The Biggest Loser Diet: What You Need To Know

The Biggest Loser Diet: What You Need To Know

Almost everyone in America is familiar with the television weight-loss show The Biggest Loser. Many people may not be familiar with their diet program. This article will give you the 411 on everything you need to know about The Biggest Loser Diet.



The Biggest Loser Diet

The Biggest Loser Diet follows a specific diet protocol that they call “The Biggest Loser’s 4-3-2-1 Pyramid. This pyramid allows a participant four servings of fruits and vegetables, three lean protein servings, two whole grain servings and one discretionary calorie allotment of 200 calories.
They also want you eating 5-6 times per day. The theory that The Biggest Loser proposes is that you will keep your hunger and blood sugar level by eating frequently.
On this diet, you will avoid caffeine (coffee drinkers may want to stay away from this one). However, you are required to drink 6 – 8 glasses of water a day.
The Good Points
We have to give it to The Biggest Loser they really are putting an emphasis on healthy servings of fruits and vegetables. Allowing four servings of each will help keep you full and gives you plenty of vitamins and minerals.
The Not So Good
The Biggest Loser program stays away from fat. All the protein is lean. While this may be great for someone who is required to be on a very low-fat diet, such as those with high cholesterol or heart disease, many people may find the absence of fat hard to deal with. Fat increases satiety in those who are dieting especially when it comes from good sources like cold-water fish, nuts, avocados, and wild game.
In addition to being a very low-fat diet, this diet can cause you to dip below the 1200 calorie range on any given day. Eating below 1200 calories can cause nutrient deficiencies and even end up interfering with weight loss as the body may respond to perceived starvation, and react by hoarding calories.
Will I Have To Exercise?
Absolutely. Exercise has always been a big part of The Biggest Loser brand, and they did not leave it out of their diet protocol either. The exercise can become problematic for those who end up eating on the low end of the calorie range, as you may not have enough fuel to run your body.
Consult a doctor for a recommended weight loss calorie target before eating under 1200 calories when exercising.




Is It Hard?
The hardest part about this diet protocol is the simple lack of calories. Some people may find themselves unsatisfied because of the lack of fat and the lack of caloric intake. When the body goes unsatisfied for long periods of time, you may end up overindulging (even when you didn’t mean to.)
If you like to eat frequently then this diet is right up your alley. The frequency that people are allowed to eat on The Biggest Loser Diet may make up for the lack of caloric intake and the lack of fat consumption.
For the average person, this diet is going to be difficult to maintain over a long term. If you enjoy the support offered up by The Biggest Loser program, then you may just need to increase your servings of grains and proteins until you get to a more realistic weight loss calorie intake.
Does It Work?
Absolutely. If you follow the protocol set forth by The Biggest Loser, you will lose weight. It is a hard program to follow that requires high levels of exercise and low amounts of calories. Because of the combination of exercise and low caloric intake, you are sure to drop weight.
Don’t be surprised though if you fail to lose weight as those on the television show do, and actually, such rapid weight loss is not typically recommended by experts, slow and steady ensure success for lasting weight loss control. Stick with your healthy eating and exercise and you will soon be on your way to a healthy weght.







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Beat The Ageing Process With 5 Key Tips

Beat The Ageing Process With 5 Key Tips

Ageing is inevitable. No matter how hard we try, it will catch up with us eventuality, but that does not mean that you have to sit back and let it prematurely take your youth away. No, there are things you can do starting right now to beat the aging process and maintain your youthful looks and vigor well into an age nobody will be able to guess!



The Ageing Process

These tips are extremely simple- there’s no magic pill here. Read on to find out the five keys tips you should be doing:

Sleep More

Sleeping is one of life’s simple pleasures and something that should come naturally to everyone. However, more than half of the USA’s adult population is chronically sleep deprived, in the sense that they get less than the recommended 8-9 hours nightly, many days running. Sleep is the one thing that everyone has going for them since it is the hit reset button for your body.

During sleep, repair ensues, so that proteins in the skin are fixed, hormone production is ramped up, and the process of rebuilding in general. Chronic sleep deficiency inhibits the ability of the body to fix structural defects, including in DNA, which can accelerate greying of hair, wrinkling of skin and deterioration of organs.

Get Your Veggies

Eat lots of vegetables. It doesn’t really matter which, but include a variety of different ones, as each brings something different to the table. Most vegetables are extremely low calories, making them perfect for bulk at mealtimes, as you can eat a lot, and not get a lot of calories. In addition, vegetables are full of fiber, which keep intestinal and colon health on point, as well as tons of anti-oxidants, vitamin, and minerals, which fend off free radicals and compounds that damage DNA and promote aging.



Shed Bad Recreational Hobbies

Sure, watching TV late into the night is a bad hobby, and it is damaging, but it is not bad in the sense we are referring to. The ways we are talking about, relate to drinking, smoking and eating junk food. Excessive alcohol consumption places undue stress on the liver that’s primary job is to remove toxins from the body, and in some cases makes it unable to do its job. This accumulation of toxins is bad for health, and kickstarts accelerate the aging process.

Smoking, on the other hand, is worse in many aspects. With negative effects ranging from the lungs to blood vessels and more, smoking can age you 25 years in just 5 years. Nutrient delivery suffers, so skin ages and wrinkles far sooner than it should, and you increase the risk of dying from complications of the lung.

Stay Happy

We don’t expect you to be euphoric all day long, but being happy has proven benefits over being sad, or pouty. This can be explained by endorphins, feel-good chemicals produced in the brain that boost mood, reduce heart rate and blood pressure, and reduce stress levels as well.

Practicing mindfulness meditation is one of the best ways to develop your appreciation of the little things in life, and improve your happiness and outlook not to mention the fact that frowning just speeds up development of wrinkles and fine lines!

Weight Train

A little jogging or cycling is good during any point of life, but in order to diminish the effects of aging, weight training is a must. Not only does muscle help you fill out your clothing, but it can also help prevent skin from sagging, wrinkling, or your posture from stooping.

Nothing screams old like a hunched back and sagging skin, but luckily, weight lifting can delay this for years to come, not only that, but your overall mobility will be kept in check, and you will look great, so hit the weights!







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Cool Summer Fruits And Vegetables That Boost Your Health

Cool Summer Fruits And Vegetables That Boost Your Health

We all crave that time of year when we get to show off some skin and enjoy being outdoors in the warm, sunny weather. However, the best part about summer is that it brings us a plethora of fresh summer fruits and vegetables. And they’re all filled with amazing health benefits. Read on to find out some of the healthiest foods you can enjoy this summer.


Boost Your Health

Watermelons
How can you go wrong with a fruit that’s 92% water, tastes like summer and smells even better? Watermelons help keep you feeling full longer because they’re called hydrating foods, which means you curb your hunger and eat less. It also works wonders in lowering blood pressure levels, especially with overweight individuals.
In addition, they contain high amounts of antioxidants, as well as vitamins C, A and B6. It has high levels of lycopene, which fights against the damage of free radicals. The best part? It’s 44 calories per cup!
Tomatoes
Rich in an antioxidant known as alpha-lipoic-acid, studies show that tomatoes help fight against high blood pressure levels. The substance surrounding the seeds contains salicylates, which prevent clotting of the blood.
Tomatoes also help preserve nerve and brain tissue, as well as promote the production of collagen in the skin to help keep your skin wrinkle-free while reducing the appearance of fine lines. Studies show that men who regularly consume tomato-based foods are less likely to suffer from prostate cancer.
Peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots (aka stone fruits)
Colorful, juicy and delicious, stone fruits help protect against diabetes, heart attacks, and strokes.
Peaches contain beta-carotene, which keeps your skin glowing and bright. They also contain iron, potassium, fiber as well as vitamins A and C.
Plums are rich in nutrients, as well as phytochemicals, which help reduce the risk of many diseases and health conditions. And as an added bonus, prunes help ward off bone loss, due to their high levels of potassium and vitamin K.
Apricots are rich in vitamin A, which protects the eyes, and potassium.




Zucchini
Loaded with folate, potassium, and vitamin C, this versatile summer vegetable helps regulate blood pressure and contains antioxidants that protect cells from damage. A cup of shredded zucchini can be incorporated into any dish, sweet or salty.
And since zucchinis contain 95% water, they’re low in calories, have zero fat and cholesterol, and are rich in nutrients. One cup of shredded zucchini provides you with 35% of your daily vitamin C needs and is only 20 calories.
Sweet corn
These delicious, yellow jewels contain natural two natural compounds, lutein, and zeaxanthin that protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. They filter out damaging free radicals that can lead to negative effects on your eyes, such as cataracts. Corn also curbs your appetite, boosts immunity, and helps control blood sugar levels.
Pineapples
High in bromelain – a proteolytic enzyme, pineapples help with the digestion process. They’re also an excellent source of antioxidants, which means they ward off free radicals and protect the body from their harmful effects while reducing the risk of serious inflammatory diseases.
Cherries
The color of these round, succulent fruits is a clear indication of how powerful its antioxidants are and how much protection they offer against heart disease, mainly due to their high levels of pectin which helps balance blood cholesterol levels. Cherries are also great health-boosters since they contain melatonin, which is known as the “sleep hormone.”
Melatonin is secreted naturally by the body during the night, but foods rich in melatonin can help induce a restful sleep. It’s also a wide-spectrum, potent antioxidant. Moreover, melatonin helps with the conversion process of turning fat cells, which collect under our skin and around our organs, into brown fat cells, which work at burning calories instead of storing them.
Mangoes
Sweet and savory, mangoes pack a great amount of fiber, iron, magnesium, and antioxidants. They also help with the digestion process as well as curb your hunger by filling you up for longer.
Figs
These summer snacks are packed with potassium and fiber. They’re also low in calories and fat.
Grapes
Like watermelon, grapes have a high water content, which makes you feel full and satiated. They also help protect against disease, such as Type 2 diabetes. They’re also packed with antioxidants and inflammatory properties, phytochemicals and vitamin C.







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Finding Hope In Uncertain Times

Finding Hope In Uncertain Times

There is a lot of uncertainty in life, whether in our personal affairs or in our changing and unsteady political climate. The strategies that most of us rely on to contend with such uncertainty tend to be self-defeating. When we face an uncertain future we often resort to feeling anxious, worrying, complaining, or being negative about events that may never occur.




But some people rise to meet uncertain times by finding hope and resilience. We need to develop such attitudes if we want to be successful in the face of life’s ups and downs.
What does having hope mean? Think of how you handle difficult situations. Do you offer platitudes like, “I hope everything will work out”? Unfortunately, this is just a way of disengaging or checking out of a difficult situation. True hope comes from a source much deeper, your core. At your core, there are vital qualities that help to determine how much hope you yourself feel, as well as what you can offer to others. Optimism is an essential component in facing any type of uncertainty, from layoffs, to promotions, to moving, and to the current state of the world.

Finding Hope

Hope’s Primary Qualities
• Strength – You draw from inner strength to tap into your personal powers.
• Resilience – You bounce back when faced with setbacks and obstacles.
• Optimism – You stay positive despite the challenges ahead of you.
The above qualities are the antithesis of pessimism, complaining, and worry. Rather than be self-defeatist, you can be strong, resilient, and optimistic, and in this way improve your self-esteem.
Optimism is essential for handling a crisis but it can also serve as your core value on a daily basis. Uncertainty can arrive at any time, whether it appears in a personal issue, a business issue, a national event, or a global event. The situation doesn’t even necessarily need to be negative. It could be the uncertainty and excitement of starting your own business.



Now, let’s take a closer look at the qualities that were mentioned above.
Strength
Most of us are all too willing to give away our power. Yet, what could be a more hopeless situation than being without power? This can happen in both business and personal relationships. You can find yourself going along with something you disagree with simply because you don’t have the strength or power to speak up.
Retaining power means that you can stand up for yourself, that you can overcome resistance, that you can turn a catastrophe into an opportunity. True strength is in the core of your being. It’s a quiet calm that isn’t disturbed by events or the turmoil of emotions.
Inner strength established self-power that will anchor, uplift, and encourage you.
Resilience
We often see the elderly celebrated in the media for reaching 100. They are always happy to share the secret to their long life. They all have different secrets, from a cigarette and a glass of whiskey every day to 3 glasses of red wine a week.
The truth is that they didn’t win the gene pool lottery, nor were they immune to the woes of life. They were resilient. They faced hard times and bounced back, shook defeat off at every turn. Being resilient is the true secret to avoiding victimhood.
It isn’t about positive thinking. When we’re faced with sadness, it’s healthy to deal with sadness; when we lose a loved one, grief is natural.
Resilience and overcoming adversity comes from a strong sense of self.
Optimism
Society has taught us that life is difficult, that struggling is the norm. Society wants us to believe that the safest place for us is behind a wall. In this environment, optimism seems foolish and unrealistic. Yet, when we meet people who are truly optimistic, we are jealous of their cheerfulness. Attitudes of pessimism, skepticism, and cynicism come from fear and distrust. Life can take care of itself, that’s the attitude of optimism.

Finding hope in uncertain times is easier than you think, it’s within you.







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5 Natural Ways To Reduce Stress

5 Natural Ways To Reduce Stress

Stress is everybody’s business. You could think you have it under control, but the truth is that stress has a way of creeping up on you, and causing drastic health repercussions. We live in a hectic world, one which requires our stress hormone, cortisol, to work overtime to reduce anxiety. However, this is far from the way this hormone was meant to act.



The body’s anxiety reaction was supposed to be called into play when man’s survival was threatened, not when he or she was 5 minutes late to work. Today, regardless of what your stressor is, you need to find effective natural ways to reduce it. Do not rely on prescription meds, or consider them, as even though they may offer short term relief, they will make things worse very quickly.

Reduce Stress

Try the following tips and see yourself better for it:

1. Exercise

Exercise has numerous benefits on physical health, but can also help regulate emotional wellbeing, and reduce the negative results from a stressful lifestyle. Exercise elevated levels of beneficial brain chemicals, known as endorphins, which elevate mood, promote relaxation and counter stress. In addition, exercise also increases testosterone levels, which shares an inverse relationship with cortisol (as one goes up, the other goes down). For best results, exercise a minimum of three times weekly, making sure to include weight-bearing exercises.

2. Eat Dark Chocolate

Eating any chocolate makes you feel better, right? However, we’re not looking at milk chocolate varieties, which are loaded with sugar and not much else, but rich dark chocolate, which contains a compound known as epicatechin.

This compound is highly sought after, as it has multiple beneficial effects on improving heart health, brain function and more, but also the ability to reduce the effects of stress, and perceived stress. Perceived stress is defined as a relative level of anxiety since what affects one person may not affect another. Improving your threshold that causes negative effects is extremely important.



3. Try A Massage

Why is it that people often opt for massages when feeling stressed? Simple, because it works! Stress is much more than “psychological”, as its effects manifest throughout the body; muscular pain, tension, inability to sleep and much, much more.

A massage can help address some of the manifestations of anxiety, such as pain and tension. Some massage therapists are also trained in the art of acupressure, which is using focused pressure at specific acupoints in order to get “chi” flowing once more. Chi (or qi) is believed to be life energy, with blockages of it resulting in many maladies that we cannot fully explain. Acupressure isn’t merely wishful thinking, as it has been documented to have a profound effect on reducing stress levels in the real world.

4. Meditate

Meditation should be taught in schools. There is likely no other technique that has a more profound effect on many facets of human health as meditation, yet most people do not practice any sort of.

Meditation does not need to be made into a complex science, but at its core involves focusing the mind on absolutely nothing beyond the immediate present. Anxiety surely worsens your stress burden, and meditation perfectly helps to eliminate the worry of the future or past.

5. Laugh And Have A Good Time

The number one enemy of stress is fun. Laughter is the best medicine after all to reduce anxiety, as it can do miracles, ranging from reducing blood pressure, mediating pain responses, and helping to manage the negative effects of the stress hormone cortisol. Stressed individuals rarely take time out to smile and have fun, which only feeds the flames of a downward spiral. Make time for memories, have fun with family and don’t take yourself too seriously.







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5 Natural Ways To Improve Your Sleep

5 Natural Ways To Improve Your Sleep

Getting a good night’s rest can be refreshing and rejuvenating. For millions, though, a good night’s sleep seems just out of reach. People of all ages across the globe suffer from occasional to chronic insomnia.
Insomnia is a condition that interrupts your ability to fall asleep or stay asleep. If you are suffering from this problem, you may be hesitant to turn to harsh medications to help you fall asleep and prefer natural ways to fall asleep. Here are 5 ways that you can help improve your sleep naturally.



Eliminate Caffeine
The morning cup of coffee seems to be a staple beverage for many people. However, caffeine is not just in coffee. Caffeine can be hiding in the cola you drink, the tea, and even some of the foods you eat. While eliminating caffeine out of your diet 100% may not be possible, try to limit your consumption of caffeine to the mornings only. Prevention Magazine tells us that ingesting caffeine, even 6 hours before bedtime, can disrupt it.
Exercise
Not only does exercise help you maintain healthy body weight and better mental outlook but a Sleep Foundation study found that those who exercised were less sleepy during the day and slept better at night.
While a new exercise routine may leave you a little tired at first, regular exercise will give you more energy and help you fall asleep at bedtime. This may have to do with the chemicals released by the body when you exercise. The neurotransmitters released by the brain during exercise have all sorts of beneficial properties and improved rest is one of them.
Meditate
Meditation has a restorative effect on the brain. There are all sorts of benefits that meditation can have for a person. Many of the benefits of meditation include reduced stress and a better ability to cope with difficult issues in one’s life.
Meditation is also great for insomnia. A Harvard study found that mindful meditation helped combat insomnia. It invokes a relaxation response in those who participate in helping them relax enough to fall asleep quickly and stay asleep through the night. If you are not familiar with how to meditate there are many guided meditation audio programs that you can buy or check out from your library.



Sleep Hygiene

Resting hygiene is a practice to help you recover better at night. It has to do with environmental cues. These environmental cues should be taken into consideration if you aren’t sleeping.
• Use the bedroom for sex and resting only
• No electronics
• Keep the room dark and quiet
• Keep your room cool
• Have a good mattress
• Set your alarm clock away from your bed
Get Up Every Morning
Getting up at the same time every day and avoiding naps helps your body follow a circadian rhythm. According to Very well, we need this to rest well at night. There are two really important elements in this step.
1. Stop hitting the snooze and train yourself to get up at the same time every day. If you hit the snooze button once or twice (or 6 times), you are not really training yourself to get up at the same time every day. If you know you do not need to get up until a7:30, stop setting your alarm for 7. Save yourself the 30 minutes of interrupted rest and set the alarm for 7:30, get up the first time it rings.
2. NO NAPS. If you are not used to getting up in the morning, then this may be the hard part for you. Napping can throw you off for sleeping at night because you simply are not tired enough to get to bed on time. Skip the nap (and the caffeine), and stay up so that you can get a good night rest.

Now you have an arsenal of information about natural ways that should help you fall asleep faster at night. Remember, finding what works well for you may take some playing around. So, if you don’t get it right the first night or two don’t give up.
These strategies are proven to work. They just take time. Give them a few weeks and you should be sleeping soundly.







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Can Dark Cherries Reduce Belly Fat?

Can Dark Cherries Reduce Belly Fat?

Have you ever heard of the cherry diet? It’s becoming more popular nowadays because it’s incredibly easy to follow. There is only one rule to this diet – to eat cherries every day and/or to drink fresh cherry juice. Although they are more popular for their taste, researchers are now seeing that cherries are actually extremely healthy as well. The bioactive components and nutrients found in this fruit are linked to the prevention of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, inflammatory diseases, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.




However, not only will they protect you from various health conditions, but cherries will also make it easier for you to accomplish your weight loss goals. There are a few reasons why cherries help promote weight loss.
First of all, they don’t contain a lot of calories (the average cherry contains 5 calories). Although a lot of other fruits contain fewer calories, it’s worth noting that cherries aren’t considered to be high-calorie foods. You can easily satisfy your hunger with a dozen cherries, which roughly amounts to 60 calories.
Cherries do a good job of satisfying your hunger because they are rich in fiber. All weight-loss diets that exist suggest that you should consume more fiber, since this nutrient isn’t easily digested by your body. In other words, you will have to drink a lot of water in order to move it through your digestive system. This will help you with your weight loss goals because it water will contribute to the feeling of fullness.
It’s also worth mentioning that many people often confuse thirst with hunger, so staying hydrated will also prevent you from overeating. The great thing about fiber is that consuming it will help you feel full for an extended time period. This means that it will actually help prevent you from overeating on other foods that are potentially high in calories.




On top of that, the soluble type of fiber that absorbs water helps you by slowing the absorption of sugars, thus making your body store less fat.
Dark cherries also contain compounds known as anthocyanins, which will help you reduce belly fat. Back in 2008, the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry published a study, which showed just how powerful these compounds are when it comes to reduced belly fat (http://www.nutraingredients.com/Research/Anthocyanins-show-potent-anti-obesity-potential-study).
Anthocyanins are flavonoid pigments that are found in a lot of different fruits and vegetables. Although there is still a lot of research to be done on the way anthocyanins are absorbed and distributed in the tissues of our bodies, researchers generally agree that these compounds can be a powerful tool for weight loss.
Although cherries definitely can help you reduce belly fat, simply adding them to your existing diet won’t do the trick. There are no magical foods that you will help you shed those extra pounds simply by consuming them.
Cherries will help you reach your weight loss goals, but you will also need to make sure that your diet is filled with other fresh produce. On top of that, you should avoid eating junk food and you should exercise regularly if you want to shed those extra pounds.
With that being said, you should definitely include cherries into your diet and you should be encouraged to consume them whenever you feel the urge to snack on something. By keeping your fridge stocked with washed cherries, you will always have a snack that you can munch on.
However, just because you decided to include more cherries into your diet doesn’t mean that you should forget about other fruits. Consuming a variety of fruit is important in order to maintain proper health.







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5 Smart Weight Loss Decisions

5 Smart Weight Loss Decisions

Smart Weight Loss is hard right? Well, in a way- yes. But really it shouldn’t be, at least with a little planning, and a lot of smart decisions.




As humans, we tend to know what constitutes a smart decision, and a decision that leaves a lot to be desired. When it comes to weight loss, we seem to get stuck on making “less than ideal decisions.”

So where does that leave us? Well, you could keep doing what you always do, and get the results you always do. Or, you can institute some smart decisions- choices that will improve your life for the long haul.

Let’s dive right in!

Choose To Move More Everyday

Burning calories is the name of the game when it comes to sustainable weight loss, regardless of if you need to lose 1 or 100 pounds. Not a fan of the gym? Not an excuse. There are simple decisions you can make that can have a profound effect on your weight loss efforts. For example, how about walking a few extra flights of stairs on your way to the office?

Maybe you work on the 10th floor, so why not stop off at the 7th and walk the rest? You need to make deliberate decisions if smart weight loss is your goal. It does not come about by mere chance.

Likewise, take a stop a few blocks away from home and walk your way home. The afternoon is likely to be cooler than the morning, so the sun should not be a valid excuse.

Worried about winter? Do some activity at home. An extremely effective exercise that does not require expensive equipment is the step up. Simply remove the cushion out of your sofa and perform as many repetitions as you are comfortable with. Small changes equate to big differences.



Go No Soda

Yes, you read correctly- no soda. No regular, and definitely- NO DIET. Soda in every form is bad, regardless of what the money hungry manufacturers’ claim. Sure, diet may be free of calories, but that does not mean it is free of adverse effects.

In fact, many of the low sugar alternatives found in diet soda can hasten your development of metabolic syndrome, which is worse than diabetes alone. Water needs to become the main beverage in your weight loss arsenal, but that does not mean it has to be bland. You are free to use coffee, tea, fruit infused water and more- just be sure you keep an eye on the sugar content.

Load Your Plate With Veggies

Love broccoli? Great! Then make it the cornerstone of your plate. Who cares how it looks? You definitely won’t in a few weeks when you see your body change dramatically. The rule is to load up on your favorite veggies, as they are typically low calorie, then follow with your protein of choice (meat, frequently), and finally maybe a little sweet potato or rice. The carbs are optional of course, as restricting them altogether is the fastest way to achieve weight loss.

Go To Sleep Sooner

You know the hundreds of benefits of sleep by now, but here’s one you don’t think of often; reducing caloric intake. The later you stay awake, the more likely you are to snack. Unnecessary snacking, more so late at night, can spoil a hard day of work and leave you moody as an extra bonus (ha! Really).

Make Meal Prep A Ritual

Fastest way to sabotage a diet plan? Hunger. Yes, when you’re hungry you don’t give too hoots about healthy, as long as it fills you. To compensate, make a decent amount of meals and freeze them in your favorite Tupperware. That way, when you need food, it’s just a microwave session away, and your weight loss plan will remain intact.







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