Weight loss means different things to different people precisely because we are all different. For all people who seek to lose weight, however, it means that certain measures must be undertaken on the diet aspect. When the word “diet” comes into the weight loss equation, clueless people will think of severe restrictions on the amounts and kinds of food to eat. Think starvation diets as well as low-fat, low-carbs and low-protein diets.
But all of these diets can and will lead to adverse health effects. Your body will be severely deprived of the essential nutrients necessary for its normal functioning. Instead, we suggest the following basic principles of an effective healthy diet plan for weight loss using DIET as the acronym.
D – Decrease Caloric Intake
The first and foremost principle is to decrease your caloric intake. You have to eat lesser amounts of food than you are consuming at present, say, from one bowl of pasta with all the trimmings to just half a bowl with lesser amount of toppings. The lesser the number of calories consumed, the lesser number of calories to be burned by the body through your natural metabolism and through exercise.
We understand that decreasing your caloric intake without going into a starvation diet can be difficult. The good news is that it is possible via good meal planning, which entails setting down the menu for each day including the kinds and amounts of food to be eaten. You will then buy only what is necessary to prepare the food on the menu – no more, no less so as to avoid temptations.
I – Increase Number of Meals
You may be shaking your head at this suggestion. After all, if you are to decrease caloric intake, it certainly means that you should also lessen the number of meals eaten in a day. This is not necessarily so.
The emphasis on increasing the number of meals consumed on a daily basis is on small meals. Instead of eating three large meals (breakfast lunch and dinner) in a day, you will be eating six small meals (breakfast, mid-morning, lunch, mid-afternoon, dinner and after-dinner, for example) a day.
The reason behind such recommendation is simple. Your body’s metabolism will work at a faster rate when it is being regularly fed in smaller doses, thus, leading to faster weight loss.
E – Expectation Setting
Of course, changing your eating habits to achieve weight loss requires willpower, not to mention time and effort. Don’t take drastic measures to change your eating habits because this will only make you more vulnerable to temptations. Instead, you should set realistic expectations of yourself. Go easy but also push yourself to do more while keeping your eyes on the prize.
For example, your goal in changing your eating habits can go like this: “I will strive to eat only a half-bowl of pasta with just the tomato sauce, herbs and cheese as toppings in the next 2 weeks.” This way, you have a specific, measurable, attainable, realizable and time-bound goal.
T – Try Again
Now, you will encounter challenges along the way that will test your resolve. If you do become tempted and veer off your diet plan, just try again. Perhaps you use the same approach or go another route.
The most important thing is that you are trying. You will eventually get it right soon enough.