Ten Tips for Weight Loss And How To Keep it Off
Friendly Fruit - Watercolor by Pat Merewether
Weight Loss and Maintenance
Ten Ways to Lose Weight and Keep it off
If you're really serious about losing weight, then I have some sure fire ways to do it. I've been on diets, plans, and charts and gone to doctors all my life trying to lose weight. I swear the only thing I ask for Christmas is a metabolism. So, here we go:
1. Remove any and all junk food from your home and don't bring any more in. Its way too easy to grab cheese and crackers; cookies, chips or my personal weakness, cakes when you're hungry or bored. Replace the junk with fruits and veggies that you like. Nuts are a healthy alternative, but eat only a small handful a day. They are excellent for fighting off cravings.
You may think there are none, but just buy a few that at least appeal to you and work with them. For example, blueberries, strawberries and raspberries are delicious and if you add them to plain yogurt you'll have a yummy dessert or snack. Grapes are sweet and satisfying and no prep is required. Bananas are also sweet, satisfying and very high in nutrients. Raw celery, carrots and broccoli will help purge impurities from your system and fill you up. They also contain a lot of fiber to keep your elimination system in tip-top shape.
2. Eat nothing after 7 pm (if you go to bed around 11 pm). Anything you eat near bed time will not be used and the calories will automatically be stored as fat. It will be tough at first, I nearly didn't make it when I first started, but I drank water and herbal tea to help take the edge off. I also learned that drinking too much water and tea after 7 may have you up several times during the night to run to the bathroom, so easy does it.
3. I know my dentist won't like this, but I chew gum. It's an immediate sweetness that has few calories and gives you that "I just brushed my teeth" feeling that will help you avoid eating sweets. I recently went to the store and was tempted to buy an ice cream bar, so popped a stick of gum in my mouth and avoided the craving. It's not fool proof, but I figure if it keeps me from eating even one unhealthy snack, it's worth it. Unfortunately there are very few chewing gum brands made without aspartame (even sweetened varieites!) which has been proven to be toxic.
4. Walk it off. A brisk half-hour walk burns off about 200 calories, which in a couple of weeks will equal a pound. Sometimes the hardest part is putting on your shoes and getting started, but set a time of day when you'll have the time and stick to that time. Remember, twenty minutes is only ten minutes out and ten minutes back. Listen to music or better yet, find a buddy to walk with. Most of us will be more dependable if someone else is depending on us.
5. Avoid the beef. I love red meat, but it's very high in calories and fat and very hard for our body to digest and burn. If you eat red meat every day, try replacing two meals a week with chicken, turkey or fish. Gradually replace more red meat meals with lean meat and fish, and try to end up only eating it twice a month. When you do, buy organic, grass-fed beef which is tastier and much better for you. You will be able to purchase better cuts of meat with the money you save by cutting back on the amount.
6. If you're a woman, have your hormone levels checked, especially if you've had a hysterectomy or are over the age of 55. Hormone imbalance often causes weight gain, or loss. Also, have your thyroid checked as well.
7. Fast food really derails the weight-loss train. A good way to avoid drive throughs is by alerting your route. I've learned that if I drive through town to get to work or the grocery store I have to pass five or six fast food restaurants, but there are no fast food places to tempt me if I take the freeway or a different road.
8. The buddy system is a great way to get on track and stay there. Find a friend or relative who will join you. Having someone to talk to is often a great way to avoid eating and you can help each other.
9. If you're addicted to fizzy soda drinks, try this. I pour a half a glass of fruit juice and fill the rest with tonic water. Grape juice, pineapple, orange or grapefruit juice are excellent for making these spritzers. There are also new Italian sodas made with less sugar and more real fruit juice. Limit yourself to two a day and gradually reduce the amount of fizzy water until you are comfy with replacing it with water. Baby steps do work.
10. Find a hobby to keep your hands busy. Watching television in the evening is probably the most dangerous time of day for many of us. Take up knitting, crochet, crosswords or anything that will keep your hands and mind busy. Take up drawing or write in your journal. You won't want to get food on your yarn or paper and this will get you through those really tough times.
The best path to success is with baby steps. Try not to worry about how long its taking or how many pounds you're losing. Just focus on getting healthier and I promise the weight loss will follow.