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The 15 Best Diet Tips

WebMD has posted their best 15 diet tips “ever”. When it comes to advice though, the best tips are those that work for you.

Here is their list:

  1. Drink plenty of water or other calorie-free beverages.
  2. Think about what you can add to your diet, not what you should take away.
  3. Consider whether you’re really hungry.
  4. Be choosy about nighttime snacks.
  5. Enjoy your favorite foods. (in moderation)
  6. Enjoy your treats away from home.
  7. Eat several mini-meals during the day.
  8. Eat protein at every meal.
  9. Spice it up.
  10. Stock your kitchen with healthy convenience foods.
  11. Order children’s portions at restaurants. (or just eat less)
  12. Eat foods in season.
  13. Swap a cup of pasta for a cup of vegetables.
  14. Use non-food alternatives to cope with stress.
  15. Be physically active.

It sounds like common sense, but you’d be surprised at how many of us overlook the obvious. Follow these simple guidelines, and you’ll be sure to drop some weight.

6 Diets to Avoid

When it comes to losing weight, everyone’s in search of a magic bullet. But don’t fall for the hype. Unfortunately, there’s no short-term fix for long lasting weight loss.

So learn to identify these six red flags:

1. Diets that promote or promise drastic weight loss.

When you start a diet, you can potentially drop a lot of weight during the first two weeks (some of which will be water weight). However, if you lose more than two pounds per week in the weeks that follow, you run the risk of losing “muscle mass,” and your metabolism will slow down in response. That’s why true health experts advocate losing weight slowly and gradually – so you melt away fat while sparing precious muscle.

2. Diets that claim to work because of special supplements, creams, or potions – no diet or exercise required!

Or diets that make you buy mega supplements in order to follow the program. If it sounds too good to be true, it is!

3. Diets that differ entirely from the way you currently eat (or like to eat).

If a plan is incompatible with your lifestyle, chances are slim you’ll stick with it.

4. Diets that are less than 1,000 calories.

Too difficult to sustain and can often leave you cranky, irritable, and with a bad headache. Not to mention hungry and lethargic.

5. Diets that claim they are effortless.

There’s no such animal. Losing weight takes focus and effort. Period.

6. Diets that cut out entire food groups, or focus on only a few foods.

Not realistic for the long haul; the sign of a plan you’re soon to go off.

From Joy’s Healthy Bite

7 Steps To A Better Body

Follow these 7 steps, and you could melt 5-8 pounds in two weeks:

1) A FISTFUL OF PROTEIN 3X A DAY
Aim for 4 to 6 ounces (about the size of your fist) of lean protein (chicken, fish, or egg whites) at every meal. In one study, people who got 30% of their day’s calories from protein ate 441 fewer calories than people who ate a 15% protein diet!

2) YOUR WEIGHT IN WATER
Take your body weight and divide it in half. Then drink that many ounces of water each day. Why? The rate at which you burn calories drops when you’re dehydrated.

3) THE SAFE METABOLISM BOOSTER
Substitute green tea for coffee. Compounds in it called catechins (the same stuff that’s in the calorie-burning soda Enviga) are believed to increaase your metabolism.

4) FRUITS AND VEGGIES
Celery, spinach, tomatoes, lettuce, peaches, strawberries, and cantaloupes are at least 90% water, so they’ll help flush out your system and keep you hydrated. There’s nothing wrong with other fruits and vegetables, as even relatively dry bananas (76% water) are more hydrating than whole-wheat bread (35%) or almonds (7%).

5) SKIP THE NIGHTCAP
Your body treats alcohol as a toxin, so your liver processes alcohol calories before all others in an attempt to clean bad stuff from your bloodstream. As a result, the other calories you’ve gotten from food are more likely to be stored as fat.

6) NIX THE MILK AND CHEESE
Most women have some sort of lactose sensitivity, which means they get bloated from even small amounts of dairy products. Don’t nix calcium altogether; Take a supplement and get the nutrient from foods such as salmon and almonds.

7) SAY NO TO WHEAT
Even high-fiber whole-wheat or multi-grain bread can contribute to bloating. Feed your carb cravings with sweet potatoes, brown or wild rice, and wheat-free cereals.

Reach For Heavier Metal

People who are new to weight training tend to use dumbbells that are too light to gain strength or sculpt muscles, according to a study at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, MI. Choose a weight that feels heavy for 8 to 12 reps so that “you are barely able to complete the last rep of each set,” says lead author Stephen Glass, Ph.D. “It’s best to lift to fatigue.”

Make sure you bump up the weight as you get stronger!

My Journey Starts On July 1st!

I’ve spent the past few months getting my ducks in a row, and I’m finally ready to make a change. And as motivation, I’ve created this website to mark my progress. The readers of this blog will get to follow me in my quest to reach 140lbs. It seems like an impossible task, but my husband (a former personal trainer) assures me that it’s realistic.

Some information about me:

I’m 32 years old. I’m 5’0″. I’m currently 210lbs. My % body fat was over 40% the last time I had it checked. I want to start a family soon, and the best way to do that is to lose weight. And I want to continue living healthy, so that my kids don’t follow in my footsteps.

So every week, I’ll weigh in and we’ll get to see how I’m coming along. And in between, I’ll be posting tons of useful content to help you reach your goals, as I realize everyone doesn’t have the benefit of a personal trainer living under their roof! I’m sure there’ll be missteps along the way, but as long as I can get back on the horse, I’m ok with that.

So wish me luck, and hope you enjoy the ride!

3 Habits That are Making You and Your Family Fat

You wouldn’t expect these habits to make you fat – but they do.

1. Staying Up Late

The opposite would seem to make sense: If you stay up late, you burn more calories. Burn more calories, burn more fat.

Right?

Unfortunately, staying up late can set off a multi-pronged attack on your body composition.

First, sleep is vital for recovery. If you don’t get enough sleep, your body won’t build as much muscle mass – no matter how much time you spend in the gym. Less muscle mass = less fat burning power. Next, if you are sleep-deprived, you increase levels of the stress hormone “cortisol.” The connection between stress/cortisol and obesity is well established, but it gets worse. A recent study (Epel, Yale) shows that cortisol related fat storage tends to be around the vital organs – the worst possible place to store fat in your body.

If that’s not enough, lack of sleep is linked with glucose intolerance (diabetes), lower Growth Hormone levels, a weakened immune system, low energy, and more …

Get a full night’s sleep (7 to 9 hours), but make sure your place of rest is peaceful and pitch dark. Your natural sleep hormone, melatonin, is suppressed when there is too much light.

2. Skipping Breakfast

Many people skip breakfast thinking it will help them to lose weight.

“Fewer calories in – more fat burned.”

The reality is that skipping breakfast actually lowers your metabolism so that at your next meal you’ll tend to overeat. To make it worse, the food you eat on a lowered metabolism is more likely to be stored as fat.

3. Prescription Drugs

Many of the drugs you are prescribed increase appetite, cause edema, or slow our metabolism. That’s a recipe for getting, and looking, fatter.

The most commonly used drugs that have these effects are oral contraceptives, many anti-depressants, and estrogen replacements.

Check with your doctor to see about finding suitable alternatives that won’t make you fat.

Spicy Chicken Pizza

I found a great recipe in my g/f’s Fitness magazine, and wanted to pass it along to anyone looking for a healthy way to make pizza!

PREP TIME: 25 MINUTES
COOK TIME: 13 MINUTES

(Makes 6 servings)

2 teaspoons cooking oil
12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
1 medium sweete red pepper, cut into thin strips
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 10-oz package refrigerated pizza dough
1/2 cup mild picante sauce
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Non-stick cooking spray

1. Preheat the oven to 400F degrees. In a large nonstick skillet, heat cooking oil. Cook chicken strips in the oil over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, or until no longer pink. Remove from skillet. Add red pepper and onion; cook about 5 miniutes, or until tender. Remove from skillet; set aside.

2. Coat a 15x10x1 inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Unroll pizza dough in pan; press to form a 12×8 inch crust. Pinch edges of dough.

3. Spread crust with picante sauce. Top with chicken and vegetables; sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Bake for 13 to 18 minutes, or until crust is brown and cheese is melted.

Nutritional Information per serving
Calories: 305
Fat: 9g
  Sat Fat: 3g
Carbohydrates: 34g
  Fiber: 2g
Protein: 21g

Why Do Guys Lose Weight Faster?

“My husband and I are exercising together, and he’s lost 40 pounds. I’ve dropped only 5. What am I doing wrong?” – Debra S.

“You aren’t doing anything wrong. It’s only natural for men to lose weight more quickly than women because they have more muscle,” says celebrity trainer Valerie Waters. “Don’t be discouraged.” Her tips:

BLAST CALORIES IN LESS TIME
Try cardio intervals, alternating four minutes of walking and one minute of jogging. Your goal: two minutes of walking and three minutes of jogging. Interval training (HIIT) is great because it keeps your heart rate up without wearing you out.

INCREASE YOUR STRENGTH
You need more muscle so that you can burn more calories all the time – even when you’re sleeping! Do the following circuit (10-15 reps of each exercise; two sets) twice a week: step-ups, bent-over rows, squats, bent-knee push-ups, shoulder presses, biceps curls, triceps dips, crunches, reverse crunches.

BUMP UP YOUR METABOLISM
Instead of the usual breakfast, lunch, and dinner, try to eat five smaller meals throughout the day that are rich in lean protein and high-fiber foods, such as multigrain bread, fruit, and vegetables.

Courtesy of Fitness, April 2007