Archive for December, 2011

weight loss

Lose one pound a week

Image by The Vault DFW via Flickr

Okay, so maybe you ate a little too much for Thanksgiving dinner, and now you’re looking ahead to the month of December, worrying that you’ll overdo it again and regret it come January.

Nip those fears in the bud by taking control of your weight BEFORE the holiday parties get into full swing.  One of the best ways to do that is with a “pre-holiday diet”.

A pre-holiday diet is really just a healthy eating and weight loss plan that you can embark on for 2 to 3 weeks before a holiday gathering (or multiple gatherings).

A successful pre-holiday diet will consist of plenty of delicious, nutritious, low-calorie foods, as well as a fitness plan to include physical activity each day.

Here are the main components to consider:

– Nutrition.

It’s not enough to simply cut calories on a pre-holiday diet because if you don’t do that right you’ll end up slowing down your metabolism and losing very little weight, if any at all.  Instead of focusing on cutting calories, focus on eating plenty of nutritious foods that are naturally low in calories.

Vegetables, fruit, whole grains, olive oil, lean protein, and low-fat dairy products should be the stars of your menu plan each day.  Aim for several small meals each day, rather than 2 or 3 large meals.  This will help keep your energy levels up, your hunger down, and your metabolism going strong.

– Flush the toxins.

Another vital part of a pre-holiday diet is flushing toxins from your body by drinking plenty of water.  Did you know that being slightly dehydrated can make you look bloated and puffy?  Did you know that it can slow down your weight loss and make you feel sluggish and tired?  Include plenty of fresh water in your pre-holiday diet and you’ll notice a major difference in how you feel AND how you look.

– Burn the fat.

Finally, include some foods, beverages and activities that are known to amp up your body’s fat burning mechanism.  Green tea, spicy foods, grapefruit, lemons, and physical activity are some of the most effective.  There’s no need to go overboard with these; just a little bit helps a lot.

With a pre-holiday diet like this you can easily shed 5, 10, or even 15 pounds in a few weeks.  But more importantly, you’ll feel great and be in fine shape to enjoy the holidays with your loved ones.

lose one pound

weight loss

Lose one pound a week

Image via Wikipedia

When you’re feeling tempted to eat something fattening, it can be incredibly difficult to turn your back and walk away.  In fact, many diets fail just for this reason; dieters struggle to resist the constant temptations facing them each day.

But there is one little technique that can be extremely effective in overcoming cravings, and that is the act of taking back your power.

You see, when you are faced with a temptation, you are essentially being divided into two parts: the part of you that wants to eat the food, and the part of you that wants to stick to your diet.  One of these is emotional and one of them is mental.  Can you guess which is which?

Most often the emotional part of you wants to eat the fattening food because it’s seeking some form of comfort or satisfaction.  The mental part of you is saying “no, I want to stick to my diet and achieve my goal”.  These two parts will keep battling it out until one of them gains the upper hand – and usually that will be the emotional part because its motivation is much stronger.

Taking back your power is at first a mental exercise, but it quickly becomes emotional too.

Here’s how you do it:

Step one: see the food for what it really is.

As you look at that tempting food, ease the intensity of the craving by reminding yourself that it’s just a collection of flour, sugar, butter, and flavorings (or whatever the ingredients may be).  It has no control over you whatsoever.  Yes, it looks good and smells good and probably tastes good, but it cannot force you to eat it.

Step two: remind yourself who is really in control.

Next, tell yourself the truth: that YOU are the only one who can decide what you eat or don’t eat.  Say out loud, “I take back my power from this tempting food; it cannot control me; I decide what to eat, and I choose not to eat that.”

Step three: feel good about your choice!

Here’s the emotional part.  You’ve eased the intensity of the food by mentally breaking it down into what it really is (the ingredients it’s made from) and you’ve reclaimed your power by choosing not to eat it.  Now feel good about what you’ve just done!  It’s important to get some positive emotions flowing to engage your emotional self that originally wanted to eat the tempting food.  Allow yourself to feel proud of what you’ve done.  Pat yourself on the back, cheer yourself on, whatever gets your good feelings going.

Then just rinse and repeat every time you feel tempted to eat something you really don’t want to eat.

lose one pound

Fat Busting Holiday Diet Tips

Does it seem unbelievable that you can lose weight during the holiday season?  Not only can you lose weight during the holidays; you can actually enjoy yourself and indulge a little bit too!

Below are 4 fat-busting holiday diet tips that will help you keep your weight under control:

Holiday Diet Tip #1 – Drink Plenty of Water

You’re probably sick of hearing this, but the fact remains that drinking plenty of water is one of the best ways to lose weight and keep it off.  Being fully hydrated not only helps you avoid the bloat caused by water retention, it helps boost your metabolism so your liver and other organs can function properly.  As a result, you burn fat and lose weight much faster.

Holiday Diet Tip #2 – Eat Your Greens

Eating plenty of green vegetables like spinach, broccoli, and lettuce is a great way to boost your metabolism, improve your health and lose weight fast.  Green vegetables are loaded with fiber, nutrients and antioxidants that help you burn fat.  The more greens you eat, the better you’ll feel and the easier it will be for you to lose weight.  Other colored vegetables are also good; especially red, yellow and orange veggies like peppers, sweet potatoes and yams, tomatoes, and squash.

Holiday Diet Tip #3 – Stay Active

If your only exercise is walking back and forth to the dessert table at holiday parties, you’ll be much more likely to gain weight.  Find ways to stay active each day and you’ll notice that it gives you a little more wiggle room for enjoying occasional modest indulgences.  Squeeze in a quick workout before work each day; or take a brisk walk around your neighborhood to look at the holiday decorations; or take the stairs while shopping in the mall.  Staying active helps boost your metabolism so you burn more calories and lose more weight.

Holiday Diet Tip #4 – Choose Just One

The problem with holiday parties is that there isn’t just one fattening food available, but dozens.  Obviously, if you eat all of them you’ll regret it.  Instead, make a promise to yourself that at every holiday gathering you will choose just ONE treat that you will enjoy, and you will eat healthy foods the rest of the time.  So you would fill up a plate with raw veggies and dip, or a festive salad, and then enjoy just one high calorie treat, like a slice of pie or cheesecake.  This takes willpower, but keep reminding yourself that there will be plenty of other parties where you can enjoy yourself again.

Fast Weight Loss Tricks

weight loss

There are many fast weight loss tricks that are simple and easy to do, and they can really boost your weight loss efforts if you do them consistently.  However, keep in mind that HEALTHY fast weight loss tips are better for you in the long run.  It makes no sense to put your health in danger just for the sake of losing a few pounds.  Common sense goes a long way in safeguarding your health, so be sure to use it when researching quick ways to lose weight.

Here are some fast weight loss tricks that are actually good for you:

Fast weight loss Trick #1 – Eat smaller portions.

If you were to simply start cutting your typical portion sizes in half at every meal, you would immediately start losing weight.  This is especially true if you tend to eat much larger portions than your body really needs.  Just by reducing your portions sizes to half of what you normally eat, you can easily reduce your caloric intake by a few hundred calories a day.

Fast Weight Loss Trick #2 – Nix the toppings.

Do you smother your food in heavy toppings like cheese, sour cream, creamy sauces, and gravy?  Toppings like these can contain a lot of fat and calories, which can ruin your weight loss efforts even if your meals are fairly low-calorie.  Leave off the heavy toppings and watch the numbers on the scale start dropping!  But if you must add toppings to your foods, try low-calorie options like low-fat salad dressing, mustard, extra virgin olive oil (yes, it contains fat and calories but it can actually help you lose more weight), salsa, fat-free sour cream or yogurt, and hummus.  These low-calorie toppings taste just as good but won’t ruin your diet.

Beyond a daily workout, you may want to start including physical activity in small bursts throughout the day.  Take the stairs more often; take brisk walks as often as you can; get up to change the channels on your television instead of using the remote control; give your home a thorough cleaning every day – these small periods of physical activity can burn a lot of calories in a day!  The more you move, the more you lose.

weight loss

What Is Fad Dieting

weight loss

If you’ve heard the term “fad dieting” and aren’t clear on what that is exactly, this article will provide a good overview.

A “fad” is a practice or activity that becomes wildly popular for a limited amount of time.  A “fad diet” is a weight loss plan that entails eating or drinking specific foods and beverages.

Some common fad diets over the years have included:  the cabbage soup diet, the Hollywood diet, and the lemonade diet.

Why do people love fad diets so much?

There are a couple of reasons.

First, if everyone else is doing it you feel like you might be missing out if you don’t do it too.  We are social creatures and we tend to “follow the herd” most of the time.

But the main reason people flock to fad diets is because they usually promise very rapid weight loss.

It’s not unusual to drop 10 pounds or more in a 1 to 2 week period by following a fad diet.

Unfortunately, fad diets do not promote HEALTHY weight loss.

Instead, you are usually encouraged to eliminate most other foods from your diet and consume only one or two types of food.  Needless to say, this is not good for your body even if it does trigger the loss of a few pounds.

Sometimes fad diets are not so much about what you eat but how or when you eat it; for example, eating only at certain times of the day or eating foods in special combinations.

Fad dieting may seem like a good idea if you want to lose weight quickly, but it can often cause more problems than it solves.

Did you know that fad dieting can slow down your metabolism?  That it can make you sick?  That it can decrease your energy so you feel sluggish and tired all of the time?

Before jumping on the latest fad diet craze, ask yourself if it’s really worth it.

weight loss

 Page 1 of 2  1  2 »