The ABCs of Weight Loss
We've got 26 tips to help you succeed.
Gum chewing may be just what the dentist ordered. Chewing
on a piece of sugarless gum can help cleanse the mouth of bacteria, satisfy a
sweet tooth, and reduce the urge to eat. Keep a pack of sugarless gum handy.
The next time you have the urge to reach into the cookie jar, try a piece of
gum instead for a zero-calorie treat.
Heart-healthy foods should fill your pantry, refrigerator,
and freezer. Choose foods that are low in saturated and trans fats. Enjoy
plenty of naturally fat-free, low-sodium fruits
and vegetables. Choose healthy fats such as canola, olive, and vegetable
oils. Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like walnuts, flaxseed, and salmon
and other fatty fish. Choose low- and non-fat dairy products, as well as the
leanest cuts of meat (round and loin) and skinless poultry. Beans, nuts, and
whole grains round out the list of heart-healthy foods.
Invest in a pedometer and track your steps each day. The
goal is to walk at least 10,000 steps -- the equivalent of 5 miles -- daily to
thwart weight gain (and promote weight loss). Challenge yourself to increase
your steps each day, even if you can't get up to 10,000. Every step counts;
remember that your goal is simply to improve your fitness level.
Just do it! Get into a routine that includes regular
physical activity. Not only does exercise energize you, it burns calories,
improves balance and coordination, and relieves stress. When you don't have
time for a formal workout, try to squeeze in at least three 10-minute chunks of
physical activity. (Be sure to check with your doctor before starting any
Key to an effective exercise
plan is variety. Try something new -- maybe Pilates, yoga, or water
aerobics. Having fun and trying new things will keep you interested and enhance
your commitment to exercise. Another key: starting your day with activity is
one of the best ways to make sure it does not get squeezed out of your
Low blood sugar is often the cause of between-meal
cravings, especially for sweets. Eating meals and small snacks that contain
lean protein and fiber every few hours helps keep blood sugar levels steady.
When sweets cravings strike, try to satisfy them with naturally sweet foods
such as fruit (accompany it with a little low-fat yogurt for protein).
Mindful eating means taking time to savor every bite. Turn
off the distractions, and concentrate on the aroma, texture, and flavor of
food. Becoming more mindful when you eat will give you more pleasure from your
meals. The bonus: You'll also be more in tuned with your body's signals of
fullness, and you'll be less likely to overeat.