FitDay's Best of Series: Tips for Weight Loss
The following is a collection of the best tips that FitDay members have to offer, taken from many threads over a long period of time. Thank you to all of the contributors!
This thread can be used as a "one stop shopping place" for reference.
If you have any suggestions for other posts to be included, you may always PM one of the Forum Moderators.
Eat more whole foods and less processed foods
I find it very challenging to to get my macronutrients right as well carbs/fat/protein! I think a safe range is 40% carbs, 30% fat and 30% protein. Not an easy task!!
I do find that eating more whole foods and less processed food really does help with this. The problem with the processed is if it is low in fat, it is usually high in sodium or sugar! If it is lower in sugar it is higher in fat, or it is full of aspertame or some other chemical sweetener. It is challenging to say the least. Cooking from scratch seems to be the best bet for keeping your fats, sugars and carbs in line.
The only processed foods I actually eat are cereals, breads, yogurt and cheese...everything else is natural. Another killer is the dressings, sauces, butter, margarine, etc! It isn't the food, it is what we PUT ON the food!!
I have discovered that balsamic vinegar is delicious on a number of different veggies and even some fruits. Mixed with a wee bit of olive oil it makes a tasty and healthy dressing.
11 Surefire Ways to Lose Weight in 2 Weeks
Moderator's Note: While the date this was put on the internet is one of the earliest sources, it's possible that this information is not original but has been copied without credit given to the author.
Stop with the excuses
First off, a little about me. I'm a 38 year old dad, I gained the typical pound or two a year and it slowly started to add up. Then I went from an active job to a desk job, but didn't change my eating habits and guess what??? I got fat! It wasn't until I quit making excuses and realized that I was the problem, that's right, me... I was the reason why I was fat, that I could make a change. My job changed and I didn't. I finally put my excuses aside and started eating better, took the stairs instead of the elevator, started walking, drank only water... a lot of water. Before I knew it, the weight started to fall off. "How fast?" you may ask, how about my first 20 pounds took all of 42 days! So lets set this straight, it took FAR LESS time to take it off than it did to put it on, once I dropped the excuses.
I'm not going to bore you with statistics, nor do I have the time for them. This is from my heart, not something that I copy and pasted! Being fat will likely decrease your life span and the time you do have alive will not be as enjoyable as it could have been. You'll probably spend more time on your sofa or favorite chair than you will outside enjoying good weather.
So let me ask you this... have you made the commitment to truly change yourself, for YOURSELF or are you making excuses?
People know that for alcoholics & drug addicts to recover, the first step is to admit that there is a problem... not to make excuses. So why do we make so many excuses yet expect to change? Here's are some common excuses that fat people (yes I said the "F" word again) make.
1) "I can't afford to eat healthy." - Can you afford to be unhealthy? Can you afford to have a double bypass? Can you afford to leave your children early?
2) "I can't afford a gym membership." - Get off your ass and walk, it's free! Quit waiting for that parking spot b/c it's closer to the door of Wal Mart, walk dammit!
3) "I don't have the time, I have a family to take care of." - Get off your ass and go play with your kids. Take them to the park and do something with them, don't just sit there. Turn off American Idol or Survivor and go walk.
4) "It's in my genes, I come from a big family." - This may be true, it's in you JEANS b/c you came from a lazy family that had poor eating habits. Now it's your turn to break the cycle for your family!
5) "It's my thyroid..." - Really, did your doctor say this? If so what are you and your doctor doing to correct this? Are you still doing the things that I suggested for #2 & #3?
6) "I'm alone in this, I hate cooking big meals and I don't have anyone to exercise with." - blah, blah, blah. You are responsible for keeping yourself in shape so why avoid exercising b/c you don't have a partner? Do it FOR YOURSELF, even if it is BY YOURSELF! Cook a big healthy meal and package it up for future use. This will also save you time, more time to go for a walk.
7) "I have big bones." - Since when did big bones help add a double chin, or arms that keep waving after you've stopped?
The list of excuses can go on and on. If what I'm saying offends you, then you may be hanging on to your excuse. It's time to wake up people and realize that we are the problem, quit blaming others and making excuses.
Once you get to where you want to be, you'll be glad you did!
Like I said, I was fat. But it didn't take me that long to get where I am today. I feel great and my overall health is much better!
Tips that might help
Here's some tips that might help:
- Log everything you eat/drink and visit forum daily if possible.
- Clean out the kitchen of all tempting foods or at least put them in a hard to reach/see place
- Make sure there's plenty of veggies/fruits/proteins in the frig, ready to eat quickly if you're in a rush
- Have a plan for each meal. After a while, it becomes a habit and planning is automatic.
- I like to focus on how the food I eat is helping every cell in my body--kind of gets me out of the deprivation mindset and more into the positive.
- Think of food as fuel for the body instead of feeding emotions.
- Drink lots of water.
- Allow yourself one "free" meal or treat a week to ward off cravings.
- AND forgive yourself if you slip up. It's all about progress and not perfection.
I'm sure other forum members have some great ideas as well. Good luck!
Start with the what/why/when/with who, where and how of your eating habits
I started by eating whatever I wanted, but logging my foods and analyzing my habits for 3-4 days. According to one of my best friends (who also happens to be a nutritionist) you can't make a lifestyle change until you know the what/why/when/with who, where and how of your eating habits.
Then I worked on getting rid of my bad habits one at a time. The first week I started exercising every day, not a lot just 15-20 minutes/day. The second week I gave up eating 3 breakfasts, and focused on finding ideas for eating one satisfying healthy breakfast. Breakfast was my worst habit, which I would never have known without the 3 day exercise. Then I worked on finding healthy snacks, figuring out how many calories was right for me, then finding out which combination of carbs/fats/proteins was best for me.
So forth and so on. This week I'm trying to get back in the habit of drinking lots of water because I haven't been really good about that lately.
I also have been doing a wellness program called the 5, 10, 15, 20 Challenge which is a daily thing as well, not a weekly regimen. It's 5 servings of fruits and veggies/daily minimum (I always go over that), 10,000 steps on a pedometer, 15 minutes of strengthening exercise per day (1,500 calories or less if you're overweight) and 20 stands for 2,000 of your 10,000 steps have to be aerobic. That way I have daily goals for health and wellness that have nothing to do with eating rice cakes and lettuce for lunch.
Make smart decisions
So you want to move from eating fast food to organic in one step? I suggest you try moving toward eating whole food. Fresh vegetables, and fruit. Chicken, pork, fish, and beef prepared without coatings and without deep frying. Food that you prepare at home. Food that doesn't come out of a cardboard box. Use frozen when things are out of season or it fits your budget better (I usually buy chicken breast frozen because they are more affordable). Cut back on simple carbohydrates, get 30% of your calories from protein, and start exercising along with eating better. Try to maintain a 500-700 calorie deficit. If you can find organic foods that fit your budget buy them, but don't make 'going organic' the excuse that you can't get healthy.
Cardio to jump-start your weight loss
It sounds like the only thing you're not working hard at is cardio...which may be exactly what you need to lose the fat. Try working more cardio into your days. And keep in mind that cardio doesn't necessarily need to have you huffing and puffing and exhausted. The best exercise to lose weight will make you breath deeply (slightly out of breath), but won't have you gasping for air. To lose weight, the muscles need to be getting enogh oxygen during exercise, otherwise they just burn sugars.
Depending on how fit you are now, walking could be enough to get your heart pumping and get you breathing deeply, especially if you have a hill or two to go up and down. The exercise itself doesn't have to be very intense, as long as you do lots of it; long gentle exercise is the key to fat loss.
Also, if you're aimin for a half a pound to a pound of weight loss a week, you need a calorie deficiet of 250-500 a day, on average, over the course of a week. So the exercise you do needs to be burning more calories than you're taking in. This is where some people find it easier to cut back calories, but if you just up your exercise, you don't need to eat less.
Keep posting with your frustrations and we'll all try to help!
Advice for older dieters
I hate to tell you, but at our age range (I'm 45), unless you are very active, you're probably going to have to either really do a LOT of cardio or you're going to have to cut your calories down closer to 1200. 10 years ago, I could lose weight steadily at 1800 cals and moderate exercise. No more. If I target 1200 cals, and stay within 1200-1400 range, I am lucky to creep off a pound a week. Sometimes it's a half a pound, and sometimes I can be perfect and gain weight. It's not fair, but it's just the way it is.
The trick is to really make those calories count! We do not have room for extra's, and planning your menu the day before really helps. You can make "exchanges" if things don't go the way you expect, or if you crave something different. But you have to plan.
Add extra veggies wherever you can, because it helps bulk up your meals helping you feel fuller. And don't make the mistake of eating fat free everything. You need healthy fats at every meal to help you feel satiated. For instance, I have apple slices and old fashioned peanut butter for a snack or string cheese and whole grain crackers. The fiber and fat, with a glass of crystal light or water really helps get me through the afternoon.
If I do at least 45 mins to and hour of cardio 5 days a week, do something active every day, and stay at 1200 to 1400, I can get it off slowly. You can too. Also, don't forget to build muscle with light weights. The more muscle you have, the more calories your body burns - even at rest.
I think this is the reason most diets fail, you work so hard only to crash and burn day after day. Here's some things I've tried that seem to help:
1. Think about your hunger, is it "real" hunger or uncontrollable munchies, taking over? Real hunger builds over time and it can be held off, especially if you know approximately how long it will be until you eat again. Uncontrollable munchies are usually a symptom of a carb crash (and possibly carbaholism), so what you need to do is to avoid crashing by limiting your carb intake per sitting. A lot of people will tell you to limit (or even eliminate) "white" foods like white flour, white rice and white potatoes. We only have whole grain bread and pasta in our house and I try to limit my grain based carbs to 1 serving at breakfast and depending on my calories throughout the day, another serving with dinner. I usually go low-carb and high protein for lunch so I can avoid that after dinner carb crash.
2. Another way to avoid going overboard with the munchies is to pace yourself and eat something that takes time to eat like an orange or grapefruit, or nuts/seeds that have to be unshelled like sunflower seeds, almonds or pistachios. And while you're munching down your snack drink a big swig of water between mouthfuls.
3. Another thing I do when I feel out of control is to tell myself that I can eat whatever I want but I have to start with an apple and go 20 minutes between snacks. Usually I get that full feeling between the 2nd and 3rd snack and the munchies taper off after that. Apples are a great snack BTW and they have a lot of fiber too, which usually helps to make me feel full.
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