Many of us have tried every fad diet that has ever been published, joined gym classes, and consulted a dietician. Yet, our ideal body shape continues to remain elusive. So, what does it take to lose weight and achieve your ideal body weight? Experts have recommended the following:

Crunch the sugars
Don’t skip breakfast. Statistics reveal that people who eat breakfast are slimmer than people who don’t. Missing breakfast is an easy habit to fall into, and one that will have a huge impact on your weight gain in the long term. The moment you open your eyes in the morning, think about food. That should put a smile on your face, which is a legitimate excuse to eat. Preferably, choose food that is high in fiber and nutrition. This will mean you are less likely to snack before lunch.

Dump dessert. Don’t buy it. Those extra, ’empty’ calories at the end of the meal are the ones that can make a difference between large and lithe. We all have our ups and downs. It’s when we are feeling low that we reach for the biscuits and chocolates to make us feel better. If you really want a snack–have one–but try to keep it under control.

Eat because you have to, not because you want to. Hunger is underrated. Most of us never give our bodies the chance to really feel hungry. We are so busy snacking all day we never experience real hunger–the roar that rises out of the pit of the stomach. If your metabolism is functioning at its optimum, your body will tell you when it needs its next food fix. By contrast, if you are constantly eating, you don’t give your body a chance to efficiently utilize the energy you are feeding it. So, challenge yourself not to snack uncontrollably. Remember, being slim is a lifetime commitment. You need to consider what you put into your mouth each and every day of your life, for the rest of your life. This can sound daunting, but do a mental check the next time someone offers you that slice of cake. Do you really need it? Do you really feel hungry? The good news is, the healthier your diet, the less junk food you will crave. So, keeping on the straight and narrow path becomes easier.

Remember, less is more. Often, we eat more than we need. Our eyes are bigger than our stomachs. Instead, try a little moderation and control. One of the easiest ways to help yourself is to put less food on your plate or use smaller sized plates. Re-evaluate whether you really need that second helping.

Timing is important. Many people who are overweight eat only one meal a day, usually at night. If this sounds like you, you are not eating enough, nor at the right time. Eating a huge meal at night is the worst thing you can do to your metabolic rate. You need to eat 70 per cent of your calories before 5 p.m. Sometimes, it is okay to go out at night to eat dinner, but majority of the times try to eat most of your calories during the day.

Step out of your comfort zone. Don’t view food as a source of happiness and comfort. Food is there to nourish our bodies and keep us fit and healthy. If you are looking for entertainment, do some exercises or join a hobby class. The more interesting your life, the less likely you are to rely on food as a crutch. Best wishes for your good health, readers!

(Archan Mehta is a freelance writer and can be contacted at archanm@hotmail.com)

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