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5 simple tips for weight loss and a healthy life

Updated on July 20, 2010

What goes 0-200 in under 6 seconds?

Hopefully not your bathroom scale.
Hopefully not your bathroom scale.

This Hub is not a diet or exercise plan

It is however, a collection of helpful tips that will compliment either. So, if you're trying to lose weight, or just want to incorporate some healthy habits to you life, read on...

I wanted to lose weight and be healthier

When I was a young Airman in the Air Force, I ate whatever I wanted and never had to worry about being over my maximum allowable weight. However, as the years went on, I found myself gaining a couple pounds a year, inching closer and closer to being obese! I couldn't believe it, but the scale didn't lie. What could I do?

I tried numerous diets like Atkins, South Beach, liquid, cabbage; the list goes on and on. But every diet I tried made me unhappy or unhealthy in some way.

I tried pills, and there are a lot out there, but they made me nervous, shaky, and increased my blood pressure.

Exercise was good, but sometimes I would over do it and hurt myself. Plus it was difficult finding the time to exercise.

Finally, 5 habits that helped me!

It wasn't until I made a few simple changes in my life that I found I no longer needed to lose weight - it just stayed off! I'm sure if you develop a few of these habits, you'll see and feel a change too.

Here are my 5 tips to lose weight and live healthier...

# 1 - Don't ever hunt for a parking spot, EVER

A friend once asked me why I parked so far away from the store and I told him to get a little exercise to lose weight. He said "Why, you're not fat", and I replied "Exactly!"

You've seen them. The people who drive around the parking lot for 20 minutes in order to get closer to the entrance, then when they get out of the car, they're usually on the heavy side?

Don't be that person! First, it's stressful driving through pedestrians and traffic in order to get a good spot, and it's also stressful coming out of a store not knowing where the heck you parked. No one needs undue stress in their lives. Besides, any increase in exercise is a good thing.

I always park at the back of the parking lot on the same side EVERY time. The spot is always available, I always remember where I parked, and the best benefit is I get a little exercise every time I go shopping. You might think it's not much, but trust me; a little walking is a heck of a lot better than no walking.

# 2 - Drink a glass of ice water EVERY morning

The first thing I do in the morning is drink a glass of very cold water. This will...

  • Kick start your metabolism. The earlier your metabolism starts, the more calories you'll burn.
  • Burn fat because your body must generate heat in order to warm the water.
  • Make your stomach feel fuller so you just might be satisfied with a sensible breakfast rather than getting a fat sandwich at the drive-through.

Drinking water throughout the day has a multitude of benefits too, but I'll save that for another Hub.

# 3 - Portion control

Let's face it - portion control is out of control in America. It took me years of will power to not upgrade my value meals, because that's a lot of extra food for just .65 cents more, and I'm a thrifty guy. But the truth is, I didn't NEED all that extra food in the first place, and you don't either. So enjoy your #8 meal deal at your favorite fast food restaurant occasionally like I do, but save yourself 2-300 calories AND .65 cents by not super-sizing it.

And don't forget that a 16 oz. bag of Doritos is NOT 1 serving...

# 4 - Chill your bedroom at night

Your body burns calories ALL the time. Exertion, digestion, heartbeat, temperature regulation, metabolism, even thinking, all burn calories. We burn calories at night too, while we sleep.

Just like the way a body burns calories when you drink a glass of ice water to warm it up, your body must burn calories to keep YOU warm when it's cool.

By keeping my room cool at night (between 60-65 degrees), I not only sleep better, but I burn a couple hundred extra calories.


# 5 - Healthy food substitutions

Some people go a little overboard when it comes to substituting high calorie or high fat foods with low ones, but honestly, the thought of using skim milk makes me want to vomit. Some people are fine with skim milk, and hooray for them!

The trick is to find substitutions that you don't mind, and barely even notice. For instance, I can't tell a difference between 1% and 2% milk, so I use 1% which has less fat. They even have half percentages now too, so experiment until you find your acceptable healthy alternatives. Even little changes add up.

Here are some suggestions other than milk...

  • Water or low calorie vitamin drinks instead of soda
  • Whole grain bread vs. white bread
  • If you like your over medium eggs in the morning like I do, switch from Jumbo to large or medium.
  • Baked goods and snacks rather than fried
  • Brown rice instead of white rice
  • A healthy cereal like Special K instead of Lucky Charms
  • Pretzels instead of chips
  • Wine or a Light beer instead of regular beer
  • Olive or canola oil instead of lard or butter

Do a little research on your favorite foods, read your nutrition labels, and see what you can come up with.  Have a little fun with it.  I discovered I like hummus!

ALL the changes aren't for everyone, but if you incorporate even a few, it'll be better than nothing. The bottom line is there are a lot of healthy alternatives out there - find what works best for you.


Every time I've ever increased calorie burning, my appetite increases right along with it. This is natural - it is the way your body compensates for a perceived loss of fuel, or the need for more.

In this battle between the mind and the body, your mind must win!



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      Jenn74 7 years ago

      I use ground turkey instead of beef. I'm not sure if it helps me lose weight, but it at least makes me feel healthier. I love the parking tip btw!