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.
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.
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.
In today's society there is an allure about being thin. You see the models and actresses on television or in the movies and think that this is what you should aspire to look like. Don't fall into this trap! First and foremost realize that being thin doesn't always mean you are healthy. Do you know any thin people who have diabetes, heart disease, or even eating disorders? If you are overweight the goal should be to achieve a healthy weight not an ideal weight. None of us can achieve perfection so forget about what all of the tables and charts tell you.
A healthy weight is where your weight will fall if you are eating well and exercising in an amount that is right for you. Focus on being healthy and let your weight fall where it may. Find a weight loss meal plan that works with your lifestyle to achieve a healthy weight. Most people are under the assumption that you have to eat perfectly 100 percent of the time to lose weight. Even the best weight loss meal plan includes forbidden foods such as ice cream, cheeseburgers, and pizza. One strategy is to use the 80/20 rule. This means you eat well 80 percent of the time while indulging and being ‘bad' 20 percent of time. Exercise must be consistent and become part of your daily routine. Make it fun by doing something you enjoy. By following these simple rules you will get to a healthy weight in no time.
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.
Online diet programs are the newest development in the weight loss industry. Does an online diet program work as effectively as joining your local weight loss center? Although research in this area is limited, studies indicate that on-line programs can lead to successful weight loss particularly if the program provides ongoing support (e-mail, forums, etc.) and is customized for the individual. However, as you might expect, just signing up for an on-line program does not automatically guarantee success. Weight loss - regardless of the program used - depends on the effort of the individual. You must make the behavior changes needed to lose the weight. For some, an online weight loss diet program provides advantages due to its convenience, anonymity, and affordability. A key consideration for using an online program is your motivation level and personality. If you are someone who needs the personal contact for motivation and support then you should not use online programs. However, if you do not need face to face interaction on a weekly basis to achieve your weight loss goals then by all means seriously consider an online program. Ultimately, the most effective weight loss program for you is the one you will stick to, so select the type of program that best fits your needs.
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.
One common, but very unsafe practice, used for weight loss is extreme dieting. Extreme diets, such as a seven day crash diet, promotes rapid weight loss which is not only unhealthy but in some instances dangerous. The use of fasting or extremely low calorie diets still doesn't work for long term weight loss. For permanent weight loss you must change your lifestyle. Extreme diets promise you almost magical results within just a few days. As the old saying goes, “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
Extreme diets have been around for centuries but their results are still the same. You primarily lose muscle tissue and water weight instead of fat. Crash dieters lose pounds because their diet program is essentially self-imposed starvation. It is simple math: if more calories are burned than eaten weight loss occurs. Extreme dieting results in low energy levels due to inadequate calories. This influences your ability to perform normal daily activities, you just don't have the energy you need. There is no energy for exercise and your job performance may suffer as well.
Crash dieting depletes vitamins and minerals that are important for normal body functions. As these important nutrients become depleted, imbalances may occur increasing your risk of serious medical complications. So, avoid these risks and the yo-yo effect of crash dieting by losing weight safely. Eat a healthy diet and getting plenty of regular exercise and you will be on your way to successful weight loss.
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