Changing your eating habits temporarily will cause only temporary weight loss. In order to stay at a healthier weight and to maintain - or increase - your fitness level, follow these suggestions:
Don't diet - eat better. Making radical diet changes doesn't work, so there is no benefit to cutting our foods in order to loose weight if you're going to go right back to eating them once you've reached your goal. Instead, commit to life-changes in your eating habits by making small changes that you can stick with, then building up toward a healthier food lifestyle.
Rotate. Alternate the foods you eat each day, for breakfast, lunch, dinner and even snacks. Change will keep your metabolism more active - and will also keep you from getting bored with the healthier choices you're making.
Water, water, water. Water flushes fats from your body. Drink six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily to eliminate the fats the body is breaking down.
Food exchange. Food choices that are high in protein, fiber, and/or natural sugars, or choices low in fat, can be substituted for less healthy food choices. For example, select fat-free frozen yogurt rather than ice cream, or fat-free pretzels instead of fried potato chips. Eat whole grain breads, pastas, and rice instead of the more common white options. For just about any food category, there is a healthy alternative.
Cheat - but just a little. If you're craving a food that is not on the "most healthy" list, don't stress over avoiding it. Eat foods your craving in moderation. This will help you fill that craving and prevent you from binging on these foods later.
Keep in mind: for safe, permanent weight loss, you should eat the same way while losing weight as you will eat once you reach your goal. It's better to eat foods within a certain category (proteins, fruit, vegetables, etc.) rather than measure and weigh all that you eat. In this way, you tend to eliminate obsessions about food and can make eating less problematic.
You need not include every food group at each meal - just balance your food over the day. Planning meals doesn't need to be complicated. When you simply make smarter choices, your appetite for poor ones will abate. A few guidelines for balancing the food groups include:
You'll need to adopt healthy eating habits that you can continue for a lifetime, because temporary modifications mean just temporary weight loss, and if you go back to eating poorly, your body will revert also. To help you follow basic food guidelines and choose the best foods (low fat food whenever possible), see the government's website on dietary guidelines at http://www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines.