Lose Weight by Following your Body’s Natural Rhythm

Your body is a machine with uptimes and downtimes. By better understanding your body, and how that machine works, you’ll be able to maximize your energy while minimizing your weight. The most important step is becoming more aware of your daily cycle. For most people, the cycle means getting up in the morning, ramping up to the most active hours between from 9-5, cooling down and relaxing in the evenings, and then settling into bed for a snooze.

The main meal of the day for the majority of people is in the evening: hot meals are cooked for suppertime, and it’s a time for families to be together. Unfortunately, this is completely at odds with the daily cycle.

By consuming the largest meal of the day in the evening, an individual doesn’t have a chance to burn off those calories. After filling up on supper, your body rests, relaxes, and then goes to bed. The energy absorbed from the food has nowhere to go.

And this is doubly true for the much-loved midnight snack. Because you are going right to sleep, the energy from your quick peanut-butter sandwich will not be used.

So your body stores it as fat.

One alternative is to have your large meal of the day when you are most active. Many Europeans traditionally eat their dominant meal at midday. They then head back to work, get active, and the calories are burned off. By planning your meals this way, the calories you absorb will be able to be put to use, rather than simply converted to fat.

Better still is another option, and a more revolutionary approach to eating: abandon the idea of large meals altogether. Rather than consuming all your food in breakfast, lunch, and supper, many health enthusiasts advocate snacking all day long.

The idea behind all-day snacking is this: when your body gets a large amount of food, it is genetically programmed to use it and save it in the most efficient way possible. For primitive man, this was essential. He couldn’t always find animals or plants to eat, so when he did have food, he would stock up. His body stored fat to get him through the lean times.

By consuming small amount of food throughout the day, the “feast” genes are never activated. Your body doesn’t make an extra effort to save your food as fat.

It’s a strange idea. Meals are the cornerstone of much of our social lives and they provide a release from the stresses of the day.

Realistically, the all-day snacking diet may not be practical for most people. Nevertheless, a variation on it can still be helpful. Rather than preparing the usual size breakfast, lunch and dinner, try for half-size or less. Make up for this difference by snacking throughout your active day on such foods as plain nuts (no honey roasted peanuts, and no fatty cashews or peanuts. Almonds are excellent), raw vegetables such as carrots and broccoli, and hard boiled eggs.

With this plan, you should taper off your snacking 3 or 4 hours before bedtime. By balancing your meals this way, your body will be less likely to react to your meals by storing energy. The food you consume will be used by your body, and won’t turn into those few extra pounds.

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 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.

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.

Healthy Weight Loss

Most people believe they have a good idea of what healthy weight loss is. It of course has to do with eating healthy foods and exercising on a regular basis. However, many fad diets and practices have been in use for so many years that dieters assume they’re rooted in medical science, when they’re really not that healthy at all. So how does one know for sure what constitutes a diet that promotes healthy weight loss? When an individual is following a diet plan that is both proper and healthful, he or she should be able to say the following:

The diet I am on promotes healthy weight loss because I never feel deprived. Though no one can live on chocolate donuts alone, it doesn’t mean a dieter has to kick them out of their diet indefinitely. A healthful diet promotes conscientious eating through moderation and portion control. It does not promote or withhold any type of food or food group over any other; nor is there a sense of guilt should a dieter decide to partake of a favorite goody or dish.

The diet I am on promotes healthy weight loss because life does not revolve around food. A dieter should still be able to carry on throughout his or her day without every thought or action hinging on when the next mealtime is. One should still be able to enjoy any social situation where food is present without a sense of guilt or anxiety. 

The diet I am on promotes healthy weight loss because it isn’t costing me an arm and a leg. Too many programs and products help their clients lose weight too quickly in the beginning — then try to convince them they can’t achieve successful weight loss without a monthly supply of their supplements or a commitment to their program.

The diet I am on promotes healthy weight loss because it is more than just a diet, it is a lifestyle change. A diet that is healthful and proper is not a cookie cutter program that solely focuses on the number of pounds lost or dropping large amounts of weight within weeks; nor does it focus on obtaining a body type that is unrealistic for the dieter. Along with promoting the consumption of healthy food and exercise habits, it also helps dieters to change their whole attitude about food, the way they eat and their inherent right to be a healthy adult.

The diet I am on promotes healthy weight loss because it keeps me educated and motivated. A properly healthy diet can be backed up by reputable sources and allows dieters to stay informed through education about food and their bodies. It also helps them get past setbacks through support and encouragement.

The diet I am on promotes healthful weight loss because my doctor approves of it. Though many do not talk to their physician before going on a diet, those who have the most success in losing weight and keeping it off not only confer with their doctor but keep them in the loop about their progress.

Other helpful tactics that promote healthy weight loss for dieters are support from family, friends and coworkers, realistic expectations, and a confident, upbeat approach to the process overall.