Common Sense Recommendations for Weight Management
There is no easy solution to a weight problem, but a healthy active lifestyle, positive attitude and good eating habits form an excellent foundation. Find activities that you enjoy and that rejuvenate you. Walk briskly every day for twenty minutes, take the stairs instead of the elevator, cut television time down to five hours or less each week.
Get to know what is the problem in your eating habits. Start a food diary. Write down everything you eat. Identify high-calorie snacking, mood- related eating, and weekend lapses.
Learn to respect the uniqueness of your body. There is no "right" body shape or size. Losing weight is about being healthy, not about appearances. Only when you learn to truly love and care for yourself are you likely to succeed with a weight-loss regimen.
Be Reasonable and Realistic in your weight loss goal.
Whatever your weight-loss goal, it should be reasonable. People with moderate weight problems may never be as lean as some of their friends. But they can keep themselves reasonably lean--and healthy--with low-fat diet and exercise.
First, aim to lose 10% of your weight. A 10 percent loss of body weight will have an impact on your health and will improve your health risk profile. Irrespective of what you weigh, you can lose about 10 percent without a whole lot of difficulty. So, it is a reasonable goal. Then, if you keep that off for a year, set another 10 percent goal. Focus on feeling good rather than looking good.
Give it Time - Make a 10 week Commitment.
Weight control is a long term proposition. It takes a lot of hard work and strong will to be able to reverse the condition that led to excess weight gain. It takes time to break old patterns and establish new ones. When you get past three months and you're still eating low-fat foods, you've probably established the healthy new behavior.
Don't keep high-calorie foods on hand. A calorie chart can help identify loaded foods.
Avoid chewing gum. Chewing increases the appetite by fooling the stomach into "thinking" that food is on the way. The stomach begins to prepare by flooding the area with digestive juices. Appetite increases. Because hunger signals have been activated, you are more likely to end up eating.
Eliminate from your diet high-calorie foods such as sugar, alcohol, and fat-filled butter, cream, cheese, salad dressings, red meats, cakes, and pastries.
Use spices such as garlic, basil, oregano, and ginger in your cooking. These are delicious as well as very low-calorie foods. Avoid using high-calorie gravies and cream sauces.
Eat fresh, Organically Grown food.
Eat foods in harmony with the seasons, your locality, and your climate. If possible, eat foods grown organically.
Incorporate generous amount of fruits and vegetables in your diet.
Plan your meals. Do not eat in between meals. Avoid the temptation while watching television.
Reduce Portions and Frequency of your favorite dish/dissert
Cut down on the frequency of eating your favorite high calorie dishes or desserts. And then cut down their portion size in half. For most people this is a more effective way of dieting than cutting them entirely. If you are eating in a restaurant, share your dessert with your close friends. Or pack it to take home.
.Drink a glass of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice every morning. This helps to cleanse, help break down fats, and suppress appetite.
Avoid Alcoholic Beverages
Drinking a few glasses of sweet wine a day can mean an extra 6,700 calories a month, which can result in a two to three pound weight gain.
Take 1 to 2 tsp a day of brewer's yeast or some dandelion. This will reduce a craving for sweets.
Take bee pollen or a dash of cayenne (Capsicum frutescens). It will increase your metabolism.
Take a tea made from rhubarb root to alleviate constipation.
Drink Plenty of plain, unflavored Water.
Water acts as a solvent for many vitamins and minerals. It is also responsible for carrying nutrients into and wastes out of cells, so the body functions properly. You should drink a half-ounce of water for every pound of body weight daily. If you are very active (which I hope you are), increase your water intake to two-thirds of an ounce per pound of body weight daily.
Chew your food at least 20 times per forkful and eat mindfully.
There are several good reasons why thoroughly chewing food is healthier than gulping it down. You'll digest it better-and give your stomach time to signal when it's full.
Medical research has shown that people who chew more slowly tend to burn up considerably more body fat than those who shovel it in. Slower eaters also have fewer digestive problems. So, eat your food slow. Enjoy the color, taste and flavor. Don't read or watch TV while eating. Like in the old days make it a family meal.
Eat small portions more often than taking a few big meals.
Eating five or six small meals throughout the day instead of your standard three squares may be better for fat burning. After you eat, your body releases the hormone insulin, which causes your body to store fat. The larger the meal, the more insulin your body releases. But smaller, more frequent meals keep insulin levels lower and more stable. The less insulin you have in your blood, the more fat you burn, and the less you store.
When you go longer than four hours without food, your blood sugar drops, and you're likely to get famished. Add a healthy snack such as fruit, raw vegetables or nonfat yogurt between meals. Make sure that you cut down portions at your main meals to compensate for the calories from snacks you've been eating.
Don't skip meals. Skipping meals and then eating one big meal at night is not a
good idea. While you are "starving" during the day, your body will put you on a conservation mode. It puts you into a slow burn mode during the day. The big meal provides an energy overload: The body can metabolize only so much food at one time, so the excess is likely to become fat. And the worse of all, when you eat the big meal at night, the most of the metabolizing will take place while you sleep--when your metabolic rate is at its lowest. This also is not good for maintaining your diet.
Americans eat a light lunch and a heavy dinner. Most of the traditional diet in the Orient and Europe suggests eating the heaviest meal at lunch and a light meal for dinner. The heavy lunch will provide you the energy for your activities and will be used up. The heavy dinner, on the other hand, encourages fat build up as our activities drop substantially in the evening and at night.
Start your day with breakfast. Your body burns calories at a slower rate as you sleep. Breakfast is important as it will jump-start your metabolism. It will kick it into the calorie-burning mode. If you skip breakfast, you may ultimately burn fewer calories during the day. Plus, when you do eat, you'll probably grab the first high-fat snack you see.
Stay away from buffets.
All-you-can-eat buffets induce you to eat more than you need.
Eat spicy food.
Hot, spicy foods such as mustard and chili may even shift your metabolism into high gear for a short period. In a study by British researchers, spicy food was shown to increase basal metabolic rate by an average of 25 percent.
Explore meditation, and visualization exercises. Spend some time each day visualizing yourself having a slimmer, fitter body, and feeling stronger and healthier.
Naturally active people, the ones who never seem to sit still, use up more calories, and burn calories faster and more efficiently, than ones who prefer quiet activities. An active person will typically burn 10 percent more calories per hour than a sedentary person. So, keep moving or doodle or do something.
Aim for 45 minutes or more of exercise three to six times a week. You can split these into several segments in a day. Activities such as walking, hiking, running, swimming, cross- country skiing, bicycling, aerobics, and yoga are ok. Physical activity increases the metabolic rate so that more calories are burned more efficiently. Remarkably, this higher rate of caloric burn continues even after the physical activity ceases.
Most of the obese people eat about the same as that by lean people. The difference is the level of activity. If you can balance your calorie intake by proper exercise to burn the calories off, then you won't gain weight.
Exercise greatly improves a person's ability to maintain weight loss. No other method has been shown to be more effective in weight maintenance. So, any weight control program without exercise is not going to be lasting.
Adapt a Holistic Strategy.
Optimal health involves all aspects of your being, including spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical aspects. It involves your thoughts and actions, and your relationship with the land through the food you eat. It involves your relationship with others and your relationship with the Almighty. When all this is in harmony, stress is reduced and health is maximized.
Take steps to reduce stress. We have given an entire infocenter
that deals with stress management. You can do some simple things to manage stress such as:
.Be grateful for the simplest things in life
.Say a prayer daily
.Have a pet
.Do something for someone else, with no expectation of a reward
.Learn time management to organize your life better.
Have your thyroid checked. An underactive thyroid causes the body to burn energy at a slower rate than normal, and an overactive thyroid has the opposite effect. So if you suspect your thyroid is not working right, have it checked by your doctor. A thyroid hormone deficiency can be corrected with prescription drugs.
Find a support group to help change habits and addictive behavior.
Don't feel guilty if you slip on your diet plan occasionally. Don't just give up. Get back on track.
Believe in yourself. You can and will succeed.
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