6 Strategies to Guarantee Weight Loss – Part 2

The battle of the bulge is a never-ending struggle for most of us. Don’t let your weight get the best of you. It is never to late to change some habits and even small changes can make a huge difference. Think of how much energy you will have, the activities you will be able to enjoy, the clothes you will be able to wear with confidence. Sounds good, doesn’t it? So let’s get started with three more strategies that I guarantee will help you lose those unwanted pounds.

Tip #4: Drink more water
This cannot be emphasized enough. Dehydration is a cause of headaches, fatigue, dizziness and other symptoms. We often mistake hunger for thirst. So I drink a glass of water with a bit of lemon or lime juice which helps balance my PH especially at meals. The amount of water we need to consume on a daily basis varies but I think it’s safe to say most of us don’t drink nearly enough. An easy-to-remember rule of thumb is to drink at least 8 8 oz glasses of water daily, preferably filtered. Not only will drinking water keep you full, it will flush out those toxins and keep everything flowing nicely.

Tip #5: Eat only when you’re hungry

Now this may seem obvious to some, but if you’re overweight, you probably don’t wait for hunger pains to eat. I know sometimes I don’t. An upsetting phone call, an unresolved decision, an emotional dilemma can all make me want to head for the fridge. This is what we call “emotional eating”. It is not real hunger. Somewhere along the line we have learned to use food to comfort us during times of stress. The key is to distinguish between the two. I am working on becoming more conscious of my physical state when I want to reach for food. I ask myself “Are you really hungry right now?” As a working mom, I have had to eat “on schedule” for many years. The clock determined when I ate, not my belly. A better way is to pay more attention to what I am feeling. Is my stomach growling? Is my thinking fuzzy? Do I feel cranky? All of these are good indicators of true hunger. If I still am not quite sure, I drink a large glass of water first and then see if I still want to eat.

Tip #6: Sit down to eat

Today’s fast-paced lifestyle has many of us eating on the run, in the car, at the desk, at a fast-food joint. I know sometimes it can’t be helped but eating on the run prevents us from focusing on what and how much we are eating. We don’t enjoy the meal. When we slow down and focus on the taste, texture, and color of our meal, we are being mindful. This allows our brains and our bellies to recalibrate and deliver the message “I am full.” We reduce the risk of overeating because we are more present and in control of our intake. As a single parent, I always made dinner-time a priority; it was important to prepare healthy meals and teach my sons good eating habits, but also to reconnect after everyone’s long day.

I have used these 6 strategies with success over the years to lose about 35 pounds and maintain a healthy weight so I know they work and they are simple to do. The battle of the bulge is not unbeatable. You can be slim and trim, have more energy, and feel great about yourself. Start today with a few of these tips. What weight loss tips can you share with us? Leave a comment below or post on Facebook.

Until next time, keep looking up!

Ariel

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6 Simple Strategies to Guarantee Weight Loss – Part 1

Fighting the battle of the bulge? Did you know more than one third of U.S. adults are obese? Our fast-paced gotta-get-more-done-now lifestyle has led to a deprioritization of mealtimes. We eat on the run, grab a coffee for breakfast, snack on a donut at break, and then take the kids to a fast-food joint for dinner because of jam-packed schedules.

As we age, excess weight can keep us from doing things we love. It also affects the pocketbook. Did you know medical expenses for obese people are $1429 more per year than for a normal weight person? As a gal who has lost a total of 35 pounds over my lifetime, and kept it off, this week I am sharing six simple tips I use to help maintain a healthy weight. But first, here’s what prompted me to write this post.

Last weekend, I was out with a new girlfriend who is about my age, perhaps a few years younger. If I had to guess, she’s probably about thirty pounds or more overweight which puts her into the obese category. I parked the car in the garage and we headed to the main entrance for a night of salsa dancing. As we’re walking, she says “Dinner time,” and pulls something wrapped in foil out of her purse and begins to chow down. I made a mental note that this behavior is conducive to weight gain but didn’t say a word. Yeah, Ariel!

So here we go with my six tips to help you lose that unhealthy baggage, have more energy, and feel better about yourself.

Tip #1: Eat smaller portions

Everything these days seems to be super-sized, from burgers to televisions. Unless we want our bodies to be super-sized we need to go against the tide and realize bigger is not always better, particularly when it comes to portion sizes. A serving of meat, fish, or chicken should be about the size of our palm, which is about 4 ounces. We want to feel full but not stuffed when we finish our meal.

Tip #2: Be more active

Physical activity is even more important as we age. Have done with the excuse about not liking to exercise. There are so many ways to exercise and have fun. One of the easiest and cheapest forms is to take a walk. Put on a pair of supportive shoes and head outside. A brisk 1 – 2 mile walk everyday will do wonders for you. At lunch time, get away from the desk, clear your head, and get some fresh air. If you want more, pick up the pace to a jog. If your joints can take it, jogging is a great cardiovascular exercise that gets the happy hormones, known as endorphins, circulating. You will burn more calories, stoke your metabolism, and strengthen your heart. Do something to get moving every day. Your heart will thank you, too!

Tip #3: Cut back on fats and sugars.

As an ex-aerobics instructor, I learned about nutrition, diet, and calories. Did you know a gram of fat has more than double the calories of a gram of protein or carbohydrate? Quick nutrition lesson here. Fats are found mostly in animal products such as meat, dairy, and cheese. They also are in oils, nuts, and seeds. To limit fats, avoid fried foods, fast-food, ice cream, pre-made packaged or frozen products, and creamy salad dressings and sauces such as alfredo. Check the labels and notice the number of fat grams per serving. If you’re not used to doing this, you will be in for a rude awakening. Some fats are good for you, though, so don’t eliminate them entirely. The brain is made up of 60% fat, so it needs it to stay healthy. Olive oil, coconut oil, sardines, salmon, all contain heart-healthy oils but use them sparingly. Now let’s talk about sugar.

Sugar wears many disguises so it is important to be aware of where these simple carbohydrates lurk. I overheard a woman at the pool the other day comparing lettuce and watermelon. She, too, is overweight. She was talking about how much she loves watermelon. True, lettuce and watermelon are both mostly water, however, watermelon is very high in sugar, rating 72 out of 100 on the glycemic index. So if you’re downing it in large quantities, remember the body still needs to produce insulin to digest fruit sugars the same as the sugar in cakes and cookies. Some other sources of sugar you might not be aware of are alcohol, dried fruit, dates, and some energy drinks.

Which one of these tips will you apply this week? Write and let me know how it goes for you. Stay tuned for part two of my six simple weight-loss tips next week.

Until then, keep looking up!

Ariel