Get Off That Sofa!: Diet alone will not induce weight loss for most people. Some type of physical activity must be introduced to the daily lifestyle. This does not have to mean hours in the gym – there are many ways to boost your activity without a monthly membership fee. Take a brisk, 30-minute walk during the early evenings or mornings. If you do not feel safe or comfortable outside, try walking in the local mall. Check out your community center, YMCA, and nearby colleges for yoga, martial art, or dance classes. If you are more of an introvert, many cable providers include stations like FitTV that broadcast various different exercise routines. If nothing else, just turn on the radio and dance. Your moves do not matter as long as you are putting some real energy into what you are doing. With a little investigation, you are bound to find some type of exercise that suits you.
Posts Tagged ‘weight loss tips’
Skip the “Served on a Bed” Part: Many restaurants, especially French and Italian, advertise the protein part of the main course as “served on a bed of rice” or “served with linguine.” By skipping white rice and pastas, you can save up to 300 calories per meal. Ask for your fish to be served on a bed of raw, leafy greens instead. Substitute that side of pasta for a side of steamed seasonal veggies. If you must have pasta, always go for the red sauce. White sauces are made from adding heavy cream to a roux of butter and flour – sauces such as Alfredo and Mornay put in even more calories with the addition of high-fat cheeses. In contrast, red sauces will be primarily tomato-based and by definition lower in fat and carbohydrates. If a red sauce isn’t available, ask for your pasta to be tossed with a little olive oil and herbs instead. “Flavor” doesn’t have to equal “fattening.”
Portion Control: One of the easiest methods of reducing caloric intake is to simply cut the amount of food that is consumed at a sitting. There are many ways to do this without feeling the pinch. For instance, try using smaller plates! The same amount of food looks like much more when it covers the plate. Use a measuring cup to dish out meals. If dining out, ask your server for a doggy bag to be delivered with the meal. Then simply portion half into your ‘to-go’ box and enjoy the rest. Many restaurants also offer half-orders or child-size portions. If you are eating out with someone else, try splitting an entrée. Make sure to order a salad with your meal, vinegar and oil dressing to be served on the side, and ask the server not to bring bread. Skipping the appetizer ensures that you’ll fill up on your salad and enjoy your entrée, instead of hitting the heavy carbs contained in most starters.
Don’t Buy Junk: How much easier is it to avoid eating junk food when there isn’t any in the house? The answer is: much! Grab plenty of fresh fruit at the market for when you are craving a sweet. Carrots and celery sticks give you something to crunch if you find yourself wanting something with a little more bite to it. Many brands of microwave popcorn offer very low-fat versions of their best flavors, and some even package their servings into 100-calorie portion bags. If other members of your household insist on having their junk food, ask if they can be so kind as to hide it from you. The last thing you need is to open your cabinet while stressed and see an open bag of potato chips looking you in the face. By limiting your exposure to poor food choices, you will be much less likely to make poor food choices.
Avoid the ‘Blahs’: How? By adding some unique and interesting flavors to your meals. Try a sprinkle of cinnamon on your morning oatmeal or a dash of cayenne in your black bean chili. Getting a little spice in your diet helps out in many ways. For instance, red pepper such as paprika and cayenne has been shown to help boost the metabolism. A non-alcoholic bloody mary in the mornings is a great way to wake up and kick-start your days, especially with the addition of some hot sauce and a stick of celery to crunch. An herbed chicken breast on the grill, basted with a little olive oil to seal in the juices, is a much more interesting entrée. Adding extra flavors lets you experiment in the kitchen, and you will be far more likely to adopt healthy and flavorful recipes that work with your preferred diet plan.
Eat Your Meat: Pick up a box of energy or meal-replacement bars. Check the nutrition facts – almost all of them have a relatively high protein count in common. Consuming some protein at every meal is a sure way to combat weight gain. Why? Because protein does not turn into sugar – which turns into fat – the way that excess carbohydrates do. Also, protein is what helps to build your muscles. Stronger, leaner muscles burn fuel more efficiently, in turn creating a cycle that has many positive effects. Protein will also help to keep you feeling full and satisfied longer than quick-burning sugars or carbs. Try to include protein in every single meal and snack. It isn’t as difficult as you might think, and the benefits are definitely worth it.
3 Squares Will Make You Round: The idea of having only 3 meals per day is one that should definitely be retired. If you’re only eating at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you will find yourself in a cycle of being too full throughout the day, drowsy in the mid-afternoons, and wanting to eat again before bed. You are not a camel – you cannot pack in extra ‘fuel’ during the day and expect to burn it during the evenings when most people are least active. Instead, you will often find yourself turning to sweets or salty snacks in the evening, and all those extra calories consumed during your “3 meals” will turn into stored fat while you sleep. A much better eating plan is to break those meals up into smaller mini-meals, and to make sure and have them 4-6 times throughout your day. You’ll be consuming the same amount of food and calories, but by spacing it out you can keep yourself feeling full, burning energy as it is consumed, and reduce the chance of binging in the evenings. Just a little planning ahead is all it takes.
No Deprivation: Depriving yourself of the foods you love is only setting yourself up for failure. How can you enjoy the salad in front of you when all you can think about is how you will never have cheesecake again? It just does not work, as this strategy leaves you feeling dissatisfied and cranky. How much better does that salad look and taste when you know you can have a ½ portion of cheesecake afterwards? Much better! Find ways to make room for treats in your diet by choosing the fat- and sugar-free version of ice cream, reducing the portion sizes, and adding another 10 minutes to your daily walk. The internet is chock-full of low calorie recipes, many of which would fit perfectly into your preferred diet plan. Some creativity and investigation is all that is required to come up with some delicious alternatives that won’t break your diet.
No Zombie Eating: All too often we are barely – if at all – conscious of what we are putting in our mouths while we’re eating. If you’ve just taken the time to prepare a nice, home-cooked meal, why would you plow through it in just a few minutes? Slow down and take the time to really experience the tastes and textures of your food. Not only will you realize that you are full before you have overeaten, you will also spend more time enjoying your food instead of feeling deprived. Mindless eating is also a problem in the evenings, while sitting in front of the television or computer. Make yourself a promise that meals and snacks deserve your full attention and avoid the temptation to nosh while doing something else. Only by being fully aware and focused can you really enjoy the experience of eating. This will also remove the risk of polishing off an entire bag of cookies in front of the evening news.
Stay Hydrated: One of the easiest things you can do while losing weight is to increase the amount of water you drink. Six to eight 8-ounce glasses per day is optimal. Avoiding thirst will help in many ways, from flushing waste and toxins from your body to curbing cravings. If you believe that you are hungry between meals, try a big glass of ice-cold water and wait 10 minutes. More often than not the hunger pangs will go away. Try adding a squeeze of lemon or lime to your ice water, or even one of the sugar-free flavor packets that are so popular today. Flavors range from green teas to fruit drinks, and many add health-boosting anti-oxidants to your daily H2O. Take a large, reusable water bottle with you everywhere, and refill it often. Using these tips will help to make sure you get plenty of water while avoiding the temptation to go for a sugary drink.