Healthy weight loss does not happen overnight and it can be done with the help of a balanced diet, regular exercise, ample hydration and a consistent sleep schedule. When focusing on all of these aspects of improving your health, nutritionists say there is one helpful rule or tip to follow before preparing your meals that can help your diet become more weight loss friendly. Read on for insight, tips, and suggestions from Dana Ellis Hoenes, PhD, MPH, RD, senior dietitian at UCLA Medical Center, Trista Best, MPH, RD, LD, registered dietitian at Balance One Supplements, and Lisa Richards, registered dietitian. Patented and Innovative Candida Diet.
Key tip: Plan meals using a food journal
While you may have an idea of what you want to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner when preparing for your day ahead, using a food journal can help you keep track of not only exactly what you’re eating, but also portion sizes and amounts. Keeping lists organized and detailed that you can refer to can greatly aid your weight-loss journey by helping you feel like you’re on the right track, Richards says. In addition, doing this can also help you find foods that help you feel better after eating, and others that may not.
“When temptation strikes you to slip into old habits,” Richards explains, it can be helpful to “have something to look back on as a reminder.” This doesn’t have to be a classic diary, she says, because “it could be a note, a picture, or something else that reminds you why you’re starting to put your health first through your diet.” This can also help you avoid “diet flaws that lead to rapid weight loss,” she notes. The rebound weight gain is “a huge hurdle for those who initially want to lose weight,” she adds. She continues, saying that a diet that “focuses on whole foods while removing most common allergens can help boost metabolism and speed along with sustainable weight loss,” and keeping a food journal can help you achieve this.
A food journal can also help your relationship with food become healthier, Best says, as you can gain a better understanding of your needs and goals. “Mental health approaches to weight loss are almost as important, and in some cases more important, in treating and preventing obesity than conventional medical treatment,” she says. Best adds that “talking to a mental health provider about the topic of food and weight can be the best first step to treating obesity,” and Many suggests keeping a journal.
“Mindful eating, also known as intuitive eating, may be a necessary practice to incorporate into your eating habits as well,” she continues (and you can add this tip to your journal!) She notes that stunted weight loss “is the result of eating when you are not physically hungry,” she says. or eat after you’re hungry, or any of the other principles that mindful (intuitive) eating subscribes to.” Mindful eating is about eating when you’re really hungry, Best says, and keeping track of that can help you understand your metabolism, hunger cues, etc.
Hunnes stresses that when it comes to losing weight, she “doesn’t believe in deprivation,” because “walking around hungry isn’t fun and it’s a setup for failure.” She recommends “thinking of foods as a lifestyle that you intend to follow for life, because it gets you out of the mindset of yo-yo dieting, or crash diets and then back to your previous way of eating.”
When making notes for yourself in your journal, Hones says that “switching to a whole plant-based diet gives you an abundance of healthy nutrients, fewer calories, more water (anti-inflammatory foods), lower in salt and higher in potassium (whole grains and nuts). And seeds, legumes, fruits and vegetables). She notes that this switch “can lead to a loss of several pounds of water weight off the bat and is healthy and a lifestyle change that is sustainable for weight loss and maintenance where you don’t walk around hungry.”
Generally speaking, slow and steady wins the race when it comes to weight loss, as Richards concluded, “Sustainable weight loss methods will typically result in a loss of 1 to 2 pounds per week.” It’s important to focus on “sustainable weight loss methods” because extreme methods that may be effective at first will eventually lead to weight gain, she warns. “Some of the best approaches to weight loss don’t require drastic calorie restriction, long periods of exercise, or cutting out key food groups or macronutrients,” adds Richards, referring to a food journal as a great next step to your journey.