Remember portion size is important.
Even if you are eating the right foods, if you are overeating you're not
helping yourself. Proteins such as beef, chicken and fish should only be about
4 oz. Vegetables should be 1/2 cup cooked or 1 cup raw. Fruits include 1 medium
piece of fruit or 1/2 cup cut fruit. Good fats should be limited to 1 Tbsp of
oils, or 2 Tbsp of peanut butter or salad dressing.
Not everyone has the time or
ability to weigh out all of their foods to the exact portion. Use household
items to compare sizing. Four oz. of meat is about the size of the classic I
pod. One serving of cheese is equal to the size of a matchbox. One serving of
oil or salad dressing is equal to the size of a 1 oz shot glass. Once you know
the approximate size of each serving it will be easier for you to portion out
each serving size.
Prepare your meals and snacks ahead
of time to save you time and effort. If you are like me I determine what I want
to eat based upon what I feel like eating. This makes it difficult to set a
schedule a week or month in advance. So instead I prepare my meals the night
before. This still saves me time in the morning. It also keeps the portion
sizes correct. Another preparation tool for people who can’t or won’t plan
their meals ahead of time is to prep your foods. After you come home from
grocery shopping, chop up all your fruits and vegetables and put them in tuber
ware, this way when you need them all you have to do is grab from the
container. You save time on cutting and chopping and cleaning. Also if you buy
your meats in bulk separate the meat into a single serving size or meal serving
size and rewrap or pack in tin foil, sandwich zipper bags or plastic
containers. This way you don’t have to worry about cooking too much you just
choose beef, poultry or fish and you cook the amount that’s already portioned
Remember that your body's
metabolism needs to be replenished every couple of hours. That is why it is
recommended to eat a small snack every 2-3 hours. This keeps you from
overeating at larger meals. Keep healthy snacks (portioned out) around you all
the time. Nuts and dried fruit are good healthy snacks that can be kept at
work, in your car or on your person.
Although exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, you can't just jump into it and expect to be able to do everything at once. Muscles atrophy overtime if not used. It takes time for muscles to rebuild themselves. Set goals for yourself. If you haven't worked out in a long time start out small and build up. Start out by walking 10-20 minutes a day. After a week increase your time. Try jogging for a couple minutes to increase your heart rate. Always stretch before and after working out. Stretching relieves tension that builds up in the muscles. Yoga and Pilates are good stress relieving exercises that are good for stretching and flexibility.
Don't try to make all of these changes at once. You may be overwhelmed by all the changes and don't stick with them. Start by making one or two small changes until they become habit, and then add another. Soon you will be on the right track to losing the weight you want to!