Archive for diet

Weight Loss: An Easy Tip to Lose Weight

There are lots of fad diets out there, but here’s a simple way to lose weight:

Don’t eat foods that have a nutrition label or ingredient list on them.

Sounds simple, and it is.  Here’s why: pre-packaged and processed foods contain preservatives, chemicals, artificial sweeteners, sugar and salt.  They have long labels with all of the ingredients.

Natural foods, like fruits, vegetables, nuts, and meat, don’t have nutrition labels; they are all natural.  That also means they don’t have any hidden sugar, chemicals, salt, or other bad ingredients that can leave to weight gain, and prevent you from losing weight.

Try this challenge: for the next week, only eat foods with no label.  If it has a label, don’t eat it.  That means no frozen dinners, no prepare food.  Only eat foods with fresh, natural ingredients.

Eating fresh and healthy gives you good calories, not empty calories, and helps you feel full and satisfied, and that’s a great recipe for losing weight.

Comments

Weight Loss: The First Step to Lose Weight

You can read all the diet books that exist, and you can try every fad diet and exercise program.  You can join a gym, or a weight loss club, or you can hire a personal trainer.  Those steps are fine, but that’s not the first step.

The first step to weight loss is critical: you must decide that you want to lose weight.

To repeat: you must decide to lose weight.  No-one else can make that decision for you.

Your spouse may want you to lose weight.  Your doctor may want you to start a weight loss program.  Perhaps your friends and family are telling you to lose weight.  That’s great, but except for the calories you may burn by arguing with them, they can’t help you lose weight.

Only you can change what you eat.  Only you can decide not to eat four pieces of cake when you are hungry at midnight.  Only you can decide to get up early in the morning to go to the gym, or to go for a run.  Only you can have the inner motivation to make changes to your life.

So ask yourself this simple question: “Why do I want to lose weight?”  Then write down your answer.  You may want to lose weight due to simple vanity (I want to look better).  It may be a health issue (I don’t want to get diabetes, or have a heart attack).  It may be personal (I want to be able to go for a swim and a bike ride with my children).  Whatever the reason, the reason must come from within.  You must make that decision.

Once you know why you want to lose weight, you can decide to do it.  For yourself.  Not for anyone else.

That’s why the first step to losing weight is to decide you want to lose weight.  It’s up to you to make that decision today.

Comments (1)

Lose Weight By Eating at Home

The average fast food meal contains many hundreds of calories more than a comparable meal that you prepare at home.  In short, fast food meals are generally not healthy.

After a busy day at work, it’s difficult to rush to the store to buy healthy, fresh ingredients, and then rush home and spend 45 minutes in the kitchen preparing a healthy meal.  So we often take the easy way out and buy hamburgers or fried chicken or pizza that may not be the healthiest alternative.

To lose weight, you should avoid fast food and eat at home.  But where do you find the time?  Here’s how:

First, start by planning your meals in advance.  Every weekend pull out your calendar and look at your schedule: what days will you be home early, and on what days will you be working late.  It’s the late days that take the most planning.

Then, on the weekend, when you have time, do your shopping and then pre-prepare as many meals as possible for the week.  You can make a double batch of lasagna (with healthy ingredients) and freeze it or refrigerate it for use later in the week.

Focus on quick and healthy meals.  It’s not hard to barbecue a chicken breast and make a salad.  Pasta can be prepared quickly if you have the ingredients ready.  Plan ahead.

For fresh vegetables, stop by your local grocer on the way home.  If you have your meal plan, you know that today all you need to buy is fresh broccoli, or beans, or lettuce, or whatever you are cooking tonight.  If you know exactly what you want to purchase, it’s a quick trip.

As an added bonus, planning ahead and cooking at home can save you a lot of money, while you reach your weight loss goals.

Comments

Thanksgiving and Weight Loss

Today is the Thanksgiving Day holiday in Canada.  The American Thanksgiving holiday happens in November.  What do we do to celebrate?  We eat.  We eat turkey, and mashed potatoes, and stuffing, and gravy and pie.  And we eat a lot.  What can you do to lose weight during a holiday?

The short answer is: not much.  A holiday is not the time to be trying to lose weight.  Take the day off from your diet and enjoy the food.  Losing weight should not be your goal.  Your goal should be to not gain weight.  Here are two tips:

First, skip a meal.  If you know you will be having a huge dinner, sleep in, have a late breakfast, and just have a small healthy snack instead of lunch.  You may eat more calories at supper, but if you have virtually no calories at lunch, the total number of calories you consumed for the day may still be reasonable.

Second, get some exercise.  Go for a walk.  The advantage of exercise is it helps burn calories, and while you are walking you probably won’t be eating, so it’s a win-win.  Take the entire family for a walk.  It will be fun for everyone, it will help with your weight, and it will build your appetite for the evening meal, which for today, enjoy it.  You can get back to your healthy eating tomorrow.

Comments

Fasting and Weight Loss

To lose weight, stop eating; seems simple, right?  Yes, in many instances “fasting”, or not eating, is a way to lose weight.  However, caution is required.

Your body requires nutrients, vitamins and minerals, so if you stop eating, your body is not getting those nutrients.  If you fast for long enough, obviously you would die of starvation, so you need a plan.

To start, your body can go weeks without food, but it can’t even go days without liquid, so if you fast, continue to drink plenty of liquids.  Water is essential.

Next, if you are not fueling your body, you will not have the energy to do strenuous physical exercise, so while fasting avoid heavy exertion.  Fasting and resting go together, so take it easy while fasting.  Walking is fine, but running a marathon while fasting is not a good idea.

Finally, if you fast for an extended period of time, your body will get used to lower food intake.  Then, when you stop fasting, your body will work hard to replenish it’s lost stores of fat and energy.  Your metabolism revs back up, and it’s common once you stop fasting that you regain all of the weight that you lost while fasting.

So what’s the secret to fasting for weight loss?  First, only fast periodically for brief periods, such as a day or two, not a week or two.

Start by preparing.  Tell yourself that your fast starts tomorrow.  Have a plan to drink lots of liquids, to reduce physical activity, and to stick with it.  Eat normal, healthy foods the day before your fast.

Then, while fasting, have non-strenuous activities planned to keep you busy, and to keep your mind from thinking about food.  Read a book, go for a leisurely walk, take a nap, listen to music, but avoid strenuous physical activities.

At the end of your day long fast, break the fast the following morning by drinking two glasses of water with a bit of lemon.  Let the water work through your digestive system to remove any toxins accumulated.  Then, have your normal healthy breakfast.

Fasting once a month can be beneficial, and can help in your weight loss program.

Comments (1)

The Secret to Weight Loss

It’s been a while since I posted on this blog, but today I had to share the most obvious tip there is when it comes to weight loss, and the only method known to man to guarantee that you lose weight: eat less.

Yes, I know that is an obvious statement, but think about it.  You can go on a fancy diet, like the Atkins Diet or the South Beach Diet, and you can exercise like crazy, and you will lose weight.  That’s great, but the simpler method is to eat less.

I like to eat pizza.  Every weekend we have pizza.  I like to eat 5 slices of pizza.  How can I lose weight?  Only eat 4 slices of pizza.  Simple.  I’m eating less.

For breakfast I like to have a bowl of cereal and two pieces of toast.  If I have a slightly smaller bowl of cereal and only one piece of toast, I will still feel full, but I’m eating less, so all else being equal I will lose weight.

But wait, you say: If I’m eating less, won’t I be hungry? At the start, yes, you might be hungry.  Your body is used to eating 5 slices of pizza, so if it only gets 4, it may think it’s hungry.  Here’s the amazing part: you will adjust.  Your body will adjust.  It will get used to 4 slices instead of 5, and after a week or two you won’t feel hungry at all.

The best way to quit smoking is to gradually reduce your cigarrette consumption.   If you smoke 20 a day now, drop down to 19 each day for the next week, then 18, and so on.  It works the same with food.  Very gradually reduce your portion sizes, and before long you will be eating less, and you won’t even know it.  Try it, you’ll see.  Eating less really works.

Comments

Weight Loss with Alli – The Wonder Drug


People everywhere are constantly searching for the product that will help them to achieve their weight loss goals.  The recently released weight loss pill, alli, with the convenience of being available without a prescription and with the safety and comfort of FDA approval, seems like the answer to everyone’s weight loss dreams.  With the promise of increased weight-loss and the possibility of curing obesity-related diseases, the alli weight loss pill seems too good to be true.

Olistat, the active ingredient in alli has been available by prescription for years by the brand name Xenical.  Alli is a reduced-strength version of this same drug which when taken with meals prevents the body from breaking down and absorbing 25% of the fat in food.  With less fat available for energy, the body must tap into its fat reserves and use up the excesses resulting in weight loss.

Using alli along with a low-calorie, reduced-fat diet and increased exercise could help in losing up to 50% more weight than with traditional dieting alone.  Maximum weight loss is usually achieved within the first six months of using the product.  Unlike some other diet pills, alli acts only in the digestive tract and has no effect on the brain eliminating the addictive qualities that cause other diet pills to be susceptible to abuse.

This all sounds great, however there are some dangers to using alli to lose weight.  Some of the common side effects include increased flatulence and more frequent, difficult-to-control bowel movements.  The alli program suggests that meals include no more than 15 grams of fat to prevent these side effects from worsening; however some people may find it challenging to know exactly how much fat their meal contains.  A multi-vitamin may need to be taken as alli can interfere with the absorption of vitamins A, D, E and K.  Because alli is a relatively new drug, the long-term effects are unknown as of yet.  In clinical trials, when alli stopped being taken, many people gained back the weight they had lost and so the pill may need to be taken indefinitely.

Alli should only be used as a dieting aid for people who need to lose weight for reasons of health and not for already thin people to keep their weight off.   All aspects of the alli weight loss program need to be followed including the recommended dosage, the diet and the exercise.

Comments

Eggs, Diet, and Weight Loss

Yesterday I talked about my plan to lose weight, and I said that as part of My Weight Loss Plan I am going to eat eggs. Here’s what I mean:

To lose weight, I want to keep my carbohydrate intake low, and focus only on good carbs. Therefore, during the week, I’m going to skip having cereal for breakfast, which is high in carbs and sugar, and replace cereal with eggs, which are high in protein.

Today for breakfast I took one whole egg, and three egg whites. (I buy the egg whites separately; it’s easy, and I’m not wasting the egg yolks. I like one whole egg for flavor, and the egg whites for volume with fewer calories.) Today I chopped up some fresh spinach, some feta cheese, and some black olives.

I mixed the egg and egg whites, poured them into a frying pan coated with olive oil, and made an omelette. Once cooked enough to allow for flipping, I flip in over and dump on the spinach, cheese and black olives. I fold it over, and put the pan to the side of the stove for one minute (I don’t want the eggs to cook so much they get rubbery, but I want the spinach limp and the cheese somewhat melted).

Then it’s put it on a plate and eat.

How hard is this? It’s easy, because I do most of the preparation the night before. I chop the spinach, feta cheese, and black olives and put them in a Ziploc container, so in the morning all I need to do is dump them on.

One word of caution: I find that with this diet I need to nd drink lots of water to counter balance the salt in the olives and the cheese, and to keep me regular.

Tomorrow, some thoughts on exercise.

Comments