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.
Meal planning is one feature frequently offered by popular online weight loss programs. Daily menus provide online weight loss help for dieters who want to take the guesswork out of healthy eating. Some programs will customize meal plans by having you answer questions about food preferences. The program will also use your personal information to estimate daily calorie needs for weight loss. Menus are then designed to meet this target calorie level as well as provide you with adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals. To ensure that the menus are safe and effective, find out if the menus are written by a registered dietitian (RD). An RD is a food expert and the only licensed professional that is legally able to write menus. Using your daily menu is easy. You have access to your foods and recipes well in advance. This allows you time to review and print them out if necessary. Some programs will even put together grocery store shopping lists. Using meal plans is a fun, easy way to watch what you eat while also learning how to prepare healthy foods.
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.
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.
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.
One important weight loss diet plan tip for men is to limit alcohol consumption. Men drink alcohol for a variety of reasons with work-related stress being at the top of the list. Alcohol is not all bad. In fact, research suggests that drinking in moderation may actually decrease the risk of coronary heart disease. For men, drinking in moderation is defined as one or two drinks per day. The problem for weight conscious males is that alcoholic beverages have calories but provide little nutrition. A can of light beer has about 100 calories while a regular beer contains 150 calories; this is similar to the calories found in a can of regular soda. Wines tend to be lower in calories but mixed drinks can have a surprisingly high calorie count based on its ingredients. Alcohol affects weight because when men drink there is a tendency to have a few beers not just one or two. This combined with the fact that alcohol influences our food choices and is usually consumed at times when we are very inactive. Some men could probably lose significant amounts of weight by eliminating or drastically cutting back on alcohol. Limiting alcohol intake should be part of any man's healthy weight loss diet plan.
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.
Functional foods have gotten a lot of publicity here lately. Functional foods may provide health benefits beyond the established nutrients found in the food. Over the last decade the use of functional food has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of chronic aliments such as certain cancers, heart disease, and arthritis to name a few. Another positive aspect of functional foods is that when consumed in moderation, they are low in calories. Choosing functional foods at mealtime is an all natural weight loss plan that could help you live a longer and healthier life. Examples of functional food to add to your all natural diet are listed below:
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