1. Rise & Dine. Eat something within the first hour of waking to get your metabolism to begin burning calories. This “something” can be as simple as a couple of crackers or ½ of a banana. For those of you who are not hungry in the morning, you need to eat anyway. You will be missing the opportunity to burn calories by waiting until later in the day.
2. Get More Volume with Fewer Calories. Foods with high water content fill you up easily. They are also naturally lower in calories. Fruits and vegetables are very high in water content. Your goal should be to consume 8-10, ½ -cup servings daily. To achieve this goal, eat one large salad and one smoothie daily. A smoothie, where you blend 1-cup of liquid (water, juice or milk) with 2 cups frozen fruit, has the added benefit of adding air to increase the volume even further.
3. Go Nuts! Eat a handful of almonds for a snack between meals to control hunger. In a study in the International Journal of Obesity, dieters who ate almonds every day lost 18% of weight and body mass index compared with 11% in the nut-less group, even though both groups consumed the same number of daily calories. Be sure to read the ingredient list. Ideally, the list will contain only one ingredient, such as almonds or walnuts. Limit your intake to 1-2 oz per day to avoid consuming excess calories.
4. Don’t Drink Your Calories. All beverages that contain calories are providing EXTRA calories that can easily cause weight gain. Your body does not compensate for the beverage calories you consume with a decrease in your appetite. For example, if you drink a 12-ounce can of Coke, you are consuming 150 calories. You body is not 150 calories less hungry for food later. If you eat a large banana and a medium apple, for a total of 150 calories, your body will be 150 calories less hungry later.
5. Water is Essential for weight loss. When you are not consuming enough water, your body will hold on tightly to your body fat. Water is a needed ingredient in the breakdown of body fat. Drink at least 64 ounces of water per day, or two 32-ounce sports bottles of water. You will know you are drinking enough water when your urine is pale yellow, clear instead of cloudy and has absence of smell midday.
6. Write it Down. Write down everything that you eat or drink during your weight loss phase. This simple act will increase your accountability to yourself daily. I, of course love the THIN CHOICES Lifestyle Diary because it makes a tedious task fun. You have a place to record everything, even your exercise sessions in just 10-minute increments.
7. Move to Lose. To lose weight quickly, you will want to move your body for at least 45 minutes 4-5 days per week. You can walk, bike, swim, do an exercise video or dance with your children. Find an exercise that you can tolerate. Place or draw a star on your calendar for each day that you meet this goal. You will quickly begin to notice the correlation between stars and your mood, as well as your weight.
8. Squeeze to Tone. When you tighten a specific set of muscles, such as your stomach or buttocks, you will be toning them. This is called isometric toning. I like to call them “Squeezies”. They are fun to say and easy to do. You can do this anywhere. I like to do my Squeezies while waiting for a red light to change and in line at the grocery store. Keep in mind that you can begin to tone your muscles that are currently sitting under some body fat, but you just can’t show them off until you lose your excess fat.
9. Snooze to Lose. A recent study found that people who sleep for less than 5 ½ hours per night are 50% more likely to be obese than those who sleep for seven to eight hours. Researchers have concluded that lack of sleep affects hormones related to appetite, causing weight gain.
10. Breathe Deep. Oxygen is the second key ingredient needed for the breakdown of body fat into useable energy. Deep breathing also helps combat stress. For 10 minutes everyday, lay flat, close your eyes and focus only on your breathing. If you are an emotional eater, practice taking deep breaths whenever you are eating out of boredom, anger, stress, etc…
According to the National Weight Control Registry, people who are most successful at losing weigh and keeping it off have four things in common: they follow a low fat carbohydrate rich diet, eat breakfast almost every day, exercise regularly and monitor their weigh loss closely. These finding are consistent with the research Jill Fleming conducted and reveals in her book Thin People Don’t Clean Their Plates: Simple Lifestyle Choices for Permanent Weight Loss.
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