Three Step Plan to Lose Weight

It sounds impossible, doesn’t it, losing weight in just three steps. First of all, not all those who have weight problems are mindless snackers or binge eaters. Overeating may have roots in a person’s emotions. Self-imposed exercises that are rigorous and restrictive dieting could be attributed to lack of self-love or self-acceptance that has roots in early child.

Deprivation is NOT the Key to Weight Loss

More often than not, weight watchers believe that deprivation is the key to weight loss. It is not. In fact, this deprivation, which is emotional in orientation and usually seen in highly restrictive diets, could even backfire and cause overeating and cravings. This is the reason why a restrictive diet is more likely to fail in the long run since it becomes difficult to sustain.

Some people eat when they are sad or when they are happy. Some even eat just because. Focusing on what foods you can have and what can be added to your diet should be your mantra in your attempt to shed off those unwanted pounds. Adding one favorite vegetable to a lunch or dinner meal and doing this until vegetables comprise about half of the plate will give you the feeling of abundance instead of deprivation.

1. Eat Only When You are Hungry

Forget fad diets, astronomically-priced weight loss supplements, and breathless workouts for a while. As mentioned earlier, emotional eating is one of the leading causes of weight gain. To curb this, the first step is to eat only when you are hungry, regardless of how you feel that morning or this evening. As mentioned earlier, emotional eating is one of the leading causes of weight gain.

Don’t eat if you’re not hungry. If you feel hunger, eat. But eat only the sufficient amount of food, meaning small portions and no add-ons. Don’t eat to the point that you will feel hunger only after 12 hours because that means that the amount of food that you ate was for two to three people. You don’t have to wait until you’re so ravenous that you can demolish six whole family-sized pizzas in half an hour.

Eat to assuage your hunger pangs and not to fill you up and can’t even stand up to go to the bathroom. Have half a sandwich for a mid-morning snack, for instance, but make sure it’s whole wheat toast, without butter or mayo, a couple of turkey slices, lettuce, tomatoes, and raw onions. Eating half a sandwich loaded with pastrami, blue cheese, egg salad, and mayo, for instance, is more for dinner than a snack.

Don’t condition yourself by justifying binges. You exercise every day, so what? That will not count for anything if you pop the Bloomin’ Onion Appetizer of Outback Steakhouse daily as well. This appetizer has 1,560 calories from the batter it’s fried in to its signature spicy “bloom sauce.” You can have the vegetarian burrito from Bueno y Sano, for instance (470 calories), but not the Quesadilla Burger that has 1,820 calories.

According to the American Council on Exercise media spokesperson and program coordinator Julia Valentour, you can actually outeat your workout even if you are burning calories and fat during exercise. Creating a calorie deficit can help you achieve a weight loss of one pound weekly if you eat 250 less calories and burning extra 250 calories.

2. Burn More than You Consume

Burning more calories than what you consume is actually a basic and simple principle of weight loss. This doesn’t mean that you will work out until you’re panting and your tongue is hanging out. It simply means being active beyond your regular workout. Walk instead of taking the elevator, bike to work or prepare food from scratch instead of buying it ready-to-eat.

3. Tying Your Self-Esteem to the Weighing Scale

Living well, according to Welsh-born poet, Anglican priest, and orator George Herbert, is the best revenge, and frankly, so is looking great. Tie your low self-esteem to your weighing scale and see your bulges go away. Women who feel bad about their weight can feel extremely enthusiastic about working out and dieting religiously when the motive is “revenge.”

Yes, this is emotional, but this is the kind that requires the will, not feelings. You got dumped because you your saddle bags for thighs? Use that rejection to will yourself to get thighs that are so well-sculpted you should insure them. You can’t wear anything sleeveless because you have bingo wings for arms? Use that embarrassment to give yourself well-toned arms that can put Michelle Obama to shame.

How About a Vegetarian Diet?

A vegetarian diet is sure to give you excellent health benefits but not following it properly can pack on the pounds accidentally. Cutting out all meat from your diet is great but consuming cheese as your protein source defeats your purpose of weight loss. Eating faux meat – vegetarian sausages, soy chicken burgers or veggie ham or bacon strips – is okay but only occasionally since these are processed foods.

Some vegetarians eat the meals they have known and are familiar with from their pre-vegetarian days but without any meat or meat by-product. They may, however, develop certain deficiencies because they have eliminated eating foods from whole groups. Some will eat anything labeled “meatless” and end up eating foods that are not meat but laden with chemicals, preservatives, and artificial flavoring.

Replacing the meat for beans is an easy, inexpensive, and healthy way to obtain a source for protein. Just don’t settle for meat substitutes that have synthetic chemicals like “seasonings” to “enhance” the otherwise bland taste which accompanies most meatless products. Instead of using “veggie meat” in recipes, opt for vegetables like mushrooms or seaweed.

Reasons You Are Not Losing Weight

Take a look at your everyday habits which may be causing your weight gain. Going on diets may make you obsessed with counting calories, heighten cravings, and even lead you to think of throwing in the towel when faced with slow weight loss results after a week or two of dieting and workouts.

saladYou may not even realize calories are already adding up from those extra tablespoons of salad dressing (75 to 100 calories) and butter (102) calories or the one ounce serving of chips that easily contributed 162 calories to your lunch sandwich. Finishing off your children’s food at dinner, an extra glass of wine, eating while you cook or munching on cookies while you watch TV are daily habits that sabotage losing weight.

Being mindful of what you put in your mouth can subtract all those calories seemingly acquired with nary a thought as to what they can do to your thighs, hips, waist, and arms. While these habits may not necessarily be dietary “mistakes,” they can be considered negligence in keeping your diet healthy. Check out some of these things you may need reminding of:

1. Skipping Meals

Do you regularly skip breakfast and then pig out continuously during the day? Studies show breakfast skippers actually weigh more than those who eat breakfast. Skipping breakfast will not save you calories. Those who eat fewer than the requisite three square meals a day will end up eating more and gaining more weight. Eating breakfast doesn’t mean gobbling up caloric foods either.

According to nutrition consultant and “Dining Lean” author Joanne Lichten, Ph.D, who also happens to be a registered dietician, healthy breakfasts should have fiber and protein. One piece of whole wheat bread slightly toasted, a poached egg, and half of a grapefruit all have protein and fiber to keep you satiated until lunch time. Frying the egg will increase the number of calories as will a pat of butter on the toast.

2. Unhealthy Add-Ons

You might have the vegetable salad at your favorite restaurant most of the time and that’s well and good but not if you top it with add-ons such as bacon bits, croutons, creamy dressings, and extra cheese. Grilled chicken is sometime not a better option than a Big Mac either. A healthy meal will depend on its size and whether or not your toppings are low calorie.

Burger King’s Tendergrill, for instance, has 470 calories with the honey-mustard dressing while a Whopper Jr. will have only 290 calories if you have it with just the mustard and without adding mayo. McDonald’s Quarter Pounder is actually just 410, 110 calories less than the Caesar’s salad with the creamy dressing and crispy chicken strips which tips the calorie counter at 520 calories.

3. Replacing Solid Food with Liquids

You have another thing going if you think replacing solid food with liquids will give you less calories. According to a recent study, Americans obtain 21% of calories from the beverages that they drink, including smoothies, sweetened juices, coffee with sugar and cream, sodas, and tea. Drinking liquids as a replacement for eating less solid food will make you only eat more because while liquids quench thirst, they don’t solve hunger.

Don’t think diet drinks, especially those labeled “zero calories,” will not give you extra calories because you tend to down two or more at every meal. Remember, no diet drink is ever really zero. Additionally, diet drinks contain many preservatives, additives, and artificial sweeteners which can cause bloating, gas, and weight gain. Opt for seltzer water or herbal-based beverages such as fruit tea.

Just Because It Has Vegetables Doesn’t Mean It’s Not Caloric

chop'tYou order Panko Fried Chicken Salad at Chop’t because it has romaine lettuce, olive oil, onions, and avocado, vegetables, fruit, and unsaturated oil that you think translates to healthy. This baby also has blue cheese and croutons and easily gives you 1,130 calories. A very bad choice for a meal that you thought was healthy, in spite of the presence of fried chicken.

This Chop’t menu item contains 100mg of cholesterol, 20.5g of saturated fat, 81g of total fat and 2,005mg of sodium, only 295 short of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for sodium – or 2,300mg – a day for healthy adults. Does that mean you will have only Subway’s veggie delight sandwich for the rest of the day since you can trip over the RDA quota?

Preventing Yourself from Succumbing to Add-Ons

The principle of weight loss may be simple: eat less and burn more. There’s more to that equation for the majority, however, and it could get very frustrating for you to compare your weight watching progress with someone who probably has a faster metabolism that you do. Watch what you eat but also when you eat it. You may be snacking on celery and carrot sticks but if you dip them in ranch dressing as you munch on them, it defeats the purpose of eating low-calorie foods like carrots and celery.

The reasons why you aren’t losing weight as you expected has nothing to do with the effectiveness of your dietary supplement, gym workout or low-fat, sugarless, and less salt diet and everything to do with the “bad” daily eating habit that you have acquired. Losing weight will be so much easier if you eliminate those habits gradually and are consciously reminded of them.

My Weight Loss Tips – When The Going Gets Tough

Healthy Weight LossLosing weight may is one of the hardest things to accomplish for the vast majority of people in North America. Trying to sift through the enormous amount of advice from friends, experts, television, magazines, etc can be confusing and draining. With much of this advice conflicting, it is tough to stay on track and make progress without getting overwhelmed. I tried many diets and fads and came to the conclusion that I needed to simplify or I wasn’t going to lose anything. Here are a few of the tips I took to heart during my journey:

  1. Never workout – I hate working out and always dreaded it when I had an upcoming workout planned and felt very guilty when I skipped it. One of the first things I did was tell myself that I wasn’t working out anymore. What I did was made sure to take the time during the week to do stuff that I enjoyed, like walking along the ocean, gardening or hiking. It didn’t put the same pressure on me and I enjoyed it much more. So go for a walk, skip rope, a bike ride or pick shells at the beach. Any of these would be great alternatives if you are having trouble working out.
  2. Alter your favorite foods – One thing that a lot of people have a lot of problems with is cutting out all of the things they love. I stopped doing that and started taking my favorite foods and making small changes to make them healthier. Find recipes with a higher fibre content or ones that are less calories. You can still enjoy the foods you love and take in less calories. Many foods have comperable low (or lower) calorie options that still taste great.
  3. Drink more water – By drinking more water you’ll feel less hunger pains throughout the day. Most people don’t drink enough water during the day and think stomach pangs are from lack of food instead of water. Drinking a glass of water before you eat will also fill your stomach and cause you to eat less than you normally would. Replacing a higher calorie beverage with water will greatly reduce your caloric intake.
  4. Increase your steps – It is recommended that the average person should take 10,000 steps throughout the day. The great majority of us in North America do not. One easy thing to do is to add steps through the day. You can do this in so many ways. Park further away from the grocery store’s front door, take the stairs, take the long way to the coffee at work, go for a walk during your breaks. Think about your walking habits and find ways to increase the amounts of steps you take.
  5. Watch TV and MOVE – Instead of sitting or laying down and watching TV passively, why not do some yoga, or light stretching or weights while relaxing? While watching your favorite show you won’t even notice you are burning calories. Yoga is a great way to add lean muscle, improve flexibility and relax. I usually switch it up and do some light stretching one day, and then work with resistance bands another. It is very relaxing and much better than sitting

I hope these tips have given you some ideas and that losing weight is doesn’t seem like such a burdern.