in place of salt. You will be amazed at how painfully salty processed foods will start tasting once you’ve become accustomed to a salt-free palate.

Start slowly introducing healthy foods into your routine. Drink a fruit smoothie for breakfast (try bananas or strawberries blended with water or yogurt) and eat as much fruit as you like before EVERY meal. I experimented with a vegan diet (a diet that contains NO animal or dairy products at all) during the day, then ate whatever (healthy!) foods I wanted for the evening meal.

Small increments will help you change your lifestyle without being so traumatic that you won’t be able to stick with it. These small steps will not only dramatically improve your health, but will have a big impact on your ability to lose weight. Don’t rely on hyped-up diet supplements and flashy programs that burn you out so that you can’t stick with them. They can all help you drop those first few pounds, for those first few weeks, but if you’re not willing to make a permanent lifestyle change, your weight loss is not going to be permanent either.

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