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Free Healthy Weight Loss Diet Plan

Losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight doesn't have to be a difficult task. If you are willing learn to eat healthy and exercise regularly, you can train your body to accept a healthier "way of life."

Here is a simple 5 step plan that can help you learn how to live a healthier life:

  1. Get into a Healthy Eating Mind-set:

    If you are going to lose weight you MUST believe that you can do it. If you are discouraged, you will not be able to do it. You must think, I CAN LOSE WEIGHT. I WILL LOSE WEIGHT. I WILL GET HEALTHY STARTING RIGHT NOW!

    This may seem a little over the top - but it's not. You need to get yourself into a healthy mind-set. You need to give yourself positive reinforcement and pump yourself up.

    If you feel you need some help to get into a healthy mind-set, just remember it is not a weakness to admit that you need help. You may need the help of a trained professional (a doctor, a dietician, a personal trainer) or simply a support network of friendly people. If you have tried to do it on your own and have failed, then it is time to get the help that you need - start with your family physician.

    Your support network can be composed of people that are available for you to talk to. They should be positive people and they should believe in YOU.

  2. Find Motivation, Set Goals, and Reward Yourself:

    Motivation to lose weight or get healthier is going to be completely up to you! Whether you are just trying to lose a few pounds to go to your high school class reunion or you are trying to lose fifty pounds so that you can be a healthy person and play with your children... You need to find a motivation.

    Once you have a motivation, set attainable goals. Set goals that you know you can achieve. In other words, don't try to lose five pounds in one week. One or two pounds per week is a small, attainable goal.

    Also, plan to reward yourself when you've reached your goal. For instance, if your motivation is to shed ten pounds to go to your class reunion, then reward yourself with a new outfit to wear to the reunion. Or, if your motivation is to lose 50 pounds so that you will feel healthier, plan one fun day going to an amusement park when you've reached your goal weight.

    Take little steps. Motivate yourself using rewards every step of the way. Set goals and rewards. For instance, "When I lose 5 lbs., I will reward myself with a new pair of shoes."

    Set your own rewards based on what you really, really want. Follow through - don't just say you will reward yourself and then conveniently forget because there are more important things to buy or do - GO THROUGH WITH YOUR REWARD PLAN.

  3. Plan to Eat Healthy Foods and Healthy Serving Sizes:

    You may want to consider the healthy "food pyramid" the US government has provided for us. This plan works! So don't be afraid to use it. It's simple, too. If you are an adult, each day you should have the following allotment:

    1. Fats, Oils and Sweets - use sparingly.
    2. Milk, Yogurt, Cheese - 2 to 3 servings.
    3. Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Nuts, Eggs - 2 to 3 servings.
    4. Vegetables - 3 to 5 servings.
    5. Fruits - 2 to 3 servings.
    6. Grains, Bread, Cereal, Rice, Pasta - 6 to 11 servings.

    6 to 11 servings is a wide range. The amount of servings you need per day will be based on your daily activity and special needs:

    A breast-feeding mother will need the highest amounts - 3 servings of milk and cheese, 3 servings of meat.

    A middle aged woman who has a desk job will probably need the lower servings suggested - 6 servings of the grain/bread group, 2 servings of meat.

    6 servings of grains may seem like a lot of food - but - you must be careful on the serving size. A pasta meal at a restaurant may equal 6 servings of pasta. Watching the amount of food is as important as the kinds of food. Serving sizes follow:

    milk group - - 1 cup 2%, 1 cup yogurt, 1 1/2 oz of cheese
    meat group -- 2-3 oz. of meat, 1/2 cup cooked dry beans
    vegetable group -- 1/2 cup of cooked or raw cut up, 1 cup raw leafy
    fruit group -- medium sized piece of fruit or 1/2 cup cut up, 3/4 cup of juice
    grain group -- a serving is 1/2 cup of cooked pasta or rice, 1 slice of bread, 1 oz. dry cereal.

    Do not assume that the serving sizes on packaged products are the same as the above. Use common sense. Be honest with yourself about serving sizes.

  4. Plan to Exercise:

    You don't need to run a marathon every day in order to get exercise. There are little ways that you can get the exercise you need everyday. Here are some suggestions - choose at least one of these and do it everyday or at least three times a week. I guarantee that after a couple months - if you don't get your exercise, you will MISS it!

    1. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
    2. Park the farthest away spot from the store every time you go.
    3. Take a 30 minute walk everyday. (This is the one that I do - I love my walk, if I don't get my walk, I really feel at a loss - and I am definitely NOT an exercise fanatic, but I never miss my walking even on vacation - and I feel GREAT because of it.)
    4. Take an aerobics class or a dance class. (Do you have a partner? Take ballroom dancing! Not only will you get some exercise, you will also learn a useful, fun skill.)
    5. Get off the subway or bus stop one stop before where you normally get off and walk the rest of the way home.
    6. Decide to take up a sport like Tennis, Racquetball, or even join a Softball team. Check out your community athletic center or the YMCA for sports that you think you might like to participate in. Swimming is an especially cool work out in the summer!
    7. Buy a work out video and commit to working out 20 minutes a day at least three times a week.
    8. There are some awesome workout programs for free on the internet. Just do a search for "exercise plans" on your favorite search engine. (I like the free ones I can do at home. Who needs to be embarrassed by doing any of those exercises in public!?)

  5. The Right Tools:

    1. Support Network - In the first part of the plan, we discussed a support network. This network may be made up of health professionals or simply a group of family or friends that you can talk to. They are positive people that will help you over the rough spots.

    2. Healthy Eating Guide - You need to know the right balance of foods to eat. Use the US Government Recommended Daily Allowances. If you join any type of Diet plan, they all have their individual ways of keeping track of your calories or nutritional intake. Some are similar to the Food Pyramid, some are not. Just remember that moderation, portion size, and exercise should ALWAYS be considered with any plan you choose.

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