Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Tips for Trimming the Waistline!

Why is gaining weight so much easier that losing it? It takes months for me to lose 10 pounds, but it seems that all I have to do is glance at a slice of cheesecake and I hear my thighs getting bigger. The good news, though, is that this post has some great tips for losing a few extra pounds or for just keeping those extra pounds off.

1.) When in the kitchen cooking, it's always tempting to nibble here and there at the food you're preparing on. To keep from tacking extra calories onto your diet, chew gum. Chewing gum will help you resist the temptation to grab a "taste" here and there.

2.) Use a small dinner plate to eat off of. If you can't fit it on the plate, you don't need it. (Bonus tip: Going back for seconds defeats the purpose of keeping your calorie intake low.)

3.) When out to eat, it can be a challenge not to eat the entire plate of nachos you ordered on a whim. When your food comes, ask the waiter for a to-go box. Box up half of your meal. This makes sure you keep your portion size under control.

4.) EAT BREAKFAST. The only times I've ever lost weight in my life have been the times when I've eaten breakfast. Our mothers were right: we really do need to eat breakfast! If you only eat once or twice a day, you generally eat bigger portions than you normally would. This also messes with our blood sugar, which can make us a tad bit irritable. Eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a healthy snack inbetween maintains our blood sugar levels and keeps us from over-eating at meals.

5.) Take before/after photos. When starting on your goal of trimming your waistline, take a photo of yourself. After two weeks, take another photo. You'll be amazed at the motivation you get from seeing yourself a few pounds lighter!

6.) Accountability. Grab a friend who wants to keep the pounds off or needs to lose some as a buddy. When my husband and I lived in Michigan, I decided it was time to lose some weight. An old co-worker of mine was wanting to do the same thing. Via e-mail, we updated and supported each other in our quests for weight-loss. It really worked! Even if I didn't feel like working out that day, it helped me to know that I needed to because my friend was doing it, too!

7.) Thirty minutes of cardio a day. Thirty minutes. That's it. Get your heart rate up for at least thirty minutes a day. Throw a load of laundry in, do some cardio, take the load of laundry out. You will see immediate results! Who wants to wolf down those darn nachos when you just worked out really hard? Chances are you'll be reaching for the fruit!

8.) Drink a glass of water 30 minutes before eating dinner. Water makes you feel water-logged and full (plus it's good for you!) so you will resist eating a second helping because you're feeling so full!

9.) Set realistic goals. If you're 5'5", find your ideal body weight and use that as your goal. I recently lost 10 pounds, over a 3 month range, and I have 10 more to go before I get to my "ideal body weight". My goal: to be healthy.

10.) Exercise. Seriously, your entire world will change. I'm not a doctor, but I do know that there is a correlation between not exercising and depression. When you exercise, it's like it's "all systems go" for your brain. Your mood and attitude will drastically improve.

11.) If you have a day where you ate something not-so-good for you, such as pizza, fettucine alfredo, a whole container of sour cream by itself, don't fear. All you need to do is eat a "good food" to help your body out in the process of getting rid of the "bad food". My "good food": Black beans. Good for you, high in fiber, and a great way to get the "bad food" out of your body so you can replace it with more "good food."

12.) Food journals are excellent ways for you to look back and say, "I ate a whole medium thin crust pepperoni pizza, 2 King Size Snickers bars, some potato chips, and drank a liter of soda...all in one day?!" After reading that as a fact on paper, you might be inclined to eat some healthy stuff so you can write that down and feel better about yourself.

So, there you go. A few tips and suggestions for you if you're trying to trim the waistline or just keep it looking trim.


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