25 strategies to lose 10 pounds at your own pace

 

No, it's not a myth: to lose weight without harming your health, you need to eat better and move more. Motivation is lacking? Here are 25 principles and lots of great ideas to get started.

 Before getting started


Four key principles that must be understood to put the odds in our favor.

There is no miracle recipe. “We often look for shortcuts, but the only proven way to lose weight in the long term is to change our lifestyle to eat better and move more,” explains Chantal Daigle, kinesiologist.

  - We eat better AND we move more. To lose weight sustainably, you need both," says Hélène Tremblay, President of the Quebec Association of Dietitians. Several studies show that people who have succeeded in losing weight and maintaining their gains have done both right from the start.

- We aim for 1 to 2 pounds per week, no more. “That's the golden rule,” says Paul Boisvert, coordinator of educational activities at the Obesity Research Chair at Laval University. If we lose weight too quickly, we mainly eliminate water and muscle mass, and not fat. In doing so, you risk becoming dehydrated and weakened.

  - We aim for the best weight for ourselves. A healthy weight is different for each of us, depending on our bones, metabolism, age, heredity, certain illnesses and medication use," says Fannie Dagenais, nutritionist and director of the Équilibre organization. The important thing is to feel good." If we adopt good lifestyle habits, there is a good chance that we will lose our excess pounds and, at some point, our weight will stabilize.

 

To prepare mentally

1. We make a plan. On a sheet of paper, we write:

our motivations. We identify the reasons why we want to lose weight (have more energy, feel better about ourselves, be able to participate in more activities, etc.).

Our goals. We determine our goals, which must be realistic and within our reach (such as going for a nice hike with the family by the end of the summer).

the date. Where we will start our process (we circle it on the calendar).

We keep this sheet preciously. We consult it in times of doubt, loss of motivation or discouragement.

2. We keep a journal. For a few days, we write down everything we eat during the day, with the portion, time, place, circumstances and reasons. We do the same for physical activity. We thus become aware of our habits, which will help to identify possible solutions. We repeat the exercise as needed, to follow our progress.

3. We identify the reasons why we gained weight. This is essential in determining what changes we should make to our lifestyle. Check the statements that apply.

  • I eat too much and don't know when to stop.
  • I'm always hungry.
  • I don't often choose healthy foods (whole grains, fruits, vegetables, fish, lean meats, etc.).
  • I am not moving enough.
  • I got older, and it's harder than it was to keep my weight healthy.
  • I am sick or injured.
  • I experience stress or strong emotions that lead me to eat more.
  • Other _________________


4. We decide what changes we want to make. According to Chantal Daigle, we should not integrate more than one or two changes at a time. Need inspiration? This week I ...

  • eat one more fruit or vegetable each day, for example as a snack.
  • replace a soft drink, juice or other beverage with a full glass of water a day.
  • unearth two new healthy recipes that I add to my repertoire.
  • park me a few blocks from my destination or as far as possible in the parking lot.
  • go for a walk during my lunch hour.


Friends stuff

“I don't keep tempting foods at home anymore,” says Karine. When I really want to, I go out and get it. "

“I noticed that I ate certain foods (red meats, bread and dessert) more out of habit than out of taste,” says Lucie. So I eat less and I don't feel like I'm depriving myself. ”

“I don't feel at all motivated to go train alone,” said Josée. So I found some friends to go there. Since then, I haven't missed a single session. ”

“Having nothing to do at night, I tended to sit in front of the TV and snack,” recalls Marianna. Finally, I decided to enroll in drawing and yoga classes, which occupy my evenings. ”

“One day I decided to turn off the television. So, I had to find other activities to do, says Karine. To keep myself busy, I started cycling, going for long walks in the park and visiting friends. ”

 

To eat better

5. We relearn how to recognize hunger. More certain of knowing how to recognize the signals of his body? Here is a guide.

We are hungry

Feeling of empty stomach, gurgling

All the food on our plate looks appetizing to us.

Low energy

We are full

Pleasant feeling of full stomach

Food begins to lose flavor.

We are alert and reenergized.

We ate too much

The belly is full, tense, the tie of the pants is tight.

We eat more by the eyes, because the dessert "looks so good".

We'd be fine taking a nap.

6. We reduce our portions. Tips to get there if it's a problem:

  • We always eat from a plate; we avoid stolen bites here and there (for example, finishing Junior's leftovers or taking a little something in the cupboard while doing the dishes).
  • We take the time to sit down to eat.
  • We serve ourselves in a salad plate rather than a large plate and we use smaller bowls.
  • We leave a few bites on the plate.
  • We do not leave the serving dishes on the table.
  • Avoid eating directly from the bag of chips, cookies or ice cream; we use a portion in a bowl.


7. You don't wait to be hungry. A good rule of thumb: eat every three or four hours. Choose three reasonable meals a day and snacks as needed. Thus, we have energy all day, we avoid cravings and we optimize our metabolism, which burns more calories, even at rest.

8. We include proteins, fruits and vegetables and whole grains in all our meals. Because they are essential for health, they satiate and prolong satiety. This allows us to eat less and satisfy our hunger for longer - and thus prevent cravings. 5 combinations to try:

  • Fish, brown rice and green vegetables (peas, broccoli, zucchini).
  • Poultry, whole wheat couscous and orange vegetables (carrot, squash, sweet potato).
  • Soup with beef, barley and root vegetables (onion, turnip, celeriac).
  • Salad of legumes, quinoa and red vegetables (peppers, tomatoes, beets).
  • Tofu sandwich, cheese and grilled vegetables on whole wheat pita bread and green salad.


9. We have breakfast every morning. Several studies have shown that people who eat breakfast tend to be thinner than those who don't eat in the morning. To start the day on the right foot, we eat:

  • a bowl of whole grain cereal with skim milk and a banana.
  • whole grain bread spread with peanut butter, yogurt and an apple.
  • a boiled egg, a whole wheat tortilla, a piece of cheese and sliced ​​tomatoes.
  • quick-cooking oatmeal with nuts, dried fruit and yogurt.
  • a strawberry and blueberry milkshake accompanied by a small bran muffin.


Not hungry in the morning?

We bring our lunch or we concoct a good healthy snack to satisfy our hunger when it arises. We think to slip into our bag: yogurt, nuts and dried fruits, cheese, house muffin or whole grain bagel, peanut butter, fruits, cut vegetables and dip, etc.

 

10 . You get used to eating slowly. “We eat quickly and often absent-mindedly, like watching TV,” says Hélène Tremblay. Which brings to eat too much. You have to learn to:

  • always sit down to eat;
  • slow down - a meal should last an average of 30 minutes;
  • chew food well;
  • take the time to taste the food;
  • put down your fork after two or three bites;
  • ask yourself regularly if you are still hungry;
  • avoid distractions during meals: watching television, working at the computer or reading, for example.


11. We learn to taste food by doing the following exercise:

1. We close our eyes.

2. We place a piece of good chocolate on our tongue.

3. Let it melt slowly.

4. Careful attention is paid to describing flavor and texture in as much detail as possible.

We repeat the exercise regularly with our favorite foods or during a meal.

12. We wait 30 minutes before helping ourselves to a second plate or dessert. To wait...

  • we tidy up and do the dishes.
  • we give the children a bath, or we slip into a hot bath.
  • we will take a walk or walk the dog.
  • you chew an eraser or brush your teeth and floss.
  • we take a book, we do a crossword or we play cards with the family.


13. False appetites are detected. Do you want to eat as soon as you sit down in front of the television at night? When we are bored or stressed? Three clues to recognize a false hunger:

False hunger

We are hungry quickly and suddenly.

We can wait before eating.

You want a particular food (usually a treat) and nothing else.

Real hunger

We feel it gradually.

We must satisfy her immediately.

Several foods can satisfy us, even healthy choices such as raw vegetables.

14. You learn to thwart cravings. Five strategies to get there:

  • We avoid skipping meals and eat snacks as needed.
  • We make sure to include protein, whole grain cereal products, fruits and vegetables in our meals.
  • We drink a large glass of water or a tea, because we often confuse hunger and thirst.
  • We wait about fifteen minutes during which we change our minds: we grab a book, we take a bath, we call a friend, we do the housework, etc.
  • If the craving is persistent, grab a healthy snack or help yourself to a small portion of what you really want while taking the time to savor it.


True or false? Better avoid succumbing to the temptation of our cute sins

False. All the specialists say it: there are no good or bad foods, everything is about balance. "When we deprive ourselves of the foods we love, we end up one day or another by cracking, by eating more, by developing a feeling of guilt and an unhealthy relationship with food," says Fannie Dagenais. Do we have a soft spot for chocolate or ice cream? "Why not eat it when you want to?" But we do it slowly, tasting it, in a reasonable amount and without guilt, ”adds the nutritionist.

15. We balance each of our meals. We divide our plate into three: half vegetables, quarter starch and quarter protein, all accompanied by a serving of dairy products.

16. We cultivate the pleasure of eating well. On our plate, we focus on variety: taste (salty, sweet, spicy, bitter), color (white, red, green, purple, orange), texture (soft, crunchy, creamy, mellow).

• The preparation methods are varied: raw, sautéed, boiled, poached, steamed, in the oven, in foil, on the barbecue, in the slow cooker, etc.

• Spices, herbs, vinegars and other flavorings are used, which enhance the flavor of foods.

• We try a new food every week: why not artichokes, lychees, quinoa, barley, almond butter?

 

To move more

17. Aim to be active for at least 30 minutes a day. Are we running out of time? We can divide our daily activity sessions into several periods (at least 10 minutes), because the time is cumulative and the benefits are the same. Ideas?

  • We stretch, do a few sit-ups and lift small weights before jumping in the shower in the morning.
  • We park 10 or 15 minutes from our work or we get off the bus one stop before our destination and we end the journey on foot.
  • We're going for a walk with a colleague for lunch.
  • We find a nice place to dine about ten minutes walk from our work or home.
  • We put on lively music and we tidy the house energetically.
  • After dinner, we'll play in the park, fly a kite or play frisbee.


18. We put physical activity on our schedule. “You determine your physical activity sessions, you make an appointment with yourself and you write it down in your agenda,” suggests Paul Boisvert. Otherwise, we risk finding all kinds of good reasons not to move. ”

19. We choose what we like. “You have to know your preferences and regularly try new activities,” advises Chantal Daigle. To start the reflection, we answer the following questions. I prefer sports and activities ...

  • solo, duo, group or team?
  • outdoor or indoor?
  • free or directed?
  • low or high intensity?


25 ideas for sports activities to practice ...

Solo: hiking, cycling, rollerblading, stretching, swimming.

In duo: squash, canoe, golf, badminton, climbing, couple dancing.

As a team: volleyball, soccer, baseball, basketball.

In groups: outdoor cardio, aqua fitness, yoga, tai chi, line dancing.

With the family: trampoline, mini-golf, bowling.

20. We vary our activities. We choose activities that work our endurance, flexibility and muscles. Three combos to try:

  • For beginners: walking-yoga-gardening.
  • For intermediates: swimming-dance-bodybuilding.
  • For the intrepid: running-stretching-climbing.


21. We surround ourselves. Too difficult to motivate yourself?

  • We join one or more friends who already practice an activity.
  • We inquire about the activities offered in our municipality.
  • You register for a group course or activity.
  • We join a group or a club.


22. We buy a pedometer. Walking is great exercise. To motivate yourself to take more steps, the pedometer is very effective. “We are trying to reach 10,000 to 13,000 steps per day,” advises Paul Boisvert. To reach our goal, we add 500 to 1000 daily steps per week. Five ideas to add:

• We put our remote controls away and get up to turn on the television or radio, change the channel or turn on the air conditioner.

• Take a cordless phone and walk a few steps while talking.

• We travel to talk to our work colleagues instead of using the phone.

• We look for every opportunity to use the stairs - at home, at work, on the go, etc.

• We will do our shopping on foot.

 

It's not just sport to move!

In 30 minutes spent at ...

garden   

walk in the forest

pick strawberries or apples

skate

play frisbee, bowling or fly a kite

dance    

I spend on average ...

150 calories

200 calories

100 calories

180 calories

100 calories

150 calories

23. We take advantage of household chores to move. Instead of delegating them, we transform our chores into so many opportunities to move. We kill two birds with one stone! We spend 100 calories on:

  • clean the house for half an hour (dusting, sweeping, making beds, tidying up, washing the floor, doing the dishes, etc.).
  • prepare a good meal (40 minutes).
  • scrape leaves for about twenty minutes.
  • wash windows or car for half an hour.
  • walk the dog for 20 minutes.


24. We favor active transportation. Whenever possible, we leave the car at home and walk or take our bikes.

25. In front of the television ... we move! Ideas for exercises:

During the show:

  • we ride a stationary bicycle.
  • we do some stretching.
  • we lift small weights for the arms and legs.
  • we sit on an exercise ball instead of the couch.


During breaks:

• we jump rope.

• we jog on the spot.

• you go up and down the stairs two or three times, raising your legs well.

• we do some more sustained exercises: sit-ups, flexions, push-ups, jumps, etc

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