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Enjoy Eating and Watch Your Weight Drop

The good news? You don't have to diet anymore, and you can still achieve and maintain a decent weight. That bad news is, that like all habits, establishing a new set of eating behaviors takes time and patience.

Beauty Tips Girl Friday

But wait—there's more good news! With patience and persistence, you can lose weight and feel good, without depriving yourself.

Here's how: a set of behavior changes designed to help you learn new ways to approach food and weight loss. Read on!

  1. Stop kicking yourself. If you're mad at yourself for falling off the diet wagon, forgive yourself. You're only doing what comes naturally to a starving body. Your body knows what it needs, and will sabotage your stringent diets to keep you alive. Your body doesn't know you've been trying to stick to a strict diet: it knows that you're somehow trying to survive a famine. It's helped you as much as possible by reducing your energy, slowing your metabolism and sending you tremendous hunger signals. Once the famine (diet) ends, your body tries to hedge its bets against the next famine by gaining weight faster. Praise your body! Stop fighting it with harsh diets.  
  2. Do a little, not a lot. By cutting 500 calories per day for a week, you will have lost 3,500 calories, one pound a week—a nice, natural weight loss that won't freak out your metabolism. A good, brisk walk each day can cut out 250 calories, and skipping dessert (but not breakfast) can do the rest. Go slow and gentle: don't try to lose a lot of weight at once. Experiment with what you're willing to let go of: the grande latte you usually enjoy at 10 AM; the buttery movie popcorn that's become a nightly habit. Target foods you don't especially love and stop eating them.  
  3. Don't skip meals. In fact, eat more meals! Yes, please have breakfast, lunch and dinner. Also have two or three snacks each day to keep your blood sugar at consistent levels and avoid drastic hunger in between meals. Snack on real food—yogurt, fruit, veggies or some tuna fish. Concentrate on the delicious flavors—the sweet bitterness of a carrot, the spicy crispness of an apple. If you're dying for a sweet, try Quaker's toffee butter flavored rice cakes: they are decadently delicious, made of whole grains, and 60 calories apiece, so you can eat three without guilt.  
  4. Learn what's "hungry". Distinguish between actual, physiological hunger that occurs every three or four hours and feelings of sadness, guilt or depression that makes you crave comfort. If you eat from emotion, not hunger, try this experiment: assign yourself a "comfort food" like celery or almonds, and only eat that food when you're feeling emotional, not hungry. Isolate the emotion, feed it with healthy food: you're satisfying your "hunger" and telling your body you care.  
  5. Rate your hunger. Ask yourself, "how hungry am I on a scale of 0 to 10?" 0 means you're starving—woe to anyone who gets between you and the fridge! 10 means you're so stuffed you can't eat another bite—you might explode! Eat when your hunger falls somewhere between 4 and 8; but stop eating when you feel you've reached 7 or 8.  
  6. Love your food! Don't give up chocolate, or anything you really love. If you know you're really pigging out on one particular food, experiment with cutting down on it by substituting something similar but better for you. But don't give it up! Food is one of life's pleasures.  
  7. Love your self. We often demonize our bodies. People say, "I hate my thighs" or "my abs are so gross". You would never judge another person based on the size of her thighs: why judge yourself that way? Take time to appreciate your body, and compliment it. Talk to your body—thank your feet and legs for carrying you all over the world, praise your heart for its strong, healthy beat.
Continue reading the next aerobics article on low sugar diet

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