Lighten Up! Ten Proven Diet Tips to Melt Away Pounds
Adult and childhood obesity rates are skyrocketing. More than 64% of US adults are either overweight or obese. Everyone knows diet and exercise is the best way to lose weight. But our hectic lifestyles often leave little time or energy for exercise.
We’re obsessed with being thin. Fascinated by the biggest losers on reality
TV. Envious of celebrities’ quick
fixes--diet pills and surgery. Ready to
But the truth is that you can lose weight through healthy eating--even without exercise.
And you don’t need to reinvent the wheel.
Metabolism--the rate at which your body converts the food you eat into energy--is as much a key to weight loss success as exercise. What your body doesn’t use for energy or excrete as waste, gets stored as fat. So, the faster your metabolism, the less food your body will have left over to store as fat.
Here are the top 10 proven diet tips to melt away the pounds:
1. See your doctor before starting any diet. Get a thorough exam, including lab work, to screen for conditions which might affect your metabolism--like diabetes and hypothyroidism--or your food plan--like diabetes, high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease. You may need a vitamin supplement.
2. Don’t skip meals--especially breakfast--because they boost your metabolism. Your body needs food for fuel-- especially in the morning--when it’s depleted from having no food since dinner. Research suggests that people who successfully lose weight and keep it off do not skip breakfast.
3. Eat 5 or 6 small meals daily instead of 3 larger ones. This will help maintain blood sugar levels, ease digestion, and keep the cravings away.
4. Read labels for calorie, portion, and nutritional information. Look for the amount of calories, percentage of fats or sugars, and sodium content. Be aware of what constitutes a portion. For instance, a muffin label may designate one-quarter of a muffin as a “portion”. So if you eat the whole muffin, you are getting four times the amount of calories, fat, sugar, and sodium listed!
5. Practice portion control. Initially, you may need to use measuring tools to insure that you are eating the proper size portion of foods. If tools are not practical, a general tip for portion control is the “fist test”: one portion of food is approximately the size of your fist.
6. Use a journal. By writing down everything you put in your mouth, you are less likely to cheat or overeat. It holds you accountable to yourself, helps you track your total calories, and helps pinpoint any irresistible food temptations and vulnerable binge times.
7. Don’t eat a big dinner and eat it early--by By not eating for several hours before bedtime, you give your body a chance to digest that meal while your metabolism rate is faster, so your body stores less fat.
8. Drink plenty of water. Conventional diet wisdom suggests drinking at least eight 8-ounce glasses daily, while sports medicine wisdom recommends drinking (in ounces) one half of your body weight, provided you are neither overly obese nor petite. (So if you weigh 140 pounds, you drink 70 ounces). You can count any non-caffeinated drink in filling the quota. Water helps flush fat and toxins from your system more efficiently and is essential for overall good health and hydration.
9. Consider a colon cleanse regimen. Promoted as a quick way to fire up the metabolism and improve digestion, it may rid the body of parasites and accumulated pounds of toxins and waste in the digestive tract.
10. Reward yourself for goals met. When the weight comes off, treat yourself to something new in a smaller size. Even after you reach your ideal weight, occasional rewards can help in maintaining your healthy lifestyle.
It’s time to return to the days of eating healthy. Time to
lighten up. Lose the fast food. Cut out
the refined flour and sugar,
Of course, adding routine exercise to these healthy-eating guidelines would be optimal for weight loss and general good health. But for those other times-- when the only weight you can lift is that forkful of veggies--a healthy diet can do wonders for you.