"Just keep everything in moderation and you'll lose weight."
Anybody attempting to shed unwanted pounds has surely heard some variation of these often-dished-out words of advice. While this is certainly a true statement, it's meaningless if you don't know how to put the concept of moderation to work for you in terms of attaining your weight-loss goals and sustaining your results.
Read these 5 tips to help you sustain healthy eating habits and lose weight without resorting to unsustainable dieting.
Moderation is difficult to practice if you have easy access to snacks, fatty foods, sugary drinks, and other goodies. Go through everything you have at in your fridge and pantry and get rid of the foods you know will tempt you the most.
This doesn't mean you have to ditch perfectly good food. Instead, finish up what you have before starting your dieting efforts, or make a donation to your local food bank.
Buy Only What You Need
Forget those buy-one-get-one-free deals at your local supermarket and get into the habit of buying what you need. One way to do this is to switch from monthly grocery shopping to weekly shopping.
Make a list of foods you need for the week, and get into the habit of sticking to the list; if it's not on the grocery list you have with you for that particular week, it shouldn't be on the conveyor belt at the checkout stand.
Cook Only What You Need
Lots of leftovers in the fridge tend to lead to late-night snacking. Avoid this particular temptation by cooking what you need for meals. Again, this will take some planning, but the results will make it worth the effort.
If there are leftovers, either pass them along to dinner guests or put food containers in the freezer instead of the fridge; it's a lot less tempting to heat up leftovers when you have to defrost first.
Allow for Exceptions
Most diets fail because of a feeling of deprivation. While there is something to be said for moderation, allow for some exceptions now and then.
There's nothing wrong with occasionally having a pizza dinner or over-indulging at a family union or wedding. Just remember to regain your focus afterwards and get back to your regular diet habits.
Give It Time
It takes about three months for habits to form. This is why fad diets or crash diets have such high failure rates. It's going to take some time to get into the habit of watching what you buy at the grocery store and getting used to cooking in smaller portions.
For added motivation, track your weight loss. If you see that you're making progress and getting closer to your goals, it's easier to stick to the concept of moderation.
Moderation itself isn't going to work for everyone needing to lose weight, especially if you're trying to change years of unhealthy eating habits.
Consult your doctor for recommendations on a diet that's likely to work for you. Moderation comes into play once you've started to see results. Another reason dieting fails isn't so much because of the diet, but because of the mindset that dieting is a "temporary hardship" you have to endure for a set period of time, and that you can return to your previous eating habits afterwards.
Sustaining your results involves moderation with what you eat - on a permanent basis.