One of the largest culprits in causing weight gain is sugar. Modern day diets are filled with sugar all the way from breakfast cereals and donuts to the coffee beverages you drink to beat the mid-day slump to the desserts after dinner. Even fruits and vegetables contain sugar, and though the sugar is occurs naturally and is not refined, it's still sugar. Your body is only able to process a certain amount of sugar at a time, and any excess sugar that is consumed will be turned into fat. When you stop adding fuel to the fire (your fat), your body will start burning the stored fat for its energy needs.
A quick way to jump start your weight loss is to cut out all added sugar in your diet and cut back on fruit, as well. Try eating no more than 15 grams of sugar a day for best results. Many people will notice that they lose a 2-3 pounds, or more, in the first week. Do note that this isn't easy! A banana has nearly 20 grams of sugar and a candy bar has upwards of 40 or more. Keep hydrated and snack on raw, low-calorie veggies like cucumbers and bell peppers to keep from giving into your cravings.
One big weight loss challenge for many individuals is having social support. If you aren't getting the support you need from family and friends, look online. An online weight loss plan has social support in the form of nutrition and fitness experts, chat sites, message boards or forums. Online you will find support by meeting people who are also trying to get healthy and lose weight. Even if you are getting support at home, more is better. The support gained online can be particularly helpful. You can pose questions to a message board and get advice from others who have been in your shoes. You can obtain support from online members who share a common interest and experience, such as members over the age of 50 or those aspiring to lose 50 or more pounds. Also, there are support groups for those with health conditions related to their weight, such as a high blood pressure support group or a diabetes group. Take full advantage of social support because it is extremely important for weight loss success.
As you are probably aware, motivation is one of the most difficult issues to contend with during weight loss. Most people are highly motivated in the beginning but have trouble maintaining motivation over the long term. The best way to stay motivated is to recognize all that you have accomplished so far. Think about the positive lifestyle changes you've made and give yourself credit for them. Try not to lose the momentum you have gained since you began your lifestyle makeover. It is also helpful to look at other benefits you've received besides weight loss. Do you feel better about yourself, have more energy, or maybe a decrease in blood pressure?
Another way of keep yourself motivated is to create visible signs of your progress. For instance, if you enjoy numbers you could post a weight graph or body measurements in areas around the house. Usually the bathroom mirror or the refrigerator door is the most popular locations for posting data. You can also record activity milestones by logging your exercise mileage towards a particular vacation spot. You might even consider taking an actual vacation to this location when you reach this exercise goal. By providing a visible record of your accomplishment not only helps you stay motivated but allows others to congratulate you for the progress you've made.
The final way to maintain motivation is to change up your eating and exercise routine.
Do you exercise on a regular basis? If not, you are not alone. Approximately 60 percent of the population does not get enough physical activity. Interestingly enough this is about the same number of people that are overweight or obese. In our fast paced society, technology has made us more inactive. Exercise is an important player in any effective weight loss program. Exercise should become part of your daily routine something to look forward to and miss when you don't get it . A daily exercise regimen has many benefits. Most overweight individuals understand that exercise burns calories, which along with diet creates the caloric deficiency necessary for weight loss. Other important benefits of exercise include:
There are many strategies you can employ to take control of your eating behaviors. Below you'll find a list of tips that may be beneficial to you. If one strategy doesn't work that is fine just move on the next one. The more techniques you have at your disposal the greater your chances of success.
While much of mainstream weight loss diet information targets women, you may wonder, “Do men and women lose weight differently?” Probably not, but it has been suggested that the triggers for eating are different for men and women.
For men, stress seems to be the one emotion most often associated with overeating. Many overweight men can trace their weight problems back to stress. There are many ways men can control stress in their lives, and it starts with implementing a successful weight loss and diet plan. Identify the stress and change your response it. In other words, replace overeating with a more positive behavior. There are many alternatives to choose from such as going for a walk, reading, listening to your favorite music, or calling a friend. Develop some constructive behaviors and have them ready to go when stress triggers the desire to overeat or eat something you shouldn't. Another method of controlling stress is by actively practicing stress management techniques. Examples of stress management techniques can be found below.
One way to avoid food triggers is by controlling your environment. This means making an effort to minimize your contact with food at home, work, and in the car. The more time you are exposed to food the greater your chances are of binging or snacking when you may not be hungry in the first place. Limiting the number of high risk situations will make it easier for you to lose weight. Here are several ideas to help decrease your exposure to food.
Has this ever happened to you? You get up, go to work, and you are so busy during the day that you barely make time for lunch. With our fast paced American lifestyle, there is a natural tendency to eat more calories at night instead of spreading them out over the course of the day. Eating smaller more frequent meals is one of many healthy weight loss tips that can be used to elevate metabolism and keep you from overeating late at night.
Cut down on the amounts eaten at lunch and dinner plus add a mid-morning and afternoon snack. You can adjust this depending on what works for you. Believe it or not, eating more often could actually help you consume fewer total calories over the course of the day. By eating five or six smaller meals the chances of these calories causing weight gain is reduced. Another reason why you should eat often is that it makes you feel more in control around food. You are not ravenous all the time because you are eating frequently. Give this healthy weight loss tip a try, you might also find that your energy levels are more stable throughout the day.
You probably start losing weight with some predetermined goal weight in mind. Whether you intend to lose 20, 40, or even 50 pounds you must determine if your goal is even realistic. Goals are important because they give us direction and a way to measure progress. Most people, however, set their goals way too high so when they do make progress it seems almost insignificant. Realize that your goals must be attainable. Don't set yourself up for failure by establishing unrealistic goals.
As part of the goal setting process you should develop long and short term objectives. Long term objectives can be achieved by reaching your short term goals. For example, let's say you have been very inactive and set a goal of exercising five times per week. Going from being totally inactive to five days of exercise is unrealistic. To successfully accomplish your objective, first set an initial, more realistic, short term goal of walking two days per week. Once you feel comfortable with this level of exercise progress to three or four days per week. It may take several weeks or months to get to your target exercise level so be patient. Using this goal setting technique increases your odds of achieving success.
Record keeping is an essential ingredient for weight loss success. You can learn a lot of things from your records. The more detailed your records are the better. Keep track of what you eat, how much activity you get each day, and weekly weight. It may seem tedious and time consuming but record keeping does facilitate weight loss. Most successful weight losers cite self-monitoring as one major reason for their success. Self-monitoring will help you in several ways.
Increased awareness of current habits