WEIGHT LOSS BEGINNING WITH WHAT YOU DRINK
First and foremost, people don’t realize that what they drink is the first step in losing that first 10 pounds. In fact, most people don’t know that when they feel hungry, they may actually be dehydrated and they are really thirsty, not hungry. Water is remarkable as well. Over 66% of your body weight is nothing but water. This is also why water plays an important role in weight control.
So TIP #1 is: Drink plenty of water.
It is recommended that you drink 8 glasses per day, but that may take you some time to work up to. Your body needs a whole lot of water. Water doesn’t just flush all the toxins out of your body, but it makes you feel better and healthier. When you drink a lot of water you just begin to feel fit and this is the motivation you need to lose weight.
The best thing about water is you can drink as much as you want because it has no calories at all. When you’re drinking a lot of water, you eat less as well because you won’t feel as though you are starving to death.
Remember, if you feel hungry, try drinking a glass of water first and you’ll realize you were probably just dehydrated and not hungry at all. The whole 8 glasses a day rule is really something you should strive for. The best way to do this and to measure your water intake is to buy a jug from the drug store or grocery store that is designed to hold exactly 8 glasses of water. These are great weight loss tools because you can fill them up, freeze them and as it melts throughout the day you have fresh and cold water. Or, if you don’t mind your water room temperature you can drink it that way as well. All that matters is that you’re getting in the water your body needs.
TIP #2: Start off your day with a fresh, clean glass of water.
As soon as you get up in the morning, drink one down. This will help your body to get going because it won’t be fighting through dehydration. Also, after you drink a glass of water you won’t need to eat such a large breakfast. A glass of water wakes up all the digestive juices in your body and gets it well lubricated. You can always have your morning coffee or tea, but be sure to have a glass of water afterwards.
Caffeine dehydrates you and you want to ward off dehydration.
TIP #3: Drink a glass of water before you sit down to eat. Water will naturally make you feel fuller so you don’t have to eat as much food.
TIP #4: Have a glass of water while you eat as well. Take a drink after each bite and you will feel full more quickly so you can leave the table feeling satisfied without feeling bloated.
Drinking water while you eat will also help your food to settle more quickly, which also helps you to feel full faster.
TIP #5: Do your best to stay away from soda. All sodas are sweetened with lots of sugar. The more you can cut out of your diet the better. Also, diet soda is still soda. It may not have as much sugar, but it has other chemicals and components that are not good for your body either. If you drink a soda, counteract it with a glass of water. Remember, caffeine dehydrates you as well. Decaffeinated sodas still have caffeine in small amounts as well and just as much sugar, so they are not much healthier either.
TIP #6: Fruit juice isn’t as healthy as most people think either. Juice actually has a lot of sugar in it as well. If you are craving a glass of juice, drink fresh fruit juice instead of juice that has artificial flavors and coloring. It is even better if you can make your own fruit juice. Just be sure not to add too much sugar which adds to the calories. Instead of drink fruit juice, eat more fruit. Fruit provides your body with much needed fiber as well as vitamins.
TIP #7: Go easy on the tea and coffee. They are pretty much harmless if you don’t add a lot of cream and sugar to them. It is the cream and sugar that becomes fattening. Think of it this way, when you have a cup of coffee or tea with cream and two cubes of sugar, you are essentially eating a piece of chocolate cake every time.
Now think of how many pieces of cake you are eating when you have a Venti Starbucks Latte – yikes.
TIP #8: If you must have your tea and coffee, try to drink it black. Black tea or coffee actually has health benefits to it as long as you counteract the caffeine in your body with a nice big glass of water. Caffeine is also not good for you because it affects functions in your body, like your metabolism.
Another type of tea that you can drink freely is green tea. Green tea has been used as a medicine in China for over 4,000 years.
It aids the digestive system and can help ease an overly full stomach and it has been linked to a reduction in cancer risk.
TIP #9: If you can say no to alcohol, then that is best. Alcohol beverages are not exactly good for you, although a glass of red wine does have heart benefits, most are just fattening. Beer is especially fattening. Cocktails are fattening depending on what they are made of. For instance, whiskey and Coke. The whiskey may not be fattening, but the Coke definitely is. Plus, after a few drinks most people get the munchies and when you’re feeling a little inebriated and hungry you won’t be able to make rational decisions regarding your diet and it’s usually late at night, just before you pass out from a night of drinking, that you overeat. The overall combination is just not a good one.
TIP #10: If you must have alcohol, try dry wine. Dry wine is better than your sweet wines, because sweet wines have more sugar!
Dry wines have sugar, but most of it has been fermented away into alcohol and from a weight gaining perspective, dry is better.
TIP #11: Another word on coffee, that is not necessarily bad, but more interesting than anything. Some people have reported that when they drank black coffee before exercising, they lost more weight. There’s no scientific proof to back this, but nutritionists believe it may be caused by the body being forced to depend on fat for fuel. Hey, it’s worth trying if you can stand black coffee.
Just remember to drink plenty of water during your exercise!
TIP #12: Avoid drinking excessive amounts of coffee, as it desensitizes your body to the natural fat burning effects that caffeine has.
One or two cups (if the day’s really slow to get started) max.
TIP #13: Eat fresh fruit and vegetables that have high water content. These are foods like tomatoes, watermelons, cantaloupe, kiwi, grapes – you get the idea. All of those fresh and flavorful juicy fruits and veggies are good for you.
These items contain about 90 to 95% water, so you can eat a lot of these and they will fill you up without adding on the pounds.
TIP #14: Eat fresh fruit instead of processed fruit. Anything that is processed as more sugar. Processed and canned fruits also do not have as much fiber as fresh fruits.
TIP #15: Increase your fiber intake as much as you can. This usually means eating more fruits and veggies.
TIP #16: Veggies are your friends when it comes to shedding pounds. There are tons of options here and you may even want to try some you haven’t had in the past. The leafy green varieties are the best and you always want to work in a salad when you can. Salads are packed with nutrients as long as you don’t pour too much dressing on and load them with too much cheese. The leafy greens also have a lot of natural water.
TIP #17: Be intelligent about what you eat. Don’t eat just to eat. Animals eat on instinct; people eat when they know their body really needs it.
Don’t be an impulse eater.
TIP #18: Watch everything you consume from the food itself to what you top it with. Garnishments and condiments can sabotage a healthy meal because they are typically high in fat.
TIP #19: Get a handle on the sweet tooth. This doesn’t mean you can’t have your sweets; just don’t eat them as a meal. Always remember that these sweets end up adding to an area that you don’t want them to add to. Don’t deprive yourself either though, because then you’ll eat twice as many as you should.
TIP #20: Set meal times and stick to them. Try to have your meals at specific times and eat them at that time. An eating pattern will help you to control what you eat and when you eat it. Also, it really is better to have 5 small meals a day rather than just one or two huge meals. Just eating once a day makes your body feel as though it is starving, which packs on fat instead of using it as fuel. Also, don’t wait until your starving to eat. This only makes you overeat until you’re stuffed.
TIP #21: Eat only when you are hungry. Be sure to drink a glass of water first to determine if you really are hungry or if you are really thirsty. Many people have the tendency to eat when they see food. It doesn’t mean they are hungry; they just want to eat it. Don’t eat anything you’re offered unless you really are hungry. If you feel you must eat it out of being polite, just nibble, don’t have a meal.
TIP #22: Try not to snack between meals, but if you must have a snack make sure it is a healthy one.
If you travel a lot try to find healthy snacks and not junk food.
TIP #23: Veggies make great snacks. They can get you through the hunger pangs if you are having them. Carrots are great because they satisfy hunger and they are packed with nutrients.
TIP #24: Counting calories is a good idea for those must have food items. If it is a packaged food item, then it will have the calories on the packaging. Be sure to pay attention to serving sizes in terms of calories as well. An Otis Spunkmeyer muffin is intended to be two servings, so you have to double the calories listed. This is where food producers get tricky and you can’t fall in their trap.
TIP #25: Work off the extra calories by the end of the week. If you feel you have splurged too much this week, be sure to get to the gym or go walking a little longer to work off those extra calories you have consumed.
TIP #26: Stay away from all things fried. If it is breaded, it is better that it is baked. Fried foods are immersed in fat and oil. Even after the excess has oil has been drained away, there is still oil absorbed into the food item itself.
TIP #27: Don’t skip meals. You should have, at the very least, three meals a day, but preferably five small meals. This will keep you from getting hungry during the day and overeating out of starvation.
TIP #28: Just like fruits, fresh vegetables are better than those that are canned. It is even better if you can eat your veggies raw. When you cook them, you cook away the nutrients. If you must cook them, try to boil them to the point that there is still some crispness to them. Also, don’t soak them in butter. If you can buy organic and pesticide free veggies, that is even better.
TIP #29: Don’t eat more than one egg per day. It is best if you can reduce your egg intake to three a week.
TIP #30: Chocolates should be treated as luxury items. Buy the good stuff and only eat them every once in awhile. If you really savor each morsel, you’ll experience that much more joy in eating them and they will taste even better.
TIP #31: Eat foods from all of the food groups each day. This is a great way to ensure you are getting all the nutrients your body needs and it helps to ward off any diet deficiencies. Also, don’t eat the same foods all the time. Experiment so that you don’t get bored with same old diet.
TIP #32: Try to eat breakfast within an hour of waking up. This is the best way to give your body the jump start it needs. Don’t wait until you are really hungry. Breakfast is important, but you don’t need to stuff yourself. The idea is that you’re breaking the fast from not easting all night.
TIP #33: Your diet should include all aspects of the food groups including carbohydrates. In fact, your diet needs to be about 50-55% carbs. Carbs are a great source of energy. Those diets that prohibit carbohydrates are actually harming you and only making you crave them that much more.
Your diet should cause you to be deficient in anything.
TIP #34: Proteins should make up only 25-30% of your diet. Far too much emphasis is put on meat as the main part of your meal.
In actuality, it should be considered more of a side dish rather than the main course.
TIP #35: Fats should make up 15-20% of your meal. This is really all the fat your body needs. A lot of this is going to be in your diet in the form of cream, sugar and the like.
TIP #36: Eat more white meat than red meat. White meat includes chicken, fish and some other fowl.
Red meat includes beef and pork.
TIP #37: Try to go as vegetarian as you can. This really is a healthier lifestyle, even if you can’t cut meat out completely. The more fruits and veggies you can eat the better. The more meat you cut out, the more fat you can cut out of your diet as well.
However, protein is important, so be certain that your option allows you to maintain good protein levels.
TIP #38: White bread is good, but high fiber multigrain breads are much better. These breads are another way to add more fiber to your diet and they also have a good protein level.
TIP #39: Pork does not assist in weight loss in any way. The less pork you eat, the better off you will be when trying to lose weight. Pork has a high fat content and includes food items such as bacon, ham and sausage.
TIP #40: Limit your sugar intake as much as possible. If you must have sweetener in your coffee and tea, try to find an artificial sweetener that you don’t mind the taste of. However, these things are not all that healthy either and should be limited as well.
TIP #41: Try grazing five to six times a day. These are those small meals we discussed earlier. Some people lose weight better when they never feel hungry and grazing on healthy food items can do this for you. Plus, it keeps your metabolism working, which will burn fat naturally.
TIP #42: Don’t worry about cheating, but don’t cheat for a meal. Eat sweets and your favorite cheat food for the flavor only. If you want dessert after dinner, share one with the whole family. You’ll get the flavor, but not the pounds.
TIP #43: Watch your fat intake. Each fat gram is 9 calories. If you know your total calories then you can figure the amount of fat in those items.
TIP #44: Take it easy on the salt and try to cut what you use in half. Salt is one of the main causes of obesity.
TIP #45: Instead of frying in oil or fat, try baking those items instead. Baking does not require all the fat and oil that frying requires and your food is not soaking in those substances while it cooks.
TIP #46: Use non-stick frying pan spray so you don’t use oil. Also, pans that are non-stick don’t require as much, if any oil.
TIP #47: Boil vegetables instead of cooking them. You can also steam them, as this is probably the healthiest way to eat foods like cabbages, cauliflower, broccoli and carrots.
TIP #48: Be leery of no fat and low fat food items. There are many of these food items on the market, but they are not exactly healthy. Many of these food items use some sort of chemical or carbohydrate to sweeten them so that they taste better. However, the body turns these chemicals and carbohydrates into sugar in the body, which means they are still getting turned into fat.
TIP #49: Don’t fall victim to crash diets. These are bad for you and do more harm than good in the long run. The short term results are typically that you will lose a few pounds, but once you give them up then everything comes back and your weight is worse the second time around. You cannot survive on a crash diet and you eventually get to a point where you have to give it up.
TIP #50: Chew your food at least 8 to 12 times whether it is liquid food, sweets or ice cream. This adds saliva to the food that digests the sugar. When food isn’t eaten properly and is just swallowed, you fill your stomach with food that isn’t ready to be digested and it then does not yield the health benefits that you need.
TIP #51: When you are cooking with oil, use a good Extra Virgin Olive Oil. It is more expensive than vegetable oil, but the health benefits are much better and it is worth the cost. Olive oil has been associated with a reduced risk in coronary heart disease and helps to increase the elasticity of the arterial walls which reduces the chance for heart attack and stroke.
TIP #52: When you begin working out, whether at home or in a gym, don’t be discouraged if you don’t see results right away. It takes more than a week to get your body into shape and to begin making progress. Many people make the mistake of believing that their exercising isn’t working when it just takes a little bit of time.
If you push your body too much when you first get started exercising you can end up with injuries. Your bones, joints and ligaments are not prepared for the exertion you are putting on them. Don’t think that if you really push yourself hard for a few workouts that you’ll lose money, unfortunately the body doesn’t work this way. Slow and steady wins the race when it comes to exercising.
TIP #53: Check your weight when you start exercising, but don’t use it as a guide to how much weight you are losing. Your weight fluctuates throughout the day. If you check your weight every day, you may only end up getting discouraged.
TIP #54: The best way to know if you’re losing weight is by the fit of your clothes. If you start to feel as though you’re floating in your clothes then you know you’re eating and exercising is doing you some good. Another way to know if you’re losing weight is if you can begin moving where you usually buckle your belt, of course tighter is better.
TIP #55: When you periodically check your weight and the fit of your clothes, reward yourself. Buy yourself some new running shoes or a new pair of jeans. This will help to keep you motivated as you pursue your weight loss goals.
TIP #56: Take a day off from exercising to provide your body with a chance to rest and repair. Your body needs a day off once a week.
TIP #57: Three days of 30 minute exercise will help you to maintain your weight, but you need at least 4 days of 30 minute exercise to begin to lose weight and 5 days a week is even better.
TIP #58: Collect information on exercise and easy things you can do from your own home. There is tons of extensive research available on exercise and you can choose what will assist you the most to meet your weight loss goals. Browse the Internet or pick up some books on health and exercise from your local bookstore or library to learn more and how to burn off the desired number of calories you are trying to burn each week.
TIP #59: Try to find an exercise buddy. This should be someone who is as committed to exercising and losing weight as you are. One of the advantages of finding a committed partner is that you have someone to keep feeling responsible to them. The knowledge that someone is waiting on you makes it easier for you to get out of bed and go exercise with them.
You wouldn’t want to stand up your exercise buddy would you?
TIP #60: When your body tells you it has had enough, take a break. When you have worked out for a considerable amount of time, you will start receiving signals from your body. This is particularly important when you are just getting started in your exercise routine.
TIP #61: If you decide to increase the length of your workouts, do so gradually. The same is true for the intensity of your workouts.
TIP #62: Select an exercise routine that suits your lifestyle. Everybody has a different lifestyle and a different profession. There is no set time that you should or should not workout. If you like to workout late before you go to bed because it is relaxing to you then do it. If you like to workout early in the morning because it helps you wake up then that’s great too. Some people like to workout on their lunch break to take a break from the stress of their job or because that is the only time they have available.
TIP #63: Don’t stand around, walk around. If you can walk around then do it. People who are pacers are actually doing themselves a lot of good because they are constantly moving. Pacing also helps you think.
TIP #64: Don’t sit if you can stand. If you can stand comfortably, you will burn more calories doing so than if you were to sit.
TIP #65: Don’t lie down if you can sit. Same concept as the two above.
TIP #66: The couch and the television are anti-weight loss. If you are inclined to become a couch potato, don’t sit on it. In fact, if you have to, put a not so comfortable chair in front of the television so you won’t spend so much time in front of it. The same is true for the computer if you’re a computer junkie. Some people have a more comfortable chair in front of their computer than they do in front of their television.
(This is, of course, if you don’t work from home and need to work hours at a time in front of your computer because your chair is very important then.)
TIP #67: If you have a job where you sit the whole time, stand up and stretch every half hour or so. Most of today’s jobs are in front of a computer and require you to sit. If you have a job like this make it a point to move every so often.
TIP #68: Walk around while you’re on the telephone. You’ll get a good workout if it is a long conversation.
TIP #69: Use the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. These are great conveniences, but they make us very lazy. Also, it may be quicker to take the stairs than to wait on an elevator to open.
TIP #70: Quit smoking. Smoking does not contribute to your weight exactly, but it does lead to erratic eating behaviors and increases caffeine dependence.
TIP #71: 10 minutes of cardio a day is good for most, you can get this by other methods than running.
TIP #72: If you can’t run for a physical reason, then try 15 minutes of brisk walking to keep fit.
TIP #73: You can walk anywhere if you have time. If work or the grocery store is not far away, consider walking there or riding a bike. It may take you longer, but you’re getting your workout in at the same time.
TIP #74: Hide the remote control from yourself. Remote controls are also evil when it comes to losing weight. If you didn’t have a remote, you may not even turn on the television, which means you might find more active things to do.
Get up and change the channel if you don’t have a remote or go for a walk instead of watching TV.
TIP #75: Do your own fetching. If you need something from the kitchen, the TV channel changed, the mail or newspaper from the driveway, walk and get it yourself. Adding a little walking to your day will do wonders for you.
TIP #76: Walk along or climb the escalator with it or just take the stairs.
TIP #77: Walk around during commercial breaks or do simple exercises like crunches or bending over and touching your toes. Do anything to get your body moving more and to keep your blood pumping.
TIP #78: Turn on some music and dance. Again, the more you get moving the better you will feel and the more weight you will lose.
TIP #79: If you take public transportation, get off a block before your stop and walk the remainder of the way. This is a good way to squeeze in a walk before and after work or on the way to another destination.
TIP #80: Do pelvic gyrations to get your midsection in shape. Of course, you wouldn’t do these with anybody around, but they are a good step in getting your body prepared for more serious stomach crunches. It is also good on the back muscles and keeps you loose instead of tight.
TIP #81: Suck in your stomach when you walk. Walk properly, but do your best to keep that stomach tucked in. You will soon begin to feel those muscles tightening.
TIP #82: Do breathing exercises to tone your midsection. It is amazing how breathing properly and with your entire diaphragm can actually help to tighten your abdominal muscles. Most people breathe way too shallow as it is and oxygen is good for the brain.
TIP #83: Experiment with yoga. Yoga is a great way to lose weight and reduce your stress levels. Yoga teaches you how to control your muscles and gain more control of your individual muscles groups.
TIP #84: Lift weights. Strength training burns more fat than people give it credit. When you work on building muscle, they begin to burn fat to fuel muscles growth. Do be aware that when you gain muscle, your scale may not be an accurate tool in determining weight loss because muscle weighs more than fat.
TIP #85: Massage your partner. You can exert yourself a little bit and at the same time you will be able to complement them on the weight they have lost if they have been working out with you.
TIP #86: Take the stairs two at a time instead of one at a time. This causes you to have to exert yourself more and increases your heart rate.
TIP #87: Take your dog on a walk. Chances are that if you’re not getting enough exercise, neither is your pet. Or, let your dog take you on a walk. For once in his life, let him lead you where he wants to go and as fast as he wants to get there. It could be a good workout for the both of you.
TIP #88: Join a dancing class. This could be ballroom dancing where you learn dances like the tango, salsa or fox trot. These dances are fast paced and will get you moving. Even slow ballroom dancing is a lot of exercise and will definitely tone your legs. Or, you can take an aerobic dance class. How many dancers do you know that are overweight?
TIP #89: Lean against the wall so that your face is close and then use your hands to push your body away. Do this three or four times to stretch.
TIP #90: Swim whenever you can. Swimming is a great way to get your cardio exercise and it’s low to no impact on your joints, which is great for people who have osteoporosis or joint problems.
TIP #91: Try playing tennis or basketball. Playing games are a great way to get into shape. It’s also more fun to workout with someone else in a competitive atmosphere. You will be more driven to push yourself and you’ll burn more calories, just don’t overdo it.
TIP #92: Always start your workout with a warm up of about 5-10 minutes and end with a cool down of 5-10 minutes. Your body needs to reach a certain heart rate level before it will respond well to the rest of the workout.
TIP #93: Don’t carry your wireless phone or cell phone with you. If it rings, go walk for it. There are so many conveniences in life and we always have everything we need at our fingertips, but this is obviously bad for the waistline.
TIP #94: If you’re standing around, stretch your legs a bit by standing up on your toes and then gradually drop to your heals. You can also flex your buttock muscles as well, but maybe when nobody else is looking.
TIP #95: Before going to bed, undress and stare at yourself in front of the mirror. Take note of what areas you need to improve on and what areas are your best assets. Taking a self-inventory can keep you motivated in your workout endeavors. Also, don’t forget to complement yourself on any new muscle tone you may have or other improvements you’ve made.
TIP #96: Don’t slouch in your chair. Try to sit up straight and erect at all times. Slouching is bad for your back and gives you a flabby figure. Make it a point to always sit and stand with good posture.
TIP #97: Most people would like to target their stomachs and get rid of that area all together. Unfortunately, we can’t spot reduce. But, one thing you can do is a breathing exercise to help tighten those stomach muscles.
Breathe in air as strong as you can and tuck your stomach at the same time as much as you can. Hold it for a few seconds and then slowly let it out. Don’t let it out so fast that your belly flops out. This is not good. Try to breathe like this whenever you think about it, about 50-60 times a day is ideal.
This will help you to lose at least an inch within 20 days or so.
TIP #98: Use a chart, such as the one below to assist you in your weight loss endeavors.
This chart shows you how many calories each of these common exercises burn, based on 20 minutes.
Exercise Calories Burned:
- Aerobics 200-250
- Stationary Bicycling 250-300
- Actual Bicycling 300-400
- Running at 5-6 mph 300-350
- Stairclimber 200-250
- Swimming Laps 350
- Brisk Walking 150-180
- Weeding and Cultivating Your Garden 130-200
- Sex (Yes, sex can be exercise too) 50-60
- Basketball – shooting baskets to playing a game 130-250
- Golf – carrying clubs, no cart 166 Golf – carrying clubs, based on 2 hours of play instead of 20 minutes 1000
- Snorkeling 150-200
- Water Skiing 180-200
- Ice Skating – general 200-250
- Cross Country Skiing, 2.5 mph, light effort 200-250
- General Skiing 200-250
- Scuba Diving 200-250
- Whitewater rafting, kayaking or canoeing 150-200
- Flag or Touch Football 250-300
- Horseback Riding – Trotting 200-250
- Martial Arts 300-350
- Racquetball 200-250
- Volleyball – 6 to 9 person team 90-120
- Volleyball – Beach 25-300
- Tennis – singles 250-300
- Tai Chi 120-180*Your results will depend on how much you currently weigh as well. If you’re looking for an accurate calculation based on your body weight and details of the exercise you are performing go to iVillage.com at http://dftools.ivillage.com/healthtools/calc_cb.cfm.
From this chart you can see that walking is a great way to get exercise. If you’re too busy to do any of the other exercises, a good walk is a good start.
TIP #99: Don’t discourage yourself from exercising and eating right by wearing clothes that don’t fit. If you’re a medium, wear a medium. Wearing the wrong types of clothes can make you appear larger than you really are. This includes workout wear as well. If you wear clothes that fit now, you get to go shopping later for smaller clothes and you can sell your slightly worn larger clothes in a consignment shop or you can take them to Goodwill to be given to someone who can use them.
Weight Loss Tips
Photo. Stuart Miles