10 Tips for Healthy Weight Loss

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There are unending amounts of weight loss pills and supplements that are available, but unless you create a healthy lifestyle for yourself, you risk gaining all of the weight back – and maybe even more.

In my search for a healthy, balanced diet, I’ve structured a list of tips that have helped me and many others cut excess body fat.

1) Set a Goal
By finding your ideal weight range for you body type, you allow yourself to figure out how you want to lose weight.  By gradually losing weight and feeling better, you will develop a system of eating that is easy to stick with and produces continuos results.

You can use http://www.halls.md/ideal-weight/body.htm to help calculate what might be a healthy weight.  When in doubt, see a physican or nutritonist.

2) Add Physical Activity
For me, this meant finding ways to simply be more active.  During the evening, if I was bored and wanted to have a snack, I’d go for a walk across campus to the local convinience store to see if  could pick up some milk or something for the week.  Anytime you can get out and just do five or ten minutes of excercise, your body will be thankful! Obviously, some time of cardio and resistance training can be added as you make progress.  I suggest starting with an activity that you have no problem performing two to three times a week.

3) Eat When Hungry
Many people resort to cutting too many calories in an effort to lose weight.  I can testify to the fact that not eating enough only leads to feeling tired and worn out, and overdoing it later.  Throughout my search for a balanced diet, I’ve found that its important to always meet your calorie goal, and feel good about it.

4) Eat Slowly
This is something I did not want to hear when I started to improve my eating habits.  I used to mow down food, and as a result, keep going for more, without even enjoying it.  Since, I have started to enjoy my food, add different spices, and slow down while eating.  I use a knife and fork at most meals, and drink plenty of water throughout the meal.  As a result, I realize that I’m full before two or three plates have gone by.

5) Drink Water
Water is a part of almost every article I write – and there’s a good reason for this.  Water keeps you going, and more importantly, keeps your body going.  Your metabolism, nervous system, and brain, they all depend on water to carry out your activities.  Drinking at least 8 glasses a day will help you stay motivated to eat healthy and get out and moving.

6) Plan Your Meals
For me, this means looking forward to my meals.  You can pack a lunch in a cooler or bag and bring it anywhere.  When your only option is a sugary energy bar or pizza down the street, you don’t give yourself a chance. Pack up any collection of fruits, veggies, whole grains, and nuts to create snack food that is guilt free.

7) Structure Your Diet with Goals
This is another thing that has brought me great success.  On my desk lies a once-blank calendar of April.  For each day that I am happy with my eating and excercise, I write “PERFECT” in the box.  If I have an extra cookie or two, that’s ok, because I’m still working towards my goal.  If I go overboard at lunch and dinner, I make a note.  It’s a great way to keep yourself honest, while learning that some snacks are ok in moderation.

8) Avoid Drinking Away Your Progress
Some people think that if they eat healthy all week, they can have a little fun on the weekend and drink 30 beers in one night, and wake up and go to McDonald’s.  While you can drink AND eat such things in moderation, it is the unfortunate truth that a weekend fling could end up stopping all the progress you may have made during the week.  If you’re going to drink while losing weight, do so in moderation, and avoid the desire to pig out on junk food.

9) Get Support
A friend and I have been keeping track of our progress for the last year or so.  We tell eachother what we had for lunch, when we have our “cheat meals,” and how well we did at the gym that day.  It is a constant source of encouragement, and always reminds me that the gradual progress is a great feeling.

10) Track Your Foods
This is something I really did not want to do. Couting calories? Who needs it.  But I have been tracking my foods on TheDailyPlate.com, and have really enjoyed being able to look at what I eat over time, how much excercise I get, how much water I drink, and how much sleep I’ve gotten over the past month.  This site truly is a great resource, and helps you stay on track with people with similar goals.

There’s also fitday.com, and other sites that offer similar services free of charge.

Using Fiber for fast, healthy weight loss:
http://www.bukisa.com/articles/65832_how-to-use-fiber-for-weight-loss-and-management

Speeding up your metabolism for weight loss or maintenance:
http://www.bukisa.com/articles/29247_10-ways-to-speed-up-your-metabolism-lose-weight

Lastly, check out my other articles, and best of luck!
Feedback is always appreciated. Copyright 2009.

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