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I am a working executive, working long hours and addicted to fast food, usually eating while I'm in the office. I seem to eat whether I'm hungry or not and have got to a stage where I am unable to control my eating habit. Unfortunately, my weight is increasing and I'm being forced to buy clothes a size larger than normal. I can devote a little time to exercise, but is there a recommended safe way to lose weight? I've heard of all these diets, such as Atkins, that don't sound very healthy at all.
Well first and foremost, your best bet is to stay away from any kind of "diet." Diets tend to be restricting and are only really good in the short term. I'm not a fan of Atkins either as I'm not one of those "carbs are evil" types of people and I don't care what anyone says, eating endless amounts of meat and cheese can't be good for you. Not to mention that whole grains and certain starchy foods are GOOD for you and are important for a balanced diet. There are certain programs that I think are healthier approaches to losing weight such as Weight Watchers and The South Beach program. I've never personally tried South Beach, but I did Weight Watchers a few years ago and saw good results for a while (before I fell off the wagon)
In general I really am a big believer in just making a lifestyle change, and all that means is making a commitment to yourself to make better choices when you can, eat healthier, eat consciously, watch your portions and move more. It's not about being perfect and eliminating your favorite foods, but rather eating your favorite foods in moderation and opting for healthier variations of your favorites. And if you slip up or overindulge, just continue doing better the rest of the day and the following day. Incorporate more healthy, natural, whole foods into your diet and try and eliminate the artifical chemical laden stuff when you can. How I've been losing weight is simply by sticking to a daily calorie range (eating a healthy balanced diet and exercising too.) There are all kinds of websites have calculators that can help you figure out your target calorie range based on age, activity level, height, weight and goal weight. I used Spark People to figure out mine.
I can completely relate to what you said about being addicted to fast food. I used to be addicted to fast food and all kinds of junk food also. I used to have fast food or takeout at least 4-5 nights a week (sometimes having more than one fast food meal in a day) If I went any amount of time without it, I craved it horribly and found that it ended up nearly consuming my thoughts. I'm sure you know that fast food tends to be really bad for you. Other than the calories and fat (take a look at some of your favorite fast food places online and use their menu calculators to see how much is in your average meal. It shocked the hell out of me the first time I saw it!) fast food is loaded with sodium, sugar and artificial ****. I wouldnt suggest cutting it out all together, not at first anyway because that will be too extreme of a change and chances are you'll end up caving and binging on it. Try to cut back on your fast food intake to a couple of times a week and then eventually once a week and then eventually only treat yourself once in a while. You can still enjoy it in moderation, but fast food should really not make up the bulk of your diet. I gradually weaned myself off of it and havent had any fast food in nearly 2 years. I grew up on the stuff and ate it regularly for over 20 years so if I can do it, you can too!
I used to eat even when I knew I wasnt hungry and I'm sure part of it was emotional, but I really think my problem was just that I ate when I was bored and in the mood for junk food. At least you realize that you do this, but now you have to figure out what's causing you do to this because there is almost always and underlying issue that causes overeating, whether it be stress, lonliness, frustration etc etc.. Learning the difference between stomach hunger and mouth hunger and only eating when you know you're actually hungry is difficult at first, but just like with anything else, practice makes perfect. If you start paying closer attention to what triggers you to overeat and then learn to control how, what and when you eat, you'll eventually pick up your new habits and eating less frequently and for the majority of the time, only when you're actually hungry will eventually be second nature. I definitely still have a tendency to overeat sometimes, but I try and catch it as fast as I can and stop the pattern before it gets back out of control.
Most weight loss products don't work or if they do help you lose weight, you will probably gain it right back if you stop using them. It's best to lose weight slowly and safely by watching what you eat and getting exercise.
If you can't exercise on a regular basis, park farther from the door and walk, use stairs rather than an elevator, take the "long way" to the copy machine, etc. Also research some exercises that you can actually do at your desk, such as leg and arm raises, etc.
Welcome aboard!! Atkins and all the junk is just for temp. so like the girls said stay AWAY from them!! Dont think of it in that way but in a lifestyle change thats the best!! As far as junk food and snacks yes you have to cut bk or all together my rule i follow is 100 calorie packs and only one a day thats it!! like the girls also mentioned dont eat just cus you are bored i have heard a good rule of thumb is to try drinking something First when you feel hunger coming on cus sometimes its just thirst not actual hunger but try that then if you really are hungry then have a small snack!! Again welcome and if you need help just ask!!
Gokuangel - good idea about drinking something before you eat to make sure you aren't just thirsty. Just make sure it's water or something low cal, but watch the diet sodas and other things with artificial sweeteners as they can make you crave sweets even more.
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