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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The 20 Most Intelligent Ways to Lose Weight

The following list highlights my top 20 points if you want to lose weight comfortably. By adopting these points you should have everything you need to succeed.

Reduce stress

Learn to relax

Get to bed on time

Work on your self-esteem

Set realistic goals

Adopt the right attitude

Develop a strong vision

Ensure people support you

Find out your Metabolic Type®

Find out your resting metabolic rate

Plan every meal in advance

Shop once a week

Plan for mishaps

Only eat nutrient-rich foods

Monitor your progress

Celebrate every pound you lose

Eat at least 3 meals a day

Ensure you are well hydrated

Exercise sensibly

Keep a diary

I have devised a three step traffic light approach to losing weight, and I suggest you do enough work at each traffic light before you move onto the next one. The three traffic lights cover initial preparations (red light), final preparations (amber light) and action (green light).

Red Light: Initial Preparations (1 week to 1 year)

1. Reduce stress - Under any psychological or physical stress the body is designed to look after itself, and one way it does that is to conserve weight. The body doesn't differentiate between different types of stress, so some types of stress you can probably reduce easily (e.g. getting to bed on time), while others might take more work to reduce (e.g. work related stress).

2. Learn to relax - It is said that relaxing makes us thin. This goes against the grain for living today, we feel pressurised to do more and achieve more. When you relax your metabolism is turned up, your fat burning increases, and you become more insulin-sensitive. The problem is that relaxing isn't our natural state. You need to work at relaxing. Exercise that is good for reducing stress includes qi gong and tai chi.

3 Get to bed on time - Sleep deprivation leads to increases in grehlin the hunger hormone and decreases leptin, the satiety hormone. This in turn increases your hunger for high carbohydrate foods. This can easily lead to weight gain. Get into the habit of going to bed at 10pm and waking up after 6am.

4 Work at your self-esteem - You become your thoughts. Work on improving your self-esteem to help your fat loss efforts. There is a close relationship between obesity and low self-esteem, with one leading to the other. Erase old emotional scars and negative beliefs.

Amber Light: Final Preparations (1 day to 1 week)

5 Set realistic goals - Ideally you should aim to lose one to two pounds of weight a week. If you lose more than two pounds you can lose muscle mass, which is not good. It is helpful to write down your weight loss goals and pin them up at home, this keeps them front of mind.

6 Adopt the right attitude - Adopt a passionate zeal for achieving your goals, failure is not an option. It is not a quick fix and look to each month, not week by week. Look to the big picture. Don't get entrenched in the day to day ups and down which is inevitable, stay focused and practical. The attitude is not one of deprivation, or guilt with eating. Enjoy your food. You need to eat enough to lose weight.

7 Develop a strong vision - Having a very strong vision of what you want to achieve by losing weight is important as it becomes easier for you to achieve your goal. One way of creating a strong vision is to create a vision board. You create a vision board by writing, drawing or sticking things onto a piece of card which would represent 'you' when you achieve your goal weight: how you will feel; your body statistics; new activities; or clothes you would wear.

8. Ensure people support you - It really helps if people around you are positive about your fat loss efforts, and provide any support needed. This is most important of people closest to you, including your family and partner. It can also help if you share the experience with a friend who is also looking to lose weight, as it injects healthy competition and more accountability.

9 Find out your Metabolic Type® - Metabolic Typing® is a process of finding out which foods are right for you, and in what proportions. Some people need to eat more protein and fat, others need more carbohydrate. By eating the correct balance of macronutrients (protein, fat, and carbohydrate) for your body you should feel less hungry in-between meals. You can find out your Type by filling in an online questionnaire.

10 Find out your resting metabolic rate (RMR) - Your resting metabolic rate is the calories you burn while at rest. This represents the ideal number of calories for fat loss. The more muscle you have the higher your RMR will be. Buying a set of Tanita® scales is a great investment as it will tell you what your RMR is, eliminating any guesswork.

Green light: Action

Weekly (2-4 hours a week) -

11 Plan every meal in advance - Plan your meals for the week. Aim to eat the same calories as your resting metabolic rate, and to have at least three meals a day. Once you have worked out your weekly meal plan it is good to devise a shopping list based on everything you need.

12 Shop once a week - Shopping once a week helps prevent binge eating as you will have everything you need to hand.

13 Plan for mishaps - Plan how you would deal with any potential mishaps in advance. Mishaps can include an extra stressful week at work, eating out, or lack of sleep.

14 Only eat nutrient-rich foods - If your body is lacking in nutrients you are likely to feel hungrier as your body craves the nutrients you lack. This is tough if you are looking to lose weight. Eat a good variety of high nutrient foods; check out the ideal foods for your Metabolic Type®.

15 Monitor your progress - Weigh yourself at least once a week. Some people weigh themselves more frequently. There is no ideal. The ideal is the right frequency that motivates you. If you weigh yourself more frequently be aware of daily fluctuations, so don't feel despondent if the scales do not shift every day, it is unrealistic.

16 Celebrate every pound you lose - It is great for your self-esteem to celebrate every pound you lose by doing something you really appreciate. This could be buying a new pair of track pants, going for a massage, or taking up a new hobby. Keep it real.

Daily (1-2 hours a day) -

17 Eat at least three meals a day - Stick to your weekly meal plan, eating at least three meals a day. Work out what works best for you. Some people need just three meals a day, for others three meals and two or three snacks is what works best. Don't skip breakfast as this slows down your metabolism. Avoid under eating.

18 Ensure you are well hydrated - Dehydration can be masked as hunger, so you can eat more if you are dehydrated. Also, dehydration is registered as a stress on the body which, as we have discussed, can lead to weight gain.

19 Exercise sensibly - Try and incorporate some exercise into each and every day. Thirty minutes of exercise a day should be seen as the bare minimum. These thirty minutes could include brisk walking, walking up the stairs at work, a yoga class, or going to the gym. Make sure you don't overdo it as exercise can increase your stress load, which could lead to weight gain. Always train with some fuel left in the tank. Listen to your body, everyone can handle different intensities. If you feel you are getting drained, back off on the intensity.

20 Keep a diary - Keep a daily food diary, otherwise it is simply too easy to overeat. A diary keeps it front of mind. Check out online food diaries, for example Nutrachek®.

Article Source:http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Lorna_Balfour


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