Sunday, February 14, 2010

Practical Weight Loss Tips

1. Eat a consistent amount of meals each day. People have lost weight eating 3 meals a day and 6 meals a day. The key is consistency. 3 meals and 2 snacks per day seem to work best to keep hunger in check. However, figure out what works best for you and your schedule.

2. Eat Breakfast every morning. A large breakfast in the morning keeps your hunger under control and can help prevent overeating later in the day.

3. Add fruits and vegetables to your meals. Fruits and vegetables are low calorie foods that create bulk in your stomach and provide essential vitamins and minerals. Fruits and vegetables are great sources of fiber. Fiber forms a “gel” and expands in your stomach. This can make you feel full and can therefore help you consume fewer calories.
- Bring bags of vegetables and fruits with you and eat them throughout the day when you feel hungry and when it will be awhile until you have a meal.

4. Make sure you eat a source of protein (meat, chicken, fish, eggs) at your main meals. Protein promotes satiety (fullness) and preserves muscle mass. Fat also helps promote satiety. Eggs are great to make you feel full as they contain both protein and fat.

5. Choose starchy carbohydrates high in fiber to help you feel full and satisfied after a meal. High fiber starchy carbohydrates include oatmeal, oat bran, shredded wheat, potatoes, squash, Ezekiel bread, and Hemp bread. Hemp bread and Ezekiel bread are higher fiber and higher protein breads (compared to regular bread) that can be found in health food stores.

6. Limit calorie-containing beverages. If you currently drink a lot of soda or juice you need to gradually cut back your intake. For example, if you used to drink 6 cans a day of coke, cut it to 3 cans a day the first week, and gradually reduce your intake by a can each week and eventually to 1 can or none per day.

7. Save protein bars and shakes only for convenience purposes. Whole foods are best when trying to lose weight.

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