Written by Theresa Woodland | Healthy Magazine
It’s the moment of truth. A physical unveiling of whether your six-month diet proved effective. For some people, weight loss is easy and for others, not as simple. So maybe you haven’t shed as many pounds as you had hoped. Now what? If you thought that the fountain-of-youth secrets are only privileged to the rich and famous, think again. The key factor to an effective weight-loss plan involves outsmarting your bodily tendencies. There’s nothing wrong with following a strategic diet, just remember that no miracle pill or “magic product” will help you gain the results you’re looking for. With a few easy steps, your road to success could be just around the corner.
Grab a stop watch:
Timing is everything. Aside from the six major nutrients: carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals and water, your body has a tendency to ignite cravings. While French fries and chocolate could arguably be part of the food pyramid, it is important to identify what needs to be avoided and what can be indulged. Studies have shown that cravings typically last 8-15 minutes. The first thing to do when a craving attack approaches is to set your watch and wait it out.
Hydrate your health:
A highly valuable tool in weight loss is water. The first sign of hunger can often be attributed to thirst. More times than none, your body will quench hydration and trigger the hunger mechanism. A good rule of thumb is to drink an 8 oz. glass of water when you feel an appetite coming on. Water not only fills, it replenishes and acts as a flushing component; a critical element to advance healthy living and weight-loss results.
Because more than 75 percent of your body is made up of water, it is the most vital nutrient, aside from oxygen, to your health and existence. The human body needs at least eight glasses of purified water to thrive and maintain energy, according to the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.
“Water is one of the most neglected sources in the food pyramid for everybody, said Joshua Smith, a professional trainer at The Edge Personal Training. “If you’re not hydrated properly, that decreases your workout automatically by 30 percent.”
“If you’re trying to exercise hard, lose weight or tone muscles in your body, you’re only going to be able to workout 75 percent because you lose 30 percent of your workout if you’re not properly hydrated,” Smith said. “The best way to stimulate your body’s exercise routine, in the right way, is to drink enough water to enhance change and adaptation.”
Joshua Smith received a master’s degree in exercise science and physiology and is certified through the American College of Sports Medicine, also known as the ACSM.
Be a green giant:
“I’ll just have a salad.” While it seems cliché to order the traditional no-meat meal, these little words can have a dramatic affect on our food consumption. By consuming water-filled fresh fruits and vegetables as first food alternatives, you will lower your overall calorie intake, satisfy your initial hunger pains and prevent serious chronic diseases.
Because fruits and vegetables contain slow digesting sugars, these nutrients are necessary to maintain energy throughout the day, said Smith. “Fruits and vegetables have the types of sugars your body needs.”
A calorie burned is a calorie earned. Keep an active lifestyle. Staying fit is the runner-up in maintaining healthy living. In order to hit a homerun in the diet department, burn calories in the interim. Calories have become an obsession for some and an annoyance for others. If you’re not the hard-pressed calorie counter, consider shaving them with exercise and routine physical activity.
“A calorie is the amount of energy required to raise your body temperature,” said Smith. “The reason why it’s important is because, when you’re looking at your carbohydrates, energy and fat, you have to analyze how each food nutrient contributes to your body.”
Burning energy is a sure way to get your workout fired up. It is important is to be active often during the week and make it a part of your daily routine, according to the United States Department of Agriculture andmypyramid.com.
Take baby steps:
Set reasonable goals. The summertime can spring us into action, but after a few weeks of little to no noticeable difference in appearance or weight goals, discouragement can take its toll. In order to avoid the feeling of failure, try to set aims that are within reach. While looking like the movie star in two weeks might seem doable to you, your body is in for a rude awakening. If you want to lose 10 percent of your body weight, plan on a six-month period. Smart fitness includes taking baby steps.
Don’t get discouraged:
Patience is a virtue. The waiting period can be the hardest part of trying to shed those unwanted pounds. However, a little goes a long way. Endurance will be the successor in the end. Once you’ve tolerated your nagging cravings, participate in persistent exercise and maintain a nutritious balance, you will be well on your way to becoming a better happier you.
Use smart substitutes:
Substituting your favorite foods doesn’t have to be a painful process. Slimming down can be attributed to smart eating habits. Before grabbing a bag full of potato chips, or the nearest candy bar, consider replacing your snack with pretzels or a granola bar. Many food proxies can increase your energy long term without putting you on a temporary high for an hour and then draining you for the rest of the day.
“The absolute energy boosters for people on the go, are pre-portioned-size servings of fruits and vegetables, said Smith. “You can combine these with a small amount of carbohydrates, such as a slice of 100-percent whole wheat bread.”
“Bag baby carrots the night before, or slice apples and put them in a bag so you have quick bite-sized portions to eat,” he advised.
Quantity v. Quality:
Remember the saying, “You are what you eat.” Consuming nutritious foods will help you feel the results in a large way and allow change in a quicker timeframe. In order to increase your metabolism, your body requires energy supplements every three hours. In addition to breakfast, lunch and dinner, it is imperative that you intake healthy foods between meals. Most diet fads claim that eating frequently will make you gain weight rather than lose weight. The secret to maintaining proper weight is not controlling how often you it’s regulating what you’re putting into your system.
Above all, don’t starve yourself. Starvation leads to malnutrition and will devoid your system of essential vitamins and minerals. Watching portion sizes is the first step to regulating food intake; however, the more nutrients you consume, the more energy you will obtain.
Don’t skip breakfast:
A breakfast of champions includes, well, breakfast. The 4-1-1 on staying thin includes three well-balanced meals, intermediate snacks and a starter meal at the beginning of the day. A frequent misconception is that in order to cut calories, one skips the most important meal of the day. This form of depravation can lead to bingeing during lunch and dinner. Ample evidence shows that by eating breakfast every morning, you can lose weight and keep it off.
The ultimate diet:
Every diet comes with its own motto: “It works.” Diet fads may come and go, but your eating habits will always remain. The search for the ultimate diet doesn’t have to be a difficult task. Simply evaluating your metabolism and balancing your state of health with discipline can greatly improve results: feeling slimmer, younger and happier.