•Weigh yourself regularly- Weekly weigh-ins are better than daily ones. If you weigh yourself daily, you may get very frustrated when the number creeps up by one or two pounds overnight (usually just water retention). Choose one day a week (I like Wednesday mornings), and weigh yourself just after you’ve woken up and used the bathroom (sans clothing). Record this in your food journal. You’ll be able to track your progress and see any true weight fluctuations. Healthy weight loss is 1/2-2 pounds per week. Remember, in the week before and during your period, your weight will go up due to water retention and the thicker endometrial lining. Don’t look at it as an increase in fat weight nor as a time to panic. Maybe it’s a great week to take a vacation from the scale.
•Keep a food journal – Writing down what you eat, how much you eat, and when you eat keeps you honest and allows you to see any patterns to your eating. If you’re trying to keep your calories in a certain range, writing down everything you eat and drink will help you be more successful.
•Exercise every day - If you want to lose weight and keep it off, you have to get active to burn calories and build muscle mass. Cardio is a great calorie-torcher, but don’t forget to incorporate some weight training to stimulate your muscle mass, which will increase your metabolism. Throw in a little yoga and pilates to round out your exercise program.
•Eat breakfast – When you wake up from your oh-so-restful beauty sleep, you need to break the overnight fast that lasted 10-12 hours and jump-start your metabolism. The best kind of breakfast has some kind of protein (egg, yogurt, cottage cheese), a whole grain (oatmeal, quinoa, sprouted-grain bread), some fruit or vegetables, and a little healthy fat (avocado, olive oil, ground flax seed, nuts). This kind of meal will keep you energized for hours.
•Eat often - Small, frequent meals (“mini-meals”) are better at controlling your hunger and keeping your metabolism elevated. Think about splitting your calories into 5-6 feedings, about every 2-4 hours. To be able to accomplish this, you have to plan it out ahead of time and be prepared – take your food with you to work or on the go.
•Know why - What is your reason for wanting to lose weight? A better job? To attract a boyfriend? Upcoming class reunion? Unfortunately, these types of reasons won’t lead to long-term weight loss success. If, on the other hand, you said your reasons are to be healthier, to reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes, to feel better, to sleep better, to have more energy, or to have more self-confidence, then you’re on the right path!