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.

   
What are examples of appropriate portion sizes?

Portion Control: When Size Does Matter

Portion control is an easy weight loss diet concept in theory but more difficult to put into practice. However, it is extremely essential for successful weight loss. Why is it so important? A better understanding of portion sizes allows you to more accurately estimate the calories in food. Overeating as little as 100 calories per day leads to a one pound weight gain over the course of a month. To learn portion sizes you'll need to weigh and measure everything you eat, at least initially. With practice you will become better at estimating portion sizes by visual inspection. Learning portion sizes is hard work but the potential payoff will have you on the road to successful weight loss. Here are some visual cues to help you determine how much you are eating.

  • Ping pong ball = 1 ounce of cheese (100 calories) or 2 tablespoons of peanut butter (180 calories)
  • Computer mouse = 1 medium potato (160 calories)
  • Deck of cards = 3 ounce of very lean meat (105 calories)
  • Baseball = 1 medium fruit (60 calories)
  • Tennis ball =1/2 cup of juice (60 calories)
  • Compact Disc (CD) = 1 waffle or pancake (80 calories)
  • 8 ounce glass = 1 serving of 1% milk (90 calories)
  • 6 inch plate = 1 tortilla (6 inches) (80 calories)

   
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.

   
How does alcohol affect my weight?

Alcohol in Moderation = Weight Loss For Men

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.

   
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.

   
What are functional foods?

Using Functional Foods For Weight Loss

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:

  • Plant Sources
    • Oats—contains soluble fiber that may lower cholesterol and decrease risk of heart disease
    • Soy protein—potential to reduce cholesterol and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, osteoporosis, and to alleviate menopausal symptoms
    • Flaxseed—contains omega-3 fatty acid which has been studied for its potential role in decreasing cholesterol and reducing the risk of cancer
    • Tomatoes—contains lycopene, a compound that may reduce cancer risk
    • Broccoli and other Cruciferous vegetables—decreases risk of cancer
    • Citrus fruits—may be protective against certain types of cancer
  • Tea—potential to decrease risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer
  • Animal Sources
  • Fish—contains omega-3 fatty acid, studied for potential role in lowering cholesterol and reducing cardiovascular disease
  • Dairy products—may help prevent osteoporosis and reduce the risk of cancer
  • Beef— contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and has been studied for weight loss and cancer prevention

   
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 suggestions to avoid poor eating while traveling?

Use Healthy Snacks to Prevent Poor Eating While Traveling

When traveling, avoid the temptation to consume high calorie, high fat foods by bringing your own healthy snacks to eat. It takes planning, but having healthy food to travel with such as dried fruit, trail mix, pretzels, rice cakes, low fat mozzarella, or nuts can save you hundreds of calories in the long run. Other favorite non-perishables include sliced vegetables, fruit, crackers, dry cereal, and peanut butter. For those who need higher calorie snacks, meal replacement bars are also an option. With all of these healthy snack options, there is no reason for you to ruin your diet while on the road.

Snacks can be stored almost anywhere such as in a briefcase, backpack, or even your coat pocket. If traveling by air, place your favorite healthy snacks into your carry-on or purse. Always bring bottled water because it fills you up, and keeps you hydrated during your travel. Using healthy snacks should be part of the travel diet plan for all those attempting weight loss.

   
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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