5 Tips for Healthy Weight Loss
Losing weight can seem such a mystery, but it is really a side-effect of making healthier life-style choices. By changing the way you eat and move, your body responds by becoming fitter and stronger, and by burning stored body fat. Follow these 5 tips to increase your health and fitness while you simultaneously decrease your girth.
1. Graze to Lose: Eat frequent, smaller portions to keep the level of sugar in your blood more constant. Your blood sugar fluctuates with everything you eat. When you focus on eating frequent, small meals, it keeps the sugar in your blood (and your energy level) more even. This has two helpful effects—it primes your body for fat-burning; excess fat burns most readily when your blood sugar is within a healthy range. And it gives you the steady energy you need to participate in your work out routines. Instead of three ‘squares,’ shoot to eat 5-6 small ‘meals’ each day.
2. You Are What You Eat: Every cell in your body is made up from the nutrients you take in as food. In addition, the food you eat is the fuel that keeps you going. Nutrient rich foods provide valuable building blocks for muscle development and tissue repair as well as top quality fuel for energy. Focus on eating ‘meals’ that are comprised of real foods taken as low-glycemic index carbohydrates, healthy fats, fresh fruits and vegetables, and lean proteins.
For information on low-glycemic index carbohydrates, go here:
For a good article on which healthy fats to eat, go here: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/fats-and-cholesterol/
3. Move it to Lose it: Stored fat is most effectively burned by working muscle during aerobic activity. To lose weight (and to keep a healthy heart) do a minimum of three, thirty-minute aerobic training sessions each week. Aerobic exercise immediately ramps up your metabolism and, over time, produces specialized fat-burning cells in your muscles. This means the more you participate in aerobic exercise, the better your body gets at burning stored fat. For an exercise to be aerobic, it should involve major muscle groups such as your leg muscles and should be moderate in intensity—you should be able to talk during your work out, but not sing. Some examples of aerobic exercises are walking, biking, jogging, roller skating, dancing, using a stair-climber or elliptical. Try a few until you find one you enjoy and then stick with it.
4. Develop a Better Relationship with Gravity: Your body is a skeletal frame with muscles, tendons, and ligaments that hold you together and allow you to move. If you want to keep moving well, it’s important to keep your physical structure strong and flexible. Regular strength training increases muscle, tendon, and ligament strength and results in a balanced musculature—this leads to a reduction in the common aches and pains that result from weakness in the movement areas such as the joints. In addition, regular strength training increases your metabolic rate; a well-conditioned body burns more calories at rest than an unconditioned one. To get the most affect from this conditioning, strength train all of the major muscle groups of the upper and lower body two times a week. Don’t forget to stretch when you’re done, so your muscles stay long and lean as they grow stronger.
For a basic strength training routine, check out: http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/workout/lose-weight/build-strength/strength-training-for-beginners/
5. Stop and Smell the Roses: When stressed, you are more apt to make poor food choices. Junk food becomes very appealing when you’re rushed for time and stressed from the day. In addition, the stress hormone itself is a primary contributor to weight gain. We all have stress that we need to combat. The best way to reduce stress is to take time daily to relax and unwind. This could be through writing in journal, taking a walk, gardening or participating in another hobby you enjoy. In addition, there are specific relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and mindfulness meditation that are truly effective in combating life-stress.
For a Deep Breathing Technique, go here: http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTCS_05.htm
For a simple Mindfulness Meditation guide, go here: http://www.shambhalasun.com/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=2125