Health and fitness

7 Tips and tricks for a successful diet

Are you having a hard time sticking to your weight loss program? When it comes to dieting, the spirit may be willing but the flesh usually has other plans. Check out these five tried and tested ways to succeed at your low-calorie diet.

Leah C. Eriguel

Cohen. Keto. Paleo. Fad diets come and go as fast as fashion trends because they tend to be too restrictive. Unrealistic goals and extreme measures only make you unhappy, cranky, and so hungry that you end up rebounding faster than you can say, “truffle oil French fries.” The best weight-loss strategies are still the ones that have stood the test of time. Find out about seven of the best classic diet strategies with long-term staying power.


1. Lean is Mean

When it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. So turn a blind eye to those Facebook posts that swear you can bacon-all-you-want and still lose weight. Instead, keep it real. Do you want chicken? Go for skinless chicken breast. Craving pork or beef? Choose extra lean.


2. Break Up With Your Condiments

Sure, ketchup and mayo make your burger taste heavenly. The painful truth, though? Most standard condiments are high in sugar and fat. For example, full-fat mayo on your sandwich means an extra 10g of fat. Are you having a salad for dinner? That’s great. But if you’re using creamy caesar salad dressing, that’s an additional 15g of fat (or maybe more!). So yeah, sticking to your diet will have to mean saying goodbye to your condiments.


3. Make New Friends With Low-Calorie Snacks

It’s 3 pm and you’re stressed at work. What do you reach for? Potato chips. When you fight with your significant other, do you always grab a pint of ice cream to numb the pain? The good news is that most snack foods now have healthier alternatives. Try baked chips, low-fat ice cream, or frozen yogurt the next time you feel the need to eat your feelings.


4. Consider the Good Guys

We all know that fruits, veggies, nuts, and whole grains are good for you. So if you want to keep your calorie count down, increase your daily intake of the good stuff. They’re low in calories and help prevent vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Then again, you already knew that. Try bitter melon, okra, leafy greens. Give these good guys a chance, they are tastier when you try to enjoy eating them. No use feeling “punished” when eating healthy because your body benefits a lot from it.


5. Be Battle-Ready When Dining Out

Awareness and preparedness are a huge part of keeping to your diet. If you know you’re eating out, call the restaurant to check if they have low-fat options on the menu. But if you’re heading out to your favorite Filipino restaurant for a dinner celebration, then cut back on your calories during the day. Make sure to snack intelligently, so you’re not starving by dinner time.


6. Indulge Once In a While

Don’t push yourself too hard. You and your body deserve a slice (or two) of pizza once in a while. But always in moderation. A few bites of that cake won’t ruin your diet entirely. Can’t resist that glorious slice of boneless Cebu lechon? Have small servings and work out doubly hard the next day. Extreme dieting is never a good thing. But wasting all your effort (and self-control) staying away from bad cholesterol just because you can’t resist that plate of chicharon bulaklak is an even worst idea.


7. Don’t Starve Yourself

Starving yourself often leads to bingeing because your blood sugar levels are so low that your body (that naughty fella) craves—demands—for sugar and carbs. That’s why when you’re hungry, your mind immediately conjures up images of chocolate-glazed doughnuts, French fries, and yummy ulam with extra rice. So have small snacks like crackers and fruits throughout the day so you never get crazy hangry.

Remember, that when it comes to weight loss, you have to find a plan that you can sustain for the long haul. Because it’s not just about getting rid of those calories but also taking care of your total wellbeing. That means working on not just your physical health but also your mental, emotional, social and financial wellbeing.

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