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 is a Healthy Weight?

Achieving a Healthy Weight

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.

   
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 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 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.

   
How do I make quick healthy meals?

Quick Healthy Meals Made Simple

Cooking nutritious meals are easier than you think. The first step in preparing quick healthy meals is to make sure your pantry, refrigerator, and freezer are well-stocked. It also speeds meal preparation to do a quick inventory of the food you have on hand. Realize even the best cooks do not make every meal from scratch. Food items like frozen chicken breasts and pre-cut frozen vegetables and fruit can easily be put together for a quick healthy meal.

For a quick pasta dish try adding sautéed or frozen vegetables into tomato sauce and serve it over whole grain pasta. You may choose to purchase healthy foods that are ready to serve. Go to your local grocery store and buy a rotisserie chicken. Remove the skin and add a large garden or fruit salad to complete your meal. Today's leftover chicken, rice and veggies becomes tomorrow's chicken stir fry. Here are some additional quick healthy meal ideas.

  • Frozen whole-grain waffles or pancakes topped with low-fat yogurt and fruit
  • Cheese and vegetable omelets using egg substitute; fruit cup; whole-grain toast with butter substitute such as Molly McButter
  • Veggie pizza topped with low-fat cheese; garden salad with low-fat dressing or salsa
  • Rotisserie chicken; fresh or frozen vegetables; small baked or sweet potato with butter substitute
  • Veggie or garden burger on a whole-wheat bun loaded with lettuce, tomato, pickles, and/or onion; steamed or grilled veggies; sugar free jello with fruit
  • Whole wheat pasta with prepared tomato sauce and leftover grilled chicken; garden salad

   
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)

   
How do I continue my exercise routine while traveling?

Travel Fitness

Exercise is a key ingredient to weight loss success. All too often, travel is used as an excuse to skip workouts. To get your workouts in while on the road, create a travel diet plan that works with your busy lifestyle. Most hotels and conference centers have workout facilities on site, and there are always healthier eating choices when you travel so you can stick to your diet. You just need to know where to look! Here are some tips to ensuring you stay healthy on your next trip:

  • Be sure to pack all of the exercise gear you intend to use on your trip. It could be as simple as packing workout clothes and a pair of walking shoes. However, there is nothing wrong with packing workout bands, jump ropes, exercise balls, video tapes or whatever else you need for a good workout.
  • Only make reservations at hotels that have a gym or exercise room. When making accommodations, you probably should call the specific hotel you plan to stay at because exercise equipment can vary even within the same chain. When making reservations also ask what type and brand of fitness equipment the hotel offers. Some hotels may even subscribe to a fitness channel so that you can workout in the privacy of your own room.
  • Perform strength exercises using your body weight such as push-ups, crunches, and wall squats in your room.
  • Ask hotel staff for local gyms and fitness facilities nearby. Or, get a map of the area you're in staying in. You never know - there could be a nice park or walking trail a short distance from your hotel.

   
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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