- Maximize with nutrient-packed foods
Give your body the nutrients it needs by eating a variety of nutrient-packed food, including whole grains, lean protein, fruits and vegetables, and low-fat or fat-free dairy. Eat less food high in solid fats, added sugars, and sodium (salt).
- Energize with grains
Your body’s quickest energy source comes from foods such as bread, pasta, oatmeal, cereals, and tortillas. Be sure to make at least half of your grain food choices whole-grain foods like whole-wheat bread or pasta and brown rice.
- Power up with protein
Protein is essential for building and repairing muscle. Choose lean or low-fat cuts of beef or pork, and skinless chicken or turkey. Get your protein from seafood twice a week. Quality protein sources come from plant based foods, too.
- Mix it up with plant protein foods
A gluten-free diet is a diet that excludes the protein gluten. Gluten is found in grains such as wheat, barley, rye, and a cross between wheat and rye called triticale.
A gluten-free diet is primarily used to treat celiac disease. Gluten causes inflammation in the small intestines of people with celiac disease. Eating a gluten-free diet helps people with celiac disease control their signs and symptoms and prevent complications.
According to a 2013 survey, 27% of Americans believe that eliminating gluten from their diets will help them shed excess pounds. High-profile celebs like Miley Cyrus and Victoria Beckham say the GF-lifestyle has helped them lose weight, too. The only problem? There is absolutely no evidence or reason to support that belief, says a new paper published in the Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants.
Switching to a gluten-free diet is a big change, and like anything new, it takes some getting used to. You may initially feel deprived by the diet’s restrictions, especially if you weren’t having troubling symptoms before your diagnosis.
It may help to try to focus on all the foods you can eat instead, however. You may be pleasantly surprised to realize how many gluten-free products, such as bread and pasta, are now available. Many specialty grocery stores sell gluten-free foods. If you can’t find them in your area, check with a celiac support group or search online.
If you’re just starting with a gluten-free diet, it’s a good idea to consult a dietitian who can answer your questions and offer advice about how to avoid gluten while still eating a healthy, balanced diet.
Random fat sampling by the EPA shows that all Americans store fat-soluble toxins from common chemical exposures in their fat. This is a testament to the amount of pollution we face. Some of these, like PCBs, which are proven to elevate in your blood as they are released from fat when you lose weight, can be quite toxic.
Note that the detoxification process works by shifting the focus from metabolizing unhealthy foods towards cellular regeneration and internal cleansing of the body.
Before you go on a diet, you must be able to get toxins out of your system completely as you lose weight, otherwise your fat will simply not release them easily and you will struggle to lose weight past a certain point. However, medical science offers no support for the value of a detoxifying cleanse. Nevertheless, a short pre-diet cleanse might help you get in the proper mindset for success.
Losing weight doesn’t always have to be a chore. It’s possible to become healthier and have a good time getting to your ideal weight. Here are tips to jazz up your routine and get back in shape.
1. GO FOOD TASTING
This might sound like an odd option for those on a diet, but eating different foods will help you feel less deprived, and a lot of choices are surprisingly low calorie! For example, there are only 83 calories in 3oz of lobster, and 60 calories in 12 large shrimp. Food tasting is always brilliant fun, too.
2. PLAN A PEDOMETER CONTEST
Buy a pedometer, and see who can record the most steps. You’d be surprised how motivating having healthy competition can be, and anything that gets you walking instead of jumping in the lift is always a benefit!
3. CLEAN YOUR CLOSET
Take out all of your ‘fat’ clothes, and give them to friends or charity. The idea of having to buy a whole new wardrobe if you gain weight should be enough to put you off that last biscuit, and clothes swapping is always a laugh.
Turn up the stereo and dance around the room. Not only is this a brilliant way to learn new dance moves and hear your friends favourite songs, you’ll also burn calories too! If you’re too embarrassed to dance at home, plan a night out to hit the dance floor.
5. WATCH A FUNNY FILM
Laughing is another excellent way to burn calories, so grab some comedy DVDs and cheer yourself up while making yourself slim!
6. GO TO THE PARK
Play tag, run around after your children, play football with your husband, throw sticks for your dog…as well as feeling much more healthy, you’ll burn loads of calories too!
7. GO BOWLING
This will distract you from food, boredom and loneliness, which can all make you eat, will burn calories and tone you at the same time. And if you go off peak, it can be very cheap too!
8. DO SOME HOUSEWORK
Wash the car, do some gardening or shovel the snow while having a gossip. You won’t feel the workout while you are hearing what your next door neighbor has been up too, but you’ll be burning calories and toning too.
9. JOIN A SWIMMING CLUB
Meet once or twice a week outside the pool, and do a few laps. You are less likely to give up if you are doing it with a friend, and swimming is one of the best ways of toning up and looking great.
10. DO SOME KISSING 🙂
Have a romantic night in with your partner. While he isn’t strictly speaking a friend, passionate kissing can burn hundreds of calories alone, and having your heart beat faster burns even more…
Article By: Kati Blake (All Womens Talk)
How do you learn to accept, respect, and love your current body 100%, right now, extra weight and all? To learn how to do just that, I’d like you to try a very special two-step exercise that will quickly show you how to better accept, respect, and love your body and thus make weight loss a walk in the park!
Step 1: Get Aware
Stop believing the old lies you have been consciously or subconsciously telling yourself about how your body is not special enough, amazing enough, or precious enough to warrant your utmost attention and care right now. For example, if you are telling yourself, “Perhaps someday when it looks better (or younger or thinner), I will take better care of my body,” you’re telling yourself a lie.
I’d like you to uncover all of the damaging lies that you may be telling yourself, lies that will prevent you from fully accepting and respecting your body. To help you do that, I’ve listed 21 of the most common lies, ones that my clients have found limited their ability to succeed at any weight loss plan:
- “Losing weight is expensive.” In reality, weight loss costs nothing. You don’t need to buy expensive equipment or premade meals for weight loss. And think about this: The costs of not getting fit—heart disease, diabetes, arthritis—are much higher than the costs of starting a weight loss program.
- “I don’t have enough time to exercise.” You don’t need a lot of time to get fit. You need only 8 minutes. That’s right, just 8 minutes. Set your alarm 8 minutes earlier than usual and get up and just do it.
- “I can overeat now and make up for these excess calories by eating less tomorrow.” This is a form of procrastination, and it always results in disaster. Few people make up for the excess “tomorrow.” And those who do eat less end up starving themselves and slowing their metabolisms. When you truly respect your body, you’ll stick to healthful food portions all the time and never punish your body with starvation.
- “I need to take care of others first. Once I meet their needs, then I can focus on myself.” This is perhaps one of the most prevalent and most vicious lies out there. In reality, you can’t take care of others until you have first taken care of yourself. When you neglect your mind and body, you eventually have nothing left to give. And if you suffer a heart attack from neglecting your body, eventually others will have to take care of you.
- “Weight loss is not worth the effort. I’m just going to gain it all back anyway.” I understand why you may feel this way, particularly if you have already lost and regained weight numerous times before. You must understand, however, that you’re not to blame for those past failed attempts—the programs are at fault. For permanent weight loss, you must address the source of your problem. You must accept your body and heal your hungry heart. Once you do that, you will effortlessly lose the weight.
- “My work is more important than my body.” To quote a fairly well-known phrase: “ No man ever said on his deathbed, ‘I wish I had spent more time at the office.’ Yet, I would bet that plenty of people on their deathbeds had wished they had taken better care of their bodies.
- “Weight doesn’t matter. I am ugly at any size.” Your body is an extraordinary machine that does extraordinary tasks every day. Once you learn to recognize that simple fact, you will realize that ugliness is a matter of perspective. If you focus on the amazing nature of your body–on your heart’s ability to beat, on your muscles’ ability to move, on your skin’s ability to heal—then you will understand the inherent beauty of your body.
- “Nobody loves me or cares about me, so why should I care about myself?” Perhaps one of the most perverse laws of human nature is that you must first love yourself before you can earn and receive love from others. Quite often, lack of self-love is what drives others from you. Think about it. Would you rather be around a depressed, sad, negative person or a confident, cheerful person? Once you become more confident, you’ll find friends suddenly appearing in your life.
- “I have already blown it today, so I might as well give up.” You’ve never blown it until you’ve given up altogether. Just one overeating episode will not ruin your chance for success. For the same reason fat is so hard to lose, it is also hard to gain. It takes 3,500 excess calories in order to gain one pound of fat. That’s a lot of food. Believe me, you’ve never eaten that much in one sitting!
- “I work hard. I deserve to eat as much as I want.” If you work hard, you deserve to pamper yourself, that’s true. But overeating is a form of body punishment, not a form of pampering. I suggest you treat yourself to a massage, a warm bath, or a long talk with an old friend instead of treating yourself to food. (Check out these other ways to treat youself.)
- “I am fine on the inside. That’s all that matters.” Both the inside and the outside of your body matter. Excess weight—on the outside—weakens and sickens the inside of your body. Take care of the outside of your body with weight loss, and the inside-your heart, lungs, and blood vessels—will become healthier and stronger.
- “One day of not caring is not going to matter.” The problem with this thinking is that 1 day turns into 2 days which turns into 3 days, then 4, and so on. Start caring about your body today.
- “My partner loves me no matter what my size.” I’m sure your spouse loves you, but this isn’t about your spouse. This is about you. You should lose weight to make your life better, to improve your body, to feel more energetic and healthy, and to make your life easier. Of course, those around you will benefit, but you are the one that counts the most.
- “Food is the only friend that can lift my spirits or remove the ache of loneliness.” Plenty of things—besides food—can help you heal your hungry heart.
- “I don’t want to offend my friends by not indulging with them.” My mother used to say, “If your friend jumped off a bridge, would you do it too?” Overeating hurts you just as much as using recreational drugs. If your friends are offended that you want to take better care of your body, they are not really your friends.
- “I’m old. All old people are fat.” It’s true that many people gain weight as they age as a result of a slower metabolism. If you strength train, however, you can keep your metabolism from slowing down in the first place.
- “I’m still young. I can lose the weight later.” The statistics are stacked against you on this one. Most people tend to gain weight as they get older, not lose it. The best time for weight loss is right now!
- “I can eat as much as my 6-foot-2-inch husband.” You probably know that this isn’t true—as much as you want it to be so. Many women tell me that they gained weight when they were first married and began eating the same food portions as their husbands. Your husband has more muscle mass and is probably taller, and he therefore burns more calories each day than you do. You must stick to smaller food portions in order to lose weight.
- “My metabolism is terrible.” This may be true. After many years of dieting, your metabolism may be much slower than it used to be. You can rev it up, however, with strength training. (Check out how to get a metabolism that soars.)
- “I’m genetically meant to be overweight.” This is only a half-truth. Some people do carry what scientists call a “thrifty gene,” which makes their bodies resist burning fat. It only means, however, that you’ll have to work a little harder than someone without this gene in order to lose weight and keep it off.
- “I’m too fat to exercise.” This lie is what led me to develop this book. Certain types of exercise may not be best suited for your body. But I know that you’ll be able to comfortably perform the exercises in my program. I tested them on full-figured women. They work.
Working With Negative Beliefs
Did any of those lies resonate with you? Have you found yourself using them to make excuses for not exercising or eating healthful food portions? Do you have even more lies buried deep inside? Take a moment right now to think about what you’ve told yourself in the past that led to overeating or not exercising. Were you lying to yourself?
To get fully aware of your damaging, negative, and false beliefs, I want you write down your top three limiting beliefs that you have consciously or subconsciously told yourself, lies that resulted in your not believing that your body was special enough, amazing enough, or precious enough to warrant your highest attention and care. Feel free to borrow a few from those I mentioned earlier.
After you write down your top three limiting beliefs, write down the consequence of believing these old dis-empowering beliefs. And know that dissatisfaction can be a powerful spark that gets you to take action and change your behaviors forever.
Once you’ve completed the limiting-beliefs exercise, you’re ready to take another step on your journey to body respect. To fully acknowledge that your three negative beliefs are no longer a part of you, I want you to do something symbolic. Take a thick, black marker and ink out those three old beliefs with your pen. Yes, draw on top of them. Cover them up. Put a big XXX over them. This may seem like a simple, and maybe even silly, exercise, but believe me, it will symbolically help you to delete those same lies from your brain’s hard drive.
By doing this, you will be signaling to your brain and subconscious that you are no longer willing to be ruled by these lies. As the words disappear, so will those damaging beliefs! You will feel empowered and invigorated. You will be free. Don’t continue to read this until you have done this exercise. This physical act of destroying those old beliefs will impact your future success for the better. You will almost feel reborn.
Step 2: Replace the Junk with a Gem
Now that you have cleared out your emotional closet of the junk, it is now time to replace that junk with a true gem: empowering beliefs that will change your life and how you treat your body forever. Ready? Simply replace those three old limiting beliefs with the following power pledge: “My current body is the most precious gift I have ever been given.”
To fully commit that pledge to memory, write down the positive consequences of believing this. For example, you might write:
“I will treat my body as a top priority.”
“I will make sure to exercise my body on a regular basis.”
“I will feed my body properly.”
“I will finally lose the extra weight.”
To strengthen your pledge, I want you to support it with 10 ultimate references. These are 10 ideas that make the power pledge completely real for you. To create your ultimate references, ask yourself this simple question: “Why is this true?” In other words, “Why is my current body truly the most precious gift I have ever been given?” Write your answers down.
Now that you’ve listed your 10 ultimate references, make three copies and place them in three spots in your house. I highly recommend posting it on your nightstand and in the bathroom, so you can see it when you first get up, and in the kitchen, so you can see it whenever you feel tempted to overeat or skip your workout.
Your poster will serve as a powerful reminder to put your body first. Remember that it is essential for you to realize that the first secret to real weight loss is to unconditionally accept and thus respect your body 100%, right now, no matter what your current size. If you don’t fully respect your current body, I can assure you that you will never truly treat it as the most precious gift that has ever been given to you.
Source: Article by Jorge Cruise (www.prevention.com)
Did you hit a weight plateau? and feeling discouraged that for weeks your weight loss program was taking the pounds off. Then, suddenly, the scales won’t budge another pounce.
Before you delve into some solutions, establish whether what you are experience is an actual plateau. Here are other possible explanations for why your scale is not budging:
Your body composition is changing. In other words, you may be losing fat but not overall weight. Although you may long to see the numbers go down, the scale is not the best way to track weight loss.
Instead, you should be tracking your body composition, especially if you are exercising. If you feel you look leaner in the mirror but the weight is the same, you are likely building muscle while losing fat. Tracking your weight loss using a body composition analyzer on a monthly basis is a great approach. Even how your jeans fit can give you a better assessment of how you are doing than your scale.
Consider trying one of these tips:
Assess your food and activity records (keep your daily food journal). It is common to loosen the rules with time, letting yourself get away with larger meal portions or less activity. The solution is to record every food morsel you eat and activity you undertake. At the end of the week, review your journal and maintain or look for a more healthier alternatives.
Focus on three- to four-week trends in weight loss instead of daily fluctuations. You may find that, although progress is not evident immediately, you’re losing weight.
Consistency is key. It might be tempting to stop working out if you aren’t continuing to see results, but focus of continuing to exercise and eat healthfully. Resist the urge to give up.
If you’ve hit a plateau, reassess your program. Is it possible that you’ve accomplished about as much as you can with the goals you’ve set. If so, you may need to adjust or modify your program if you want to achieve more.
Whatever you do, do not give up. If you get discouraged or have a bad weekend of eating or you missed your spin class two days in a row, get right back on track. Remember that plateaus are always surrounded by progress and your progress is on it’s way.
Remember, even with a good weight loss program and the best of intentions, you’ll run into roadblocks now and then. How you respond to these obstacles can be the difference between success and failure. – Diet, The Mayo Clinic
Five ways busy people can start keeping a consistent workout schedule today:
1. Embrace shorter workouts.
You don’t need to spend hours in the gym in order to stay healthy and fit. Because with high intensity interval training (HIIT), you can get stronger, fitter, and in better shape than ever—in way less time than traditional workouts.
If you’ve never heard of it before, HIIT is an insanely efficient style of workout that alternates periods of short, intense anaerobic exercise with less intense recovery periods.
Basically, that means you’ll be working really hard for a short amount of time, resting, then working hard again. And most HIIT workouts take only about 10 to 20 minutes—making them the perfect fit for busy people of all types.
And while traditional HIIT focuses on forms of cardio like sprinting and cycling, you can also throw exercises like box jumps, push ups, pull ups and burpees [http://www.12minuteathlete.com/burpees-are-awesome/] into the mix for a really quick and an incredibly effective workout.
2. Create a ritual.
One of the best ways to start any kind of habit is to create a ritual around the habit you want to create. And working out is no different.
For example, maybe you want to work out first thing in the morning before you go to work. You might decide to create a ritual where every morning you get up, eat a small breakfast while listening to your favorite music to get you pumped up, take the dog for a quick stroll around the block, then work out, make a protein shake, shower, and drive to work.
The idea is to get your mind and body so used to including a workout in your morning routine (or whatever your favorite time of the day is to work out) that you no longer have to think about it—making it so that working out just comes naturally to you.
3. Schedule it in your calendar.
Another way to make sure your workouts are ingrained in your schedule is to simply put them on the calendar—just as you would any other appointment.
So, for example, if you want to commit to working out three days a week, choose the days—let’s say Monday, Wednesday and Friday—and put them in your calendar or phone for a scheduled time. Then treat them just as you would any other appointment.
If something really important comes up, you can always reschedule your workout for another time/day (but don’t do this too often). But just as you’d never just skip an important meeting or your best friend’s birthday party, scheduling it in your calendar keeps you from skipping your workout—or forgetting to work out altogether.
4. Commit for 30 days.
You probably know that it takes anywhere from 21 to 30 days to build a habit that sticks. The same is true with your workouts.
The key is to commit to the habit you want to create—such as doing HIIT three times a week—and giving yourself a 30-day “trial” of doing that habit consistently. Then tell yourself that if you want, you can go back to your old habits (such as not doing HIIT or not exercising at all) at the end of your 30 days.
When the end of the 30 days is up, notice how you feel. Do you feel stronger, more confident, more energized, and fitter? More likely than not you’ll decide that you prefer the way you look and feel after working out consistently, and not want to return to how you were before starting your workout trial.
5. Start small.
When you first start working out consistently, it’s not a good idea to commit to six days a week of the hardest workouts you’ve ever done in your life.
Why? Because before you know it, you’ll be sore, exhausted, and burnt out. You’ll lose all your motivation to continue and possibly even end up injuring yourself in the process.
A better approach is to start small—try doing two to three days of HIIT or other workouts to start for a week, a couple of weeks, or even a month. After you’ve stuck with the workouts for a while and know you can do them, then you should push yourself to increase the frequency and intensity of your workouts.
Start with baby steps, and you’ll be more likely to succeed in the long run.
Get rid of your excuses and just start.
One of the worst things you can do when trying to form a lifelong workout habit is to constantly make excuses when something else comes up.
Yes, we all know life happens. But while it’s certainly acceptable to take a day off here and there, letting yourself make too many excuses will break you of the habit and make it harder to stick with it for life.
And there’s an easy solution: just stop making excuses.
Traveling? You can still work out, even if all you have is a hotel room.
Tired? Exercise gives you an energy boost, so lace up your training shoes anyway.
Busy? Everyone has an extra 10 to 20 minutes in their day—and you could probably use a break from your crazy schedule to exercise and take some time to yourself anyway.
And best of all START TODAY, NOT TOMORROW.
Source: Krista Stryker, founder of 12 Minute Athlete
Healthy grocery shopping
A key step for losing weight, keeping the weight off, and staying healthy is learning how to buy the right foods at the store. This will ensure you have healthy choices at home. Avoid bringing unhealthy choices, such as chips or cookies, into the home. Having to go out to buy an unhealthy treat gives you more time to make a conscious decision about eating that food.
Avoid buying foods in bulk and shopping in warehouse-type stores if you can. Getting a good deal can lead to overeating. If you do buy large amounts of a food, divide it into smaller portion sizes and store what you will not use right away.
When you buy protein, choose:
- Lean ground turkey or chicken and skinless turkey or chicken breasts
- Lean meat, such as bison (buffalo) and lean cuts of pork and beef (such as round, top sirloin, and tenderloin). Look for meats that are 97% lean ground meats.
- Fish, such as salmon, whitefish, sardines, herring, tilapia, and cod
- Egg whites and low-fat or nonfat dairy products
- Legumes, such as pinto beans, black beans, kidney beans, lentils, and garbanzo beans. Canned beans are convenient but if you have the time to prepare them from scratch dried beans are much cheaper. Low for low-sodium canned goods.
- Soy proteins, such as tofu or tempeh
FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
Buy plenty of fruits and vegetables. They will fill you up and provide vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients your body needs. Some buying tips:
- One medium-sized apple has only 72 calories.
- 1 cup carrots has only 45 calories.
- 1 cup of cut up cantaloupe melon has only 55 calories.
- Select canned fruits that are packed in water or juice, not syrup, and have no sugar added.
- Frozen fruits and vegetable can be good choices as long as there is no added sugar or salt. Some benefits of frozen fruits and vegetables include:
- Can be as nutritious or sometimes more nutritious than fresh as long as they do not contain added sauces.
- Will not go bad as quickly as fresh.
- Easy to prepare. Bags of frozen veggies that steam in the microwave can be ready in under 5 minutes.
BREADS AND GRAINS
Choose healthy breads, cereals, and pasta, such as:
- Whole-grain breads and rolls, such as whole-wheat, pumpernickel, or 7-grain (Read the label to make sure the first ingredient is whole wheat/whole grain.)
- All bran, 100% bran, and Shredded Wheat cereals (Look for cereals with at least 4 grams of fiber per serving.)
- Whole-wheat or other whole-grain pasta
- Other grains such as millet, quinoa, amaranth, and bulgar
- Rolled oats (not instant oatmeal)
- Always buy real foods. Look for 100% fruit juice and whole food items. Choose foods with no added sugar or salt and as few additives as possible.
- Avoid processed and packaged foods. They are much more likely to:
- Be high in sugar and fats, which add calories
- Be low in whole grains and real fruit or vegetables
- Lack vitamins, minerals, and other important nutrients
Before you buy food for the week, think about your schedule:
- When and where you will be eating over the next week?
- How much time will you have to cook?
Then, plan your meals before you shop. This can keep you from buying whatever foods look good to you, whether or not they are healthy.
Make a shopping list. Remember to take it with you, and promise yourself you will not buy things that are not on it.
Never go food shopping when you are hungry. You will make better choices if you shop after you have had a healthy meal or snack.
Know How to Read Food Labels
Learn how to read the Nutrition Facts labels on food packages. Know what the serving size is and the amount of calories, fat, protein, and carbohydrates per serving. If a bag contains 2 servings and you eat the whole bag, you will need to multiply the amount of fat, protein, and carbohydrate by 2.
Two words on food labels that can be misleading are “natural” and “pure.”
Some other tips for reading labels and buying healthy foods are:
- Choose tuna and other canned fish that is packed in water, not oil.
- Check the label for the words “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” in the list of ingredients. These are unhealthy trans fats. The closer to the beginning of the list these words are, the more of them the food contains. The label will give the total trans fat content, and you want this to be zero. Even foods that are listed as having no trans fats may have traces so you still should also be sure to look at the ingredient list.
- Carefully read the label of any food that claims it is a weight-loss product. Even though these words are used, the food may not be a healthy choice for you.
- Know what “lite” and “light” mean. The word “lite” can mean fewer calories, but sometimes not much fewer. There is no set standard for that word. If a product says “light,” it must have at least 1/3 fewer calories than the regular food has, but it may still not be a low-calorie or healthy option.
Article Source: https://www.nlm.nih.gov
While there is no “one size fits all” solution to permanent healthy weight loss, the following guidelines are a great place to start:
Think lifestyle change, not short-term diet. Permanent weight loss is not something that a “quick-fix” diet can achieve. Instead, think about weight loss as a permanent lifestyle change—a commitment to replace high-calorie foods with healthier, lower-calorie alternatives, reduce your portion sizes, and become more active. Various popular diets can help jumpstart your weight loss, but permanent changes in your lifestyle and food choices are what will work in the long run.
Find a cheering section. Social support means a lot. Programs like Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers use group support to impact weight loss and lifelong healthy eating. Seek out support—whether in the form of family, friends, or a support group—to get the encouragement you need.
Slow and steady wins the race. Aim to lose one to two pounds a week to ensure healthy weight loss. Losing weight too fast can take a toll on your mind and body, making you feel sluggish, drained, and sick. When you drop a lot of weight quickly, you’re actually losing mostly water and muscle, rather than fat.
Set goals to keep you motivated. Short-term goals, like wanting to fit into a bikini for the summer, usually don’t work as well as wanting to feel more confident, boost your mood, or become healthier for your children’s sakes. When frustration and temptation strike, concentrate on the many benefits you will reap from being healthier and leaner.
Use tools that help you track your progress. Keep a food journal and weigh yourself regularly, keeping track of each pound and inch you lose. By keeping track of your weight loss efforts, you’ll see the results in black and white, which will help you stay motivated.
Where you carry your fat matters
The health risks are greater if you tend to carry your weight around your abdomen, as opposed to your hips and thighs. A lot of belly fat is stored deep below the skin surrounding the abdominal organs and liver, and is closely linked to insulin resistance and diabetes. Calories obtained from fructose (found in sugary beverages such as soda and processed foods like doughnuts, muffins, and candy) are more likely to add to this dangerous fat around your belly. Cutting back on sugary foods can mean a slimmer waistline and lower risk of disease.
Healthy dieting and weight loss tip #1: Avoid common pitfalls
It’s always tempting to look for short cuts but fad diets or “quick-fix” pills and plans only set you up for failure because:
You feel deprived. Diets that cut out entire groups of food, such as carbs or fat, are simply impractical, not to mention unhealthy. The key is moderation.
You lose weight, but can’t keep it off. Diets that severely cut calories, restrict certain foods, or rely on ready-made meals might work in the short term but don’t include a plan for maintaining your weight, so the pounds quickly come back.
After your diet, you seem to put on weight more quickly. When you drastically restrict your food intake, your metabolism will temporarily slow down. Once you start eating normally, you’ll gain weight until your metabolism bounces back.
You break your diet and feel too discouraged to try again. When diets make you feel deprived, it’s easy to fall off the wagon. Healthy eating is about the big picture. An occasional splurge won’t kill your efforts.
You feel lost when dining out. If the food served isn’t on your specific diet plan, what can you do?
The person on the commercial lost 30 lbs. in two months—and you haven’t. Diet companies make a lot of grandiose promises, and most are simply unrealistic.
Healthy dieting and weight loss tip #2: Put a stop to emotional eating
We don’t always eat simply to satisfy hunger. If we did, no one would be overweight. All too often, we turn to food for comfort and stress relief. When this happens, we frequently pack on pounds.
Do you reach for a snack while watching TV? Do you eat when you’re stressed or bored? When you’re lonely? Or to reward yourself? Recognizing your emotional eating triggers can make all the difference in your weight-loss efforts:
If you eat when you’re stressed, find healthier ways to calm yourself. Try exercise, yoga, meditation, or soaking in a hot bath.
If you eat when you’re feeling low on energy, find other mid-afternoon pick-me-ups. Try walking around the block, listening to energizing music, or taking a short nap.
If you eat when you’re lonely or bored, reach out to others instead of reaching for the refrigerator. Call a friend who makes you laugh, take your dog for a walk, or go out in public (to the library, mall, or park—anywhere there’s people).
Healthy dieting and weight loss tip #3: Tune in when you eat
We live in a fast-paced world where eating has become mindless. We eat on the run, at our desk while we’re working, and in front of the TV screen. The result is that we consume much more than we need, often without realizing it.
Counter this tendency by practicing “mindful” eating: pay attention to what you eat, savor each bite, and choose foods that are both nourishing and enjoyable.
Mindful eating weight loss tips
Pay attention while you’re eating. Instead of chowing down mindlessly, savor the experience. Eat slowly, savoring the smells and textures of your food. If your mind wanders, gently return your attention to your food and how it tastes and feels in your mouth.
Avoid distractions while eating. Try not to eat while working, watching TV, or driving. It’s too easy to mindlessly overeat.
Try mixing things up to force yourself to focus on the experience of eating. Try using chopsticks rather than a fork, or use your utensils with your non-dominant hand.
Stop eating before you are full. It takes time for the signal to reach your brain that you’ve had enough. Avoid the temptation to clean your plate. Yes, there are children starving in Africa, but your weight gain won’t help them.
Healthy dieting and weight loss tip #4: Fill up with fruit, veggies, and fiber
To lose weight, you have to eat fewer calories. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to eat less food. You can fill up while on a diet, as long as you choose your foods wisely.
Fiber: the secret to feeling satisfied while losing weight
High-fiber foods are higher in volume and take longer to digest, which makes them filling. There’s nothing magic about it, but the weight-loss results may seem like it.
High-fiber heavyweights include:
Fruits and vegetables – Enjoy whole fruits across the rainbow (strawberries, apples, oranges, berries, nectarines, plums), leafy salads, and green veggies of all kinds.
Beans – Select beans of any kind (black beans, lentils, split peas, pinto beans, chickpeas). Add them to soups, salads, and entrees, or enjoy them as a hearty dish on their own.
Whole grains – Try high-fiber cereal, oatmeal, brown rice, whole-wheat pasta, whole-wheat or multigrain bread, and air-popped popcorn.
Focus on fresh fruits and veggies
Counting calories and measuring portion sizes can quickly become tedious, but you don’t need an accounting degree to enjoy fresh fruit and vegetables. It’s generally safe to eat as much as you want, whenever you want.
The high water and fiber content in most fresh fruits and vegetables makes them hard to overeat. You’ll feel full long before you’ve overdone it on the calories.
Eat vegetables raw or steamed, not fried or breaded, and dress them with herbs and spices or a little olive oil or cheese for flavor.
Add nuts and cheese to salads but don’t overdo it. Use low-fat salad dressings, such as a vinaigrette made with olive oil.
Pour a little less cereal into your morning bowl to make room for some blueberries, strawberries, or sliced bananas. You’ll still enjoy a full bowl, but with a lower calorie count.
Swap out some of the meat and cheese in your sandwich with healthier veggie choices like lettuce, tomatoes, sprouts, cucumbers, and avocado.
Instead of a high-calorie snack, like chips and dip, try baby carrots or celery with hummus.
Add more veggies to your favorite main courses to make your dish “go” further. Even dishes such as pasta and stir-fries can be diet-friendly if you use less noodles and more vegetables.
Try starting your meal with a salad or soup to help fill you up, so you eat less of your entrée.
Healthy dieting and weight loss tip #5: Indulge without overindulging
Try not to think of certain foods as “off limits”
When you ban certain foods, it is natural to want those foods more, and then feel like a failure if you give in to temptation. Instead of denying yourself the unhealthy foods you love, simply eat them less often.
If you’ve ever found yourself polishing off a pint of ice cream or stuffing yourself with cookies or chips after spending a whole day virtuously eating salads, you know how restrictive diet plans usually end. Deprivation diets set you up for failure: you starve yourself until you snap, and then you overdo it, cancelling out all your previous efforts.
In order to successfully lose weight and keep it off, you need to learn how to enjoy the foods you love without going overboard. A diet that places all your favorite foods off limits won’t work in the long run. Eventually, you’ll feel deprived and will cave. And when you do, you probably won’t stop at a sensible-sized portion.
Tips for enjoying treats without overeating
Combine your treat with other healthy foods. You can still enjoy your favorite high-calorie treat, whether it’s ice cream, chips, cake, or chocolate. The key is to eat a smaller serving along with a lower-calorie option. For example, add strawberries to your ice cream or munch on carrot and celery sticks along with your chips and dip. By piling on the low-cal option, you can eat a diet-friendly portion of your favorite treat without feeling deprived.
Schedule your treats. Establish regular times when you get to indulge in your favorite food. For example, maybe you enjoy a small square of chocolate every day after lunch, or a slice of cheesecake every Friday evening. Once you’re conditioned to eat your treat at those times—and those times only—you’ll stop obsessing about them at other times.
Make your indulgence less indulgent. Find ways to reduce fat, sugar, or calories in your favorite treats and snacks. If you do your own baking, cut back on sugar, making up for it with extra cinnamon or vanilla extract. You can also eliminate or reduce high-calorie sides, like whipped cream, cheese, dip, and frosting.
Engage all your senses—not just your taste sense. You can make snack time more special by lighting candles, playing soothing music, or eating outdoors in a beautiful setting. Get the most pleasure—and the most relaxation—out of your treat by cutting it into small pieces and taking your time.
Healthy dieting and weight loss tip #6: Take charge of your food environment
Set yourself up for success by taking charge of your food environment: when you eat, how much you eat, and what foods you make easily available.
Eat early, weigh less. Early studies suggest that consuming more of your daily calories at breakfast and fewer at dinner can help you drop more pounds. Eating a larger, healthy breakfast can jump start your metabolism, stop you feeling hungry during the day, and give you more time to burn off the calories.
Fast for 14 hours a day. Try to eat your last meal earlier in the day and then fast until breakfast the next morning. Studies suggest that this simple dietary adjustment—eating only when you’re most active and giving your digestive system a long break each day—may aid weight loss.
Serve yourself smaller portions. One easy way to control portion size is by using small plates, bowls, and cups. This will make your portions appear larger. Don’t eat out of large bowls or directly from the food container or package, which makes it difficult to assess how much you’ve eaten. Using smaller utensils, like a teaspoon instead of tablespoon, can slow eating and help you feel full sooner.
Plan your meals and snacks ahead of time. You will be more inclined to eat in moderation if you have thought out healthy meals and snacks in advance. You can buy or create your own small portion snacks in plastic bags or containers. Eating on a schedule will also help you avoid eating when you aren’t truly hungry.
Cook your own meals. Cooking meals at home allows you to control both portion size and what goes in to the food. Restaurant and packaged foods generally contain a lot more sodium, fat, and calories than food cooked at home—plus the portion sizes tend to be larger.
Don’t shop for groceries when you’re hungry. Create a shopping list and stick to it. Be especially careful to avoid high-calorie snack and convenience foods.
Out of sight, out of mind. Limit the amount of tempting foods you have at home. If you share a kitchen with non-dieters, store snack foods and other high-calorie indulgences in cabinets or drawers out of your sight.
Sugar: The secret diet saboteur
Most of us consume more sugar than is healthy, but reducing the amount of candy and desserts you eat is only part of the solution. Sugar is also hidden in foods as diverse as bread, canned soups and vegetables, pasta sauce, margarine, instant mashed potatoes, frozen dinners, and ketchup. It’s also in a lot of foods labelled as “low fat” or “reduced fat.” Manufacturers often replace the fat in their products with sugar to improve the taste. But all this hidden sugar amounts to nothing but a lot of empty calories. Check labels and opt for low sugar products and use fresh or frozen ingredients instead of canned goods.
Soft drinks (including soda, energy drinks, and coffee drinks) are one of the biggest sources of hidden sugar. One can of soda contains between 10-12 teaspoons of sugar and around 150 calories, so a few soft drinks can quickly add up to a good portion of your daily calorie intake.
Switching to diet soda isn’t the answer, as studies suggest that it triggers sugar cravings and contributes to weight gain. Instead, try switching to water with lemon, unsweetened iced tea, or carbonated water with a splash of juice.
If you have a sweet tooth, the thought of cutting back on sugar may sound daunting. But by slowly reducing the sugar in your diet a little at a time, you’ll give your taste buds time to adjust and you’ll be able to wean yourself off the craving for sweets.
Healthy dieting and weight loss tip #7: Make healthy lifestyle changes
You can support your dieting efforts by making healthy lifestyle choices.
Get plenty of exercise. Exercise is a dieter’s best friend. It not only burns calories, but also can improve your resting metabolism. No time for a long workout? Research shows that three 10-minute spurts of exercise per day are just as good as one 30-minute workout.
Turn off the TV. You actually burn less calories watching television than you do sleeping! If you simply can’t miss your favorite shows, get a little workout in while watching. Do easy exercises like squats, sit-ups, jogging in place, or using resistance bands or hand weights.
Drink more water. Reduce your daily calorie intake by replacing soda, alcohol, or coffee with water. Thirst can also be confused with hunger, so by drinking water, you may avoid consuming extra calories.
How lack of sleep can wreck your diet
Lack of sleep has been shown to have a direct link to hunger, overeating, and weight gain. Two hormones in your body—ghrelin and leptin—regulate normal feelings of hunger and fullness. Ghrelin stimulates appetite, while leptin sends signals to the brain when you are full. However, when you’re short on sleep, your ghrelin levels go up, stimulating your appetite so you want more food than normal, and your leptin levels go down, meaning you don’t feel satisfied and want to keep eating. This can lead to overeating and, ultimately, weight gain.
To keep your diet on track, try to get about eight hours of quality sleep a night.
Article Source: http://www.helpguide.org/
Gain Control of Emotional Eating
by Mayo Clinic
WHEN DO WE BECOME AN EMOTIONAL EATER?
Sometimes the strongest cravings for food happen when you’re at your weakest point emotionally.
You may turn to food for comfort consciously or unconsciously — when you’re facing a difficult problem, stress or just looking to keep yourself occupied.
But emotional eating can sabotage your weight-loss efforts. Emotional eating often leads to eating too much, especially too much of high-calorie, sweet, fatty foods. But the good news is that if you’re prone to emotional eating, you can take steps to regain control of your eating habits and get back on track with your weight-loss goals.
The Connection Between Mood, Food And Weight Loss
Emotional eating is eating as a way to suppress or soothe negative emotions, such as stress, anger, fear, boredom, sadness and loneliness. Both major life events and the hassles of daily life can trigger negative emotions that lead to emotional eating and disrupt your weight-loss efforts.
MOOD, FOOD AND WEIGHT LOSS
Although some people actually eat less in the face of strong emotions, if you’re in emotional distress you may turn to impulsive or binge eating — you may rapidly eat whatever’s convenient, without even enjoying it.
In fact, your emotions may become so tied to your eating habits that you automatically reach for a treat whenever you’re angry or stressed without stopping to think about what you’re doing.
Food also serves as a distraction. If you’re worried about an upcoming event or stewing over a conflict, for instance, you may focus on eating comfort food instead of dealing with the painful situation.
Whatever emotions drive you to overeat, the end result is often the same. The emotions return, and you may also now bear the additional burden of guilt about setting back your weight-loss goal. This can also lead to an unhealthy cycle — your emotions trigger you to overeat, you beat yourself up for getting off your weight-loss track, you feel bad, and you overeat again.
Tips to get your weight-loss efforts back on track
1.Tame your stress. If stress contributes to your emotional eating, try a stress management technique, such as yoga, meditation or relaxation
2.Have a hunger reality check. Is your hunger physical or emotional? If you ate just a few hours ago and don’t have a rumbling stomach, you’re probably not really hungry. Give the craving a little time to pass.
3.Keep a food diary. Write down what you eat, how much you eat, when you eat, how you’re feeling when you eat and how hungry you are. Over time, you may see patterns emerge that reveal the connection between mood and food.
4.Get support. You’re more likely to give in to emotional eating if you lack a good support network. Lean on family and friends or consider joining a support group.
5.Fight boredom. Instead of snacking when you’re not truly hungry, distract yourself. Take a walk, watch a movie, play with your cat, listen to music, read, surf the Internet or call a friend.
6.Take away temptation. Don’t keep supplies of comfort foods in your home if they’re hard for you to resist. And if you feel angry or blue, postpone your trip to the grocery store until you’re sure that you have your emotions in check.
7.Don’t deprive yourself. When you’re trying to achieve a weight-loss goal, you may limit your calories too much, eat the same foods frequently and banish the treats you enjoy. This may just serve to increase your food cravings, especially in response to emotions. Let yourself enjoy an occasional treat and get plenty of variety to help curb cravings.
When To Seek Professional Help
If you’ve tried self-help options but you still can’t get control of your emotional eating, consider behavioral modification therapy with a medically supervised weight loss programs.
Behavioral modification therapy can help you understand the motivations behind your emotional eating and help you learn new coping skills.
Therapy can also help you discover whether you may have an eating disorder, which is sometimes connected to emotional eating.
Source: Mayo Clinic