Weight Loss Tips
Why lose weight? Men's Health (All You Can Eat! Jul/Aug 2002) states that Overweight men are:
- 50% more likely to develop heart disease, obese men 100%
- 250% more likely to develop diabetes, obese men 1,020%
- 70% more likely to develop high blood pressure, obese men 170%
- 58% more likely to have total cholesterol over 250, obese men 122%
- 183% more likely to be mistreated by a coworker, obese men 400%
- 67% more likely to be mistreated by their employers, obese men 433%
- Earning $4,000 less a year
- 3,610% more likely to get passed over for a promotion
- 120% more likely to be mistreated by their spouses, obese men 267%
- 590% more likely to develop esophageal cancer, obese men 1,520%
- 40% more likely to develop gallstones, obese men 130%
- 120% more likely to develop stomach cancer, obese men 330%
Scary facts? It may be time to make some small changes for a healthier lifestyle. With all the diet plans out there it
is hard to find one that works well for you and is easy to maintain. Remember to keep yourself motivated, enlist a friend.
You will be more motivated and it will help the both of you in the long-run. Here are a few tips that may make the road a little less bumpy.
- The best advice is to set small goals that are achievable. If you set your goals too high at first, you may give up
too soon. Don't look for quick results. Most plans that promise quick results, are either dangerously unhealthy or
you end up gaining everything back because it is hard to stick with. It is healthier to lose weight gradually. Sudden
changes in your body can throw your system into chaos. Start out slow and work from there.
- One way to lose weight is to cut back your calorie consumption. Reduce your daily food intake by a maximum of 15 percent
or 500 calories, whichever is less. Starving yourself is not a good idea. Your body will kick into "starvation mode" and
compensate by storing excess energy as fat. Besides being impossible to maintain for the rest of your life, you are
depriving your body of vital nutrients that can dramatically reduce your life expectancy.
- Try to eat 5 to 6 small meals a day. Spreading out your food consumption will provide your body with a steady
stream of nutrients. 2-3 large meals may encourage your body to store the excess as fat. Always eat breakfast, it is
better to have a large breakfast than a large dinner. The body will be less likely to store the food as fat because
it may be used throughout the day. Do not eat before bed. People who eat large quantities of protein before bedtime have a
higher probability of getting intense nightmares. If you need something to tie you over before bed, try a glass of
low-fat milk (1% or skim).
- Exercise. No time for the gym? Self-conscience? Get an exercise video, walk, do some housework. Exercising while
watching tv or listening to music will help pass the time faster (try to watch something light, not something that
is very serious and involves a lot of concentration). Although it may seem that exercise only consumes a small number
of calories, exercise increases your metabolism. This means that your body will continue to consume calories at a
heightened rate even after you exercise. It is best to try and hold off on eating 1-2 hours after you exercise
since eating will signal your body to lower your metabolism. Exercise in the morning before breakfast is also a proven
way to lose weight. Your muscles are filled with glycogen energy stores which need to be depleted before the real fat burning
happens. During the night your body uses much of the glycogen stores for digestion and detoxification. Exercising in the
morning also releases endorphins and insulin-like growth factor I that increases both mental alertness and acuity.
People who exercise in the morning are more likely to consistently stick with their exercise program and diet.
Making the Right Food Choices
- Avoid pasta, bagels, pizza, and white bread. Carbs that are highly processed contain high stores
of energy that if not used will be converted to fat. The refinement process also strips the food of much of its nutrients. If you can't go without pasta try mixing fiber-rich vegetables such as
broccoli, green beans, cauliflower and mushrooms into the pasta. This will provide vitamins, minerals and most importantly
fiber which will help you stay fuller for a longer period of time. Better unprocessed carbohydrate alternatives include basmati rice and whole wheat breads.
- Choose fruit with more fiber such as bananas, apples, and strawberries.
- Choose oats, oatmeal and bran as opposed to cream of wheat. Cream of wheat is faster-digesting and does not trigger a
feeling of fullness.
- Fruit juice is and excellent source of vitamins but will not keep your appetite under control, choose whole fruit juices
instead such as orange juice with pulp.
- Protein is an excellent filler. Lean meats such as eye of round, round, or flank steak, turkey or chicken breast, tuna, or soy
will leave you feeling fuller and satiated.
- Switch to a lower fat milk. You get the same nutrients minus the saturated fat. Work your way down slowly homo, 2%, 1%, skim. Also
look for lower fat cheeses, yogurts, and ice creams.
New research has shown that eating fat isn't as bad as you'd think. There are 5 different kinds of fat. Here is the
rating from best to worst.
- Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fat - found in fish and flaxseeds. A 1997 study showed that subjects who took 6 grams of fish oil
supplements daily burned more fat for energy and stored more carbohydrates in their muscles.
- Monounsaturated Fat - found in nuts, seeds, olive oil, avocadoes and meat. According to a 2002 study in the International
Journal of Obesity, monounsaturated fats help you burn more fat, especially if you are overweight. It lowers LDL ("bad") cholesterol
and raises HDL ("good") cholesterol.
- Omega-6 Polyunsaturated Fat - found in corn, canola, soy oils, meat, eggs, and dairy. Studies show that North Americans
are getting too much of this fat and can lead to Alzheimer's disease.
- Saturated Fat - found in meat and dairy. Raises LDL cholesterol dramatically. A 1997 study showed that a diet higher
in saturated fat leads to a lower metabolic rate.
- Trans Fat - found in margarine, french fries and bakery. Raises LDL and lowers HDL. A 2001 Dutch study
showed that saturated fats are healthier than trans fats, which leads researchers to believe contribute more to
cardiovascular disease than any other fat.
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Disclaimer: Always consult a registered nutritionist or physician prior to beginning a weight loss program. Your situation is unique and may require