We are all interesting in learning how to lose weight? As developing countries ape the American lifestyle, they also experience the harsh reality of what the fast food nation of the world is all about. Obesity, depression, and a lack of self confidence and self worth are some of the real issues behind the artificial world that people have been sold on. Just the sheer popularity of literature on some of the above mentioned topics gives some indication of the need to reevaluate the lifestyle we emulate.
Widespread weight gain, for instance, has been correlated time after time with the standard American diet, better expressed as the “SAD” diet, in the countries it has been introduced. As such, those looking for a healthy life have got to cut through all the false information that food companies motivated only by the buck lead us to accept. Although the points in this article are intended to help shed light on misunderstood aspects of weight management, every reader must be beyond certain of the basics. The detriment in fast food and TV dinners should be clear, despite the clever health claims or the fit-looking models depicted on their adverts, and can better be found in a plethora of articles elsewhere.
Genetically, people are programmed for an active lifestyle. Our overall caloric intake has not changed that much from our ancestors; what has changed is the type of food we consume and the activity level in our daily lives. Dieting without exercise tells the body to slow down metabolically, conserve and store energy that is broken down from food consumed. The body does this as a mechanism to protect us from starvation.
Weight loss regiments that tell you to lose weight without exercise are shortchanging you. Exercise is key in attaining good health. It increase growth hormone, decrease cholesterol, increase bone mass, increase fat metabolism, decrease stress, and detoxifies the body. Don’t trick yourself in believing those weight loss shortcuts. If you want to be healthy, you have to work for it.
The best method of using exercise to lose weight is by combining weight lifting with endurance exercise. Complete the weight training first, then go to the cardio program. Weight training will increase muscle mass and the basal metabolic rate (how fast your body burns fat). Since larger muscles use up more energy in the body even during periods of rest, you will be “losing weight” even when you are not doing anything. The best way to take advantage of this passive weight loss is by exercise in the mornings. It will allow for the higher metabolic rate to last throughout the day. Try also not to eat breakfast or drink anything with calories before, during or within one hour of your endurance exercise. After that you may consume a meal replacement shake (make sure it is not a weight gainer) or a regular meal.
When exercising with weights perform the particular exercise slowly and contract the muscle intended for the particular exercise. Pause at the bottom and top of the exercise. Good technique during an exercise is much more important than lifting a high amount of weight with bad form.
Reduce condiments such as ketchup that are high in carbohydrates. Read you food labels.
Eliminate sources of sugar such as pop, sugary juices, and alcohol. Drink 1.5 – 3 L bottled or filtered water daily. If you must drink tea, make it green tea. Avoid drinking with meals, and at least 30 minutes before and after meals. This aids digestion and absorption.
Consume a maximum of 2 pieces of fruit per day, or 2 cups per day. Dried fruit should not be eaten every day and should be max ½ cup at a time. Bananas are best avoided altogether. Fruit juices count as fruit and make sure that they have not been artificially sweetened.
Avoid processed meat – hot dogs, luncheon meats, etc. Choose low fat pieces such as the chicken breast. Fish is also a good choice for protein. Red meats should be lean.
Low fat cottage and ricotta cheeses are allowable. Other dairy products should not be consumed while trying to lose weight.
The hardest part of this diet may be having to fight cravings. Keep how good you’ll feel at the end in mind and avoid sugary and starchy foods. A great tip is not to have any junk foods available in the house whatsoever. Clean your cabinets out completely before starting the diet and give away your stash of chocolate. This way, when there is nothing in the house you simply won’t eat it! Instead, have healthy snacks easily available and you’ll find yourself consuming more of them than you expected throughout the day. This is a simple trick but it makes a huge difference on what goes into your body. If at some point the craving is irresistible and you must have something, then let yourself leave the house to get it. The inconvenience itself may be enough for you to put if off till next time, but if you do find yourself getting in the car and driving to the store, then hey, you earned it. Make sure to eat whatever it was that you were craving at the store and not bring any of it home. You can compensate for your slip with a little extra time on the bike that evening.
Consume cooked and raw vegetables often. Your plate should be half veggies. Vegetables should also be used for snack food and be places strategically (on your desk, on the kitchen counter, etc.) so it is within easy reach. Slice up a bunch of carrots, celery, red peppers, broccoli and cauliflower and keep in a Tupperware container in the fridge (may need to keep a damp paper towel with them to keep veggies fresh). Keep refilling the snack bowls throughout the house.
Other points to keep in mind
Have a glass of water with lemon first thing in the morning. Lemon enhances detoxification
Do not skip breakfast! This will get your metabolism started. Be sure to include protein at breakfast.
Eat 5-6 times/day, such as 3 meals and 2 snacks, and try not to go more than 4 hours without food. There should be no point on this diet when you feel hungry. Starvation only deposits fat in your body because it is receiving the message that there is not enough food available. In response it goes into conservation mode. By supplying the body with food frequently we are telling our bodies to freely burn the energy because there is more coming.
Keep mildly active after you eat with small walks, errands or relaxation exercises. Try not to nap, watch TV, or remain sedentary.
Chew food well and be relaxed when eating. This curbs binge eating and will satiate you quicker.
Eat until 70% full, allowing room for proper digestion. It takes a while before your stomach’s stretch receptors tell you that it is full therefore 70% is usually a full stomach. We want a bit less than that.
When eating protein it should not be any bigger than half of your fist. The whole meal should be approximately the size of your whole fist (not including the vegetables).
Eats the fiber and protein portion of your meal at the beginning.
Do not eat 2-3 hours before bed.
Shop around the perimeter of your grocery store. Stay away from the aisles where most of the processed food is kept.
Do not go shopping hungry.
Unfortunately, obesity has become a very challenging lifelong battle for many people, and the numbers are rising. Although articles and books can provide some useful tips, it is not so much the kind of diet that will determine success as much as following a diet all the way through will. In this respect, having someone to help one through one’s weight loss is often the most important factor. Even though the how-to’s may already be known, having to answer to someone about whether one stuck to them or not makes a huge difference and can keep us on a diet when otherwise we may not have. Paying for a weight loss coach, dietitian, or physician trained in weight loss may be well worth their weight in gold, especially when compared to how much money people spend on various weight loss tactics throughout their lives without enjoying any significant improvement.
Finally, as people of eastern societies begin to abandon their traditional ways of life and throw their arms around the neck of westernization, a slew of western problems can be expected to follow, in which weight gain is just one. Maintaining the culinary practices of a region as well as other traditional lifestyle habits has been shown to prevent the overall decline in health of populations. As essential as keeping perspective about root of problems may be, following some of the above mentioned tips for the time being may help you maintain a healthy metabolism and physique.