Healthy Living and Dieting Tips

Dieting and Weight Loss Tips

Here are dieting and weight loss tips you will find helpful in your jouney to weight loss success.

Eat smaller meals more often

The old style of three big meals a day is out. Eat five smaller nutritious meals a day. You will feel less hungry throughout the day. Your metabolism will increase, and your body will actually function better. But be sure that at the end of the day your total caloric intake with five smaller meals is less than with three large meals. And don’t use this tip to rationalize snacking on junk food as meals #4 and #5.

Don’t skip breakfast

Breakfast is important to weight loss. It jump-starts your metabolism. People who skip breakfast tend to feel hungry by late morning resulting in heavy snacking or overeating at lunch. They are also likely to eat more total calories during the day. Start every day with a healthy, nutritious breakfast of whole grains, fruit, nuts and low-fat dairy. You can even include veggies for breakfast.

Drink plenty of water

Diets are more effective when you drink lots of water. Your kidneys need plenty of water to function most efficiently. Without sufficient water your kidneys’ ability to filter waste is impaired causing your liver to filter more waste. Your liver then becomes less efficient in turning stored fat into usable body energy, and you lose less weight. By drinking more water, you also reduce your body-fat deposits. So drink plenty of water. A minimum of eight glasses of water a day should be your goal.

Boost your metabolism

Your muscles burn more calories than fat — 35 calories per day compared to just 2. That is one reason to build up your muscles for effective weight loss. Weight training will build the muscles that boost metabolism over the long term. Eat smaller meals more often to boost metabolism. Snack on low-calorie, high-protein foods.

Sleep affects appetite

Sleep affects your appetite hormones leptin and ghrelin. Leptin signals your brain when you are full, while Ghrelin stimulates appetite. When you don’t get enough sleep, leptin levels go down and ghrelin levels go up — your appetite is stimulated and your sense of fullness is retarded — leading you to overeat the next day.

Get plenty of sleep

How much sleep do you need? Sometime when you don’t have the stress of getting up early, let yourself sleep until you wake up. Do this for several days, timing the number of hours of sleep you are getting. Your hours of sleep will remain fairly constant after a few days — This is probably the amount of sleep you need every night.

Eat more MUFAs

MUFAs are monounsaturated fatty acids — a “good fat” that can help lower cholesterol levels. MUFAs include oils (canola, safflower, sesame, soybean, walnut, flaxseed, sunflower seed, olive and peanut); olives; nuts and seeds (sunflower, flaxseed, walnut); avocados and dark chocolate. A MUFA-rich diet may also help reduce belly fat. Eat some MUFAs in every meal and snack.

Avoid trans fat

Trans fat is manufactured in a process that creates hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. Trans fat raises the level of LDL cholesterol. Margarines and many commercially baked and fried foods contain trans fat. Check food labels. Eat as little trans fat as possible; better yet — avoid it altogether.

Lose love handles

You can not target fat loss. Love handles in the oblique region of your torso will be reduced as part of your overall weight loss program. Burn your fat by eating nutritious and healthy foods, limiting your caloric intake, and by cardio exercises. Build your muscles through weight or resistance training. You can build muscles under love handles by targeting that area with your resistance training.

Eat more slowly

When you get ready to eat, tell yourself “Slow down.” Remember that it takes 15 to 20 minutes after you are full for you to sense that fullness. By that time you many have overeaten. Take smaller bites and savor your meal. If you are eating with a friend, talk more, enjoy the conversation. Don’t overeat.

Drink water with breakfast

Don’t skip breakfast! And remember that drinking plenty of water is key to losing weight. Are you drinking enough water? To reach a goal of 8 glasses of water a day, have your first glass with breakfast. This will also replenish the water your body lost through dehydration during the night.

Know your trigger foods

Some foods taste so good to you that once you start eating, you can’t seem to stop. These are your “trigger foods.” They can be snacks like potato chips, candies, or cream cheese and crackers — or drinks like sodas. Make a mental list of your trigger foods, and when you feel the urge to eat something on your list, don’t. Instead eat an apple. Drink some water. Snack on healthy veggies.

Stop late night food binges

Have you ever felt hunger pangs late and night and raided the fridge? Eating late at night adds calories to your body just when your metabolism is ready to slow down. Result: more fat on your body. Try this: When you feel hunger pangs, stop and count to ten. Drink a full glass of water and go back to bed. Don’t think about food; visualize your blessings.

Satisfy your appetite before mealtime

If you are hungry a half hour before mealtime, eat an apple. Your appetite will be satisfied before mealtime and your urge to overeat will be reduced. Plus, the apple is good for you. One apple provides as much dietary fiber as a bowl of bran cereal, and is loaded with pectin — a soluble fiber that aids digestion and may help reduce cancer and heart disease.

Avoid frequent noshing

In the vernacular of old German or Yiddish — “noshing” means snacking. Frequent noshing adds calories. A light “nosh” can easily turn into a binge. If you feel the urge to nosh, eat an apple. It has dietary fiber, pectin (a soluble fiber that aids digestion and may help reduce cancer and heart disease), and boron (an essential trace element that helps harden bones).

Be careful cooking

If you like to cook and spend a lot of time in your kitchen, be careful! A bite of this and a taste of that can, over time, add a lot of calories. If you feel the urge to snack while cooking, count to ten and drink some water instead. If you feel you must do a taste test on your dish, taste carefully and in moderation.

No thanks to second helpings

A delicious meal at the family dinner table can be a wonderful experience. It brings people closer together sharing conversation and good, home-cooked food. When serving dishes are passed around a second time, respectfully compliment the cook but decline to help yourself to seconds — or take no more than a taste.

Walk faster

When out for a walk, increase your walking pace. That will increase your metabolism and burn off extra calories. Try walking at your normal pace for 5 minutes, then walk really fast for 5 minutes. This variation in your walking pace “intensity” is even more effective in increasing metabolism.

Don’t buy groceries when hungry

If you are hungry when you shop for groceries, you’ll be tempted to buy more food. Those sweet smells, delicious-looking foods, and smart store presentations are all designed to stimulate your impulse buying. Shop on a full stomach.

Rid your pantry of junk food

Clean out your pantry and fridge. Check the labels on each can and package for expiration dates, calories, nutrition content including sugars, saturated fats, trans fats and manufactured foods. Get rid of junk food.

Share your weight loss goals

Don’t keep your weight loss goals to yourself. When you share your goals with family members, friends and significant others, you’ll likely get encouragement, suggestions, respect and support. Sharing helps you become more accountable for your weight loss success.

Think before you eat

Be aware of what you choose to eat. You can easily be distracted by good conversation, habits, watching TV, and a hundred other things while you nibble away. Try a new habit — Think before you eat: How will what I am about to eat affect my body?

Know your health numbers

Do you know your numbers? — Weight. Height. Waist. Neck. Body Mass Index. Blood pressure. Glucose level. Periodically check your numbers. They provide a benchmark to your overall health.

Know your calorie numbers

Do you know your average daily calorie intake? Do you have a daily calorie intake goal? Keep a diet journal to help you on your weight loss journey.

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