Having a slim body is one of the very few trends that do not seem to pass, instead of becoming ever more popular. Having a slim physique not only increases our confidence, but also, what can be arguably be seen as most important, improvement in health.
We need to remember, that being slim every day does not consist using short-lived, restrictive diets, or exhausting exercise for a few weeks, but of a LIFESTYLE CHANGE – a permanent one. To some, it may sound far-fetched or unattainable, but it is possible. Surely, it demands dedication, persistence, and time, but the results are most definitely worth it. Weight gain is most often a side effect of our unhealthy lifestyle (not considering what we eat, as long as it’s “quickly and enough” and a lack of physical activity).
Before we start following any diet, we must radically alter our approach not only to slimming, but also to everyday habits. First, we should become familiar with the word “diet”. For most people, it evokes images of sacrifice, torture, constant hunger and other unpleasant emotions. This is why we should understand that every way of eating, even our present one, is itself a diet. This will make it much easier for us to set out on the quest for our new, correct body weight.
In order to get rid of excess pounds, we need to create an energy deficit. This, however, cannot be accompanied with a deficit of nutrients, which we need not only for maintaining health, but also our well-being and good looks. The only healthy menu, not only for weight loss but for every day, is one that is well balanced and provides us with all nutrients in the correct amount and ratio.
A well-balanced menu should contain adequate amount of protein, carbohydrates, fats, minerals and vitamins.
Just as each of us is a unique individual, so our menu should be individually chosen according to our age, sex, lifestyle, food preferences, etc. Each of us is different, therefore the diet of each of us should be a little different.
It is also important to mention, that being overweight may have different causes. Most often it is said that overweight people provide too much energy in comparison to its expenditure. However there are other reasons, such as genetic predispositions, hormonal imbalances, and, rarely mentioned, food intolerances. The latter are estimated to be present in up to 45% of the population. It has long been known, that consuming some food may have a significant effect on not only physical, but also mental health of some people. Therefore, even if we do not suspect a food intolerance, we should perform a test to whether or not it is present. Symptoms of food intolerance often crop up after some time has passed since eating this particular food, making establishing the connection between foods and symptoms more difficult… all the more difficult, when it comes to body weight. The first step after detecting an intolerance is to remove the associated product from the menu. This simple intervention may itself lead to a decrease in weight.
If we focus a little on our hormonal balance its invalid function may significantly affect our body weight. Among hormonal diseases that may contribute to obesity are: hyperthyroidism, PCS, or Cushing’s disease. If despite a change in diet and increase in physical activity we seem not shed the excess pounds (and sometimes even gain new ones), hormonal testing becomes necessary. Without balanced hormone levels, we will not be able to shed them.
We try to convince our patients that they can achieve a great figure without fancy methods, abstaining from any pleasures, or constant hunger. On the contrary, such methods tend to increase body weight! We must remember that each failed diet, which ended in returning to our starting body weight, or even increasing it, is very harmful to us, since it causes a reduction of metabolic rate. This makes each following attempt more of a challenge. This is an important reason why, before taking up weight loss, we should contact a dietitian who will help us in attaining our goal.
A few small, but useful tips:
- you should eat regularly every 3-4 hours (optimally 5 times per day)
- avoid overeating
- do not skip meals
- never forget breakfast
- every meal should contain fruits or vegetables
- avoid fattening combinations
- avoid monotony in your menu
- remember to drink enough water (do not part from your bottle)
- control consumption of sweets
- choose smaller portions
- try to make meals by yourself
- stop drinking alcohol after the first glass
- forgive yourself for small failures
- do not stock up on food
- do not buy high-calorie snacks
- never shop for food while hungry
- do not check your weight too often