You notice the scale tipping as you age, and you now need to be watchful of what you eat. If going on a diet would be easy, then it wouldn’t be called such. Still, something about the start of a new week makes you think that this time, a new body is really within reach. But while it’s easy to eat right, stay strong, and resist temptation at the start, it gets trickier a few days later. This is probably why most diets fail. To join the few who reach the land of leanness, you need to know what tests you’ll be faced with along the way and what strategies you can use to best those tests. Turn the resolution into a revolution by just knowing the tricks of the trade.
The hard part of dieting is when you’re really starving. Get through it by not skimping on breakfast. If you’re ravenous during the first few days of your diet, it’s because eating fewer calories has your body producing extra hormones responsible for making you feel hungry. To reduce these levels while keeping your calories under control, focus on your first meal of the day. If you eat a meal rich in complex carbohydrates, you are more likely to feel fuller longer. Aim for a breakfast that totals to 20 percent of your caloric needs for the day.
The hard part about going low cal is the feeling that you’re constantly uptight and edgy. Get through it by reaching out to your friends. It’s no secret that diets are tough on your mind as they are on your body. The big part of dieting is changing your behavior, which can be all too stressful. Unfortunately, tension is doubly dangerous for dieters. Not only can it make you revert to your old eating habits, but it can keep you fat because cortisol, a hormone released during stress, slows down weight loss. This is when you rely on the others for support. Or, enlist them to join you in your crusade. Group support is very helpful: it allows you to share frustrations with other people and learn ways to deal with the change from them as well. And have faith. If you made it this far, you’re only a few days away from having things feel easier.
There are also times when you just crave for the munchies. You can get past the feeling by actually eating more often. Women, in particular, have cravings during the last 14 days of their menstrual cycle. Progesterone is elevated during this time. When this happens, the feel-good hormone serotonin decreases, along with endorphins and dopamine, the two chemicals responsible for helping your body fight stress. The combination makes your mood plummet and appetite soar. Plus, insulin sensitivity increases your desire to eat. During these crazy times when you just crave for anything and everything, skip your normal feedings and switch to smaller meals spread throughout the day. This will stabilize your blood sugar, cut fatigue, and also prevent bloating and lethargic feelings that can lead to overeating.