6 Simple Steps To Life Changing Weight Loss
by Dianne Villano

If you are sick of losing weight — the same weight over and over...

And feeling like a failure because your last "diet" didn't work, try these tips to not only lose weight, but lose it for good.

I have watched hundreds of clients over the years, and almost without exception, those that lose their weight once and for all, have these 6 basic habits as a part of their lives.

1. Keep a food diary

For at least five days, and up to a week, keep a pen and paper handy and write down everything you eat... how much, where and when you ate it and who you ate with.

Try to write it down as you eat it. Most people find that when they try to remember everything at the end of the day, they leave something out. I have also had clients tell me that they didn't eat something because they knew they were going to have to write it down!

Be completely honest with yourself. You don't need to show anyone the results, but most will be very surprised by them. Particular environments and people can often trigger certain eating behaviors, that are readily apparent, when you review you daily food log.

2. Don't eat too little

Very low calorie diets will, in the short term, help you lose weight but they're extremely difficult to maintain. You'll gradually become tired, irritable and lack the energy to exercise. People won't want to eat with you because the long list of 'taboo' foods renders restaurant menus, and even family meals at home, unsuitable for your overly strict diet.

3. Neither feast nor fast

They weren't kidding when they said "breakfast is the most important meal of the day." Studies show that those who skip the first meal, end up eating more total calories throughout the day and tend to make less healthy choices.

Try to eat at least 3 meals a day. Optimally you should spread your calories throughout 6 small meals per day. This will keep your metabolism bustling and your blood sugar level even to avoid binging.

4. Freshness Counts

The packaging and processing generally found in "convenience" foods generally reduce the nutrient values of foods and substantially raise the caloric content. The American Dietetic Association recommends at least 3 - 5 servings from the fruit and vegetable group per day.

No time to prepare "home made meals? Try preparing in bulk on the week ends to make healthy choices readily available. Cut up a large bowl of fresh fruit, (1cup = 1 serving) or pre-make a large bowl of salad or cut up veggies.

I usually prepare a weeks worth of chicken or pork so I can quickly re heat it and add it to any recipe.

5. Hydrate your way to quicker weight loss

Drink water ahead of coffee, tea, or soft drinks. Including the 'hidden' water we consume in food, we need 64 oz. per day. More is recommended to counteract the dehydration caused by caffeinated beverages and intense exercise or excessive heat.

How much do we need to drink? In general you should be drinking enough water per day so that your urine is nearly clear.

6. Eat less, exercise more

The great thing about food diaries, is they show you where you can cut the number of "extra" (calories). Many people eat out of habit, when they are not even hungry. You may also need to make dietary changes, if you begin or increase the intensity of a fitness program.

I know, you are going to say, "I don't have time because — insert your favorite excuse here." But ask yourself this..."How much more energy would I have if I wasn't carrying around this extra _____ pounds?

How many more things would I enjoy, and feel good while doing, if I had a fit, healthy body? Isn't it worth a few minutes a day to incorporate these simple habits into your day?

About the author: Dianne Villano is a personal fitness instructor, certified through the National Academy of Sports Medicine with over 17 years experience. Dianne specializes in weight loss programs and programs for beginners. For more articles or free fitness tools visit www.custombodiestampabay.com