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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Top Ten Tips For Safe Weight Loss

None of us are ever entirely happy with the way we look. Most of us feel that we could benefit from minor changes to our appearance, but the biggest source of low self-esteem for most is weight. Many of us face a daily battle with the scales to lose a few extra pounds with many of us experiencing temporary weight loss followed by a steady creeping back on of the extra weight.

Whilst there is no definitive formula for losing weight as everyone is different and will respond to diets differently, there are a few fail safe rules you can follow to help you beat the bulge. Here are the top ten tips for safe weight loss:

1. Exercise. Most people realise that weight loss will be speeded up with regular exercise, so this tip is nothing new but it really is an essential part of successful weight loss. If you want to lose weight and keep it off, you have to exercise. Most experts recommend at least five 30 minute sessions a week to see results. You can try all sorts of exercise just as long as you're getting your heart rate up!

2. Weight training. As well as cardio exercise, weight training is also a great way to shed extra pounds. The more muscle tissue you have, the more calories you will burn so get lifting those weights!

3. Keep a food diary. Writing down everything you eat on a daily basis can help you to keep track of how many calories you are consuming and is also a great insight into your eating habits. It can help you to identify situations and emotions that trigger overeating or eating the wrong types of foods.

4. Switch your focus. Instead of focusing on being thin, switch your focus to getting healthy. Think about putting foods into your body that are going to do it some good rather than obsessing over foods that will make you put on weight.

5. Think about why you overeat. Overeating is often triggered by something, maybe an event or an emotion; whatever it is by identifying the problem you can look to address it and break the overeating cycle. People comfort eat for different reasons, some are stressed, bored, lonely, depressed or even angry and use food as a crutch to help them deal with the issue but in actual fact it just masks the problem and you often end up feeling even worse after a big binge.

6. Get the support you need. Try joining a weight management group for encouragement and support, if this is not possible then make sure all your family and friends are aware of your plan to lose weight and that they are giving you all the support you need to succeed.

7. Control your portion sizes. Watch how much you are piling on your plate at meal times and try and reduce it. Many of us feel under pressure to finish all the food on our plates and this can lead to overeating. Teach yourself to recognise when you are full and stop eating as soon as you are comfortably full and not stuffed.

8. Remember that weight loss won't happen overnight. Diets that claim you can lose a dress size in a week or anything ridiculous like that are setting you up for failure. Losing weight too quickly means that you are losing muscle and not fat which can be dangerous. Fat loss is best achieved slowly as you are more likely to keep the weight off.

9. Chew your food properly. Eating slowly and properly chewing each mouthful really can help you lose weight. This is because from the time you start eating it can take the brain up to minutes before it gives off the signal that it is full. If you eat your meal in less than 20 minutes you don't give your brain the chance to tell your body that you are full and you can end up overeating.

10. Eat less fat. Limiting the amount of bad fats you include in your diet can really contribute to losing weight. Just remember that fat-free foods also have calories in them and in some cases may even have just as much calories as the full-fat versions!

For some people, attending a "fat camp" can be the jump start they need on their weight loss journey. Being surrounded by people with the same goal, can be incredibly motivating. Find a fat camp near you and learn more.

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