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You're probably tired of hearing about how breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it really is true. Breakfast wakes up your metabolism and gives your body fuel for the day. You are less likely to binge for lunch or dinner if you don't skip this meal. It is proven that 90 percent of the healthiest people eat breakfast every morning.
Of course, this doesn't mean that you should eat a breakfast sandwich or pancakes every day. A healthy breakfast is a must. Break out the eggs, egg white omelets, oatmeal, fruit and yogurt.
Track not only everything you eat, but when you eat it. You'll be amazed at what you discover about your own eating habits. This goes beyond calorie counting. This is about discovering when you eat the most, and why it happens. It's about figuring out what your triggers are that make you eat that bowl of ice cream, or what stressors you have that caused you to miss a meal entirely. As you get better about tracking your food intake, you can go back and see patterns easily.
This is the first step in making lasting lifestyle changes. You have to be able to understand where the problems lie in order to correct them. Going back through your diet logs and seeing when and where you have eaten the foods and behaviors you want to avoid will help you develop a plan with new habits that will help you lose weight and maintain a healthy weight.
Exercise is key. Not everyone is cut out to be a marathon runner. You may have real physical problems that keep you from exercising in the way most people consider. You may not have the time or ability to go to the gym. You may not have the knees or stamina for a run. You may not have the flexibility for aerobics. Don't let any of that stop you.
Truthfully, there is some form of exercise for everyone. Even if you just go for a brisk quarter mile walk it will be something. It's a starting point. If you have a lot of joint problems, you can try water aerobics or swimming. These are great activities that burn a lot of calories but are very low impact. These activities also build muscle and help you burn fat, all while you enjoy relief of your aching joints.
Eat several regular meals a day. Don't skip any meals, and try to split up your meals into smaller amounts. It is better to eat six small meals each day than to eat three large meals. It is even better to eat three large meals rather than one huge meal in which you binge because you haven't eaten all day. The longer you wait between meals the hungrier you'll be, and that means less control over food portions and food choices. You are much more likely to go for that double cheeseburger if you skipped breakfast and lunch, but if you ate breakfast and a deli sandwich, your dinner might be more like a salad or grilled chicken.
The scales don't lie. We are all afraid of that number, especially if we've had a bad week. But it is important to weigh yourself at least once a week to make sure you aren't experiencing any dramatic changes in your weight. If you are on a weight loss program you may want to weigh more often. Knowing that you shouldn't have binged all week might be in the back of your mind, but seeing the results on the scale can help give you a reality check and get you back on track.
One word of advice. Do not weigh when you are bloated. Ladies, if it's that time of the month, skip your weigh in. If there is any reasonable explanation for an inaccurate reading of your weight, skip that day's weigh in. Unreliable weigh ins can discourage you or give you false hope. Make sure that you are certain your weight is accurate before using it as a basis for making dietary decisions.
Eat mindfully. This means that while you are eating, that is the only thing that you are doing. Eat from a plate, at a table. Do not watch television, movies, play on your phone, or do anything else while you are eating. Take each bite individually and chew completely before going to the next bite. Continue until your plate is empty. When you do other things while you eat it is easy to eat without thinking about it. You eat too quickly, and too much.
Eat more meals at home and fewer out and about. People who are the healthiest eat home cooked meals. You can cook much healthier at home than you can eat in restaurants. The same meal cooked at home can be much healthier than the restaurant version based on the ingredients you use or the way you cook it. Baking salmon in oil is not as good for you as grilling it at home. You can use less oil, less salt, and less sugar in your cooking than you will find in restaurants.
Listen to your body. If your body says that it is hungry, eat a yogurt or piece of fruit even if it's not a meal time. If your body says it is full when you are trying to eat a meal, don't force it. If your body is restless, go exercise. If your body is worn down, get some extra sleep. The healthiest people listen to their bodies and take action accordingly. If you want to maintain a healthy weight, you have to learn your body's cues.