5-Things You Can Do Right Now to Lose Weight and Get in the Best Shape of Your Life
I was overweight all my life. No matter what I did I could not control my weight. I had no idea what was wrong with me. I felt like I tried everything to lose weight, but nothing seemed to work. My doctor, family, and friends were all concerned for my health. During my first year of college, I decided to join the gym and began to work with a trainer. After a year of hard work I finally reached my goal! I lost over 100 pounds! My life has forever changed.
Looking back at my experience, I have identified five secrets that helped me get to where I am today. These five secrets helped me lose weight and keeping it off for over 10 years now!
Our goal as trainers is to help you make health and fitness a permanent life style change. I hope these five secrets are as helpful for you as they were to me. If you need help getting started, I have included a special offer for you! See bottom for details*
1) Make Weight-loss a Pain-Free Transition
Change is painful. I have found that it is important to take the pain out of changing in order to change. I was once a smoker. I wanted to quit, but I was afraid of nicotine withdrawals. Nicotine gum really helped. I got the right amount of nicotine and none of the toxins of cigarettes. After following a 90-day program, not only was I smoke-free, I had weaned off nicotine completely.
Similarly, when I decided I was going to lose weight I was afraid. I did not want to be hungry. I needed a pain-free transition. A member of the gym, I had been working out at, told me about a diet he had tried with great success! It was comprised of eating mainly protein and vegetables. He said that on this diet, I could eat as much as I wanted; all I had to keep track of was my daily carbohydrate intake. I gave it a try. I loved it! I was never hungry. It was the perfect diet for me. It was my nicotine gum for weight-loss.
What worked for me, may not necessarily work for you. There are many options to choose from when it comes to weight-loss nutrition. The key is to find something that works for you and stick with it.
2) Make a Plan You Can Stick With
Make a plan you can stick with! After losing 100 pounds I hit a plateau. I could not lose any more weight and I had 20 more pounds to go. I knew that I needed to change my diet once again. My trainer referred me to his nutritionist. The nutritionist told me that all I had to do was eat according to my meal plan and I would continue to lose weight. He increased my carbohydrate dramatically. My energy went through the roof. Recovery from my workouts was faster. I felt great. The plan had a lot of variety. With my busy schedule variety didn’t work for me. I didn’t have time to think about what I was going to eat. I just wanted to eat. I found that it was easier for me to stay on track if I ate the same six meals every day.
I chose six meals that I could eat every day and printed out seven copies, one for each day of the week. Like a to-do list, I put a check box next to each meal and as I ate each meal I would check it off on my list.
I kept track of my daily intake of calories, fat, protein, and carbohydrates. If I could not quantify what I was about to eat, I didn’t eat it. I brought my proportioned meals with me wherever I went. In case of emergencies, I had meal replacements (protein bars) on hand. If I wanted to go out to eat I would plan what I was going to eat ahead of time by going on the restaurant’s website and looking at the menu’s nutrition facts. I could account for everything I ate. I made a plan and I stuck with it. If I could do it, so can you!
3) Always Feel Full
There is nothing worse than feeling hungry! If you want to lose weight without feeling hungry, you need to know about the hunger stopping effects of water and fiber. Fiber is the indigestible cellulose found in plants. The body is unable to break down fiber and use it as energy (calories). Therefore, foods high in fiber are virtually calorie free! Including foods high in fiber keeps you feeling full longer. This is because it takes more time for the body to digest foods high in fiber than it does to digest foods low in fiber. The longer your body takes to digest what you have eaten, the longer you stay feeling full. Include at least 35 grams of fiber in your diet per day.
Do you ever crave foods high in carbohydrate? The body often confuses hunger with thirst. Carbohydrates are mainly composed of water and sugar. This craving may be your body telling you drink some water! If you are dieting and working out several times a week, you may be dehydrated. Drink at least12 ounces of water before and after each workout and drink at least a total of one gallon of water each day.
Eat a pound of spinach, use some low or no calorie dressing, and drink 24 ounces of water before each meal. There are only about 100 calories in a pound of spinach, but because of the satiating properties of fiber and water you will always feel stuffed. You may find that you end up eating less of your meals because of it! Give it a try and don’t let feeling hungry be a problem for you!
4) Work Smarter, Not Harder
Did you know that you actually burn calories eating? This phenomenon is known as the thermic effect of food. The body expends energy converting carbohydrate to glycogen (sugar stored in the muscles and liver for energy) and protein to amino-acids (used to build and repair the body). The body expends very little energy digesting fat. Fat is already fat. All the body needs to do is find a place to store it, like your stomach!
Fats are necessary to maintain proper bodily functions so choose foods high in mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated fats (Nuts, seeds, and plants). Avoid saturated fats. Eat complex carbohydrates (vegetables and whole-grains) and lean proteins (turkey, eggs, and chicken). They are both low in calories and in fat. Eating them kicks your metabolism into high gear!
Dieting can get boring. Eating the same thing over and over again, avoiding certain foods, and having to constantly be mindful of everything you put in your mouth can leave you feeling deprived! For some the thought of never being able to “pig out” again can be a deal breaker.
Plan a cheat meal one day a month. This meal must last no longer than one hour. During this hour you can as eat much as you want and whatever you want! Ice cream, donuts, and fast-food are all popular choices. Planning a cheat meal once a month can be a great thing for many reasons. You can view your cheat meal as giving yourself a reward at the end of every month for working out hard and following your nutrition plan. Having a planned cheat meal once a month can alleviate the feelings of being deprived many people experience while following a structured nutrition plan. It can aid in filling nutritional gaps and deficiencies you may have developed as a result of following a long term weight-loss program. Finally, how bad you feel after eating a bunch of junk food can be a great reminder to you of why you chose to start a structured nutrition plan in the first place!
If I Could Do It So Can You!
There are many “diets” out there. Some may be better suited for you than others. Once you have found what works for you, use the tips above and stick with it! If I could change my life for good so can you!
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