What are the best weight loss tips and pound-shedding tricks?
With all the charlatans trying to make a buck these days, we need to be even more leery and wary, when it comes to what we will and won’t try. The following tips are all backed by countless studies and research. Not a shred of hype in the bunch. Try one, try em’ all:
o Weight Loss Tip: Snack Healthy: Instead of potato chips, snack on pretzels or baked chips with salsa. Many actually like Baked Lay brand chips better than their greasier fried counterparts. Instead of popcorn with butter and salt, make some “light” or “fat-free” microwave popcorn, mist it lightly with I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter spray and shake some Good Seasons salad mix onto it. Or try Molly McButter, the butter or cheese varieties, curry powder, cayenne pepper powder, or cinnamon and Splenda sprinkled onto it. Another great healthy snack is a little sandwich bagful of plain popcorn, raisins and a tablespoon of peanuts. It’s sweet and salty!
o Weight Loss Tip: Frozen Fixes:
Cutting back on calories is easy when you feel “orally gratified”. Try freezing a bunch of frozen grapes to snack on between meals. There are many fruit-flavored popsicles made with real fruit and fruit juices that are sweetened with Splenda and are therefore very low in calories. Also worth trying are Weight Watchers brand Heath Bar Crunch frozen treats and Skinny Cow brand ice cream sandwiches.
o Weight Loss Tip: Be an Early Bird: Fitting your workout into your AM routine is good for more than just “getting it over with it”. When you rise in the morning, your heart rate is at its lowest point of the day. Therefore you have further to go to reach your target heart rate and will naturally burn more calories to achieve this goal. Plus, according to celebrity motivational speaker Tony Robbins, by exercising in the morning, you are setting yourself up for a great day because you have already accomplished a big task, and this puts you in a positive attitude.
o Weight Loss Tip: Eat Breakfast Every Single Day: Study after study shows that the more calories you consume in the first half of your day, the more likely you are to snack less at night. If you get into the breakfast habit, not only will you find it easier to maintain your weight but you will also start your day armed with energy and the contentedness that is a satisfied belly.
o Weight Loss Tip: Eat a Protein-Packed Power Breakfast: Protein foods have a more complex makeup than carbohydrates, so they require more energy from your digestive system to break them down. But eat your protein in moderation: you should get only 15 to 20% of your daily diet from protein. At CBSG, we are in favor of pushing aside typical breakfast fare like donuts and sausage in favor of a protein-packed energizing breakfast. Eggs, peanut butter and nuts are good choices for breakfast fare. We also like to start the day with fruit-infused smoothies. Drink along side an egg white omelet or add a scoop of soy protein powder to your smoothie. Or mix nuts into a cup of low-fat yogurt.
o Weight Loss Tip: Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate: When you don’t consume the recommended amount of water each day (at least 8 glasses), your body is not burning calories as efficiently as it could be. All of your tissues need enough water to function at their very best. Without water your blood flow slows and nutrients and energy cannot travel to your muscles as quickly as they should. Therefore your endurance wanes and you will not exercise for as long as you would have if you had gotten enough water. Are you convinced yet?
o Weight Loss Tip: Wet Your Whistle Pre-Workout: If you drink a glass of water 10 minutes before your workout you will hydrate your body, and will have more endurance and strength. You will workout more fervently, for a longer period of time. Some people also like to down a Red Bull energy drink or Gatorade for extra stamina before they workout.
o Weight Loss Tip: Spice Up Your Workout: Variety is not only the secret to staying with a fitness regimen by keeping it interesting, but it is also key to working different muscle groups and keeping your body from adapting to your ordinary movements. By adding new moves to your workout you break through your weight plateaus, as the new challenges rev up your metabolism. Try a new aerobics machine, a new fitness video or swim instead of going for your usual stroll.
o Weight Loss Tip: Slow Down and Savor: Your new weight-management mantra: Slow down and savor the flavor. Never eat a meal in less than 20 minutes, as your brain needs at least this long to recognize the signal from your stomach that you are full. So put your fork down between bites or rest your sandwich on your plate. Take smaller bites, savor the color, scent, texture and flavor of each bite, and chew and swallow each completely before taking another.
o Weight Loss Tip: Leave Leftovers: Get into the habit of aiming to leave some food on the plate. Pack it away as leftovers and it will not go to waste. The idea is to train your brain to forget the childhood maxim, “Clean your plate.” A few calories saved at each meal definitely adds up!
o Weight Loss Tip: Pare-down Your Pasta Intake: Pasta is easy to make and a healthy staple. But eating it too often can fill you with empty carbs. So cut down your noodle-noshing to 3 times a week. And make your pasta dishes healthier by donning them in a veggie-infused pasta sauce or by adding beans, chicken or low-fat cheese for protein.
o Weight Loss Tip: Pair Forbidden Fare with a Nutritious Side: Deprivation always backfires and results in binging. So have your “bad foods” occasionally. Just pair them with a “good food”. At least you will get some nutrition out of the decadent dish and the good food will supplement the meal, helping you to feel full and not turn to round two of the naughty snack.
o Weight Loss Tip: Cross Train and Use Bursts: Another fitness secret to losing weight faster: instead of completing your cardio and then doing your weight routine, alternate between the two in 10 or 20 minute intervals for extra fat-burning. For extra fast results, incorporate 1 minute bursts of more intense cardio activity into your routine. For example, on the treadmill, walk at a moderate pace for 5 minutes, then jog for 1 minute and then return to your moderate pace. Repeat this pattern for the entire duration of your routine. The short bursts of increased activity fire up your metabolism and are short enough as to not overwhelm and tire you.
o Weight Loss Tip: Pump Iron: The more muscle mass you have, the higher your metabolic rate will be, whether you are exercising, or flipping your remote while lying on the couch. If that doesn’t convince you to start lifting, consider the fact that your metabolism is also temporarily spiked even more after a weight lifting session!
o Weight Loss Tip: Plan Your Meals in Advance: Keep a list of your favorite healthy foods in every category: protein, dairy, fruit, veggies, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Try to keep as many of these foods on hand all the time, as staples you can count on. For example, in the protein category, peanut butter and nuts can be kept in the cupboard for a long time, in the dairy category frozen yogurt pops can be kept for a while, frozen and dried fruit and veggies can always be on hand, bread can be frozen and pasta can be stocked in your pantry. For foods that spoil quickly, plan to incorporate these into your meals first. Measure out snacks and prepare meals in advance. Measuring out portions ahead of time prevents overeating.
o Weight Loss Tip: Avoid Temptation: Keep only healthy food in your house. If you decide to pick up a fattening treat, divide it into individual servings and store them in separate containers. That way its less convenient, both mentally and physically to binge. Another idea is to stick to a healthy, low-fat menu for four or five days a week and then allow yourself to have a couple of “off days” so you do not feel deprived or that your nutrition plan is too rigid.
o Weight Loss Tip: Get Your Fill of Fiber: According to the American Heart Association we need to get at least 25 g of fiber a day to ward off disease. If you increase your fiber intake from 12 to 24 grams a day you would block up to 90 calories from being absorbed. Eat plenty of fruit and veggies and try a high-fiber cereal such as All Bran.
o Weight Loss Tip: Eating Out: To eat healthfully when eating out, look for menu selections with the words steamed, grilled, broiled and baked. Avoid braised, fried and stewed foods. You will also want to avoid cream sauces. For a healthy meal, a quarter of your plate should consist of protein, another quarter should consist of a grain-based dish (pasta, rice, bread), and half the plate should consist of fruits and veggies. To avoid overeating, have your server pack half of your dinner in a take-home box. Another strategy is to drink at least one glass of water and to eat a salad with low-fat dressing or a bowl of soup before you eat.
o Weight Loss Tip: Weight Watchers: The weight loss program most recommended by doctors is Weight Watchers, hands down. The program features a comprehensive food directory. Here you will find a points value for every food under the sun. There is even a fast-food restaurant food directory so you can really stick with this plan. The object of the game is to add the points value of foods you eat each day and stay within an assigned “points range”. If you do, you lose weight. The beauty of this program is its sheer simplicity. Applebee's restaurants even have Weight Watcher menu items which are absolutely delicious! If you don't like to keep track of points (known as the Flex Plan) you can try the Core Plan where you eat foods from a list of Core Foods until you feel satisfied. If you are not one to go to weekly meetings, they now have a program for you: Weight Watchers at Home which supplies you with all the same great tools and motivation, plus a support hotline for at-home members. A membership to the Weight Watchers website is an invaluable resource for both dieters and those who just want to eat healthier. Here you can find out how many “points” many common foods have and you will have access to a veritable goldmine of nutritious, low-fat recipes. Visit weightwatchers.com for details.
o Weight Loss Tip: Nutrisystem Nourish: For those who hate to have to track their food intake, prepare meals or go shopping, for that matter, the Nutrisystem Nourish plan might be your answer. At Nutrisystem.com you can sign up to have 28 days worth of low calorie food delivered right to your door, just once or every month. The food is tasty and extremely convenient because it does not have to be refrigerated or frozen. You just grab a breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack from your assortment, throw them into your bag and go. These meals heat up really quickly too- usually they only take one to two minutes in your microwave. Of all the “diet delivery” services out there, this is the least expensive. Celebrities in the Hollywood area like The Zone Diet delivery service which delivers fresh, low-fat gourmet food but costs thousands of dollars monthly.
o Weight Loss Tip: Get Diet Help Online: Don’t have a dieting friend to share ideas or support with, or time to attend a weekly meeting? You can get diet advice and support online 24 hours a day. Log onto Ediets.com and get a customized diet, customized menus, nutrition tools, and tons of support. There are other online diets you might want to try. The Sonoma Diet is a delectable way for people who love great-tasting food and wine to slim down and feel healthier.This is the most flavorful weight loss plan in the opinion of many and now it is online and is customized to fit your needs! There are more than 500 mouthwatering recipes, 14 tools, and a community of online support. For more information click here. Also for you to try, The South Beach Diet™: This diet includes hundreds of recipes and 24-hour support!With more than 600,000 online subscribers, the South Beach Diet is a very popular weight loss option. The South Beach Diet Online introduces you to fabulous foods and taste sensations. The website includes hundreds of delicious recipes, flexible guides for eating out, and advice on how to shop for healthy and wholesome ingredients.
o Weight Loss Tip: Ice-Cold Water: Drinking water aids in satisfying your appetite, warding off fatigue, and hunger pains. But did you know that the colder your water is, the better? Ice-cold water forces your body to heat it up to your body temperature. In doing so, you burn extra calories! How many ice cubes can you fit in that glass?
o Weight Loss Tip: Have Cool Nights: Did you know that sleeping with the windows open is good for more than circulating fresh air? Studies show that sleeping in a cool room helps you to burn extra calories, for the very same reason that drinking cold water does! So let in the summer breeze!
o Weight Loss Tip: Fidget Freely: A famous study showed us that people who fidget: play with their hair, drum their pencils on their desks, tap their feet, bob around to the music in their chair, lose an average of ten pounds a year! Fidgeting: the quintessential low-impact workout!
o Weight Loss Tip: Chew Gum: Chewing gum is a form of fidgeting. (No, chewing like a cow does not score you extra results). For some people chewing gum also relieves the need to overeat as it occupies your mouth. Multitask by chewing a dental gum, like Trident Advantage, which is proven to help fight cavities.
o Weight Loss Tip: Pile on the Picante: Add some spice to your life: Pile on the picante peppers, down a dollop of horseradish, or have some hot mustard. The hotter the sensation, the more you rev up your metabolism. These spicy foods are sensational, but if you really want peak metabolic performance down some hot peppers. Hot peppers can boost the number of calories your body can burn while you are resting! How? The compound capsaicin, found in jalapeno and cayenne peppers can rev up your body’s output of adrenaline, which increases your body’s metabolic rate so that you burn more calories. And as if that is not enough reason to throw a few red hots on your sandwich, eating hot peppers can help to reduce your appetite. Add hot peppers to your salads, soups, stews, stir-fried veggies. or eat hot salsa or low-fat chili. You can also throw some Tabasco sauce on your eggs!
o Weight Loss Tip: Artichoke Assistance: Several studies have shown that artichoke extract supplements can give you extra energy, prevent diet-related health problems, and may even protect you from diseases like cancer and heart disease. It’s even been proven to minimize artery-clogging LDL cholesterol levels and can help stomach problems like abdominal pain and cramping! Artichoke extract is available at many health-food stores. The recommended dose is 200-300 mg three times a day. After using the product for a little over a month, users reported feelings of vitality, greater energy, and mental and physical wellness.
o Weight Loss Tip: Peel off Pounds with a Pill: With so many weight loss pills on the market, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) not evaluating them for efficacy, how are we ever supposed to pick one that works? Skip the diet supplements with chromium picolinate. Little evidence supports this trace mineral’s capacity to aid in weight loss. If you must try a weight loss supplement, you might as well try one with a proven track record. Piruvate is a natural acid with several studies backing its claim to boost weight loss. Never try such a supplement without consulting a doctor.
o Weight Loss Tip: Pizza Prevention: Prevent extra calories from entering your body by blotting your greasy pizza slice with a napkin. Just press the napkin on the pizza and hold for 30 seconds. When it is covered in grease, blot with another napkin, until hardly any grease is left. You can save 100 to 200 calories this way!
o Weight Loss Tip: Salad Savvy: Be smart about your salads.
Lesson One: Begin with a great foundation, by picking a lettuce with great health benefits. Leafy greens like romaine and spinach are perfect choices. Ordinary iceberg lettuce has little nutritional value.
Lesson Two: Include nutritionally celebrated veggies such as broccoli florets, carrots (shredded if you are not crazy about the taste), onions, tomatoes, and red peppers. These veggies have more nutritional value then cucumbers. Words to live by: “Make your salad as colorful as possible.”
Lesson Three: Don’t drown your veggie buddies in fat. Try a low-fat dressing such as Light Done Right or Just 2 Good brands. A fresh alternative: Prepare Good Seasons salad mix according to the “lighter version” recipe. What you are doing is substituting half of the oil with water. (Believe me, you won’t miss it, this stuff is heavenly!) Of course, use olive oil, the healthiest oil, and balsamic vinegar, the healthiest vinegar.
o Weight Loss Tip: Eat Slowly: By eating slowly and savoring the flavor, you are allowing your stomach time to signal your brain that it is full. This usually takes about twenty minutes. So enjoy conversation between bites.
o Weight Loss Tip: Graze: To graze is to snack lightly all day. Keep pretzels, fruit, nuts, and low-fat granola on hand to nosh on. Eating mini meals and snacks like this will keep your blood-sugar levels stable so your energy remains consistent. To prevent over-eating measure half-cup servings and place them in plastic bags or plastic containers.
o Weight Loss Tip: Watch Your Drinks: Many people consume a great deal of their calories through what they drink. Therefore we all need to be pickier with what we choose to refresh us: Water is the best choice as it is nutritious and has no calories. One hundred percent fruit juice is the second best choice since it's nutritious, but it has nearly 100 calories per 8 oz serving so be careful to keep track of how many glasses you are gobbling down. And choose low-calorie soft drinks such as Crystal Light and Diet 7 Up over their regular sugary counterparts, which often bank up to 200 calories a can without an ounce of nutrition. Another reason to watch your beverage consumption: alcohol. Alcoholic beverage consumption makes it difficult for your body to transport fat. Much of it accumulates in your liver, therefore it is more likely that it will be stored than burned off. Try to limit your alcohol intake to one drink a day.
o Weight Loss Tip: Eat Mini-Meals: To keep your metabolic fireplace burning calories all day, you can try eating four or more mini meals instead of 3 big ones. Digesting food helps your body burn more calories so eat more often and you will stay full.
o Weight Loss Tip: Stroll Before You Dine: A 30 minute pre-dinner stroll is a great strategy for slimming down. Your metabolic rate may begin to wane in the evening hours. A walk before you dine will rev up your fat burning engine again and will keep your metabolic rate up for at least two hours after you’ve stopped walking. This means that the calories you eat at the dinner table have less of a chance of converting to fat on your body and have more of a chance to be burned off as energy. Plus exercising before a meal can be a good psychological tool to keep you from overeating, since you are already “on a roll”.
o Weight Loss Tip: Get More ZZZs: Besides giving you more energy, getting enough sleep can help you lose weight! When you don’t get enough shuteye, your body cannot burn as many calories as it can if you snooze for an adequate amount of time. Do not short change yourself. Snooze for at least 8 hours a night for maximum calorie burning night and day!
o Weight Loss Tip: Maximize Your Time: It is our firm belief that everyone can make time to work out. That’s right, everyone. But maybe you want to ensure that you burn the most calories possible in the shortest amount of time. If this is you, you might want to consider running for half an hour. A 150 pound woman burns 460 calories running for 30 minutes, where as she would only burn half of that by walking.
o Weight Loss Tip: Measure Yourself: Measure your progress with a tape measure. Before you start your exercise regimen, measure your bust, waist, and hips. You may also choose to measure the circumference of your arms and thighs. Write down the measurements. You may also want to take a picture of yourself from the front, back, and side. Your scale will give you only half the story. The number on your scale can fluctuate due to so many reasons- the fact that you haven’t gone to the bathroom yet, the time of the month, a gain in muscle tissue, and even the weather! Seeing the numbers on the scale go up and down can be discouraging! Seeing the inches come off may be the incentive you need to keep you going!
o Weight Loss Tip: Cop Caffeine: Good news for java lovers! Caffeine has recently been proven to increase your metabolic rate for an hour after swilling a cup of coffee. But easy does it! More than 2 cups a day can make you irritable and jittery.
o Weight Loss Tip: Dental Care: Study after study shows that good dental hygiene, prevents binge eating. Brush your teeth after every meal, as the toothpaste will curb your appetite. Don’t waste your money on a toothpaste that is not ADA (American Dental Association) approved. Try a multitasking toothpaste like Colgate Total which prevents cavities, freshens breath, fights tartar, etc… Floss at least once a day- try Glide floss which glides easily through tiny spaces between teeth. Use Act dental rinse before bed for extra anti-cavity insurance. For consistently fresh breath, use a tongue scraper or inverted spoon to scrape the mucous off your tongue once a day. Use Listerine rinse in the morning, which is ADA approved to fight bad breath, plague and gingivitis. For really bad breath you might want to try rinsing your mouth with 1 part hydrogen peroxide to 4 parts warm water. Do not swallow. Drink plenty of water and chomp parsley. For chronic bad breath, find a dentist near you who offers oxygenation therapy.
o Weight Loss Tip: Gloom Be Gone: Hang up pictures of people having fun while they exercise. Maybe a scene of people running along a beach, or bicycling along a gorgeous, scenic pathway will do the trick. Or schedule a weekly date at your local dance club.
o Weight Loss Tip: Get Milk: Studies recently have proven that women who get the recommended amount of calcium each day lose weight faster than those who do not. Calcium allows you to metabolize fat at your optimal level. Be sure to get 1000 mg a day.
o Weight Loss Tip: Avoid Liquid Calories: Because drinks like orange juice and grape juice are healthy, or because soft drinks and coffee don’t give us that feeling of being full and satisfied, we may mistakenly treat our consumption of liquid calories as a “no-damage free-for-all indulgence”. But these drinks can contain just as many calories as solid foods and so they can make you gain mega calories if they are consumed heedlessly. Because liquid calories don’t leave you feeling as full as solid foods like a sandwich you are likely to want a refill. Just four 8-ounce glasses of juice a day can add up to an extra 400 or 500 calories a day, about the same as eating a Whopper. Choose water with lemon instead.
o Weight Loss Tip: Slash Your Sodium Intake: The average person takes in more than double the recommended daily value of sodium, which is 2400 mg. Unfortunately, salt is not a friend of people trying to slim down. Sodium can cause water retention, which results in your looking and feeling bloated. To lose weight faster, monitor your sodium intake. The main problems include processed, prepackaged foods, like canned and bagged soups, stews, canned foods, chips, pretzels, and some drinks. Go easy on these foods and try salt substitutes or experiment with new-to-you seasonings, like Mrs. Dash.
o Weight Loss Tip: Stay Home: If the gym motivates you, by all means go. Just seeing other people having to go through the same thing, might inspire you. But studies show that you are likely to work out for a longer time at home than at the gym. Convenience is clearly the reason why this might be. Thinking about fighting traffic, to do lists, or about what you need to do when you get home may lead to a shorter distance logged on the treadmill due to anxiety. If you work out at the gym, you might want to put a few fitness accessories in your home, such as an exercise video, a yoga mat, or a jump rope for those days when the gym seems over the hills and faraway.
o Weight Loss Tip: Clean Out Your Cupboards: Studies show that most people snack because it’s convenient, and they feel like there is nothing better to do. Prepackaged foods, like chips, cookies and crackers have the worst nutritional value per serving and usually the greatest amount of fat and calories. Avoid temptation by cleaning out your cupboards and pantries, and tossing junk food snacks. Instead, stock them with healthy alternatives like light microwave popcorn, string cheese, pretzels, fruit, cottage cheese, salsa and chips. That way, in order to get the grub, you will have to take a run to the grocery store.
o Weight Loss Tip: Keep Healthy Reading Materials on Hand: Research suggests that dieters who keep nutrition and fitness themed magazines and books by their bed have better weight loss success and find it easier to stick to their nutrition and fitness and plans.
o Weight Loss Tip: Drink Green Tea with Honey: A recent study contrasted the metabolic rate of those who consumed green tea extract versus a placebo. Green tea drinkers burned an extra 70 calories in a 24-hour period. An additional 70 calories burned per day add up to a whopping total of 7.3 pounds lost in one year! What an effortless way to slim down! Researchers believe this amazing result is due to the metabolizing power of antioxidants called catechins found in green tea. Another recent study found that cyclists who ate 1 tbsp of honey before and during their workout put more power into their pedaling. Why not try drinking green tea sweetened with 1 tbsp of honey before your workout?
o Weight Loss Tip: Make it so You Can’t Bail Out: If you’ve got money to put toward your weight loss goal, hire a personal trainer at your local gym and you will feel the need to keep your appointments. If you can’t afford a personal trainer, you can schedule fitness appointments with a friend. After the workout, do something that you both enjoy that will not hamper your results. This will encourage you both to keep the fitness appointment.