Losing weight can be hard – if it weren’t the diet industry would be redundant, and we’d all be happy with our weight. Unfortunately, your body is still living in the stone age, when food was hard to come by, and calorie-rich food sources were highly prized. You are biologically motivated to seek out high-calorie foods, even though you know consciously that starvation is not likely. Add to this the psychological causes behind comfort eating and shifting the pounds can be quite a task.
ABC of losing weight.
At its core, weight loss is a simple arithmetical calculation: calories in (food) minus calories burnt (exercise). If more calories are going into your body than you are using, you will gain weight. To lose weight you need to reduce your calorie intake below maintenance levels (what you need to function each day) and increase your physical activity, so you burn off the excess weight. The problem is that each person’s reasons for gaining weight will be different, and the problems they have will respond to different solutions. It means there are hundreds of different diets and weight loss programs, and it’s hard to be sure which will work for you before you try it.
Hunger and cravings
If you’re eating less food than you would normally, you’re bound to feel hungrier, and if you’re depriving yourself of sweet treats or cheese in an effort to keep your calorie count down, you’re basically going cold turkey on things you’re used to eating. The diet you’ve chosen will affect the foods you are permitted to eat, but within those limits, there are a few things you can try to help curb the cravings.
A little of what you fancy
One option is to dress up your healthy snacks with a spot of indulgence. Carrot sticks, celery, and raw cauliflower are fantastically healthy and low calorie, but if they’re losing their appeal, you could try making something tasty to go with them, like the vegetable dip from pocketchangegourmet.com. Another possibility is to allow yourself a few your favorite foods, say a couple of squares of chocolate or a small wedge of strong cheese. They may seem like sins, but a little taste of something you are craving can often reduce the intensity of your desire. Of course, for some people, a little taste opens the floodgates and a binge ensues, so if this happens to you, then abstinence is the way. If you do find this method helps with keeping cravings under control, do make sure that you include the calorific content of your treats in your daily total, as even small amounts will add up and can’t be ignored.
In the end, the key to losing weight is to have the motivation and determination to succeed, coupled with a diet and exercise plan that suits who you are. New diets are being dreamed up all the time, and as long as they’re medically safe there’s no reason not to try them – somewhere out there the diet that will work for you is waiting for you to discover it, so don’t give up!