Tuesday, February 10, 2015

5 Simple Ways to Shake Up Your Dieting Plan

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, two-thirds of the adults in this country are overweight and the other one-third are constantly dieting and trying to find ways to lose up to five or ten pounds of weight. If you fall into that second category and find you just can't get those last few pounds off, here's some tips for you.

1. Hydrate
Research has found that drinking water during the day can cause your metabolism rate to go up by as much as 30% according to Keri Glassman, RD, CDN, author of Slim Calm Sexy Diet. She advises drinking two liters of cold water throughout the day to burn off 95 calories. Part of those calories burn off with the body using energy to bring the cold water to body temperature. Drinking water during the day also keeps you from snacking as the water makes you feel full and reduces the desire to snack between meals. And best of all water doesn't add any extra calories to your diet.

2. Refuel After Exercise
Just after you finish an exercise workout is the perfect time to eat a snack that has protein and carbohydrates. Up to 45 minutes after exercising your metabolism rate is higher and the protein/carb snack will help repair muscle tissue damaged by exercise. Protein also helps build muscle and muscle uses more energy and burns more calories than fat. Right after exercise is not a time many people want to eat or have the time to eat though. That's when I reach for my whey smoothie mix. I add some powder to a glass of fruit juice, get my 22 grams of protein and I'm on my way. If I'm really in a hurry and need to get going, I grab this nutritious snack bar with sprouted grains, greens, and bluegreen algae that provides a healthy balance of protein, fats, carbohydrates, fiber, and micronutrients from whole-food sources

3. Walk
According to Dr. Mehmet Oz, those people that engage in regular walks increase the likelihood of losing weight compared to those who don't use walking as a form of exercise. He also has tips to include in your walking to burn off more calories:
  • Walk your normal pace for two minutes then speed up your walking or jog for one minute. 
  • Walk somewhere that includes an incline to walk up. You can burn 30% more calories with just a 10% incline. 
  • Walk places that have varying surfaces. This will challenge your muscles and provide a more interesting walk.
Another Dr. Oz tip is to set a goal to incorporate 10,000 steps throughout your day. Use a pedometer to get a baseline of how many steps you currently walk throughout your day now and look for ways to add in more until you get up to 10,000. Not only will this strategy help you become more aware of walking which adds to weight loss, but it can reduce your risk of diabetes significantly. Vonda Wright, MD, advises taking small fast steps as a way to burn off more calories. If you walk the same distance and for the same amount of time that you usually do, taking smaller strides makes you increase the number of steps you take. She also recommends alternating these small steps with skipping to get some additional calorie burn.

4. Changing Lifestyle Habits
Janis Jibrin, Best Life's lead nutritionist, has a simple tip to burn 40% more calories – stand while you eat. She also reports that eating while sitting at your desk or computer has been shown to increase the amount you eat and advises finding a location away from your desk to eat. Keri Glassman, RD, CDN, suggests that cutting back on the amount of breakfast cereal you eat from two cups to one and a half cups can save you 100 calories. Eating smaller meals throughout the day instead of 3 larger meals daily will also give your metabolism a boost and help burn off extra calories.

5. Change Your Thinking
Research reports that 95% of dieters gain back the weight they had lost. With this statistic in mind, researchers have performed studies looking for commonalities between successful dieters who don't gain the weight back over an extended period of time. One of the findings reported by Inga Treitler, PhD, a cultural anthropologist, has to do with how we think. Findings indicated that a dieter that uses the properties attributed to the lower left brain quadrant was found most successful in maintaining weight loss. This type of people exhibit characteristics of being controlled, methodical and disciplined and do well with routine and structure. It was also found that each dieter in this category went through a transformation that changed their lives sometimes in ways other than how they viewed weight loss. They also all were found to have begun some type of meditation component such as yoga or walking that allowed them to take time for themselves and separate from their old behaviors. If you are not this type of person, the good news is that you can learn other thinking modes and learn to engage other quadrants of the brain according to Ann Herrmann-Nehdi, CEO of Herrmann International. 

There are so many health benefits to losing that extra weight from increased energy levels to reducing the risk of diseases that can be life threatening. Just because you haven't been able to drop those last 5 or 10 pounds so far, don't give up. Give some of these tips a try and see if they can help you finally achieve the weight that will make you feel better, look better and be healthier.

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