Melts Fat Away – 3 Tips For Easy Weight Loss

The ugly truth is that the only way to lose weight and keep it off is with discipline. You must use more calories than you intake in your diet. Here are some ideals that will help you.

1. Challenge Your Friends

One of the best ways to be accountable to yourself is to share your goal with others. Start a weight loss challenge with a group of friends. Set goals together, have weekly weigh ins, and share tips and recipes. Create a facebook group and goad each other into meeting at the gym for workouts. A member of our group negotiated us a special deal at the gym – no startup cost, no contract, free childcare – because we were all signing up and they would never have had our business if we each had to pay $200 to walk in the door. Set goals and chip in for a small prize. We are rewarding the loser of the most percentage lost with a $20 gift card. We are also charging a dollar at each weigh in to members who gain any weight from the previous week.

2. Use an App

There are terrific apps for smartphones to help you log the food you consume, and calories you burn. You can link your food diary with your friends so they can see the food and exercise you log. The best way to be accountable is to have to enter everything you put in your mouth. I actually find that I can resist temptation a little easier because I know that my friends are keeping an eye on me. The apps are so smart you can scan the barcode of foods you purchase to make it easier to enter them. They have a huge database of foods, and you can add your own recipes. One of the greatest things about using an app is being able to plan. You can enter things you want to eat ahead of time and see if it adds up or sends you over your limit. If your grandmother puts a big plate of fresh brownies in front of you, you can whip out the phone, enter the treat and then decide if it is worth it. Maybe Gran’s brownies are so good you will eat one and then head back to the gym to burn it off!


3. Drink Water – But not With Meals

Replace most of your drinks with water. Your body is thirsty and canned sodas do nothing to quench that thirst. Log your water consumption in the fitness app too that way you will be reminded to drink enough. Remember that about half the time you think you are hungry and head for the fridge you are reacting to thirst. Have a glass of water with a slice of lime or cucumber and take a few minutes to enjoy it. You will slowly train yourself to reach for the water instead of the peanut butter and a spoon! Just remember not to drink while eating. A big glass of water with meals may seem like a great idea to fill you up and keep you from over eating, but it will also dilute your digestive enzymes and acids making it more difficult for your body to process the food. You will end up bloated and uncomfortable.

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Diet Does Not Mean Hungry: Why You Shouldn’t Give up Your Snacks

When you mention the word diet, the first thing that comes to mind is usually sacrifice. You start to think about all the snacks and foods that you’ll have to do without so that you can stick to your diet. The truth is, healthy snacks are an important part of dieting success. Choosing the right foods for snacks will keep you from feeling hungry and help you avoid overdoing it at meal times.

Why Healthy Snacking Is Good for You

Snacking is not bad for you unless you choose snacks with empty calories and high sugar, fat, or sodium content. Eating regular snacks of healthier foods is a good way to avoid hunger and pack in some of the extra nutrients your body needs. If you just grit your teeth and try to push through the mid-afternoon hunger, you are far more likely to overeat when it’s finally time for that evening meal. Your body can only process a certain amount of food at one time. Eating smaller meals more frequently will keep your stomach full and you will take in fewer calories overall.

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Food Myths That Can Make You Fat

Food MythsThere are a number of erroneous, beliefs about nutrition, that can actually cause weight gain. Here is a list of some of the more common ones. Read on to discover if any of them are familiar to you.

Adopting a vegan eating plan will automatically cause weight loss.
It’s true that research has shown vegans and vegetarians typically consume fewer calories, but, going vegan strictly as a means of losing weight can backfire. Many times, those who are new to veganism can fail to consume adequate amounts of vital nutrients, and it can also be easy to fall into poor habits such as eating highly processed foods like soy cheese, and high fat treats, which can really pack on the pounds. Do vegan the right way by keeping processed foods to a minimum, and always eat well balanced meals. Protein should account for 10 to 20 percent of your calories and it can be obtained from healthy plant-based sources such as beans, nuts, and seeds.

Eliminate all carbs to speed weight loss.
Your body needs an adequate amount of carbohydrates for energy, as well as a range of essential vitamins and other nutrients, and fiber. Strictly removing something from your diet will oftentimes only cause you to crave the “forbidden” item more, and you may find yourself seeking it out in moments of weakness. Carbs can be an important part of weight management due to the fiber they provide which keeps you feeling full, and they are also known to stimulate the production of a neurotransmitter called serotonin which helps regulate your moods and keep you feeling happy. Instead of removing carbs from your eating plan entirely, simply leave behind heavily processed options and reach for vegetables, fruits and whole grains.

Unlimited diet drinks are fine because they’re calorie free.
Many people who are watching their weight believe that drinking beverages made with artificial sweetener is an easy way to enjoy soda pop, etc. with zero guilt. This theory has been debunked by research studies that show how these “fake” sugars trick the body by introducing sweetness without any calories to back it up. Artificial sweeteners cause you to want more sugar and you might end up binging on unhealthy snacks to satisfy these cravings. Additionally, diet drinks are filled with dangerous additives that have been found to cause a variety of cancers in laboratory experiments.

Protein shakes promote weight loss.
The simple act of adding protein shakes into your eating plan will not help you lose weight, but this is a common mistake among dieters. Protein shakes can be very healthy but drinking them in addition to your usually daily caloric intake will cause you to gain weight, not lose. To use protein shakes successfully, plan on having them as a meal replacement or snack, depending on the number of calories per shake, and select ones that are low in sugar, and have the shortest possible list of ingredients.

Fruit is too sugary to eat while trying to lose weight.
The natural sugars found in fruit are much less worrisome than all of the refined sugar found in processed foods, so you’re better off giving up food items purchased in boxes and bags, than grapes, bananas, oranges and so on. Fruit provides perfect nutrients which are absorbed quickly and easily by your body because they’re in a whole and natural state. Avoiding fruit also means you’re missing out on healthy and filling fiber which keeps you feeling full, and satisfied and can help with long-term weight loss and keeping the weight off once you’ve lost it.

Keep these updated food facts in mind when you’re trying to eat for weight loss, or even just trying to eat more healthfully.

This article is a guest post provided by Angela Jennings for Advance Me America’s Leading business cash advance provider.

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The Secret to Beating Sugar Cravings

Have you ever been tempted to cave-in and buy that candy bar at the grocery store checkout? Was it the same candy bar that you had easily passed by dozens of times before? If so, had it been a while since you last ate? Do not blame yourself and think that you are weak with no willpower. Your brain may be sabotaging you.

The Study

A recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Southern California and Yale University has shown that when the glucose (sugar) levels in the blood drop, people are less able to control their desire for high-calorie foods.

Apparently the prefrontal cortex (front part of the brain) loves glucose. When blood glucose levels drop, the prefrontal cortex loses its ability to control an urgent need to eat. This urgent need is sent to it from the striatum. The striatum is inside the forebrain and acts as the interface between the evolved frontal lobes and the ancient areas of the brainstem.

When high-calorie foods are around and in sight, the body craves them even more. It is very difficult to fight the basic instincts of the brain. The study did suggest that the best way to fight this urge is to keep the blood’s glucose level even by eating healthy foods.

Beat Sugar Cravings

Maintaining consistent blood sugar levels is similar to following a diabetic diet. Diabetics closely monitor their intake of carbohydrates, protein, and fats. They also eat at regular intervals. This helps to keep the blood sugar from getting too high or too low.

  1. Eat regular meals and snacks. Three meals a day with snacks in-between will prevent blood sugar dips. Do not skip a meal because this will set your brain into action and it will have control over what you eat. Keep healthy snacks handy, like a granola bar in your desk drawer or car, to keep from getting to that starvation point.
  2. Eat complex carbohydrates. These include whole grains, low-fat dairy products, fruits, vegetables, and legumes like beans, peas, and lentils. They are absorbed slower than simple carbohydrates like white sugar, fruit juice, candy, white flour, and any processed, refined sugars. Simple carbohydrates raise the blood sugar quickly and then it drops quickly.
  3. Eat foods with high fiber. It is digested slowly and regulates the blood sugar. Choose foods like whole grains, legumes, nuts, fruits, and vegetables.
  4. Eat healthy fats and protein. These also are absorbed slowly. Good fats include oils like olive, peanut, and canola. Healthy protein can include fish as well as lean cuts of red meat, chicken, and pork.

The main key is to not let yourself get to the point where you are so hungry that your brain takes over and that candy bar at the grocery checkout is in line with the other items. Following these recommendations will not only beat sugar cravings, but will lead to an overall healthier lifestyle.

Citations:
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Find other useful information and tools, such as a weight loss calculator at LowFatDietPlan.org.

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Healthy Snacking Tips

When you hear the word “snack” what do you think of?  For some, it means weight gain, unhealthy or just a something to avoid.  However, it should mean weight loss, healthy and something that everyone should fit into their diets.  With the rise of sugary and salty foods, it can be hard to choose healthy snacks.  But they can be avoided—and there are healthy ways to snack.

First of all, to avoid “over-snacking,” never go too long without eating.  This will ultimately cause you to overindulge in something you weren’t planning on eating that day—and chances are it’s not something healthy.  Your blood sugar drops when your body is starving so it begins to crave everything and anything.  Have a small snack in between meals (a good “snack time” is two hours after meals) to avoid this problem.

In order to get yourself to snack healthy, keep junk food out of eye sight.  Replace it with healthy food, such as fruit.  Put apples and bananas in a bowl on your counter or keep a carton of nuts on a shelf at work.  Making these small changes can significantly change your snacking habits.

The worst thing about snacks is that they often come in bags and boxes.  It becomes a problem because we eat while we are distracted; therefore we end up eating more than we had planned.  If you buy snacks that are packaged this way, take a serving size out, put it in a bowl or a plate and put the package away.  This will keep your serving sizes in check as well as your overall health.

Try to stay away from the “diet snacks” that are advertised so often these days.  Although they are low fat/low calorie, there is no way that they will keep you full for an adequate period of time.  You will find yourself reaching for more, possibly within minutes!  Instead, eat snacks that have the right combo of carbohydrates, protein and fat.  They will keep you satisfied and give you a boost of energy that you need to carry on your day.  Some examples of these kinds of snacks are:

  • A handful of dried fruit and nuts (i.e. raisins and almonds)
  • A fruit smoothie made with low-fat yogurt or milk
  • One tbsp peanut butter on whole-wheat crackers
  • Baby carrots dipped in hummus

It’s hard to believe, but the feeling of thirst is often mistaken for hunger.  This is a huge weight gain culprit that can easily be reversed.  Always remember to keep yourself hydrated by drinking water throughout the day.  Drink more when you sweat.  The more water you drink, the less you will want to snack.

Keep yourself away from snacks that contain trans fat.  Today, there are plenty of processed snacks out there.  The truth is that if it’s processed, it probably has trans fat.  Even just a little bit of trans fat can be harmful to your body, and it is recommended to not consume any at all.  The best way to avoid these snacks is by looking at food labels—if it has trans fat, don’t buy it!  Also, look in ingredient lists.  Manufacturers aren’t required to write “trans fat” on a food label if the food contains less than 5 grams of it.  Look for the words “hydrogenated oil” in the ingredient list to determine if there is even just a little trans fat in the food.

If you have a snack craving, but know you’re not hungry, go for a short (or long, if you feel like it!), brisk walk.  Studies show that doing so can curb cravings.  Also, don’t let your mind win.  Our minds tend to tell us that snacking will make us feel better or help us get something done, when in fact, this isn’t the case.  Listen to your body, instead of your mind no matter how good a snack sounds at a given time.

Keep in mind that healthy snacks should be staples in everyone’s diet—even if you’re trying to lose weight.    They help to keep our blood sugar in check and our stomachs from growling until meal time.  They help us meet vitamin and mineral goals and to keep us awake at work or school.  Never underestimate healthy snacks.

Brianna Elliott is a third year dietetics student and has grown a passion for nutrition through her years of studying.  In her spare time, you can find her running and spending time outdoors.  Brianna also spends her time slinging ink for ProbioticSmart.com – a leading internet supplier of Omega-Zyme – an enzyme supplement intended to be taken with snacks.

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A Clearer Path to Fat Loss

When you are trying to lose weight things can get jumbled and confusing. It’s hard to stay focused because there are so many mixed messages and some of them will be coming from your own brain. People will be telling you one method of fat loss that works better, while diet companies will claim that they have products to make the process much easier.

You might hear advice from friends who have managed to lose weight and let’s not forget the abundance of tips and tricks available on the Internet. It can be very easy for people to jump from one technique to the next while spreading themselves too thin. One thing to remember about fat loss is that it is a biological and scientific process with basic rules. If you are able to work within these rules than your body will naturally respond by burning fat. Sometimes it helps to concentrate on a more concise way of eating and exercise so that you don’t get distracted from things that bring you success.

Most people focus on food when it comes to fat loss but where they put that focus isn’t always in the right place. There is no need to turn yourself into a vegetarian or to rely solely on “fat-free” foods to comprise your overall diet. In fact, if you go too far in one direction then you run the risk of missing out on valuable nutrition. It’s good to stay away from foods high in cholesterol that contain unnecessary calories, but you won’t be doing yourself any favors if you replace them with an eating plan that doesn’t meet all your dietary needs. Sometimes it helps to rebuild things from the ground up and that might mean taking a careful inventory of your daily menu and starting from scratch. Find out what you actually enjoy eating and slowly build up an eating plan that you can actually look forward to.

Exercise is also something that you can gradually build up towards. A lot of people go full force in the first few weeks of their fat loss program and end up burning themselves out. Remember that any bit of activity is better than nothing which is why walking is a great place to start. Build up your endurance and explore different types of exercise and remember that daily activity can actually be fun. Involve your friends, sign up for a workout class, or place and team sports in order to burn some calories. Rather than expecting overnight results it can help to take small steps that eventually lead up to a more comprehensive path to a trimmer body.

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