Thursday, January 05, 2017

4 Easy Tips For Healthy Weight Loss

How to lose weight sensibly.

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Happy New Year!
I hope you all had a great holiday. We certainly did, as we surrounded ourselves with good friends and good food. 

As I do every January, I set my goals for the year. Of course we never know what Mother Nature has in store for us, but a goal to stay healthy is always on my list. One way for all of us to stay healthy is to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. For some, this involves losing a few pounds and for others, it may involve losing more. Whatever your weight loss goals are, here are 4 easy tips to accomplish them.

Weight Loss Tip #1 - Set Reasonable Short Term Goals
You may have a long term goal of losing, let's say, 25 pounds. That may seem overwhelming. But if you take it one step at a time, it will seem much more doable.

The short term goal to achieve your 25 pound weight loss in a year is only 1/2 pound a week or 2 pounds a month! It's best to focus on that. 

Have more to lose? The short term goal to achieve a 50 pound weight loss in a year is only 1 pound a week or 4 pounds a month

Have less to lose? If you have a smaller weight loss goal, say 10 or 15 pounds or less, you may plan to achieve that in only 5 or 6 months instead of a year. The short term goal to lose 10 pounds in 5 months is only 1/2 pound a week or 2 pounds a month. 

Slower weight loss is better and more sustainable so don't try to lose too much too soon.

Weight Loss Tip #2 - Develop a Plan
Let's say you've set your goal to lose a half pound a week or two pounds a month. Let's do the math. You can lose one half pound by: 
* Eating 1,750 less calories, or
* By burning 1,750 extra calories, or 
* A combination of calorie reduction and exercise. In this case, eating 875 less calories and burning an additional 875 calories. I encourage a plan that includes both. 

Let's say we've selected the combination plan of eating less and exercising more. Now, how are we going to do that?

To eat 875 less calories a week means reducing your daily calorie intake by only 125 calories. That's not so bad. You can do that by eliminating the non-nutritious food in your diet: Here are some examples:

* One 5-ounce glass of wine (125 calories)
* One 12-ounce can cola (136 calories)
* An ounce of plain corn tortilla chips (138 calories)
* A 12 oz Starbucks soy latte (162 calories)
* One small glazed doughnut (124 calories)
* One small side order of McDonald's French Fries (209 calories)
*  One half chocolate Power Bar (124 calories)
* 20-ounce Gatorade (150 calories)
* One half cup vanilla ice cream (137 calories)
* One McDonald's chocolate chip cookie (160 calories)
* One half slice of Pizza Hut pizza

If everything you eat is already nutritious, then you will need to cut down on your portion sizes.

To burn an extra 875 more calories a week, you just need to burn an extra 125 calories per day. Calories burned will vary with your weight, but let's use a 155 pound person as an example: According to the Calorie Control Council Get Moving Calculator, a 155 pound person can burn 125 calories by:

* 18 minutes of aerobic exercise
* 22 minutes on a stationary bike
* 13 minutes of outdoor bicycling at 12-14 mph
* 27 minutes of brisk walking
* 35 minutes of weight lifting
* 13 minutes of singles tennis
* 15 minutes of jogging
* 21 minutes of intense dancing
* 21 minutes on an elliptical machine

You don't have to do any of these exercises all at once. For example, you can walk 15 minutes in the morning and another 12 to 15 minutes in the evening.

Weight Loss Tip #3 - Journal, Journal, Journal
Journaling can sometimes be a pain, however, it is the most effective way to achieve your weight loss goals! Sign up for or any of the other journaling programs or aps. 

Journaling makes you mindful of what you eat. Knowing you will be recording your every bite you take will make you think twice about popping a piece of candy in your mouth. Most importantly, it will educate you on the nutritional value of the foods you eat. Through time, you will learn what is in your food and will allow you to naturally make better selections. 

Recording your exercise will motivate you to exercise more, especially knowing that you will reach your weight loss goals more quickly. 

Your achievements are nicely graphed which can really be exciting when you see the graph pointing to your ultimate goal!

Weight Loss Tip #4 - Avoid Fad Diets
You are probably getting bombarded with ideas for fad diets this time of year. But you should really avoid them. Eating pre-packaged meals or shakes doesn't teach you how to eat in the long term. As soon as you stop their programs, weight will undoubtedly return. 

Learning to cook healthy food is the best way to guarantee long-term weight loss and ensure good health and longevity for you and your family. It will also set a good example for your kids. I watched my family cook healthy, Mediterranean meals when I was young and when I had a family of my own, they watched me cook too. They grew up and now cook like that for themselves and for their families. But if your kids are watching you pick up take out for dinner, they will probably do the same thing in the future. That's why I created the tagline:
“Health, excellent or ill, is passed to our children not just 
through our genes but primarily through our recipes.”

For a start, you can try the recipes in my eBook, Health Begins in the Kitchen.

Once again, I wish you very happy and healthy 2017. I will do my best to keep posting healthy recipes and nutritional articles to help you and your family stay healthy and fit!

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