These days it seems like almost everyone wants to lose weight. Most people will admit that at one point or the other they have tried to lose weight. There is no full-proof method that will guarantee success, but there are some broad principles that can increase the likelihood of success considerably.
Avoid fad diets: Eating only fruits, a completely liquid diet, and no carbohydrates diet - these diets may actually seem to work in the short run. However the weight will definitely come back once you go back to normal food. And being on these diets for any length of time can cause serious nutritional deficiencies. Any good diet will involve eating balanced, healthy foods in the right quantities at the right time.
Don't skip meals: If you skip meals, you will feel hungry and will be more likely to overeat in the next meal.
Don't try to lose too much too soon: It is not possible to lose too much of weight too soon without cutting your food intake drastically. You will end up feeling very weak, may be unable to keep up with your work and family routines and your health will suffer. You may even notice a negative effect on your appearance - especially your skin and hair. Setting a realistic target is better for your health, and it is also easier to succeed which will in turn motivate you to continue.
Eat without distraction: If you eat while watching TV or reading, there is a tendency to eat more without even realizing how much you are actualy eating.
Record everything you eat: Experts recommend that you write down EVERYTHING that you eat and drink. This would include not just meals but also the cups of coffee/tea or even a biscuit. This will alert you to problem areas or times when you are more prone to overeat. Also knowing that you have to record your food intake, it might prevent you from snacking on those unhealthy snacks.
Eat snacks: That might sound totally contrary to common sense. The secret is in the kind of snacks you eat. Snacks are not deep fried namkeen and samosas or chocolates and icecream, but healthy snacks like carrot or cucumber with a curd-based dip, fruit, popcorn (without butter), crackers, skimmed milk, sprouts etc. The idea is to eat smaller quantities more frequently so you don't allow yourself to get too hungry and so can avoid overeating.
Keep healthy foods available: If you already have cuts fruits in the fridge, there is a greater chance that you will eat those when hungry, rather than reaching for the tempting chocolate cake.
Take only one helping: Discipline yourself not to go back for a second or third helping and use a smaller plate which looks full even with less quantity.
Eat slowly: Don't gulp your food; chew it well and enjoy your food. By eating slowly you give yourself the opportunity to recognize when you are full.
Drink plenty of water: When you feel like eating, drink some water first. You might find that you don't really feel so hungry anymore. Sometimes we eat when we are thirsty or bored. Also avoid quenching your thirst with soft drinks or juices - as all these add a lot of calories. This also applies to coffee or tea taken with sugar.
Exercise regularly: It is hard to lose weight by cutting down your intake of calories alone. Exercise will help you burn more calories and also increase your metabolic rate so that your body continues to burn calories. It will also improve your shape and improve your energy.
Reward yourself: Give yourself a treat for meeting your goals. Not just the long-term goal of losing X kilos, but for the ½ kg a week or even for sticking to your diet. Caution: do make sure that the reward is not edible!!
Get support: It's hard to stay motivated on your own. Join with a friend/s so that you can hold each other accountable and encourage and motivate each other to keep going.