Most people know that if you eat less calories and burn calories with exercise you will lose weight; but it isn't necessarily easy. How do you decide what is a healthy diet for you? Extreme dieting has become very popular in Hong Kong. Women, in particular, flock to slimming centers for ultrasound, electric stimulation and infrared radiation treatments. The newest fad in Hong Kong is swallowing parasites, which can be lethal. They order worms from China for this purpose even though the Hong Kong Health Department has issued a warning that these worms will cause abdominal pain and distension, vomiting, diarrhea, malnutrition and even death. Obviously these methods are very extreme. Dieting is a big business as lifestyles have changed to be more sedentary; there is more fast food available and long work hours don't always allow much time for exercise. What are you willing to do to lose weight?

I guess you could say we have some of the same problems causing obesity to be a major problem in the USA. So, what can you do to make a diet work for you? There are a few things that will help weight loss become more manageable by following these steps consistently.

    1. Write down every single thing you eat every day. You don't realize how many calories you can add to your daily count when you just mindlessly grab a bit of something without considering the consequences.
    2. Drink plenty of calorie free water, non-carbonated is the best choice and green tea has been shown to help with weight loss.
    3. Stop and decide if you are really hungry before you eat. Don't eat supper at 6 PM because it is the correct time to eat, but eat when you really feel the need, and stop eating before you get that bloated sensation.
    4. Try to think about what you can add to your diet rather than what you have to take away. Focus on eating 5-9 vegetables and fruits per day. You will get more fiber that way and feel full more of the time.
    5. Bedtime snacks can be a problem. You can choose a time where you will not eat anything else until morning, or let yourself have one 100 calorie snack per night.
    6. Enjoy you favorite foods occasionally by maybe buying one bakery cookie instead of a whole box. Moderation is always the key.
    7. When you are eating in a restaurant look for the portion of the menu that has the lower calorie foods listed. Be careful of salads as sometimes they are the higher calorie chose. Ask for a to go box before you start eating and put half your food into the box to eat later in the day.
    8. Studies have shown that eating 5-6 smaller meals per day is a more effective weight loss plan than 3 larger meals.
    9. Eat some protein at every meal as it is more satisfying than carbohydrates or fats. Protein preserves muscle mass and burns fat more effectively.
    10. Add spices and herbs to you food as your food becomes more interesting and a flavor boost can help you feel more satisfied.
    11. Stock you kitchen with healthy food that is easy to make. There are a lot of new healthy convenience choices in the market now, so it is not difficult to do. For instance, 94% fat-free popcorn is only 20-25 calories per cup.
    12. Don't use comfort food to deal with stress. Find alternative methods which might be exercise, listening to good music, meditation, talking on the phone with a friend or anything that works for you.
    13. Be as physically active as possible. Focus on how much better you feel with exercise and how much better you sleep. Don't use it as an excuse to eat more.
      If you have a plan your chance of successful weight loss increases dramatically. These are some good guidelines and writing down what you eat is essential for your best chance of success. Good luck with your new diet.