Weight Loss Tips and Strategies - How to Stay on Track and Stay Motivated

If there's one universal truth about dieting, it is this: sooner or later, everyone falters. The willpower flags. Temptation strikes. Stress drives you to the fridge. It happens. The trick is to accept these pitfalls and get back in the game as fast as possible.

To help keep you motivated and moving forward, here are some tried and true weight loss tips.

Weight Loss Tip Sheet:

Weight Loss Tip #1: Learn to Eat Like a Thin Person.

Yes, the thin and the overweight do eat differently. Thin people eat when they are hungry, stop when they're full, and push away from the table without difficulty. They can even say no to dessert! How do they do it? Like this:

* Eat more slowly and take smaller bites. It takes your brain 20 minutes to recognize that your stomach is full, so extend each meal. * Drink water with meals to help fill the stomach. * Put your fork down between each bite. * Always measure your portion onto your plate, don't eat right out of a serving dish. * If you're still hungry after eating, wait 20 minutes before reaching for a second helping. * Always sit down at a table to eat so you can relax and focus on your eating habits. * Limit your meals to a designated place so you aren't tempted to cheat by snacking in front of the TV or in the car. * Space out meals so you eat more in the morning and less at night. * And eat smaller meals more often so you don't get ravenous.

Weight Loss Tip #2: Cheat on Your Diet and Get Away With It.

Hunger. Boredom. Stress. There are many reasons why we cheat on our diets. This weight loss tip is all about how to cheat without doing serious damage. So you can brush yourself off and get back on track.

* If you have to pig out between meals, have a "free" food snack: a cup of broth, a sugar-free Popsicle or Jello, a handful of fiber cereal... anything to quell your hunger without sugar or fat. * For meals, eat as many veggies as you want. Raw ones, steamed one, salads, soups. No one ever got fat eating vegetables. * The natural sugars in fruit will give you a burst of energy and satisfy that sweet tooth. Fruit does have carbs, however, so keep this weight loss tip within limits. * If you're still hungry, take a small portion of protein (egg, slice of turkey, cottage cheese) to help tide you over to the next meal. * If you've eaten all that, you should be full. If not, try a small serving of complex carbohydrates like hot cereal, chick peas, beans, crackers, etc.

Weight Loss Tip #3: Plan Your Meals.

The logic behind this weight loss tip is simple: Planning your meals reduces the risk of impulse eating. Write down what you plan to eat for each meal a day or two in advance. As you plan, remember these weight loss tips: well-spaced meals, snacks to keep from getting hungry, a protein food every 3-4 hours, less food as the day goes on.

Weight Loss Tip #4: Graze. Often.

Spacing out your meals into 5 or 6 smaller meals a day is better for digestion, blood sugar levels, energy levels and of course better for weight loss. Here's a sample menu:

8 am - 1 poached egg, slice of whole grain toast 10 am - 1 carton fat-free yogurt 12 noon - chef salad with turkey/lean ham, fat-free dressing 2 pm - low sodium V-8 juice, raw veggies 4 pm - slice low-fat cheese, 1 piece of fruit 6pm - 4oz fish, 2 cups cooked vegetables 8pm - 1/2c fiber cereal, 3Tb raisins, 1/2c skim milk

Grazing not only provides you with the nutrients you need, but keeps you satisfied with far fewer calories.

Weight Loss Tip #5: Dine Out. Carefully.

These days, people eat out a lot. Making it hard to maintain control over calorie intake. Fortunately, more and more restaurants recognize the growing concern over healthy eating and are open to requests for certain types of preparation or ingredients. Here's what you can do:

* Ask how foods are prepared then choose wisely: favor steamed, broiled, poached, with no butter or sauce on the side. That's cheating! * Avoid foods that are: au gratin, in butter, oil, gravy or cream sauce, sauteed, fried, braised or escalloped. Anything made with mayonnaise is sure to be high in fat. * Ask for dressing on the side and use in moderation. * Consider an appetizer and a salad instead of a main entree. * Share an entree with a friend. * Ask for a doggy bag if the portion is too large for your appetite or your meal plan. * Beware breakfast! Their menus are usually very fatty. Opt for fresh fruit or juice. * Use milk instead of cream in your coffee. * Skip the alcohol, those calories add up fast. * Ask the waiter to remove the bread from the table. * Ask for vinegar or lemon juice instead of salad dressings. * Instead of sour cream on that baked potato, try plain yogurt or salsa. * Replace French fries with a salad or veggies.

Weight Loss Tip #6: Binge... and Get Over It.

Binging is understandable. But don't use one binge as an excuse to give up on your diet. If you overindulge, your metabolism will work even harder the next day to burn off those extra calories. So return to your meal plan as soon as possible. Make up for the binge by cutting back on calorie intake for a day or two. And do a good workout to fry off those extra calories. And at all costs, don't get into a pattern of binging and depriving yourself. That will really mess up your system.

If you use these simple yet effective weight loss tips, you'll be on your way to losing weight in a sustainable, healthy manner.

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