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A lot of what I am about to say is just commonsense, nothing new, nothing exciting. However, there are probably more than a few things you didn't know which may help you in your goal of losing weight and keeping it off.
Here are the basics of what I found:
Yes, you are what you eat, as they say - but that doesn't mean low-fat, calorie restricted diets are the answer to everyone's weight problems.
In fact, while these horrible low-cal diets do work if you want to lose a bit of weight quickly, they're not going to keep the weight off because (as you've probably already found) they're almost impossible to stick to for any length of time.
When I decided to lose weight and keep it off, this is what I found about food.
When I was becoming a fatty I almost always skipped breakfast and told myself that it meant I could "safely" eat more later in the day. Unfortunately it doesn't work that way.
In fact, it works exactly the opposite!
The earlier in the day you eat, the less effect those calories will have on your weight -- more on this later.
Oatmeal and yoghurt is what I settled on for my breakfast meal.
Now before you cry "eeew... oatmeal... yuck!" just stop and listen for a moment.
Oatmeal is very high in soluble fiber (which helps reduce cholesterol) and also has a low GI so it keeps you feeling full for a very long time.
Now I'm talking about plain, unsalted, unsweetened oatmeal here. No sugar, no sprinkles, no honey, no maple syrup -- just a cup of oatmeal, two cups of water and a couple of minutes in the microwave. It might sound hideous to some of you reading this -- but wait, there's relief at hand.
If you don't have one already, go buy yourself a home yoghurt maker. These are cheap, as are the sachets of yoghurt powder you use with them.
Yoghurt (like oatmeal) is another of nature's wonder foods. It'll help ensure that your gut is filled with good bacteria that help you properly digest your food and keep you regular. In fact, the beneficial effects of yoghurt are greatly amplified by combining it with oatmeal so you get a double-whammy of goodness.
But don't choose a full-cream yoghurt, get the unsweetened, unflavored low-fat version and make it up in your yoghurt maker.
Once your oatmeal is done (2 minutes in the microwave), put around 5-6 tablespoons of your yoghurt on top and gorge yourself. It may take a while to acquire the taste (keep at it for at least a week) but you'll soon find that the relatively bland nuttiness of the oatmeal is very nicely contrasted by the sharp tang of the unsweetened yoghurt.
Now trust me with this -- please give it a fair try before you give up if you're not an oatmeal or yoghurt fan. This is one of the cornerstones of making your weightloss easy. It fills you up and tunes your digestive system in a big-way and unless you start with this advantage, the other things I'm about to suggest won't work quite as well as they do.