Eat it!

Developing smart eating habits is an important part of losing the weight and keeping it off. These don’t have to have to be dramatic changes especially if you’re just starting out.

Start substituting different foods in for your usual favourites. Switch your regular pasta for a whole wheat version and find a simple recipe for a great sauce.  Reach for the milk and honey instead of the cream and sugar for your coffee.  Read up on your favourite flavours and find out some of the health and weight loss benefits that they might have!

There are tonnes of great cookbooks, websites and weight loss programs available that focus on healthy recipes for weight loss. They often have the serving portions broken down by calories so you know how large each meal is and how much is appropriate to eat in a sitting. If cooking is a foreign experience for you, try a health focused cooking class. Bring some friends along and make a night out of it.

Another really simple tip to eating healthy is to bring your meals with you, even if it’s just a small container of granola at your desk or a piece of fruit that lives in your purse. When you start feeling those hunger pains you already have your healthy snack on hand.

Start bringing your lunch to work. Just make sure you give your lunches enough thought ahead of time or you’ll just end up buying something unhealthy on the go.  The trick is to make meals in bulk and keep them divided in containers in calorie appropriate portions in your fridge or cupboards. That way you can just grab and go in the mornings.

If you need some motivation to switch over to homemade healthy meals just do math and see how much money and how many calories you’ll be saving each month. Just think of the cute shoes you’ll be able to buy with your lunch time savings!

 

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Stretch it off? Run it off? Dance if off? How do you lose weight the best?

So it’s been a week and you’re still motivated to losing the weight and making healthy lifestyle decisions. The big question is how are you going to do this and not get bored doing it? How are you going to make being active a part of your lifestyle and not a chore that just helps with losing weight.

If the thought of going to the gym makes you uncomfortable then maybe the gym isn’t the right place for you right now. Find an exercise class/activity that looks like fun and ask if there is trial period or intro class that you can try before committing to it long term. If it’s not the right fit at least you can say you tried something, it didn’t work, but you still got a great work out in. Look for something that you’ve always wanted to try, karate or ballet, maybe? There are adult beginner classes for almost anything these days so it might be fun to revive an old childhood dream.

Go online and look at what’s close to home. Is there a yoga studio around the corner? Is there a neighbourhood boot camp running? If there is something happening close to home that works with your schedule it can’t hurt to give it a try. Classes are often scheduled to allow people time to get there right after work so it’s easy to fit into your regular weekly routine.

Get App happy – there are lots of free or affordable fitness and nutrition apps out there that can help you with your goals and have the convenience of being right at your finger tips. Food diaries on your phone are a great way of keeping track of what you’re eating, when you’re eating, if you took your supplement or multivitamin and how many calories you’re consuming a day.  Find an app that does all the math for you so you just have decide what’s good to eat.

Hit the books – We know it sounds like the opposite of getting exercise but there are useful training and weight loss tips you can read up on and practice at home by yourself. Finding a fun workout DVD is also a great thing to have in your work out arsenal. If you’re someone who needs to switch things up on a regular basis or you’ve missed your regular exercise activity (because – let’s face it – life happens and sometimes you just can’t go) put on a DVD and sweat it out at home.  It’s also handy to have with you if you travel frequently and the hotel gym facilities are less then desired.

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So you want to lose weight? Don’t we all!

The holiday season is over and now we’re all feeling a little guilty about how much we indulged during the holiday party circuit, especially since your pants are fitting a little more snuggly than they used to. So now you’ve made one of the most common New Year’s resolutions out there – you’re going to be healthy, get fit, lose the weight and maybe even run a marathon just to prove that this really is the year you’re going to follow through and make your weight loss goal. Well if you’re a stranger to eating right and regular exercise this can be an overwhelming resolution to keep, so we’re here to help you stay on the wagon all year long. That’s right, all year long – not all month long, not three months long, not six months long, ALL YEAR LONG. Remember, you want to lose the weight forever, not just send it on vacation for a couple of weeks.

For now think baby steps instead of giant leaps. Make your weight loss decisions realistic so that they fit with your regular routine. You can try to lose five pounds in a week but if you don’t have the hours (that’s right – multiple hours) to spend in an aerobic frenzy you’ll be setting yourself up for failure. You’ll end up feeling bad about not finishing what you set out to accomplish and end up quitting (again).  For now make really, really simple changes that are easy to stick to. Since we’re all creatures of habit and routine, make small adjustment to yours in the weight loss direction.  Add an alert in your schedule reminding you to drink a glass of water. If you love soft drinks switch to a low calorie or sugar free drink like an iced herbal tea, take a supplement that contains Glucomannan to help with weight loss and don’t feel bad about treating yourself once in awhile. We all love treats!

If it helps, think of the old story about the tortoise and hare.  Slow and steady wins the weight loss race.  Instead of saying “I am going to lose 20lbs by July” make your decision to be healthier overall. Instead say, “I’d like to look and feel fabulous by Christmas”.

The best thing to do if you’re serious about losing weight is to know where you’re starting from and what you’re starting with.  Get all the info, how much do you weigh? What are your measurements? What is a healthy, realistic weight for your body type and age? How many calories should I be eating a day? How often and for how long should I be exercising on a weekly basis? The next time you have a doctor’s appointment ask these questions and don’t be afraid of the answers. Sometimes a little shock therapy can be just thing to get you going.

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Weight-Loss Drug Buyers Beware

Always beware of products that make outrageous claims. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. When choosing a product, consult with your pharmacist or health care provider for assistance. Important questions to ask are:

1. Has the product been clinically tested?

2. Are there any side effects or interactions?

3. How should the product be taken (before meals, with food)? 4. How long can I take this product?

Prescription Drugs

Drugs are occasionally prescribed for people with a BMI over 30, or people with a BMI over 27 who also have other risk factors or diseases. Typically, these drugs are used to complement dietary therapy and physical activity, and should never be taken in place of lifestyle strategies. There are two main categories of weight loss medications:

•      Appetite suppressants decrease appetite and increase the feeling of being full. Side effects include nervousness, insomnia and irritability, increased blood pressure, nausea, diarrhea and dry mouth.

•       Drugs affecting the gastrointestinal tract, such as orlistat, decrease the amount of dietary fat that the body absorbs. Reported side effects include loose bowel movements, abdominal cramps and nausea.

Learn about non prescription ways to lose weight, including weight loss supplements.

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Tips for Losing Weight and Keeping it Off

Eat at least three meals a day, preferably four to five small meals to keep your metabolism and energy level optimized. Do not skip meals as this can raise your appetite, deplete your energy levels and lead to binge eating. When you are hungry between meals, snack on healthful foods, such as fruit, yogurt, raw vegetables, nuts and seeds.

Focus on fresh, unprocessed foods. Low-fat, nutrient dense foods are your best dietary choices. These include fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes (beans, peas and lentils) and whole grains. Eating foods as close to their natural state as possible will give you the most benefits in terms of nutrients and fiber.

Eat a variety of wholesome foods. This is the best way to ensure you get the optimum amount of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals you need to support lifelong health. We have a tendency to eat our favorite foods over and over. By doing this we miss out on some of the nutrients provided by eating different foods.

Incorporate more fat-fighting foods into your diet: Cayenne pepper—helps suppress appetite and may also increase calorie burning.

Cinnamon—helps balance blood sugar and lower cholesterol and triglycerides. Try adding 1⁄2 teaspoonful to your oatmeal or cereal.

Vinegar—contains acetic acid, which may slow the passage of food from the stomach into the small intestine, so your tummy stays full longer. Vinegar can also delay the rise in blood sugar that occurs after you eat a starchy meal such as pasta.

Flaxseed—provides soluble fiber and also contains lignans (plant compounds that act as phytoestrogens and help to balance hormones).

Soybeans—are rich in protein and also contain phytoestrogens. Choose whole soybeans or fermented soy products, like tempeh.

Check out a review of some of the best weight loss supplements.

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