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25 Weight-Loss Tips

Maintaining optimum health and wellness should be one of our top of the priorities all year long, however if it takes a new year to help bring focus to this, I fully support the initiative (anytime of year)!
I saw this very good article in USA Today that offers 25 powerful tips to help us achieve one of the most common and important goals of all: Better Managing Our Weight. I also took the liberty of adding a few notes where I thought it would be helpful (in blue).

25 Weight-Loss Tips

This is the time of year when many people gear up to lose weight. For the past 25 years, USA TODAY has been offering readers practical advice on how to trim down in the annual Weight Loss Challenge series. Nutrition reporter Nanci Hellmich shares 25 of the best tips from over the years.

1. Set a realistic weight-loss goal. Most experts recommend aiming for half a pound to 2 pounds a week.

2. Keep track. Dieters who keep track of everything they eat lose twice as much weight as those who don’t, research shows.

3. Motivate yourself. Get a pair of jeans or pants that are too tight and hang them in the kitchen instead of the closet to keep yourself inspired.

4. Get help from family and friends. Dieters who have support from a partner at home lose more weight than those who don’t, studies show.

5. Move it to lose it. Research shows that people who do physical activities such as walking or biking for two to four hours a week during weight-loss efforts lose an extra 3 to 5 pounds over a year.

6. Pay attention to portions. A 3-ounce portion of meat, poultry or fish is about the size of the palm of your hand or a deck of cards; 1 teaspoon of butter or margarine, a standard postage stamp; a cup of cold cereal, berries or popcorn, a baseball; 4-inch pancake or waffle, the diameter of a CD. Also when sitting down to a meal, eat your protein and veggies first, and your starches (bread, chips, potatoes, corn) last, this will decrease the blood sugar surge lessening risk of entering storage mode for those calories.

7. Clean out your pantry and refrigerator. Get rid of the foods that sabotage your weight loss. Things to be evicted from your kitchen cupboards include: Simple carbs, cookies, candy, bread, crackers, chips.

8. Create “a dinner deck.” This would include 10 favorite quick and healthful dinners written on index cards. Each card should list the ingredients for the recipe on one side and directions for making it on the other.

9. Avoid hunger. Eat regular meals and snacks. Make sure you have some protein foods such as yogurt, tuna, beans or chicken for most meals. Some research suggests that protein helps you feel full longer.

10. Keep produce on hand. Place a bowl of vegetables such as broccoli, snap peas, cucumbers or carrot sticks in the refrigerator. You can eat them as a snack or when preparing meals to take the edge off your hunger.

11. Stock up on “impulse fruits.” Keep things like grapes, clementines, small apples, small bananas and pears around the house. These foods are easy to eat without having to do much cutting and slicing.

12. Make some stealth changes. That will get everyone in the family eating healthier. Buy low-fat 1% or skim milk, low-fat cream cheese and reduced-fat cheese instead of the full-fat versions. Use them in recipes to cut the fat and calories. When possible buy dairy and animal products that are free-range or organic to decrease hormonal burden due to the way most commercial animal products are raised and produced.

13. Cut out liquid calories. Eliminate soda and sugary drinks such as sweetened iced tea, sports drinks and alcoholic beverages. Liven up the taste of water by adding lemon, lime, cucumber or mint. Choose skim and 1% milk. Also some researchers point to how diet beverages with artificial sweeteners can also contribute to lack of weight loss and actually contribute to increased weight gain.

14. Practice the “Rule of One.” When it comes to high-calorie foods, you won’t go wrong if you allow one small treat a day. That might be one cookie or a fun-sized candy bar.

15. Pace, don’t race. Force yourself to eat more slowly and savor each bite. Experts say that you should chew each mouthful of food a minimum of 10 to 15 times and never wash your food down with beverages.

16. Hydrate before meals. Drinking 16 ounces, or two glasses, of water before meals may help you eat less.

17. Downsize plates, bowls, glasses, silverware. Using smaller versions of your serving ware will help you eat less food naturally.

18. Adopt the motto “after 8 is too late” for snacks after dinner.

19. Buy a pedometer. Health experts recommend taking at least 10,000 steps a day, which is roughly 4 to 5 miles, depending on your stride length. Keeping track of the steps you are taking towards your health goals, can be measured with a simple pedometer, as we all need feedback as to how well we are doing on staying on track.

20. Treat yourself occasionally. If your chocolate craving is getting to you, try diet hot-chocolate packets. If you need a treat, go out for it or buy small prepackaged portions of ice cream bars. If you love chocolate, consider keeping bite-size pieces in the freezer.

21. Dine at a table. Eat from a plate while seated at a table. Don’t eat while driving, lounging on the couch or standing at the fridge. Never watch television when eating, because your mind and digestion is not on the task at hand, which is optimally fueling your body with a set amount of caloires.

22. Dine out without pigging out. Figure out what you are going to eat in advance. Get salad dressing on the side. Restaurants usually put about one-quarter cup (4 tablespoons) of dressing on a salad, which is often too many calories. Best to stick with 1 to 2 tablespoons. Dip your fork into the dressing and then into the salad.

23. Get plenty of sleep. Scientists have found that sleep deprivation increases levels of a hunger hormone and decreases levels of a hormone that makes you feel full. The effects may lead to overeating and weight gain.

24. Weigh yourself regularly. That’s what successful dieters and those who manage to maintain weight loss do. Some step on the scales once a week. Others do so daily.

25. Reward yourself. When you meet your incremental weight loss goals, say losing 5 pounds, treat yourself to something — but not food. Buy a CD or DVD you’ve been wanting or go out to a movie with a friend.

For more help on losing weight, go to http://yourlife.usatoday.com/fitness-food/index

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  • 1.Avoid slouching. Be aware of your posture as you walk, sit, and drive, keep shoulders squared and head pulled back and up.

  • 2.Imagine a thread pulling the top of your head toward the ceiling. Visualization can help improve your sense of position.

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  • 4.Maintain a strong core to help support proper posture. Add core-training exercises to your daily routine.

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