How to Diet to Lose Weight

Trust Your Gut

Hurry, hurry, hurry. Step right up and get your super duper magic weight loss program guide. Carrot sticks, celery and a teaspoon of maple syrup for 4 weeks and you are guaranteed washboard abs! Only (insert price here)… yeah right. Look, going on a diet for the long term does not work. What does work is when you change your way of eating, that is the true meaning of the word diet. And no diet can exclude important nutrients like protein, carbohydrates, or fats, because your body needs them all in proper proportion to function correctly. If you think a diet plan sounds extreme or too good to be true, it most likely is.

What makes a good diet plan?

Eating enough does, and that's what the good diet plans like The Diet Solution Program recommend. If you are battling cravings, make sure you have the major nutrients, namely carbs, fats, and proteins in each meal or snack. Again, I would even allow myself carbs at dinner if the I felt I would otherwise binge late at night. Certainly, the former is the lesser of two evils. Shoot for 5 to 6 smaller meals per day in order to keep your metabolism high and your body optimized for burning fat all day long. A good diet plan has to facilitate a caloric deficit when accompanied with an exercise regimen. Often times 1200 calories is the daily intake target for those trying to lose weight, with 600 calories from carbs, 360 from protein, and maximum of 240 calories from fat. This is probably one of the least taxing diet arrangements and is very easy to stick to.

Common Pitfalls

Do not deny yourself of guilty pleasures completely as you set yourself up for the inevitable splurge, guilt trip, and possible depression which leads to many people quitting their program altogether. I usually watch my diet like a hawk on weekdays, including my keeping portions and caloric intake on a small notepad so I know exactly where I may be deficient nutrient-wise. On Saturdays, I just eyeball my intake without writing things down. And on Sunday, I simply eat what I want assuming I made it to the gym and stuck to my diet all week long. That doesn’t mean I grab a tub of ice cream but I will have 1 candy bar or piece of pie. Allowing myself this dietary latitude keeps me from straying during the week just because I haven’t seen a Snickers bar for a month.

Easy Substitutions

The following is just a quick list of easy food substitutions. Replace…

  • Whole milk with skim (save about 60 calories & 7.5 grams of fat per cup)
  • Soda with water (save about 97 calories & 27 grams of carbs per 8 fl oz)
  • Butter with non-fat butter spray (save about 140 calories & 15 grams fat per once)
  • Any dressing for vinaigrette (save… a heck of a lot)
As you can see, these little adjustments quickly add up to save you fat calories. Look to expand on this list based on what you normally eat. Remember, a healthy diet is the sum of all parts.

Sticking To It

By far, the hardest part of any diet is staying on track. There are so many temptations throughout the day. So many opportunities to fail. We simply must keep our goals in the forefront of our mind and dig deep for the resolve to be who we want to be. I have a little quote on my fridge and although I have no idea who said it, it resonates. “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.”

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