Take Back Your LIfe


 

Take Back Your Life

Regaining Control: Simple Steps for Taking Back Your Life Through Weight and Diet Management

 

 

Deciding to get more fit and lose weight is not an easy road if it has not been a part of your daily routine.

The choice to become healthy is not usually a casual decision for most of us. There is frequently a trigger that wakes us up and tells us it is time to get up and start paying attention to our health.

For most of us weight loss doesn’t come from some idle thought passing by one afternoon, it comes from a wake-up call. It comes from bursting a seem or not being able to squeeze into your favorite clothes, it comes from feeling winded just going up the stairs… for some it even comes from a scary hospital visit.

People talking about weight loss talk about all kinds of tips and strategies for losing weight, but you don’t always hear about those scary first days or weeks where you feel like your life is out of your hands because you’ve let yourself slide out of your own reach.

Don’t let yourself slip away, take back control of your life with proper diet management.

The F Word Isn’t Easy To Hear

Especially if it’s something that you think about often. For people who are overweight it’s actually usually really prevalent that their weight is on their mind, usually because their lack of fitness and physical strength and stamina tends to get in the way of day to day life.

Being sore or tired just from everyday activities and simply being unable to perform certain tasks is a huge problem among people who suffer from weight issues and it’s not just a physical burden it takes a mental toll as well.

Depending on how long you’ve let your motivation slide it can even feel like there’s nothing left to do, that you’re “too far gone” to have any effect.

Well, the first step to actually becoming healthier is recognizing that you may have lost control up to this point, but you’re no longer going to let that happen.

Getting Back On Track

Your first steps toward weight loss and health management are incredibly important, but nothing is more important than actually taking them.

You can talk all day about how nice it will be to lose weight or how much you need to exercise but if you don’t actually plan to take the time out of your day to do these things then they’re not going to get done.

The very first thing that you need to do is tell yourself that things have gone too far, make that promise to yourself that today is the last day that you let things happen outside your control.

But How?

Well, once you’ve decided to start down the healthier path then there’s some things that you need to sort out, mainly what part or parts of your lifestyle are doing harm to your health.

This usually comes from any combination of diet and exercise and the higher your weight the higher your likelihood of both.

Look at your life the same way you might look at a normally well-oiled machine with faulty parts, you identify which parts aren’t working and you replace them with ones that do.

Diet

When it comes to watching your diet then there are a few different red flags that you should be watching out for. A good diet comes down mostly to:

Making healthy food choices

Proper portioning and control

Balancing “healthy” and “full”

Gradual meal changes

While the core of any diet is making sure that you’re putting the right kinds of balanced foods into your body it’s just as important that you’re eating the right amounts of said foods. You’re also going to want to start gauging the difference between eating until you’re full and eating until you’re stuffed, something a lot of people have a hard time telling the difference between.

When you eat you should really be thinking about whether or not you’re eating because you’re actually hungry or if you’re just eating because the food tastes good. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying delicious food, but if you’re trying to safely manage your weight then you need to have a definite line drawn.

Last but not least you need to make these changes gradual so you can learn to live with them.

Throwing out all the “unhealthy” food in your pantry and refrigerator and replacing it with carrot sticks and broccoli may seem like the stereotypically “health food diet” thing to do, but that can end up doing more harm than good.

If you change too many things about your diet then the stress could end up leading you astray and even to give up altogether.

Rather than a complete overhaul you should think about changing one or two things at a time in your diet, like removing sugary soda from the house or cutting out chips, then moving on to something else once that’s working out for you.

Treat your diet like a baby taking its first steps, it has to learn to walk before it can run along with you.

Exercise

Depending on how overweight you are when you begin your diet exercise can mean a lot of different things for you. When you’re just trying to lose a few pounds then it can usually just mean getting out and riding your bike or going for a jog every once in a while to burn some extra calories. However that’s not always an option when stressed joints or a strained back are at risk.

This doesn’t even necessarily mean you’re excessively overweight, just going from a sedentary lifestyle to exercising frequently can cause undue strain and injury.

When you’re trying to figure out what works for you, try taking this approach:

Look at what you can and can’t do.

This is an important first step for anyone getting into exercise, take a look at your current level of fitness and compare it side by side with your desired level of fitness then determine the difference between them. Work on the things that you’re comfortably capable of doing for exercise and don’t even think about more strenuous exercise until your body adapts.

Gradually increase your level of effort.

This is important to avoid something you may have heard of called plateauing. This is when a person’s body becomes used to the exertion of exercise and stops becoming effective. It’s nice to have become comfortable with a particular level of activity, but you won’t lose weight if you’re not pushing yourself to burn more calories.

Balance your exercise with your diet.

When you’re already changing your diet you need to watch out for pushing yourself too harshly. If you go from an unhealthy diet and little exercise to a more strict meal plan and consistent exercise your body could end up under excessive undue strain.

Don’t push yourself too hard just because you want to see results, going slowly and steadily and allowing yourself to get used to these changes is crucial to your diet’s success.

Be consistent.

Of course you’re going to be eating every day so sticking to your diet is all about making sure you have access to healthier foods. Getting exercise is an active part of losing weight so you have to consistently make it a part of your day whether you want to or not. Exercise isn’t likely going to just happen to you, you need to be the one to make it happen.

It’s important to identify what exercises you’re comfortable with and start working from there. If all you’re okay with at first is light, low impact exercises like walking then start there. After a while you’ll notice that you don’t feel quite so tired or winded from your regular routine, feel free to expand from there or pick up the pace. Always adjust your diet and exercise to your physical capabilities to keep from plateauing and continue to see results.

Now What?

This is probably one of the most difficult parts of weight loss for people new to dieting. You may have started your journey with your life feeling out of control, but now you’ve got a tighter handle on the reigns. Keep careful notes of your dietary changes and your exercise, it can help to keep track of how you’re progressing and focused on your goal when you have all of your information readily at hand.

Try drawing up a meal plan or exercise table for the next week or even month if you’re comfortable.

Once you’ve started losing weight the most important part is being consistent in your efforts and sticking with it.

A large part of being able to do this is going to come from your own willpower and your drive to reach your goal, don’t let yourself give up on you!

Once you have the short-term managed then start looking at more long-term goals for both fitness and diet as you see fit. You may even want to put together a timetable to track your progress and see how you match up when you get closer to the end of your calendar.

Stick To It

The crucial point to having diet and weight loss success is your motivation to stick to it.

Slip-ups or falling off your diet is likely when you are just getting started with a new diet and exercise plan.

It is to be expected that you are going to experience some stress about changing your diet, starting an exercise program in addition to the stress you already have from being overweight.

Having slip-ups can actually be a motivator to get back on track with your diet and exercise routine. It is okay to be human and make mistakes.

The former governor of California once mentioned that when training for the Mr. Olympia there were days that he did not feel like working out. Some days you just have to suck it up go for it and there will be days you need to just take a day off because your just not into it.

However, the next day he would come back with a vengeance .

When dealing with his diet he at times wanted to eat that piece of cake, so he did. He might also crave another piece of cake, but he resisted because he knew it was not hunger just his brain craving something sweet.

It is not the end of the world to fall off your diet or miss a workout as long as it is not happening on a daily basis.

The success of your diet is determined by how willing you are to stick with it even if that means feeling like you’re starting over.

As stated above, rewarding yourself with something tasty, even if a little unhealthy, can help keep your willpower in check.

Keeping a journal of your workouts and daily diet plan can be helpful in understanding why you are not making the progress you expect. Reviewing  your journal will help you determine what you need to tweak to overcome that plateau, so that you can start getting more fit and losing weight again.

Denying yourself can make it more difficult to stick with any plan to get healthier.

You Can Do It

Starting a new diet and exercise plan can make you feel like your world has turned upside down, but you can do it.

After a period of time you will be able to exercise then sit down to a healthy meal and feel you are in complete control, because you are able to see and feel the benefits of all your effort.

 

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Vitamins How to Get the Most From Your Diet

How To Get Most Vitamins From Your Diet

It’s not easy to eat right, but when you are going out of your way to eat healthy you should be sure that you’re getting the most from your foods.
It’s not easy to eat right, but when you are going out of your way to eat healthy you should be sure that you’re getting the most from your foods. One important issue regarding vitamins is that some foods lose their vitamin content when they’re not handled properly.

Raw is better. It’s a simple fact of fruits and vegetables that cooking tends to damage vitamin content. If you have the choice between eating raw apples and applesauce, you’ll find that raw apples generally retain more of their natural vitamins. But are those raw vegetables and fruits always going to provide you with the vitamins you need? Not necessarily.

Read the label of processed foods. Many manufacturers fortify their processed foods with vitamins. In some cases, you may find that the applesauce actually has more vitamins and a higher content than a raw apple. It’s important to note that the vitamins you’re getting from the applesauce aren’t natural to the apple, but they’re present nonetheless.

It’s easy to tell the vitamin content of your favorite breakfast cereal, the fruit juice you had for a mid-morning snack or that granola bar you had on the way home from work. You tend to watch what you eat, so you also read those labels to be sure you’re eating snacks that are high in the vitamins you most need for your body. But what happens when you grab an apple? Most fresh fruits don’t come with a label so it’s sometimes difficult to know just what you’re eating. You’ll find some very helpful charts that list vitamin content of most fruits and vegetables, but keep some important facts in mind.

• Harvesting and handling matter. The harvesting time and practices may enhance or decrease the actual vitamin content of individual fruits and vegetables.
• Variety counts. An apple isn’t necessarily an apple. Different varieties have different vitamin content. The same is true of most fruits and vegetables.
• Cooking practices make a difference. Though fried vegetables will typically have a lower vitamin content than raw, the type of oil used to do the frying also makes a difference. Different oils have different vitamins and add (or detract) from the vegetables.

If you’re really looking to get the most from particular vegetables, fruits and other products, take time to do some research into the particular food you’re interested in or the vitamins you’re looking to increase. You may be surprised to find out that handling, cooking and choosing make a big difference in the vitamins you actually consume.

The Never Give Up Dieting Mindset

The never give up dieting mindset.

 

Being a quitter never feels good. But when we quit on our diet it’s more than just a decision not to do a task in life. It’s a sign that we’re not valuing ourselves as much as we should be.

Most people diet for one of two reasons. Either they don’t like the way they look being overweight, or they want to prevent or treat health problems that occur from obesity.

It’s okay to have vanity as the reason why you want to lose weight. Even wanting to look good is a sign of self care. When you quit on yourself, it can cause you to go into a frumpy state when you stop getting fixed up and taking pride in your appearance.

It’s as if you don’t feel worthy of getting fixed up because the pounds didn’t come off. This can cause a great deal of depression because your self esteem is taking a hit.

Allow Yourself Freedom to Enjoy Food

Quitting a diet is often caused by deprivation. You’re suddenly eating healthful foods that you didn’t eat before. A diet of fried chicken, marbled steaks and mashed potatoes is replaced with vegetables and lean meats grilled to perfection.

You don’t want to suffer from food boredom. You need to keep things interesting and never make a off limits or you’ll end up gorging on it. All foods should be acceptable, with mindful eating and proportions in place.

Try to learn various new cooking styles. For example, maybe you’ve never owned a pressure cooker. You can cook lean meats where the juice is packed in and the end result is tender and tasty using a pressure cooker.

You can also drop in a mess of peas with a bag of okra and pressure cook the ingredients for a healthy side item that’s not filled with fat or butter, clogging your arteries.

You can try out a variety of cooking styles using new kitchen appliances and cookware. Look up recipes online or get advice from a YouTube cooking channel as to how to properly use it for healthy cooking.

If you already have a favorite dish, find out new ways to make the meal healthier. For example, let’s say you absolutely loved lasagna. You might miss the decadent meal while dieting because your usual version is a rich combination of pasta and cheese with meat and sauce.

Look up a way to make it healthier online. For example, you can substitute vegetarian crumbles for the meat. Or make your own healthy sauce that has less sugar and salt in it. You can use a fat-free or low calorie cheese.

You might even find recipes that are similar, but that don’t even require you to make substitutions. For example, you can find a vegetable lasagna where you cut thin strips of squash and eggplant and other vegetables and layer that instead of pasta.

Try new ethnic foods, too. You might have an All-American diet with fried chicken and steak, but you can expand your repertoire to include foods like:

* Sushi
* Mediterranean Greek meals
* Vietnamese foods that focus on flavor
* Japanese meals like Miso soup
* Spicy Indian food that helps burn calories

You can also try cooking classes to help you prevent diet boredom, and ultimately, quitting. Cooking classes can be done in groups or one on one with a chef.

Make sure you sign up for a class that teaches healthy cooking. Much of this will be centered around herbs and flavoring, not the actual selection of the meal. You might have an entire new world of flavors opened up to you when you rely on a professional to show you the ropes.

Even for those foods that you know you already like and aren’t willing to give them up, make concessions for them to exist. Once you get past the guilt of allowing them to be on your menu, it will be easier for you to use them in moderation.

Sometimes, you might want to have an entire piece of cake. You’re hungry enough, you crave it enough – and it’s okay to allow that to happen. But the key is to be aware when you eat.

You want to eat slowly so that you’re not full before you can even have time to notice it. You want to put the fork down between bites to give your brain time to get the signal from your stomach that you’re no longer hungry.

Notice we didn’t say full. We said not hungry. That’s because this is when you want to stop eating. Just satiate your hunger and wait until the next meal to eat. This might mean that half of your cake is left on the plate.

That’s perfectly okay. Over time, you’ll learn what portions your new hunger needs. Until then, just wrap it up and put it in the refrigerator until the next time you want to eat the leftovers.

You can make a chart for yourself that showcases your hunger cues from starving all the way to stuffed, You want to be somewhere in the upper middle when you quit eat, which is around the point of “no longer hungry, but I could eat more.”

It takes awhile for you to get past your old habits. You won’t feel comfortable listening to your hunger cues, but this is what you did as a baby. Eventually, it will feel natural to you, just as eating two bites of cake will make you feel content.

When a typically “off limit” food is suddenly okay again, don’t worry if you initially binge on it. Keep making it available and when you consciously understand that it’s okay to eat and it’s not going anywhere, you will find yourself less attracted to it – because it’s not a situation of, “I’d better scarf that whole cake down because tomorrow I go on a diet!”

Lose “Fail” From Your Vocabulary

Guilt foods no longer exist. You still might have other issues that you’re struggling with when it comes to dieting, like the exercise part. It can seem too difficult to go to the gym when so many people there are already fit and perfect (to you).

But you don’t want to be a quitter. If you’re tired of dieting, then the very last thing you want to do is quit. That’s because you know that eventually, you’ll have to go through this entire rollercoaster all over again.

You’ll have to feel the guilt and humiliation of being fat. You’ll have to hit your rock bottom again – something that motivates you to make a decision to diet. You’ll have to go through the process of researching the best diet, buying everything you need for it, and announcing to everyone that this is when it’s going to happen for you.

All of it is setting you up for failure. It’s a routine. You already know how it’s going to end – and this is because you’re not approaching weight loss with common sense, long-term solutions.

You have to stop living like a dieter. Instead, become someone who is a healthy person. You eat well, you get up and move – and you treat your body right for the most part.

Don’t see this as a timed event. Saying things like, “I’m going to diet for 6 months” means this isn’t a lifestyle change for you – it’s a punishment. You need a lifetime modification.

When you get on a stringent diet, it prevents you from living a normal life. Suddenly, you’re chained down to calorie counters, kitchen scales and bathroom scales, too!

The tips you implement should not become a burden. They should allow you to approach weight loss effortlessly. Sometimes the burden they put on you isn’t time at all – it’s money.

Diets can cost you an arm and a leg. If you’re used to living on cheap past and suddenly you’re facing an $11 bag of apples, it can cause sticker shock at the checkout stand.

Find ways to cut costs and eat healthier without it putting a strain on your pocketbook because that can present as a reason why you should be allowed to quit.

When you diet, have you ever noticed that you just feel sluggish and tired? You may have been confused, because it seems like eating healthier should make you feel energetic.

But if you slashed calories too much, you’ll feel the fatigue – and your metabolism will also grind to a halt. That means everything you do eat will go straight to your fat stores because your body is worried about you.

Set Small Goals to Prevent Overwhelm

Don’t just see the big picture. If you do, you’ll want to quit because it will seem unachievable. Instead, set small, doable goals. Let’s go through some examples of these.

* Stop adding extra sugar to foods that already contain it.
* Eat one new vegetable per week.
* Drink 8 glasses of water each day.
* Lower your cholesterol by 10 points.
* Complete 10 minutes of exercise each day. (Build up to 60)
* Lose 1 pound per week.
* Lose one inch every 2 weeks.
* Learn one new healthy recipe every week,

Make sure you reward yourself when you meet these goals, but not with a cookie. Do it with a non food reward, like a mani/pedi or a new iTunes gift card so you’ll have new workout music.

Enlist the Help of Professionals

You don’t have to go it alone, even if it might seem that way when you’re staring down a plate of desserts and you’re trying really hard to ignore it. There are many professionals who can help you to the finish line.

Counselors are there for you. You might be eating for emotional reasons, or suffering from food guilt. A counselor who specializes in weight loss can stop you from becoming a quitter.

Nutritionists are very helpful. They work with you to balance your diet so that you’re not hungry, you’re getting the proper nutrition, and you gain the maximum health from your efforts.

Courses are great! They may or may not give you access to the trained professional, but they can be inspiring as you read along with someone else’s triumphant story.

Trainers at your local gym will motivate you to push through any plateaus. They know better than you what your body is capable of, so when you say, “I can’t!” they’ll say, “Yes you can!”

Doctors are a great source of support during your weight loss journey. They know the specific health issues you’re setting up for yourself, and they want you to win the battle of the bulge.

With a team of professionals by your side, there’s no way you shouldn’t be able to overcome your negative, quitter’s mindset. You just have to trust the slower process and change your lifestyle habits to do your part.

 

Lose Weight With Healthy Food Choices

One of the biggest changes you can make when it comes to losing weight in a safe and sane way, is centered around the way you make personal choices. As a matter of fact, the issue of making changes in your life is almost completely about choice. Learning how to make healthy choices instead of keeping on with the options and choices that have led you to the overweight place you are right now.

There is nothing wrong with the choices you have made up to this point, and in fact many people are quite comfortable with their level of health and weight. But if you are not happy with the way you feel or the way you look, and you wan t to change, then learning how to make different choices is a good first step.

When we were growing up, the habits of the people around you, like your parents and your siblings, became your choices in life as well. No blame there, they were only doing the best they could with what they knew how to do. Sometimes, those were the only choices that were available at the time. It’s not like when you are a small child that you are going to tell your Mom that the food she is giving you is not healthy for you. You are pretty much just going to eat it.

Of course, there are always some kids who throw tantrums at mealtimes, but for the most part, you learn to eat what you are given to eat. As a result of this choice on the part of somebody else, you learned that these choices were the correct ones. If those choices included lots of good healthy food, then you probably grew up with a healthy body weight.

But if the food you were provided as a child was high fat, or high calorie or all carbohydrates, then you learned that those were the correct food choice to make. But now maybe those choices don’t serve you so much anymore.

Time to try out a new set of food choices that can help you in your quest for losing weight. So here are some new options that you can try to help you release some of that extra weight.

New Choice #1

Include some sources of protein with your meals that are NOT beef or pork. Beef and pork are not the horrible bogeymen that they have been made out to be by lots of dieting gurus. But they are usually higher in hard to digest fat than choices like chicken, fish, peanuts or cottage cheese.

Your body goes through different steps to metabolize and release the nutrients in each of those foods. What happens is that the energy and nutrients like amino acids help your body perform well. So you want to eat sources of protein that burn cleanly in your body and have fewer calories.

New Choice #2

At least once a week, try having a meatless lunch and dinner. These two meals don’t have to be on the same day, but they certainly can be. A lot of people have grown up with the idea that if it doesn’t have meat in it, it’s not a meal. And that is just not true.

A meal does not have to include meat and in many parts of the world, meat is served at only one meal and sometimes no meals during the day. Sometimes as little as once a week. Now that doesn’t mean those people are healthier than you, but if you are looking for an easy kind of choice to make in your eating habits, this could be one to try.

There is no reason why you can’t have a meal with whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes. Legumes are things like beans and split peas. Legumes have a fair amount of protein in them. And if you don’t have things like pork and beans, but instead make your meal of chili beans without meat or something like split pea soup with no ham, you will fell very full. You will get a good nutritious meal and you will have eaten way less calories of fat than you would if you had meat.

These choices are actually pretty easy to make in your life, and if you really want to lose weight in a non-suffering way, try a couple of these changes and you will be quite pleasantly surprised with the results.

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