1. When trying to lose weight, be smart about the goals you set. We all want to lose every last pound that is making us overweight, but unless you really know what you’re doing that might be a big job. Consult an expert to determine how much you should lose, and remember, weight loss is gradual, just like weight gain.
2. Going on a diet does not work if you do not practice portion control. Eating three bags of low-calorie cookies is the same as eating one bag of “regular” cookies. Eating smaller amounts of food can help you cut back on the amount of calories you consume.
3. Add foods that are high in fiber to your diet, like vegetables and natural grains. Fiber help keep you regular and can work as a natural cleanser, and it also helps make you feel full while at the same time helping you eat less calories.
4. Join us, join us. Most experts agree that diet alone is not enough to help you lose weight. The best thing to do is to combine a sensible diet with a regular exercise program. 30 minutes a day are enough to get you started, though after you start to lose weight, you will have to increase the amount of exercise you do.
5. Use the buddy system. Sometimes, losing weight or trying to get in shape can be a very difficult task to undertake by yourself. Find a friend who is also trying to lose weight, and take him or her with you when you work out. Gym or workout buddies can help keep you motivated, especially on those days when you are just dreading the gym.
6. Cardiovascular (otherwise known as “cardio” or aerobic) exercise can help burn calories, but it does so in minimal amounts. Most people think that the more they run, the more weight they will lose, and that is simply not true. Running hard for an hour only burns about 500 calories, on average. Cardio exercise helps get you in shape, but it isn’t the best way to lose weight.
7. It’s time to pump … you up! Believe it or not, weight training helps burn more fat and calories than running and cardiovascular exercise can. Lifting weights can increase your metabolism, not to mention that it uses up more calories as it tries to build muscle. Some studies have shown that the calorie-burning effects of lifting weights can last for up to 48 hours.
8. It’s easier than balancing a checkbook, so consider using a journal to keep track of how many calories you are eating, and leave a section to account for the number of calories you are using. Pretty soon, you’ll be able to track where those little guys are coming from, and where they are going (just like your dollars)!
9. It’s almost impossible to eliminate all fat from your diet. In that case, look to make healthier fat-alternatives a part of your life. Olive oil for example, is much healthier than lard or even vegetable oil. Yes, it still contains its fair share of calories, but it also contains significant amounts of flavonoids and those all-important antioxidants.
10. “In cyberland, they only drink Diet Soda.” All health issues of Aspartame and all the other crap in diet soda aside… In today’s world of free refills and super-sized soft drinks, it is no wonder why we are suffering from an obesity epidemic. A can of regular soda contains about 150 calories. The fact is, you can ask for as many refills of Diet Soda as you want, without the fear of gaining weight (or adding too many calories) – but beware because both Regular soda as well as Diet soda both increase your chances of developing diseases like Candida.
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11. I’m not lovin’ it. Most people turn to fast food because they feel that they simply do not have the time or ability to cook a healthy meal, especially for breakfast. If that’s the case, do yourself a favor and wake up early, make yourself a whole-wheat bagel (with a little peanut butter), and save yourself the calories.12. Can’t get to the gym? Use 10 minutes from your daily break to walk up and down a flight of stairs. On average, this burns about 100 calories. Work can wait.
13. Something smells fishy. Oh right, that’s you. Replace the meat you are already eating with fish. Not only is fish low in calories and fat, but it also contains the now-famous Omega-3 fatty acids that your body needs in order to build and repair cells. Most experts recommend 3 servings of fish a week.
14. If it’s possible, ride a bike to work once a week, or walk to the local bus or train station. Not only will this keep another car off the road and lower emissions for a day, but think about how healthy you will be after a few weeks of walking or biking.
15. Most restaurants are aware of the growing trend in healthy eating so many have low-fat and low-calorie foods already incorporated into their menus. If they don’t offer low-fat and low-calorie foods, find out if they offer low-fat and low-calorie condiments. Ask for light mayo and light salad dressing, or low-fat cheese and turkey bacon instead of the more traditional choices.
16. It isn’t necessary to completely eliminate fast foods from your diet. After all, who can go without a Tommy’s burger forever, right? What you should consider, is limiting your portions. Stay away from supersize combo meals, or share a combo with a friend. This way, you still get your fast food fix, but with half the guilt and calories.
17. Love those French fries? Most of us do. However they aren’t the best option when trying to lose weight and cellulite. Still, if you just have to have them, go ahead, just ask for the small order, or share a larger order with a friend.
18. Check the labels – always check the labels. Many people make the mistake of thinking that low-fat or non-fat means no calories. Low or non-fat food usually means less calories. Checking the label will help you figure out how many calories are in the food, and what the serving size is. Many times, these “healthier” foods actually contain more calories and/or fats, and smaller serving sizes than “regular” food, so read carefully.
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19. Don’t be afraid to add starchy foods to your diet. Many people think that foods high in starch are also high in fat, but that is not the case with all starchy foods. In fact, most foods high in starch are actually low in fat. Potatoes, rice, and wheat pasta only become high in fat when they are paired with high-fat toppings like butter, mayo, and sour cream. Don’t mistake what I’m saying here… you shouldn’t gorge on these foods, but there’s no reason to omit them completely from your diet.
20. There are no foods that burn fat. Some foods may speed up your metabolism for a while, but that does not result in weight loss. The best way to lose weight is to manage your intake of calories, and pair that with an exercise plan.