Are you ready to develop a better relationship with food, and finally adopt healthy habits that will last a lifetime? Here are the tips you need to achieve your goals!

Tell us if this sounds familiar: you commit to losing weight, start a diet, lose a few pounds, then gain them back as soon as you stop the program. If you’re stuck in a cycle where you lose and gain back the same 10 (or 15 or 30) pounds, you’re not alone. Many people fall into this pattern because, let’s face it, it’s impossible to follow a so-called diet forever.

This is why the solution may be less in a traditional “diet” than in healthy lifestyle change. The key to successful weight loss is to approach a healthy eating plan “without harsh restrictions or nutritional exaggerations.” »

1. Never eat while watching TV

You come home from work, cook dinner and watch TV while enjoying your meal. It sounds harmless enough, but this routine could actually make you gain weight, as was found in a study of 1,155 Australian participants published in 2017 in BMC Public Health. The study results suggested that watching television for at least two hours a day was associated with increased weight gain. One possible reason: While you’re still, chances are you’re mindlessly sipping or munching.

This is why it is recommended to establish a rule of no television or “screen time” (which includes smartphones, tablets and computers!) during the meal. You’ll focus more on your food and be less likely to overeat. Another rule: Only spend the same amount of time watching TV as exercising. In other words, if you take a 30-minute walk, you can spend half an hour watching TV. It will help you get off the couch and move more.

2. Eat “real food” most of the time.

Chances are you’ve heard of the movement towards more whole foods. Eating whole foods, think fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meats and whole grains is smart. On the other hand, it is necessary to limit processed products. This includes frozen meals, packaged snacks, and fast foods, all of which tend to have fewer nutrients than whole foods, and more added fat, sugar, calories, and salt.

These unhealthy additions can undermine your weight loss efforts: A study of 172 countries from 1995 to 2010, published in 2018 in Global Health, found that increased imports of sugar and processed foods were correlated with increased body mass index (BMI) in all countries studied. Another study in nearly 20,000 participants found that higher consumption of ultra-processed foods was linked to a higher risk of all-cause mortality. The study took place over 15 years and the results were published in May 2019 in the BMJ. The authors defined ultra-processed foods as those that are made primarily from artificial ingredients and not whole foods. Examples include candies, cookies, sodas, bottled fruit juices, crisps and instant noodles.

so try to limit processed foods and fill your diet with as much fresh food as possible. If you use prepared food products, choose those with the fewest ingredients possible and check the nutrition facts label to make sure the product does not contain excess sugar, salt, fat and calories .

3. Set realistic goals that you can achieve right now

When most people start a weight loss program, they set themselves ‘outcome goals’: those that focus on an end result like ‘I want to weigh 65kg’ or ‘I want to lose 10kg’.

While specific weight loss goals can be helpful, they aren’t as effective as “performance goals,” i.e., those that focus on a process or action like, “I’m going to walk 30 minutes every day” or “I will eat four servings of vegetables every day.

For weight loss, performance goals are crucial because they provide the steps necessary to reach your goal result. When you set your weight loss goal (for example, lose five pounds), think about actions that will get you there and write them down in a notebook. Whether it’s “eating breakfast every morning” or “taking the stairs instead of the elevator,” performance goals like these will help you plan successfully.

As you learn what works for you and begin to see progress, you’ll be even more motivated to set goals that challenge you and realistically match your unique life.

4. Don’t eat out so much anymore

Eating out is convenient, but it’s also a factor in weight gain. The sights and smells of a restaurant, deli, bakery, or food court can tempt you to buy high-calorie foods, sometimes even when you’re not hungry.

Therefore, try to avoid eating out when trying to lose weight. It may seem daunting at first, but with smart planning, you really can eat more meals at home and reap the benefits. In a study of 40,554 French adults, published in February 2017 in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, participants who reported planning their meals “at least occasionally” were less likely to be obese and more likely to be obese. ‘have a healthy diet.

An easy way to start is to plan all of your meals for the week (including breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks) on Sunday, or whatever day works best for you. Planning your meals weekly rather than daily can help you stay on track.

Your ability to control portions and plan meals will make or break your weight loss efforts. Cook recipes that make more than one serving so you have leftovers for lunch, and prepare healthy snacks ahead of time. For example, cut fruits and vegetables into slices and prepare servings of nuts, popcorn and other healthy bites. So you’ll have something healthy on hand the next time you crave a snack.

When eating out, make healthier choices: Choose vegetable or fish-based entrees, and try to skip dessert (if you can’t resist, choose a fruit-based treat).

5. Exercise more, more often

You already know that exercise is essential for weight loss. But what type of exercise is best for you? The best exercise is the one you actually do, and you don’t have to spend long hours at the gym. Any activity is good to take: Walking to the store, weeding the garden and cleaning the house all count.

Make it a mission to do everything in your power to move every day, the calories really add up!

* criptom strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information given can not replace the opinion of a health professional.