Weight Loss Tips

When it comes to Weight Loss, we've been there, done that, now serving 109 tips in 17 categories ranging from Author Intro to Weight Loss Tips for Traveling.

How can I lose weight quickly?

Eliminate Sugar for Quick Weight Loss

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.

   
How do I choose an on-line weight loss program?

Choosing the Right Online Weight Loss Program

Over the past several years the number of online diet programs has exploded. Currently, there are three main groups providing weight loss services online.

1. Commercial weight loss centers like Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig.

2. Online-only companies such as e-diets.com

3. Registered dietitians.

You should investigate each online weight loss program carefully to determine if their weight loss plan meets your needs. The best online diet programs provide all of the features found in its clinic-based counterpart including nutrition education, personalized menus, exercise schedules, daily/weekly goals, and a comprehensive support structure. The program you select should be tailored to your needs based on an initial health screening that includes nutrition, fitness, and medical conditions. Your online weight loss program should allow self-monitoring of your exercise and dietary habits. It also needs to provide you with feedback related to daily calorie intake, energy expended and progress towards your goals. Choose an online weight loss program that frequently updates its website with current articles and up-to-date weight loss information. Make sure the website is printer-friendly and that you receive both peer and expert feedback via online chats, message boards and/or e-mail. Investigate each online program to assess their fee structure. As the number of services increase, so will the subscription rate. Take advantage of the free trial period offered by some online weight loss programs. After you have thoroughly examined each program you can make an educated, well-informed decision as to the program that is right for you.

   
What are some ways to stay motivated?

How to Stay Motivated

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.

  • Are you tired of eating the same foods? Why not try a new recipe or a food that you haven't eaten before.
  • Don't go to the gym and do the same workouts every day. Take a new class, get a personal trainer, or change up your strength training routine in some fashion.
  • Get involved in a friendly competition. Challenges could range from cooking a particular healthy dish to who can do the most push ups. You could even write a $5 check every week. If you lose weight, you keep the money. If you don't lose weight, then the money goes to charity.
It's amazing how much harder you will push yourself when you have an incentive.

   
What are the fundamentals of weight loss?

Weight Loss Basics For The Best Weight Loss Diet

Even the best weight loss diet plans make shedding pounds sound so simple. However, as you know from experience it is not that easy. One reason people fail at weight loss is that they don't truly understand the amount of effort that's required to lose substantial amounts of weight. First, for weight loss to occur, you must produce a deficit of approximately 3,500 calories just to lose one pound. Expending 3,500 more calories than you consume is a difficult task. You must work really hard to make it happen by reducing calorie intake (food and caloric drinks) and expending more calories primarily through increased physical activity.

Now the hard part begins. To effectively lose weight it is helpful to know the number of calories in common foods you eat and the amount of calories you expend through exercise. Let's look at an example. Let's say you go to a fast food restaurant and order the following:

Quarter Pounder w/cheese, large french fries, large Coca-Cola Classic and an apple pie. This meal alone adds up to 1480 calories that's over half of your needs for one day! You can see very quickly how calorie intake can get out of hand. Now we need to turn our attention to exercise. The general rule of thumb is that you burn approximately 100 calories for every mile walked. Therefore, to cancel out our high calorie meal requires walking about 15 miles! As you can see from this example you don't burn many calories from exercise, so the best weight loss diet is the one that encourages sensible eating.

   
How can I avoid overeating?

Techniques to Avoid Overeating

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.

  • Plan meals and snacks in advance. Having an eating schedule prevents impulsive eating.
  • Focus on your food by eliminating all other activities while eating. Don't read, watch T.V., or talk on the phone.
  • Eat slowly. Savor every bite of food. Notice the flavor and texture—really taste you food.
  • Eat in one place in your home. This area of the house, such as your dining table, should only be used for eating. The idea is that you associate this location with eating and nothing else.
  • Don't clean your plate. Don't feel obligated to clean your plate when dining. Eat until you're almost full because it takes 20 minutes for your stomach to send signals to your brain that you're full.
  • Eat on smaller plates with smaller utensils. Downsizing your potions by using a smaller plates and utensils gives an illusion of eating more food.

   
Is there a relationship between eating breakfast and being overweight?

Breakfast: A Healthy Eating Strategy

You've heard it before: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Well, it's true. The goal of eating in the morning is to "break" your overnight "fast." The longer you fast the greater the chance of impulsive snacking and overeating later in the day. This type of snacking and overeating does not make up the necessities of a healthy eating lifestyle.

Are you curious about the amount of breakfast that is needed to prevent binging at later meals? The good news is that it's less than you might think. On average breakfast should consist of about 20-25 percent of your total calorie needs for the day. Breakfast doesn't have to be a buffet of food. Half of a bagel with peanut butter, some fruit, cheese toast, or a quick bowl of cereal or oatmeal are all good choices. For those who do not eat breakfast something is better than nothing.

Eating breakfast is a learned behavior so set some realistic breakfast goals for yourself and work toward them. You may want to start by trying to eat breakfast two or three times per week, increasing until you are eating breakfast on a daily basis. The same strategy should be used to improve the amount eaten as well. Begin with just a few bites and work your way up to eating a healthy nutritious breakfast. And finally, for those of you who are rushed in the morning, grab a piece of fruit or toast to be eaten on your way to work. Eating a small amount of healthy food in the morning really sets you up for healthy eating throughout the day.

   
How do I avoid food triggers?

Control You Environment

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.

Home

  • Have family members avoid eating problem foods in front of you.
  • Serve meals from on the stove. Placing serving dishes on the table can be too tempting to take a second or third helping. At least you will have to consciously think before going after seconds.
  • Remove all problem foods from the house. If you must keep these foods around either store them in container you can't see through or a designated cabinet so you'll know that this area is off limits.
  • Prepare and eat one portion of food at a time. Cooking too much food may prompt you to overeat.
  • After you finish your last bite don't go back for seconds for five minutes.
  • After meals, clean up promptly and have another family member put up the dirty dishes.
  • Store leftovers immediately after each meal.
  • Leave the table when you are done eating

Work

  • Avoid break rooms where co-workers have left high calorie foods.
  • Keep healthy snack options at your desk.
  • Bring your lunch each day to keep from going out.
  • If you do go out to lunch with co-workers eat an extra side order of vegetables instead of higher calorie food items. (i.e. salad and vegetable medley instead of mashed potatoes with gravy and macaroni and cheese)

   
What are some tips for healthy cooking?

Healthy Cooking For Weight Loss

If you go to your local bookstore you can find excellent specialty cookbooks that provide healthy weight loss recipes. These cookbooks can help you lower calories, total fat, saturated fat and salt in the food you prepare at home. However, you don't have to get rid of your favorite cookbooks to prepare healthy meals at home. Use these healthy cooking guidelines when preparing meals for you and your family.

  • Bake, broil, poach, roast, boil, grill or microwave meats instead of frying.
  • When using ground beef, drain the fat well and rinse with water before adding to other ingredients.
  • Choose skim milk, 1% milk or evaporated milk instead of 2% milk, whole milk, or cream.
  • Use 2 egg whites or ¼ cup of egg substitute in place of one whole egg in recipes.
  • When making dishes with cheese, substitute low-fat cheese or decrease the amount of regular cheese by ½.
  • Prepare main dishes with whole grain pasta, brown rice, peas, or beans. Add small amounts of lean meat for flavor.
  • Use salt sparingly in cooking. Use herbs and spices to flavor food. Mrs. Dash, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder are common favorites.
  • Remove the skin from chicken and trim all visible fat from meats.
  • Buy tuna packed in water instead of oil.

   
How do I set realistic goals?

Setting Realistic Goals

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.

   
Why is record keeping important?

Record Keeping is Important

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

  • Keeping records increases awareness of your eating and exercise patterns. Once patterns become clear you can work on changing these habits. For instance, you believe you are eating 1,500 calories per day only to find that after self-monitoring it turns out you are actually consumed 2,200. Based on this information you can work on controlling calories. Another poor eating behavior caught through record keeping is inappropriate meal timing. Maybe you eat most of your calories in the evening. Recording when you eat your meals will make this pattern more noticeable.
Improved Adherence

  • You are more likely to make positive behavior choices because you are accountable to your records. This is one reason many don't keep records; they would rather forget how much they've eaten and how little they are exercising. Just knowing that you are writing everything down helps avoid overeating or skipping workouts.
Track progress

  • Self-monitoring is an important way to track progress towards your eating and exercise goals. It allows you to see how far you have come especially during a lapse. You can look back at your records and stay positive.
Problem solving

  • Self-monitoring can provide insightful information to help overcome issues related to eating and exercise. Your records can be used to break through a plateau or assist you in avoiding high risk situations.

   
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Jerry Mayo
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