Sunday, February 4, 2018

Good tips for Weight - Loss

Trying to drop those few pounds?  Are there tips and tricks one can use to help them be successful in taking off a few pounds?  Last week we reviewed the Best Diets for Weigh Loss as ranked by the U.S. News & World Report.   Time magazine has an excellent article on 8 Weight-Loss Strategies That Actually Work in their Feb. 5, 2018 issue.  There are numerous articles on helpful tips for weight-loss including 9 Habits of People Who Have Successfully Lost Weight.  What are some of these strategies and habits?

     1.  Breakfast – we all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  But what should you eat at breakfast and should you eat a big breakfast?  Skipping breakfast and you are more likely to be overweight?  Why?  Probably because you hit the candy bar or soda machine around 10 AM or so.  Not only can skipping breakfast routinely increase your chances of being overweight, it apparently isn’t good for your arteries.  Breakfast skippers are more likely to have that bad plaque buildup in your arteries according to the article, Hearty Breakfast for Healthier Arteries in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 
a.       What should you eat for breakfast?
                                                               i.      Breakfast is a great time to add some whole grains to your day.  Enjoy a bowl of oatmeal or Cheerios – 2 super healthy cereals.  Or choose any General Mills cereal as all are whole grain.  Some higher in added sugar than others but one still gets a serving of whole grains.  Parents, grandparents – let your kid, grandkid choose any General Mills cereal and you know you are getting some whole grains into their day.  If you don’t have time for a full breakfast every week day, then enjoy that oatmeal or Cheerios on the weekends.
Enjoy oatmeal for a healthy heart
                                                             ii.      Protein – adding some protein to your breakfast has “staying power” as protein stays in your stomach longer.  Add some milk for your cereal, some yogurt or enjoy a smoothie. 
                                                           iii.      Juice or Fresh fruit – I always eat a banana for breakfast for my “instant energy”.  Bananas are full of nutrients and add some fiber to your day.  They are also digested fairly rapidly so you get an “energy boost” almost right away.  When choosing juice, make sure it is 100% juice and not a juice drink.  Choose 100% orange juice, or 100% grapefruit juice.  Actually, grapefruit choice is a good choice as there is some research indicating it helps “cut the fat”.  I often enjoy a glass of grapefruit juice at breakfast.  Be sure to avoid the sugary drinks masquerading as juice such as Sunny D and Hi-C.  
Enjoy some 100% juice
 2.  Cut back on Soda – even cutting back on one less sugary soda a day can have big benefits when trying to lose weight.  One key to a smaller waistline is cutting back on the sugary drinks.  Or if you enjoy sweetened ice tea, cut back on how much and how often you drink it.  Or start making it half sweet tea and half unsweetened tea.   
Cut back on the sugared soda
3.  Eat the Mediterranean Way see my blog post Best Diets for Health 2018 for more detailed information on this healthy way to eat. Eat this way to live longer and live healthier.  It is not really a weight loss diet but those that follow this eating pattern have lost weight. Focus on eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and use olive oil in place of the cooking oil you are now using.  5 A Day is usually the motto for how many fruits and vegetables you should eat a day.  The Mediterranean Diet focuses on at least 9 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.  I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables but 9 is quite a goal to aim for.
       4.   Exercise – find a way to add some movement to your day.  So many people make the resolution, “I will go to the gym every day.”  When that doesn’t happen, they don’t have an alternative.  Park your car far from the front door when you go to work or shopping.  Commercial on TV?  Good time to walk up and down some stairs.  After dinner go for a walk – take the dog, it will be good for both of you.  My daughter walks her dog, Ziggy, every day and they both enjoy the time outdoors. As I noted in a previous blog post, WebMD has good advice to follow:  to prevent disease and stay active for life, you do need to exercise.
       5.   Change your habits more slowly -  trying to eat healthy, exercise, lose weight all at once, sounds great but too many changes at once may lead to your just saying, “Forget it” and then you go back to your usual habits.  Introduce more healthy foods to your day.  Always have a fruit or vegetable at lunch.  Bring an apple or some baby carrots with you to work.  Add a yogurt to your day – a super healthy food to add.  Enjoy fast food?  Cut back on it.  Find some changes you can make that will be lasing changes for you.

You don’t need to copy your friends or go on a fad diet like the Whole30 diet.  But adding a few new habits to your day and following some of these tips can lead to a healthier you in 2018. 

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