We don’t blame you for feeling discouraged when you read about The Biggest Loser study. Researchers tracked 14 contestants from the hit show, and six years after the finale, almost everyone regained the weight they fought so hard to lose. Fast, furious weight loss (good for ratings, bad for your body) had messed with their metabolism. But there’s a better place to turn to for the facts on body transformation.
1. Forecast your meals.
It might sound basic, but how often have you walked into the cafeteria at work, in a new restaurant or your own kitchen and thought, “Hmm what should I eat?”.
“Nothing wrecks a weight loss plan like having no plan”
The solution? Consider your day or week, and decide what’s on the menu before it’s time to chow. Have your fridge and pantry stocked with basics so you can put good meals together on the fly, and keep healthy snacks stashed in your bag and office drawer so you’ll never get stuck and wind up hitting the vending machine for lunch.
2. Rein in your sweet tooth.
Get this: Research shows the average American consumes about 100 pounds of sugar each year. And all that sweetness messes with your insulin levels in a way that encourages body fat storage. (Refined flour does the same thing, so experts say watch that, too). ” But the people in the Weight Control Registry definitely report eating less sugar than the average American,”. Scope out food labels, because sugar hides in surprising places, even salad dressings and bread. The American Heart Association says that women should down no more than 100 calories of added sugar a day. (That’s about 6 teaspoons).
3. Once a Day, Eat a salad.
Leafy greens and veggies with a high water content are low in calories and provide filling fiber. Their feel-full effect could lead to eating less overall. ( Just watch the dressing, cheese, and other high-calorie add-ons).
4. Sit down when you eat.
You’ll gobble down less without even trying. People eat five times more when they nosh standing or on the go. Sitting leads to mindful eating, and can help you recognize fullness.
5. Find a workout buddy.
You’ve heard it a million times, but there’s a reason. It’s incredibly effective. One study found that people who teamed up were far less likely to ditch their exercise routine that those who went at it alone. Basides providing accountability, a good buddy can motivate you to push yourself or hang in when you ant to give up.
6. Get to bed at a decent hour.
You know that missing out on z’s can lead to weight gain, but research shows that simply staying up late (even if you sleep in the next A.M.) can also pack on the pounds. A study at Northwestern Medicine found that night owls ate nearly 250 more calories, mostly at dinner and later in the P.M., than those who turned in earlier, resulting in a gain of 2 pounds a month! It’s not just the extra cals. Changes in your body’s internal clock that happen at night may alter appetite and metabolism in a way that promotes weight gain. So go to bed, and stream Jimmy Kimmel the next morning.
7. Exercise even when you don’t feel like it.
You are not always going to be in the mood. Heck, you may never be in the mood. And the truth is, experts say few people are – but the difference with successful dieters is that they do it anyway. The people in the National Weight Control Registry average an hour a day of activity. That may seem like an impossible amount, but it includes lifestyle changes like just taking more steps, as well as planned exercise. Find activities you enjoy, and remember you can do miniworkouts – say , a short jog in the A.M , a walk at lunch, and crunches before bed. It all adds up.
8. Track your steps – but watch your food, too
Experts recommend getting at least 10.000 steps a day, along with formal exercise, for good health (It’s more doable than you think – take a stroll before work, during your lunch break, and after dinner.) But if you’re counting your steps to determine how much you can eat, it can backfire. Research has found that fitness trackers overestimate the number of calories you burn by as much as 122%, which oculd throw a wrench into your weight-loss efforts. The lesson? You can’t outstep overeating!
9. Watch the Booze.
Yes, research has found that moderate alcohol consumption can help lower heart disease risk. But when it comes to weight loss, it won’t do you many favors. In fact, the average pour is often one and a half times bigger than it should be. That means one glass of wine could easily tally over 300 calories.
10. Stop sipping your calories.
The problem with liquid sugar calories? They get absorbed more quickly than the sugar in solid foods, so they have an even more profound impact on your insulin levels. Plus, your body doesn’t register liquid calories the way it does actual food, so you don’t feel as full. Research shows that cutting out sugary drinks could save you hundreds of cals each day even without any other diet changes.
“Sugar is in all sorts of beverages, sports drinks, bottled teas, your soy latte, even some green juices!”
11. Learn how to relax about food.
Sure, losing weight and keeping it off takes discipline – case in point, the 10 tips you’ve just read. But you don’t need to live punitively in order to get to a healthy size and stay there. And exercise goes a long way in helping you loosen up without loosening your belt. You can have more leeway with your diet if you exercise, and that’s key. You can go out to a nice restaurant or have dessert once in a while and not worry about the weight coming back. People in the registry have lost weight a million different ways, but the common thread that ties them together is regular physical activity. That, plus they remember every day the reason they keep at it.
You have to align with why you want to lose weight, and make it a part of who you are and what you want your life to be.
What YOU do in order to lose the extra pounds? Leave a comment and share your experience with others !
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