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Weight Loss: Ten Simple Secrets
To achieve and sustain weight loss one has to adopt appropriate lifestyle strategies. Some of these are obvious but difficult to maintain, while others are simple but less apparent.
The most important thing to do to lose weight is to cut down on the amount of food you eat. Regardless of its calorific value, if you eat less food you will lose weight. These tips will help you to reduce your food intake and adopt other proven strategies that make it easy to lose those extra pounds.
Portion and plate size
The easiest and simplest way to reduce the amount of food you eat is to eat off small sized plates and bowls. This trick is an underestimated yet very important way of helping to cut down on food intake. The size of the plate on which you put your food is central to any weight loss program. Studies have shown time and time again that if you have a big plate you will put more food on it than you would if you used a smaller one. The effect is based on a simple optical illusion --- a given quantity of food looks larger on a small plate than it does on a big one. Using a small plate tricks your mind into thinking that you are eating a larger amount of food. Using smaller sized plates at all meal times is one of the best ways to cut down on the amount of food you eat.
Eat good quality foods
Most of us know which are the bad, high calorie foods and know to avoid foods with high fat or sugar content. If you are not familiar with the calorie value of foods you can find many of them online and elsewhere that can provide you with all the information you need. If you are unsure then read labels and look up the details online. Don't believe the advertising. Educate yourself and learn to interpret labels correctly. Most fast foods, restaurant foods and pre-prepared meals are loaded with oil or fat. Avoid them if you can; if you can't, then eat small portions.
Remember that some "healthy" foods are high in calories too, for example, avocados and all varieties of nuts. Eat these in moderation.
Do not drink sodas, fruit juices and other drinks if you want to lose weight! They do not satiate the appetite as they do not remain in your mouth for long enough to give gustatory and olfactory satisfaction. Sodas and other drinks are usually very high in calories and can easily be substituted with water or other non-fattening beverages. Cutting out sugary drinks is one of the easiest ways to cut down on calorie intake.
Enjoy your food!
It is important to enjoy the food you eat. If you deprive yourself of things that you like you are more likely to binge on them at a later date. Rather eat small amounts of these bad foods than deprive yourself of them altogether.
Snacks and meals
How frequently you eat is up to you. As a general rule, it is better to eat small meals often. Avoid long gaps between meals as fasting slows the metabolic rate; the lower your metabolic rate, the longer it takes for you to lose weight. Snacking is fine as long as you eat small quantities of the right foods. DO NOT snack on chips etc., as most of them are loaded with calories. Rather eat fresh fruit and vegetables or high-fiber foods.
Smell your food and eat slowly
Smelling your food before and during a meal and retaining it in your mouth for longer tricks you brain into thinking that you have eaten more than you really have. This has the effect of suppressing your appetite sooner than would have been the case if you ate your meal very rapidly.
You will feel satiated more rapidly if you have a meal with a small range of flavors. If you keep adding dishes with different flavours, you will eat more food than you would if you had a dish with only one flavor. If you are presented with a variety of foods, make sure that you only eat small quantities of each dish.
You need to exercise a lot to burn off surplus fat. To maximize the time you spend exercising it is important to do the most effective types of exercises. Vigorous exercise like sprinting burns up more energy per unit time than walking or slow jogging. Resistance exercises like weight lifting also use more energy than more leisurely exercise. Mixing different types of exercise is good too but concentrate on high intensity, and resistance type exercises. Exercise regularly.
Make sure you get adequate amounts of sleep. Those who don't get enough sleep put on weight.
If you are constipated it may help to take a sugar-free, bulk laxative like psyllium seeds. Spices are some of the only foods that increase your metabolic rate. If you don't like spicy foods, a spice supplement is a good alternative. Spices also protect against diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, heart disease, diabetes and many other degenerative diseases.
Losing weight is not easy but I trust that these 10 tips will help you as much as they have helped so many of my patients.
About The Author:
Keith Scott is a medical doctor who has a special interest in nutritional medicine. He has written several books on health related topics including Medicinal Seasonings, The Healing Power Of Spices and Natural Home Pharmacy. For more information about weight loss and spice supplements go to: http://medspice.com.
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