In today's busy world where many families require two incomes to stay afloat, it becomes very easy to opt for easy meal creation - packaged foods or fast foods. If you are serious about losing weight, this is a one way ticket to obesity.
There are some simple and effective methods to stay on track to losing excess weight. Perhaps one of the most important ones is goal setting. Sit down with pen and paper and your partner and 'free associate' - write down outrageous goals then work your way to achievable ones. The more fun you have setting your goals the easier it will be to reach them. If your goals are boring, you will have little incentive to achieve them. Make your goals realistic, achievable and meaningful to you.
Perhaps your first goal could be to take lunch with you for a week. If you pack your lunch the night before, it is easy to just grab it and go in the morning. By taking lunch with you, you are not only saving money, you get to be the one who chooses what goes into your body. There is no worry about artificial colours, flavours, additives or any other nasties.
By taking your own lunch, you are making yourself important. You are saying "hey, I care about myself". (If you make lunch for your partner as well, you are telling them they are important too.) It takes very little time to make sandwiches or prepare a salad when you are preparing the night time meal. Even left-overs are great the next day and most workplaces now have a microwave.
Processed or fast foods rarely have the required vitamins for healthy living and are nearly always full of ingredients that are (a) fattening, (b) contain too much salt and sugars, (c) are frequently cooked in oil, (d) are overcooked, and (e) just downright detrimental to your health. Yes they may be easy and require no thought after a busy day at the office, but the disadvantages far outweigh the advantages.
Many people working in an office find they need a 'sugar hit' during the day to keep the concentration from flagging. Don't reach for the sweets, have natural sugar found in fruit instead. An apple, orange or in season fruit taken from home is not only better for you, it is much cheaper on the wallet.
When thirsty, don't head for the coffee machine or the fizzy drink dispenser, bottled water will fill you without adding anything to the hips or waist. In fact, water when you're feeling hungry is often all you need. The brain often confuses hunger and thirst so if it's not meal time, drink water.
With planning, the evening meal need not be a chore. Meals for the week can be planned ahead, the shopping done on the weekend, meats can be frozen to keep them fresh and taken out in the morning before leaving for work. Sit down with your partner each week and between you plan what you would like to eat for that week. If your partner cooks occasionally, even better. By choosing together what you want to eat, it makes the meals more interesting and meaningful.
Always keep in mind your goals of losing that extra weight and plan accordingly. Keep your goals in front of you - on the fridge, in your bag, next to your computer at work, on the mirror in the bathroom, even on the back of the toilet door. Wherever you will see them and remind yourself of them is good. Talk about your goals with your friends, ask them to keep you on track.
Be positive in your self talk - don't let the 'evil twin inside your head' beat you up. Always focus on the successes, never the failures. If you do go off your diet plan, accept it, forget it and get back on track. Don't agonise about that piece of chocolate or extra glass of wine. Worrying never achieved anything and if you keep focusing on it, you are likely to repeat it. Focus instead on how you are working towards your goals at a steady rate and are crossing milestones off your list.
Remember, that weight wasn't gained over a 1 week period and you won't lose it quickly either. Slow and steady is what will get you there in the end. Balance and moderation in all things plus healthy exercise will see you achieving all those goals.
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