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.
Have you ever wondered how much exercise is needed to lose weight and keep it off? Research from the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR) has helped to provide us with answers to this question. Established in 1994 the NWCR boasts an enrollment of 4000 members and the ongoing study provides valuable information about successful long-term weight loss. To be eligible for enrollment, individuals must have lost 30 pounds, maintained the weight loss for more than a year, and be older than 18 years.
One common trait that these successful losers had in common is an active weight loss exercise plan. Men reported an average energy expenditure of over 3,000 calories per week and women reported approximately 2,500 calories per week. This level of activity is equivalent to about one hour per day of moderate intensity exercise. A large majority (76%) of registry participants reported walking as their favorite exercise for weight loss. Other popular activities include weight training (20%), cycling (20%) and aerobics (18%). Research from registry participants suggests that exercise of less than 800 calories or 1-2 hours per week increases the chances of regaining weight. So, get out there and be active!
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.
The current obesity statistics in the
One of the most important reasons for weight loss is improved health for you and your family. It is well documented that many diseases are directly related to being overweight or obese such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and sleeping disorders. A modest 10 percent weight loss will not only decrease your risk of disease but will also improve already existing medical conditions. Successful weight loss can also improve your energy levels. Imagine the energy you would have if you weren't carrying around that extra weight. Not only does weight loss improve your self-esteem but it helps you
look better. Appearance is a major motivator for and benefit of weight loss.
Another common reason people set out to lose weight is to escape the social difficulties related to being overweight. We live in a cruel society, one that discriminates against those who are overweight. For some, losing weight may help land a better job or feel more comfortable interacting is social situations.
As you start to take a healthier path and lose weight, you'll set an example for others in your family to eat right and exercise more. A healthy family stays healthy together, so talk to your spouse and kids about ways to cut down on the junk food, and come up with fun family activities that you can do together to help increase your activity level. Weight loss is very important to maintaining a healthy family. If you won't lose weight for yourself, do it for your children. Be a role model to living a healthier life for your kids.
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