Archive for September, 2011

weight loss

It’s not easy to stay motivated to lose weight, especially when progress seems slow. If the scale isn’t moving as quickly as you want it to and you need a little distraction to keep you on track, you may want to start rewarding yourself.

You may have heard about rewarding yourself for weight milestones as you reach them (10 pounds, 25 pounds, etc.) but that won’t make you feel better if you haven’t yet reached those milestones, or if you still have a long way to go to reach your goal.

Instead, you can easily stay motivated to lose weight by rewarding yourself for the actions you take each day. For example, set a mini-goal to drink 10 small glasses of water today, and if you do it, you get to buy yourself a new book. Or, set a goal to walk 2 miles after dinner, and if you do it, you will treat yourself to a manicure.

The rewards don’t always have to be things to buy either; you can create fun free rewards like an hour of alone time to soak in a bubble bath, or inviting a friend to your home for lunch, or asking your spouse to watch the kids while you relax for awhile.

If you find that you’re struggling to meet your mini-goals each day and you’re just getting more frustrated, start smaller! Commit to avoiding sugar for the morning; or decide that you will skip your usual glass of soda with dinner and instead drink water or unsweetened iced tea. As you achieve the mini-mini-goals, you’ll feel stronger in tackling the bigger ones eventually.

Also come up with some bigger rewards you can use for those weight milestones we mentioned earlier; perhaps buying a new outfit or taking a day trip somewhere fun. Look forward to those events and know that you will get there soon.

These small rewards will help you stay motivated to lose weight and steadily move toward your bigger weight loss goals.

weight loss

Many people hate counting calories to lose weight, mostly because it seems like a lot of work. Every time you eat something you need to figure out how many calories it has, and keep adding up your total all day long.

One of the most challenging parts of counting calories to lose weight is that you often have to hunt for the calorie count. If you use a calorie count book, not every food may be listed, so you have to look it up online, which can be challenging since so many of these resources vary.

If you want to streamline this process, set aside a few hours to create a “calorie count cheat sheet”.

Start by making a list of all of the foods you normally eat while dieting. Include meals, snacks, desserts and treats, beverages, fruit, vegetables, grains and bread, condiments, dairy products, meat – whatever you would typically eat each day, put it on the list. Then, find out what the calorie count would be for a serving (and how big a serving is) and jot down the calorie count next to that item.

Next, think about foods you typically eat while you are out, and add them to the list. Include specialty coffee drinks, bagels, muffins, salads, sandwiches, soups, and other items you would eat at restaurants and delis. Then find out the calorie counts for them. You may need to pick up nutritional information for some of the establishments because they won’t have it available online. Some calorie count books include restaurants, but not all of them will be included, especially those local to you.

Finally, once your list is as complete as you can make it, type and print it to keep nearby so you can reference it quickly. This may seem like a lot of work at first – but think about all of the time you’ll save later. Every time you eat something, you don’t have to figure out the calorie count; you simply look it up on your list and the calories are already figured out for you.

As you try new foods, you can add them to your list and keep expanding it as you go along. An added bonus: if you ever aren’t sure what you want to eat for a snack or meal, you can simply read down this list and choose something that sounds good to you but also fits within your calorie count for the day.

Keep this cheat sheet handy. You may want to print a few copies for easy reference. Hang one on your refrigerator; tuck another inside your food journal; and perhaps another in your purse or wallet so you can reference it while you are out. Having this handy reference gives you a head start in counting calories to lose weight – no more hunting for calorie counts of common foods you eat; you’ve already got it figured out!

weight loss

One of the biggest dangers in dieting is getting bored with the menu and gravitating back toward unhealthy (though tasty) foods. If you keep your weight loss food plan interesting and new, it will be easier to stick to week after week.

Here are a few good ways to do that:

Try New Recipes

If you eat the same meals day after day, you will get bored. Be sure to hunt down new recipes that interest you. Online there are dozens of free recipe websites with thousands of recipes to try. Find a few that interest you, and try a new one at least once a week.

Alter Old Recipes

You may really like some of your existing recipes, and that’s fine! But find ways to alter them a bit so they seem new. Like substitute a different kind of meat, noodle, rice, or vegetable. Add ingredients or remove ingredients. Present the dish in a new way – for example, turn a stew recipe into a casserole, or vice versa. Serve it over a bed of rice, or in a sandwich. There are plenty of ways to make a recipe seem brand new, even if the basic ingredients are the same.

Add a Burst of New Flavor

Another good way to make a recipe seem new is to add different flavors. Experiment with new spices and herbs. Try some new stir-fry or marinating sauces. Most supermarkets now have a large selection of bottled sauces or sauce mixes. Just be sure to check the labels for nutritional information; some of them could be high in sugar, fat, or sodium.

With a little creative inspiration, it’s possible to keep every meal interesting, fun, and delicious so you never get bored. And if you never get bored with your eating plan, you are much more likely to stick with it and achieve your weight loss goals.

weight loss

Lose one pound a week

Exercise workouts for beginners are a great way to achieve better health and fitness and start losing weight.  If you have never worked out before, or if you have been avoiding exercise for years, you’ll want to start very slowly to avoid injury.

First things first; be sure to check with your doctor to be sure exercise is safe for you. Once that’s done, consider what kind of exercise would be best for you:

Beginner Exercise Workout – Walking

Walking is a popular beginner workout because it’s very low-impact and you can go at your own pace. You can do it virtually anywhere, alone or with a friend. You can even do it inside if you have a treadmill or belong to a gym. Most beginners start by walking one mile daily, and gradually increasing their speed and distance once they get strong enough. Be sure to warm up by walking slowly for the first 5 minutes, then increase your speed until you are walking briskly. Stay at that pace through most of the mile, then slow your pace again for the last 5 minutes to cool down. Afterwards, gently stretch your legs, arms, and back.

Beginner Exercise Workout – Strength Training

Walking is a great cardiovascular exercise for beginners, and strength training is a great way to tone and strengthen your muscles. Most beginners will want to start with light dumbbell weights; 1-pound weights are good, but you can even start with 3-pound weights if you’re strong enough. Strength training workouts are exactly what they sound like, you lift the weights in various positions to strengthen your muscles. Here is a common strength training move:

Stand with feet shoulder width apart, and holding one dumbbell in each hand, slowly raise your arms out to the sides, coming up to shoulder height, and with the backs of your hands facing up toward the ceiling. Then lower your arms slowly back to your sides, and repeat. Ten repetitions of this move is a good start for beginners.

There are many more strength training exercises than I can describe in this article; your best bet is to join a class or buy a DVD that will demonstrate how to safely perform strength training exercises.

Beginner Exercise Workout – Swimming

Swimming is unique because it’s really a cardio workout and a strength training workout in one! As you swim laps, you are using your arms and legs to move through the water, which provides resistance to strengthen your muscles and gets your heart rate up at the same time. If you don’t have a pool of your own, you might consider joining a gym with a pool. Another option is to find out if there is a YMCA or YWCA near you; their memberships are reasonably priced and most of them have a pool for public use. Some of them even hold water aerobic classes you could participate in.

There are many more exercise workouts for beginners available – dance classes, aerobic classes, various exercise machines and more. Think about the kinds of exercise that appeal to you most, and go from there.

Adding these simple exercise programs to your weight loss plan will keep you making progress to Lose one pound a week or more.

Lose one pound a week

Lose One Pound- Best Vegetables For Weight Loss

weight loss

Lose one pound a week

Image via Wikipedia

If your goal is to lose 10 pounds or Lose one pound a week then knowing  what the best vegetables for weight loss are will help you in achieving your weight loss goal.

A common question is are all vegetables beneficial for losing weight, or are some more effective than others?

Almost always, the best vegetables for weight loss are those with a lot of fiber, few calories, and the plentiful nutrients.

For example:

Leafy Greens

Leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale, lettuce, and collard greens. Most of these leafy green vegetables are super low in calories, but have a lot of Vitamins A and C, plus a substantial amount of fiber. That makes them excellent weight loss foods – in fact, many of them are considered to be “negative calorie foods,” which means your body burns more calories digesting them than it absorbs by consuming them!

Watery Vegetables

Other options among the best vegetables for weight loss would be any vegetable that has a high water content. Good examples are tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini and yellow summer squash, eggplant, and pale green lettuce like iceberg and romaine. Eating plenty of vegetables with high water content is a sure way to add to the water you drink and keep your body fully hydrated, which helps you lose more weight.

High-Protein Vegetables

One of THE best vegetables for weight loss really isn’t a vegetable at all, but a legume. That’s right, beans! Beans are excellent weight loss foods because they contain good amounts of protein and fiber and they are low in calories while providing a lot of energy. Some of the best beans for weight loss (according to calorie and fat content) are:

– Black beans

– White beans

– Chili beans

– Kidney beans

– Lima beans

– Lentils

When it comes right down to it, eating any vegetable is better than eating none at all. However, if your goal is to Lose one pound a week, you can’t go wrong by including more of these delicious vegetables in your eating plan.

lose one pound

weight loss