Losing weight is no easy task. Even when it’s gone, sometimes a few pounds sneak back up on us. Through years of fluctuating weight and finally arriving at a healthy one, I have finally come to learn what changes work for me and can work for you too.
The key was always my diet. It helped me go from 256 pounds down to 154, back up to the healthier 180 I am currently at. I spent my teenage years eating potato chips as meals and now actually look forward to salads with grilled chicken.
These are the steps I followed to making a healthy diet a part of my everyday life.
Step 1 – Find a Diet to Follow
The diet I followed with the best results also took the most work. I would follow a 40/40/20 split, meaning I would eat 40 percent of my calories from carbohydrates, 40 percent from protein, and 20 percent from fat. This was a diet that helped me lose 20 pounds that I never thought I would be able to and tone me up. To do this you must first know how many calories you should eat a day to meet your goals. From that number you find the percentage. Instead of counting calories, you are focusing on macronutrients. Certain people may want to eat slightly higher fat with fewer carbohydrates. With any diet you want to also be flexible.
Step 2 – Write Everything Down
Whenever you begin any new healthy program, you want to track everything on paper, a computer, or an iPhone app. This goes for exercise and more importantly diet. When doing a 40/40/20 split like I first did, this is the only way to accurately know how much you are consuming on a daily basis. You can track progress easier and make the proper adjustments easier. You can worry about eating clean later. Following a 40/40/20 split is pretty safe already and will make the next transition easier on you.
Step 3 – Find an Appropriate Workout Program
Dieting is great. However, to get the full benefits you will want to exercise too. Whether you are a young man hoping to look like an Adonis or an older woman just trying to look more youthful, adding an exercise program to your diet will benefit you greatly. The most important thing you have to do is move around. I began with very simple movements for a few minutes every morning and eventually evolved to focusing on heavy lifting.
Step 4 – Study
There will always be new information about health available. Study other people’s success stories and your own. Eventually I found the 40/40/20 split could only get me so far. My body was better with a higher fat consumption and fewer carbohydrates. I felt better, looked better, and had a chance to enjoy new foods.
Remember that the most important thing with any diet is to never fall off the wagon. Allow yourself to enjoy foods and cheat every so often. Dieting is as much mental as it is anything else.