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Friday, August 31, 2007

Healthy Eating Tips

1. Timing. Try to eat every 3-4 hours so that you never get so hungry that you’re tempted to overeat at mealtime. Have breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as a mid-morning, mid-afternoon, and post-dinner snack. Don’t skip breakfast or any meal for that matter. You’ll make yourself too hungry and you’ll overeat at the next meal. If you try to starve yourself you’re body will go into starvation mode where your metabolism will slow down drastically, keeping you from losing weight and actually making you more likely to hold onto calories the next time you do eat.

2. Portions. Use a salad plate instead of a dinner plate. An easy guideline for each meal is to have the plate be roughly be 1/4 carbs, 1/4 lean protein, and 1/2 fruits or vegetables at each meal. No second helpings, but if you are really hungry then take more vegetables.

3. Eat slowly. This one is one of the hardest and easiest things to do. It’s hard because the pace of our eating reflects the pace of everything around us, which is fast, fast, fast! So you must make a conscious effort at each meal to do this. Once you do this for a while you will establish a habit and from then on it will be easy. Perhaps before each meal you might want to close your eyes for 15 seconds, take a deep breathe to slow down, and then say to yourself something like “Take it slow. Taste this food. Enjoy it slowly. Release thoughts of work and other worries for now.” Then, when you do eat, take small bites and really taste and enjoy the food. This will give your body time to send your brain the “All Full” signal. If you only do one of these
tips, do this one.

4. Snacks. For snacks have fruit, low calorie popcorn, or nuts (1 handful). Prepare these ahead of time so they are easy to grab. Keep junk food out of the house and you’ll be less likely to eat it.

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7. Sugar. For the most part, refined sugar is not good for you. Try to cut back or eliminate altogether. Blackstrap molasses or honey are better choices. Stevia root is a natural calorie free sweetener you might want to try. You can find it in healthstores. A good one is “Stevia Plus.” When having a sugar craving, have fruit instead.

8. Fiber. Try to get 25-30 grams of fiber per day. Fiber fills you up. It blocks the absorption of sugar and fat helping with weight loss and weight management. Having enough fiber in your diet will keep constipation away and will help lower your chances of cancer, such as colon cancer.

9. "100% Whole Grains." Look for this exact phrase on cereals, crackers, bread, etc., but also check the nutrition labels. Anything else is not going to have as much fiber. Check the fiber count to be sure. Use whole grain pastas and breads. They will fill you up and they are healthier for you.

10. Vegetables. Learn to love them! Find a great book on how to cook vegetables that taste delicious. (Suggestion: "Vegetable Love" by Barbara Kafka) Have salad often. Be sure to measure out your salad dressing to keep from adding too many calories.

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Quoted from "Diet Tips & More for a Healthy & Trim Body"