Experts tell us we are what we eat. That is a disturbing thought when we consider how much sugar, fat and white flour we consume daily, hidden in ready meals and fast foods. It’s time to change the bad habits and start eating for weight loss and maintenance and to improve health.
Whether you need to lose weight, maintain weight or tone up your body, unhealthy eating habits can jeopardize your health. There is a great benefit acquired from losing weight and though it is not easy, the long term effects of weight loss will be helpful to anyone, including some of the following remarkable benefits.
- Weight Loss Prevents High blood Pressure, Heart Disease and Stroke — That is a three in one benefit from losing weight. It is a fact that heart disease and stroke are one of the primary reasons for disability and death in both men and women in the US. People who are overweight have a higher risk to have high levels of cholesterol in their blood stream, as well as, triglycerides (also known as blood fat). Angina, one type of heart disease, could cause chest pains as well as a decrease in the oxygen pumped to the heart. Sudden death also occurs from heart disease and stroke, and usually this strikes with very little warning, signs and symptoms. It is a fact that by decreasing your weight by a mere five to ten percent, this could positively decrease the chances of you having or developing heart disease or a stroke. Plus, how your heart functions would also improve as well as your blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride count will decrease.
- Weight Loss Prevents Type-2 Diabetes — Diabetes puts in jeopardy one’s life as well as how one leads his or her life because of the complications that result from having it. Both types of diabetes, type one and type two are linked with being overweight. To those who already have diabetes, regular exercise and losing weight could help in controlling your blood sugar levels as well as the medication you may be currently taking. Increase your physical activity. You could simply walk, jog or dance. It helps get those blood streams moving as well as lose those unnecessary pounds.
- Weight Loss Helps Reduce Your Cancer Risk — Being overweight is linked with a number of kinds of cancer. Specially for women, the common types of cancer that is associated with being overweight include cancer of the uterus, gallbladder, ovary, breast, and colon. This is not meant to scare you, this is only to keep you informed. Men are at risk too from developing cancer if they are overweight. These include cancer of the colon, prostate and rectum. Extra weight, a diet high in fat and cholesterol should as much as possible be avoided.
- Weight Loss Reduces Sleep Apnea — Or it could eliminate it all together. Sleep Apnea is a condition wherein one could temporarily stop breathing for a brief period and then would continue to snore heavily. Sleep Apnea could cause drowsiness or sleepiness during the day and — because of being overweight — could result in heart failure. Shedding those excess pounds could help in eliminating this problem.
- Weight Loss Reduces Osteoarthritis Pain — When one weighs heavily, the joints of his or her knees, hips and lower back would have to exert double — if not triple — effort to carry him or her through out his or her waking, walking and moving life. This could cause tension and stress on these joints. Weight loss decreases the load these joints carry thus decreasing — if not eliminating — the pain of one who has osteoarthritis.
Exercise & Weight Loss
A lot of us live our lives like penned animals. Thought we are built to move, too often we put ourselves in a cage. We have bodies designed for racing across the savannas, but we live a lifestyle designed for migrating from the bed to the breakfast table, to the car seat, to the office chair, to the restaurant booth, to the living room couch, and back to the bed.
It was not always this way. It used to be many years ago that, for example, a man who worked on a farm did the equivalent of 15 miles of jogging every day and his wife did the equivalent of seven miles of jogging. Today, our daily obligations of work and home keep us tied to our chairs and if we want exercise, we have to insert it into our daily schedules.
Today health experts insist that obesity problem is probably caused at least as much by lack of physical activity as by eating too much. Hence, it is important that people need to move around. However, that does not mean that a lap or two around the old high school track will offset a daily dose of donuts. Exercise alone is not very efficient, experts say. They contend that if you just exercise and do not change your diet, you may be able to prevent weight gain or even lose a few pounds for a while.
Nevertheless, it is not something that you are likely to sustain unless exercise is part of an overall program. The more regularly you exercise, the easier it is to maintain your weight. Here are some suggestions to do every day to make sure that you get the exercise you need.
- Get Quality Zzzs — Make sure that you get adequate sleep. Good sleep habits are conducive to exercise, experts point out. If you feel worn out during the day, you are less likely to get much physical activity during the day. In addition, there is evidence that people who are tired tend to eat more, using food as a substance for the rest they need.
- Walk The Walk — It is probably the easiest exercise program of all. In fact, it may be all you ever have to do, according to some professional advices of some health experts. Gradually build up to at least 30 minutes of brisk walking five times a week. Brisk walks themselves have health and psychological benefits that are well worth the while.
- Walk The Treadmill — When the weather is bad, you might not feel like going outdoors. But if you have a treadmill in the television room, you can catch up on your favorite shows while you are doing your daily good turn for your weight-maintenance plan. Most of us watch television anyway, and indoor exercise equipment enables anyone to turn a sedentary activity into a healthy walk.
- Seize The Time — Excuses aside, lack of time is certainly a limiting factor in most lifestyles. That is why health experts suggest a basic guideline for incorporating exercise into your schedule. Get as much exercise as you can that feels good without letting it interfere with your work or family life. If you need to, remind yourself that you are preventing many health problems when you prevent weight gain; and keeping your health is a gift to your family as well as yourself.
If it’s sticky and sweet, made with sugar and saturated fat, then you should only eat it as a rare treat. Can the same be said for a delicious bowl of strawberries or a juicy sweet orange? If you think you may be using sweet treats as a ‘reward’ or comfort and want to kick the habit, simply remember that putting on weight is NOT a reward. Then think of a reward that doesn’t involve food!
Guard yourself from the sweet snack attacks by being prepared and planning your day’s food patterns.
- Incorporate Protein in to your breakfast AND lunch. Protein is key to controlling carbohydrate cravings. The RDA of protein for women is 60 grams a day. For women wanting to lose weight, health professionals recommend approximately 100 grams of protein daily. Why? One of the principle advantages of protein is that it creates a feeling of fullness and satisfaction in the body that makes overeating much less likely. Source your protein from ultra lean sources so you don’t pick up unwanted calories and saturated fats. Even better, than providing a sense of sustained fullness, protein can block the triggering effect that carbohydrates can have on the brain. If you eat protein with a carbohydrate it will reduce the cravings caused by eating the carbohydrate.
- Never Skip Meals — Research has shown that people who skip meals are more prone to obesity than those who regularly eat 3 meals a day. In fact, people who space their daily food requirements by making appropriate use of healthy snacks do even better. Why is this? When you skip meals you are more likely to get hungry and fill up on easily obtained fast foods which are often trigger foods.
- Drink 6 to 8 Glasses of water throughout the day. For some people sugar laden soft drinks are a trigger food. Make sure you don’t get thirsty in the first place. Water creates a sense of fullness and has a host of other health benefits.
- Plan The Timing of your meals so that you don’t get hungry. Despite having three healthy meals a day, sometimes your work schedule can mean the spacing of those meals still does not guard against the carbohydrate cravings. If you have a long gap between meals, make sure you carry healthy snacks to cover the distance, otherwise hunger will overtake you.
- Plan Your Snacks — Plan out your weekly snack schedule with some delicious, healthy snacks. Purchase these with your weekly shopping so that you are fully prepared. If you need to, get up a few minutes earlier in the morning so you have time to prepare and take your snacks to work. Remember, healthy snacks don’t live in a vending machine! You are less likely to get hungry when you have a ready supply of healthy snacks.
- Carry Emergency Supplies of nutritional protein bars in your handbag or brief case. When you feel a carbohydrate craving, eat the protein bar instead and wait 30 minutes before acting on the craving. More often than not the craving will pass and you will be in control again. This truly works.
Quick Diet Tips
Finally, here are a few quick weight loss diet tips that can be followed every day and anywhere.
- Make a delicious low fat mayonnaise by combining one teaspoon of Dijon mustard or satay sauce with a low fat yogurt.
- Do not skip meals. Skipping meals slicks the body into slowing down the metabolism, attempting to conserve calories during a period where limited fats and fuel are available. Remember that eating increases the metabolism.
- Stuff vegetables like capsicum and zucchini with flavored fillings or minced chicken, white meat or fish. These are healthy and contain low fat.
- Take pita bread roll ups or wraps with salad fillings.
- Eight hours after waking up, our metabolism slows down that is why 30 minutes of exercise before dinner will increase the metabolism for about two to three hours. This produces an increase in burned fat even hours after the work out is over.
- Add alfalfa or mung beans to salad to get extra iron.
- Good cooking and healthy eating begins with learning about nutrition and how to prepare healthy recipes.
- Learn how to make the family favorite recipes and make sure that fats, salt, and sugar are cut out. Substitute non-fat yogurt for cream, stir-fry without oil and use herbs and spices instead of salt to taste.
- Consult the doctor before beginning an exercise or weight loss program.
- Slowly eat and chew each bite during meals as this would decrease one’s appetite.
- Complete three small meals and two snacks everyday instead of one or two huge meals.
- Use chicken stock when stir-frying. This will cut down on hidden fat.
- Buy non-toasted muesli instead of the toasted ones. A plate of toasted muesli contains more fat than a plate of bacon and eggs.
- As much as possible do not remove the skins of fruits and vegetables since most of the nutrients are concentrated under the skin.
- Warm water with just a squeeze of lemon juice before breakfast get the metabolism going for the day, this also help preventing constipation and is excellent for the skin.
- One of the best sources of vegetable protein is from Soy Beans or Tofu. All legumes provide some protein, so include Lentils, Lima Beans, etc. into casseroles and soups.
- Look for a weight loss “buddy,” club, or support mates. This will motivate you to stay and enjoy your weight loss program.
- Though it’s hard at first, try not eating 3 hours or more before bedtime.
- Make pasta a fast food choice – preparing a pasta meal or salad will only take 10 to 12 minutes.
- Chili helps to speed up metabolism – even the milder varieties.
- Try making omelettes without adding the yolks! A dramatic decrease in fat.
- Substitute Baking Soda, Baking Powder, MSG and Soy Sauce in cooking.
- Remove fat by dropping ice cubes into the baking tray. Fat will stick to the ice cubes.
- Drinking hot water instead of cold water in the morning can increase the speed of your metabolism and burn more calories.
- Eat before you go food shopping and always prepare a shopping list. Only buy food which relates to your weekly menu plan and don’t be tempted to buy goodies.
Make sure you practice the right discipline so that you’ll instill consistency into your weight loss diet plan. This will lead eventually to a healthy life-style and a more fruitful living without the extra fat and extra pounds.
Lose Weight by Eating Easy Dinners: Weight Loss Made Simple with 60 Family-Friendly Meals Under 500 Calories might come in handy in helping with your eating for weight loss and maintenance routine. It offers mouth-watering low-calorie versions of favorite dinner recipes that take minimal time and effort and provides recipes for great-tasting, healthy main dishes, starters, sides, marinades and desserts.