Weight loss: How to create the perfect plan

Losing weight is possible when you put together a plan. From keeping a food journal to cleaning out your kitchen cabinets, we help you plan the perfect weight loss strategy.

By Dr. Joey Shulman DC, RNCP

Create a weight-loss plan: Tips 1-3
Our eat-and-run culture and its massive portion sizes can make it difficult to maintain a healthy weight, let alone to lose weight successfully. And the numerous “quick-fix” fad diets on the market with over-restrictive plans that are impossible to follow in the long term make losing weight even harder.

If you have repeatedly tried to lose weight without much success, rest assured there is a better way. The key is creating a strategy for weight loss that includes the following five small but powerful changes. Implementing these tips will help you adopt the mind-set and strategies that will lead to losing weight.

Losing weight in 5 simple steps
1. Lose weight by keeping a food journal

Research has consistently shown that keeping written food records helps with weight loss. It’s easy to underestimate how much we have eaten – we forget about the small amounts of leftovers, the cream and sugar in our coffee and the candy we eat at work. Writing down what you eat helps you remain accountable and makes you more conscious of your food choices. To start, keep a small notebook close by at all times, and accurately record everything – the food you eat, the quantity and how you feel. It’s important to you track your food intake consistently for several weeks and to record it every day – not just on the "good” days.

2. Lose weight by planning ahead
Losing weight requires a commitment that goes beyond simply eating healthier. Planning your meals, grocery shopping, cooking, eating without distractions and exercising all take time and energy. Creating time in your schedule for weight loss , however, not only honours your commitment to lose weight, it honours your commitment to your health. Here are some ways you can plan in advance and reduce your daily food preparation time:
Prechop vegetables twice a week, once on the day you shop and another time midweek. Store them in containers in the fridge for easy access.
Precook protein for the week, like chicken breasts, burgers, hard-cooked eggs. Refrigerate them until needed.
Make big batches of stir-frys, soups and chili on the weekends so you have meals ready for the week.

3. Lose weight by making over your kitchen
Your food environment can have a huge impact on whether your weight-loss efforts will succeed or fail. A kitchen makeover gets rid of the non-nutritious items that trigger you to eat poorly and replaces them with a variety of healthy choices. It also helps you stay in control and on track – if the healthy food isn’t available when you need it, you might opt for something else instead while standing in front of the fridge wondering what to eat for dinner. Make your kitchen a safe home base – toss out soft drinks, fruit juices, high-fat dips and dressings, processed meats, ice cream and processed snacks.

Page 1 of 2 -- find two more tips for creating the perfect weight-loss strategy on the next page



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