Beating Your Food Cravings

The average person begins a weight loss diet with the best of intentions. However, these good intentions can easily be sabotaged when the food cravings begin. Are you trying to lose some excess weight? Are regular food cravings threatening to undo all of your good work? If you are struggling with your weight loss diet, read on to learn how to beat those food cravings into submission.

Watch the Clock

Fortunately, food cravings eventually pass. The average food craving lasts for between eight and fourteen minutes. If you can wait that long without giving in, you will probably succeed in beating the craving. Hence you might find it useful to purchase a stop watch. Start the stop watch when the food craving commences. Set the timer for fifteen minutes. If you can resist the craving for fifteen minutes, you should find it gives you a feeling of control and empowerment. These positive feelings should make it easier to beat the next food craving.

Healthy Snacks

Most people find that their food cravings generally occur at a specific time of day. When you have a food craving, make a note of the time. If you know when your cravings generally occur, you will be able to prepare a healthy snack in advance.  It is a good idea to choose a snack that you find satisfying.  Try something that contains protein such as a low fat yogurt. If that doesn’t work, next time choose something that contains complex carbohydrates.

Hydration

It is easy to misinterpret the signals your body is sending you. For instance, you may think you’re hungry when you are actually dehydrated. Therefore you might want to try drinking a large glass of water whenever your food cravings strike. Drinking plenty of water helps because it tricks your brain into thinking that your stomach is full.

Sufficient Sleep

If you do not get enough sleep at night, you will lack energy the next day. This lack of energy will make you feel hungrier than usual. That’s because your body looks for ways of replacing the lost energy. If you want to reduce food cravings, you should aim to get eight hours sleep each night. You can regulate your sleeping pattern by going to bed at the same time each night, and setting your alarm clock for the same time every morning.

Empty the Cupboards

If you do not have any fattening snacks in your home, you cannot succumb to the temptation of eating them. Therefore you should seriously consider getting rid of all the foods that are likely to tempt you. That means you need to search your cupboards and refrigerator for cookies, cakes, ice cream, chocolate, and anything else that contains lots of sugar or fat. You can either throw these snacks into the trash can, or give them to someone who is not on a diet.

At the Supermarket

There is no point throwing out all of your sugary and fatty snacks if you end up replacing them the next time you visit the supermarket. When you are food shopping, you should avoid walking down the aisles that have tempting snacks. Instead, look for the healthy alternatives. Healthy food products usually have clear labels showing that they are a smart choice. Hence finding healthy snacks to eat is not difficult.

Find Distractions

What are you usually doing when your food cravings strike? People who are dieting often find that their food cravings occur when they feel bored. If boredom makes you want to eat fattening snacks, you might want to find something to distract you. For example, you could read a book or play a computer game. Do whatever it takes to stop you from thinking about food.

Avoid Stress

Many people find that eating the foods they like best provides a feeling of comfort during times of stress or anxiety. If you are inclined to comfort eat, you might want to find some effective ways of avoiding or eliminating stress.  Regular exercise can help diminish stress levels, and it also augments weight loss efforts. Meditation and yoga are also good for beating stress. You should always include time in your schedule for the activities that help you relax. 

Portion Control

If the temptation gets too much and you end up giving in to your food cravings, try to control how much you eat.  For example, you could limit yourself to one or two hundred calories worth of your favorite snack. Sometimes eating just a little bit of what you fancy is enough to stop the craving without ruining your diet.

Don’t Give Up

There may be times when you give in to your food craving completely. If this happens to you, do not despair or think negative thoughts. Loathing yourself will not help you to lose weight. What’s more, giving in on one occasion does not mean that you have failed. If you give in, remember that tomorrow is a new day and you can continue with your diet efforts then.

The Two Deterrents to Weight Loss

Why do so few people succeed in losing weight? It’s a concern for many researchers as they seek to find a solution to the problem. Eating less and exercising more are accepted as the best methods to get back into shape, but diet alone may be just the tip of the iceberg. 

The body has an endless capacity to create fat. Fat is not as evil as it is make it out to be since the body burns fat stores, rather than muscle, when it needs energy. The misunderstanding about fat lies in what kind of fat is included in the diet. Hydrogenated and saturated fats like margarine, lard and many oils are unhealthy and not what the body requires. Monounsaturated fats as are found in olive oil, fish and other natural sources are healthy and what the body needs. Unfortunately, today’s common diet consists mostly of saturated fats. 

When it comes to losing weight, there are two deterrents that aren’t often talked about but have an impact on how successful you will be in losing weight and keeping it off.

The first is inflammation. Inflammation is a natural activity of the body. Sneezing and a stuffy nose indicates that the body is fighting something foreign to it. In the case of a fever, the body raises the temperature as it knows that some viruses and germs can’t survive at certain temperatures.

Inflammation sets the stage for healing to occur. But when inflammation becomes chronic, trouble starts. In many cases, it’s not the viruses bringing on a response, but inflammation that comes from the poor quality in the foods you eat. Burgers, soda and a diet of processed and refined foods are acidic and foreign to the body.

The only way to eliminate chronic inflammation is by eating foods the body is meant to have. For everyone that means fresh, natural foods like fruits or vegetables, fish and organic meats. Foods like  berries, dark green leafy vegetables contain a good deal of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory qualities that help restore the body to its proper PH balance.

For others, food allergies create an inflammatory response. Dairy, corn, yeast, peanuts, white flour, sugar, trans fats, preservatives, caffeine and alcohol can lead to inflammation. The only way is to eliminate those foods that cause a reaction.  

The second deterrent is the polluted environment in which everyone must live and work in. While they cannot be eliminated, you can cut down your exposure to environmental toxins. Filtering both the air and water in your home is a good step. Getting on a periodic detoxification program helps to eliminate the toxins and poisons that affect the major organs of the body. Kidneys, liver and colon are especially vulnerable to pollutants.

Before you consider getting on any weight loss program, your first step should be to change the lifestyle that is creating inflammation and is responsible for weight gain. Eliminating the poisons stored in your body through detoxification makes losing weight easy. When these two factors are addressed first, then you can see far more success form the weight loss plan you choose.

How is Coffee Affecting Your Weight Loss?

By Renee Mirabito

Coffee is well known to be a stimulant, and for this reason many people have wrongly considered it to also be a weight loss tool. However, recent studies have shown that your daily coffee habit can actually hinder your weight loss efforts rather than help them along.

The Physiology of Coffee

Coffee interacts with the receptors in your brain which control how calm, or how alert, you feel. When caffeine hits the receptors you get a sense of alertness. Your brain gives the signal for sugar to be released into the bloodstream. The problem is, all that energy has nowhere to go. You are left feeling jittery and nervous. A little while later your blood sugar crashes and you start feeling worse than when you woke up, leading to mid-morning cravings for sweet foods.

 

What Goes With Coffee?

While there is a minimal amount of calories in coffee itself, it’s often what we add to coffee that makes it fattening. A medium-sized latte with a spoon of sugar has about 200 calories. If you are looking to lose weight, you are probably aiming to consume between 1200 and 1600 calories a day. That morning coffee could be contributing to 15% of your caloric needs. Of course, there are also the frappes, the flavor shots, and a whole heap of other stuff you can add to your coffee now.

We associate coffee with a whole range of eating rituals. For instance, when you have a morning coffee at work, do you grab a couple of biscuits? When you meet a friend for coffee, do you share a cake? Our strong associations can often cause us to eat more than we normally would.

 

The Alternative

There are many better alternatives to coffee that can promote health along with weight loss. Green tea is packed with antioxidants and has been shown in studies to increase metabolism, as has oolong tea. If you can’t give up your morning ritual, then you may wish to consider thermogenic coffee, a coffee created using the buffered caffeine process which promotes fat burning and creates a balanced energy release.

Shed Off Unwanted Pounds Through Yoga

It’s no secret that obesity is among the most prevalent health problems today. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the United States has experienced a significant increase in obesity during the past two decades. In 2008, Colorado was the only state with an obesity prevalence of less than 20%. With the increasingly busy lifestyles we are leading these days, most of us no longer have time to exercise on a regular basis or prepare nutritious meals for ourselves and our families. According to the CDC, American society is now “obesogenic”.

If physical appearances were all you had to sacrifice with being overweight, it probably wouldn’t be too bad. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Obesity can lead to numerous health problems, some of which can be serious and even fatal. According to the National Institutes of Health, obesity increases the risk for coronary heart disease, cancers (breast, colon, and endometrial), stroke, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, liver and gallbladder disease, respiratory problems, and gynecological problems (infertility, abnormal menstruation). But how can you avoid these health risks if you don’t even have time for a decent weekly workout?

The answer may lie in yoga. Based on ancient Hindu concepts and principles, yoga is an effective way to not only lose weight but also to improve one’s physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional wellbeing. One of the great things about using yoga to lose weight is that it can work for anyone regardless of gender, age, or current physical condition. Yoga also doesn’t require much time and it can be done practically anywhere, making it the perfect weight loss solution for someone who has a perpetually jam-packed schedule.

Unlike other regular workout routines, yoga addresses the issue of excessive weight mainly through the mental and spiritual aspects. Through meditative breathing and mind control, yoga enables an individual to become more emotionally stable and reduces the need to binge on comfort food. The stretching exercises and various positions in yoga are also effective in strengthening the bones and muscles, as well as boosting the metabolism and improving the flow of oxygen throughout the body. All these help in breaking down excess fat cells and flushing them out of the body, ultimately resulting in weight loss.

If you have never done yoga or any other sort of meditation before, you may be skeptical as to its effectiveness in helping you lose weight. This is quite understandable; after all, how can simple breathing techniques melt off the extra pounds on your body? However, once you’ve tried yoga, you may end up pleasantly surprised at how it can help you lose excess weight in a way that isn’t stressful or time-consuming.

Yoga comes in different forms so it’s easy to choose the type that will work best for your body and your schedule. If weight loss is your objective, one of the best forms of yoga you can try is the Kundalini, which was made popular in the United States in the late 1960s. It involves a combination of breathing techniques, meditation, and moderate movement. You don’t have to stop doing yoga either even after you have dropped down to your ideal weight. You can continue with your chosen yoga program for the purpose of staying fit physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

Weight Loss Supplements

The average person turns to weight-loss supplements in the form of powders or pills to drop pounds mainly because losing weight is no easy task. Even if it’s just getting rid of a few vanity pounds for an upcoming social event, sometimes eating a salad every day for lunch simply doesn’t cut it. Weight-loss supplements can come in the form of pills that curb an appetite, help a dieter feel fuller faster, provide a fat burning boost or any combination thereof. Weight-loss supplements that come in the form of powders or ready-made shakes are more or less used as low-calorie meal replacements.

Weight-loss supplements that come in the form of pills are usually more popular than powders because they are more convenient. They are small enough that dieters can take them wherever they go, and other than a glass or bottle of water, no extra special equipment or tools are required. Within seconds a dieter can swallow his or her pill and be done with it, with no need to worry about clean-up or any other special steps. In addition, there are a wide variety of weight loss pills containing ingredients to suit the weight loss needs of individual dieters.

Low-calorie meal replacement powders and shakes are not far behind pills when it comes to popular weight-loss supplements. These types of dietary aids can come in delicious flavors, are typically high in fiber, and unless they are ready-made, are commonly measured out to be mixed with milk or water. Shakes and powders can be taken in place of a meal or snack and not only provide calories for energy but help keep the sense of deprivation many dieters experience at bay. Because powders must be measured out into an exact amount of milk or water, some dieters find using this type of weight loss supplement inconvenient. Luckily, ready-made weight loss shakes can serve as an alternative. 

Regardless of which option an individual chooses, weight-loss supplements must always be combined with a healthy diet and exercise in order to achieve successful weight loss results. Relying on diet aids alone is not only likely to make a dieter feel miserable but also unhealthy and unwise. Depriving a body of calories and essential building blocks for long stretches of time can result in adverse health reactions or even irreversible damage. It is especially important for those with a history of diabetes, heart problems or high blood pressure to check with their physician before using any kind of weight-loss supplements.

With all the hype one sees on TV and hears on the radio, it can be quite difficult to choose which weight loss supplement will work best. No matter what a product claims, what works for one individual will not always work for another. That is why it is important for dieters to look past the amazing promises many weight-loss supplements make and focus more on what will help them reach their goal in the way they want to reach it.

How to Develop a Healthy Weight Loss Mindset

Regardless of your diet plan, exercise regimen, or personal weight-loss goals, it’s nearly impossible to experience weight-loss success if you don’t develop the right mindset. This article presents you with five tips to help develop a weight-loss mindset, so you can achieve your goals.

1. You need to learn acceptance

Yes, it’s important to accept yourself as you are. If you’re trying to lose weight, you’ve probably tried in the past and failed. Therefore, it’s also important to accept these failures as part of the learning process. Some people will fail, and call it quits for good. This is an insane thought. Realize that you’ve failed in the past, and it does not mean you will fail again. In addition to that, learn to accept the small failures along the way. These are normal and expected, but don’t let them discourage you. Just accept them and try harder.

2. Learn to make good decisions

People with weight problems tend to make poor decisions. Generally, they choose things based on whatever makes them feel good. Don’t let this happen to you. Every time you eat something, it’s a decision. If you make good decisions, then you’ll have positive results. There’s always a course of right action. Before you eat anything, stop for a moment and think about the outcome.

3. You need to stay focused in the present

If you dwell on the past, then you’ll start to believe this is who you are, which can make it difficult to make a positive change. Also, don’t day dream about the future too much. It’s imperative to have goals and ideas of where you want to be. However, thinking too much about your future self can be discouraging when compared to the way you are now. Try to stay focused on what you can do to help your situation in the present tense.

4. Learn to eliminate negative thoughts

 This can go together with the last tip. You need to maintain a positive outlook. When you catch yourself having a negative thought, stop and discard it. Then, and this is very important, replace it with a positive thought. This way you can prevent negative thoughts from returning.

5. Don’t worry too much

Initially, it may be reasonable to be a little worried. If a month goes by, and you’re losing weight, then your habits will be locked in place. You can focus on other things now. You should still monitor and adjust as necessary, but certainly don’t stress over weight loss the entire time. Not making a big deal of it is one of the best things you can do. You’ll find that it’s a lot easier if you just let it happen by developing good habits.

Losing weight is difficult and frustrating, but with the correct mindset it can be a lot easier and even fun. It’s always a joyful experience to see that scale’s needle go down over time. Now that you know these tips to developing a weight-loss mindset, you should get started by setting some weight-loss goals.

Unusual Effective Methods To Lose Weight

7 Tips To Lose Weight Effortlessly Without Dieting Or Drugs

 

If you’re still struggling to lose weight using all the conventional methods, there are some unusual yet effective remedies for weight loss you might want to check out.

Eliminate This From Your Diet

High fructose corn syrup is a common additive found in most diet drinks. Ironically, high fructose corn syrup has been linked to the increased rise in obesity. If you want an effective, effortless way to lose weight, cut anything containing high fructose corn syrup from your diet today.

Don’t Zap Your Food

Heating your food in a microwave destroys the nutrients in your food so no matter how much of it you eat, you’re suffering from malnutrition. If your body is suffering from malnutrition, it will work to store as much fat in your body is possible. Getting rid of your microwave is an effective unusual method to lose weight.

Don’t Skip This Meal

Though you may think skipping a meal can only lead to weight loss, if you really want to lose weight, don’t skip breakfast. Missed meals signal your body to overeat at the next meal since by that time you’re famished. Even if it’s nothing more than a smoothie or a breakfast bar, eating something for breakfast will help you to lose weight.

Eat At Home

It’s easy to indulge in heavy desserts and an extra glass of wine if it’s right there on the menu. If you want to lose weight, skip the restaurant meals and cook a healthy dinner at home instead.

Ditch The Diet Food

If you’re eating low fat cookies and washing it down with diet soda, you’re still filling your body with empty calories and you won’t lose weight. The best way to lose weight is to choose whole, fresh foods instead of prepackaged meals and snacks. Choose foods that nourish your body such as fruits, vegetables, organic chicken, fish and nuts.

Take Up Yoga

Yoga is a relaxing, strengthening way to work out, improve digestion and boost metabolism. If you want a fun, unusual way to lose weight, sign up for a yoga class!

Make It Spicy

Eating fast is common in the US. We’re all rushed so we don’t take the time to really enjoy our food. By the time we feel full, we’ve overeaten. If you want to lose weight, spice up your food with a little cayenne, curry or hot pepper. This will boost your metabolism and the hot food will force you to slow down when eating and you’ll eat smaller portions!

These 7 unusual methods should help you lose weight and feel great!

6 Tips for Effective Weight Loss

Want to lose weight? For successful weight loss, the basic principle is to take in less calories than what you burn. You may have tried various diets and weight loss workouts and failed to see results. What’s the real secret to effective weight loss? Is there a special program you should join? Does a miracle weight loss product exist? Quite surprisingly for many people, the secret to effective weight loss is no secret at all. In fact, the secret comprises of ordinary things you may already be doing, but you’re doing them incorrectly.

If you want to start losing weight for real, here are 6 things you need to start doing:

1. Monitor what you’re eating.

Start keeping a food journal. Record your daily food intake, along with their calorie values. This is a great way to open up your eyes to how much calories you’re putting into your body and it gives you a better idea of how much more work you need to do in order to get rid of your excess weight.

2. Improve your diet.

This is something most people already know but find hard to do because of all the temptations. Eliminate the tempting unhealthy foods by not bringing them into the house. Keep your pantry stocked with healthy and nutritious foods you can snack on when you get hungry. Avoid buying unhealthy food choices. Learn to the art of substitution when preparing meals.

3. Increase the intensity of your cardio workouts.

Here’s a good rule of thumb to determine whether or not your cardio workouts are working for you: if you’re able to carry on a relaxed conversation with someone while exercising, it’s time to increase the intensity of your workout. You should still be able to talk but only in short sentences and only if you take a breath after every sentence.

4. Do weight training.

You may be working out on a regular basis but if your workouts are comprised of cardio and aerobics, you won’t lose weight very quickly. For better results, incorporate weight training to your regular exercise program. The average adult can do about 10 bicep curls using a 10-lb dumbbell. Weight training is a great way to build muscle and increase metabolism. As the workouts get easier, gradually increase the weight and the number of repetitions to keep burning more fat.

5. Periodically change your workout.

You need not get on a new exercise program every week. Just mix up your routines a little bit every now and then to keep you from getting bored with what you’re doing. Keep in mind that more variety in your workouts will build more muscle, and ultimately will burn more fat and calories.

6. Reward yourself.

Positive reinforcement is one of the best things you can do to keep yourself motivated toward losing weight. Set small goals and each time you reach a goal, give yourself a corresponding reward. This will give you the inspiration you need to reach your ultimate weight loss goal.

Weight Management

There’s no secret that calories are the key ingredient to losing weight steadily and efficiently. When combined with an exercise program, you will have the ingredients you need to better manage your weight. Contrary to popular belief, it is not healthy to lose more than 1 pound of muscle per week according to renowned sports nutritionist Michael Colgan Ph.D, of the Institute of Nutritional Sciences. If you are losing any more weight than that, you will want to make sure that it is either fat, glycogen or water weight. Any weight loss program worth its weight in salt should consider diet and calorie maintenance the priority and weight training and fitness second. This is why you should first learn to measure your energy expenditure before you begin to perform any fitness or weight training regime. Only by knowing where you stand in terms of body fat and energy balance will you be able to move on to lose weight in the healthiest way possible.

Body Fat

Weigh yourself on a scale to determine how heavy you are in either pounds or kilograms.

Pinch a layer of skin between the index finger and thumb of your off hand. Place the jaws of the calipers around this layer of skin.

Release the trigger so that your skin is firmly between the jaws of the calipers. Then, take note of the reading that your calipers display. Make sure to continue to hold the fold of skin firmly between the caliper jaws while you are taking the measurements. Your body fat chart should give you 3-4 different areas of the body to take readings from. Your body fat kid should also include the chart or table or you can use your numbers to determine your body fat percentage.

Energy Balance

Multiply your body fat percentage by your total weight to find out your fat weight. Subtract fat weight from total body weight to find your lean body mass (LBM). Make sure your lean body mass is in kilograms (1 pound = 2.2kg). Multiply LBM by 21.6. Add 370 to this number to determine your BMR.

Calculate your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) by multiplying your BMR by a multiplier of 1.55 if you are moderately active. If you lead a sedentary lifestyle use a multiplier of 1.2; if you lead a very active lifestyle, use a multiplier of 1.9. This TDEE represents the number of calories that you need in order to maintain your current body weight. As a reference, women average a TDEE of around 2000, while men average around 2700.

Write down your TDEE and track your caloric intake for 1 week. To gain weight, make sure to exceed your TDEE by at least 500 calories per day. Weigh yourself after 1 week to determine if you need to increase or decrease your caloric intake based on individual body differences and lifestyle.

Tips

For a rough estimate of your basal metabolic rate, multiply your body weight by 24 if you are a man, or by 21.6 if you are a woman.

Look Hot Naked on a Budget

Do you want to look sexy naked? Maybe you’d like to reduce stress, or fit into a favorite pair of jeans. Whether you’re seeking to lose some weight, increase your ability to handle stress, or keep your body oozing sex appeal, it’s easy to keep fitness a priority, and you don’t even have to join a gym.

There are ways to build muscle and work your heart that don’t require a gym membership or costly equipment. For muscle tone, you can use books or milk jugs filled with water like handheld weights to work your arms and legs. You can also buy cheap hand weights at many discount stores if you don’t want to get flak from roommates about your responsible spending.

Cardio is also something you can tackle without joining a gym. The human body didn’t evolve to run on a treadmill. It evolved to chase dinner. This means there are multiple added benefits, for your mind and your body, from working out in ways that match the body’s reasons for wanting exercise. Use your neighborhood like an urban track, and if you do a combination of walking and running (interval training) you’ll really get your heart pumping which makes it easier to drop the weight, look hot naked, and catch someone’s eye to get your heart pumping in another way. 

If you don’t like the idea of running or walking in your neighborhood, you can check out the local parks. Running in an area with lots of plant life, like a park, has an added stress-busting benefit. (Notice how doctors’ offices often have plants in the waiting room? That’s because the green of the plant has a soothing effect. Don’t believe that? Close your eyes, imagine standing in a forest full of luscious green, and see how it feels to be there.)

You can save money by not buying a bathroom scale, or make some money by selling the scale you have. You can reach fitness goals more easily by not looking at the number on a scale, since that number can change due to many things that don’t gauge physical fitness. Scales can get you too focused on the numbers to enjoy what you’re doing, and having fun with your fitness routine makes it so much easier! Rather than getting on the scale all the time, focus on how your clothes fit. Think of how awesome it feels to be more than a number.

If you prefer to work out indoors, you can still reach your goals on a budget. Keep an eye on local classified ads and sites like Craigslist, or join the local Freecycle group for exercise equipment at low or no cost. You could also find or start a running group in the area, so you can meet people who also want to look hot naked without spending extra money.  Maybe you’ll meet someone in a running group who wants to look hot naked with you. Talk about positive motivation to stay in shape!