How many times have you tried to diet, but only to fail to
lose the weight or keep the weight off?
For many people diets continually fail to deliver results. Why? Because they are either based on the
wrong principles or because they do not address important underlying principles
or address needed lifestyle changes.
following diet and weight management tips are proven techniques that DO
work and if implemented can dramatically improve your chances
for long term weight loss and an overall improvement in health:
Keep a food log. Keeping a food log can be a huge asset in
successful weight loss. A food log can provide a large amount of
self-awareness. A food log can help you understand more about what you are
eating, track your food better, identify any emotional triggers that
trigger overeating, foster greater awareness of portion sizes, and help
you discover your personal food triggers. Study any patterns that emerge
from your food log and identify where you may be able to make more
healthful changes. Trust me, the sheer act of tracking your food will
increase your chances of dieting success. A food log also provides an
added benefit of keeping you focused on and committed to your goals!
Do NOT crash diet. When you lose weight rapidly your body
thinks that it's starving and reduces its metabolic rate, which makes it
harder for your body to burn each calorie (they burn at a slower pace than
they normally would). Then when you start eating normal again your body
stores food, burns less fat, in case a "famine" hits it again.
Gradually ease into your diet if possible. Many diet programs allow you to
do this. Remember that small changes are easier to stick with than drastic
ones. Start by always leaving a little extra on your plate, or drinking
water instead of soda. Smaller changes are also more likely to remain with
you when the duration of your diet is complete. Aim for behavior-change
goals that you know you will be able to maintain over years, not just
Understand what protein to eat and when to eat. Choosing the
right proteins at the right time will help in your dieting efforts,
especially if you are incorporating weight training into your overall
dieting program. Check out this great article, http://www.mybesthealthportal.com/nutrition/healthy-eating/-protein-timing-for-developing-a-hot-model-body.html
Read food labels. It is very important to understand what you
are putting into your body. Many people unknowingly consume foods that
have hidden fats, or are loaded with high processed ingredients that can
be stored as fat quickly, as well as negatively impact the body's hormonal
system which can result in slowing down or stopping the body from burning
- Do NOT skip breakfast. Breakfast is an easy meal to miss by
many busy people. While cutting out one meal may appear to be a simple
means to cut daily caloric intake, research indicates that this meal is
the one not to be missed since missing breakfast may increase your hunger
throughout the rest of the day. Focus on breakfasts that delay stomach
emptying to increase satiety and control calorie consumption.
Reduce processed food and simple sugar. Reducing processed
food and simple sugar intake can help control appetite. Studies have also
shown that those who reach for highly processed foods and/or foods
comprised of simple sugars also tend to gain more weight because this type
of meal also does not increase satiety levels (fullness) optimally.
Why? Because simple sugars are
rapidly digested by the body as opposed to complex carbohydrates, such as
starch. This causes a person to feel hungry sooner. If carbohydrates are
to be consumed they should be of the low glycemic kind, or they should be
consumed with protein which increases satiety because the addition of
protein delays stomach emptying and promotes the feeling of fullness.
Never eat carbohydrates without protein. Including protein in
a meal can influence satiety by affecting insulin activity. By consuming
some high-quality protein at every meal/snack your blood glucose and
insulin levels are more stable and appetite is minimized compared to a
carb only meal. There have also been several studies that indicate that high-protein
meals are more effective than a high-carbohydrate meals in decreasing
serum ghrelin levels after the meal. Ghrelin is a hormone that stimulates hunger.
Ghrelin levels increase before meals and decrease after meals and is
considered the counterpart of the hormone leptin, produced by adipose
tissue, which induces satiation when present at higher levels. High-protein
meals delay stomach emptying and thus create a longer-lasting feeling of
fullness. Another benefit of adding protein to a meal, is that protein contributes
to thermogenesis, the process whereby the increases the metabolism of the
body's adipose tissue (fat), generating heat. The bottom line: because
protein is more satisfying in regards to fullness to your body than
carbohydrates or fats, protein can be a powerful weapon in weight control.
Getting enough protein also helps preserve muscle mass and encourages fat burning
while keeping you feeling full. So be sure to include healthy protein
sources, like chicken breast, turkey breast, low fat cottage cheese, low
fat yogurt, healthy nuts, or beans, at meals and snacks.
Minimize the consumption of High Glycemic Foods. Consumption
of high Glycemic carbohydrates (which to some people's surprise include,
white rice, white potatoes, sugar) results in surges of blood glucose and
insulin that, derail diets, zap energy, hamper training gains and over
time, can lead to the development of Type 2 Diabetes in carbohydrate
sensitive / insulin resistant individuals. Studies have also shown that
those who reach for highly processed foods and/or foods comprised of
simple sugars also tend to gain more weight because this type of meal also
does not increase satiety levels (fullness) optimally. Why? Because simple sugars are rapidly
digested by the body as opposed to complex carbohydrates, such as starch.
This causes a person to feel hungry sooner. If carbohydrates are to be
consumed they should be of the low glycemic kind, or they should be
consumed with protein which increases satiety because the addition of
protein delays stomach emptying and promotes the feeling of fullness. Ct
out the sugars and processed foods. Minimize the consumption of breads,
pasta, white rice and other processed, low-fiber carb sources and instead
eat lower glycemic carbohydrate foods such as yams, oatmeal, lentils and
Keep your blood sugar balanced. To do this eat smaller meals
and eat frequently (small meals every three hours). Also eat protein at
every meal: One of the most important ways to keep your blood sugar
balanced and energy levels high is to include protein at every meal,
breakfast and snacks included. The best protein sources include fish,
organic meat, chicken, eggs, yogurt, and whey protein powder. Insufficient
protein is a common reason for fatigue. Pack some almonds and nuts for a quick
and convenient protein snack.
Stop grazing. Grazing, the act of eating small portions
throughout the day with any regularity has shown to contribute to weight
gain, according to a 2005 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study.
When researchers asked women to eat at regular, fixed times or to break
their usual amount of food into unscheduled meals throughout the day, they
made a startling discovery: The women actually burned more calories in the
3 hours after eating the regular meals than they did after the unplanned
meals. The women produced less insulin, too, potentially lowering their
odds of insulin resistance, which is linked to weight gain and obesity.
Grazing instead of eating regularly scheduled meals can contribute to
mindless eating; a known source of weight gain and risk factor for
obesity. Eating regularly scheduled meals keeps hormone levels (e.g., ghrelin,
leptin, enterostatin, insulin and cholecystokinin) steady and quashes
Slow down. For more than 35 years, dieters have been told to
eat slowly to reduce their intake of food. The reason: it takes a while
for the brain to realize that the stomach is stretching and allows the
body time for the development of satiety [fullness]. Eating slowly gives
the brain time to catch on. A 2006
study reported at the North American Association for the Study of Obesity
proved that it takes time for the brain to know that the stomach is full.
In a study lead by Kathleen Melanson, Assistant Professor of Nutrition and
Food Science at Rhode Island University, 30 women made two visits to
Melanson's lab, and each time they were given a large plate of pasta and
told to eat as much as they wanted. When they were told to eat quickly,
they consumed 646 calories in nine minutes, but when they were encouraged
to pause between bites and chew each mouthful 15 to 20 times, they ate
just 579 calories in 29 minutes. "Satiety signals clearly need time to develop," Melanson concluded. "Not only did the women take in fewer
calories when they ate more slowly, they had a greater feeling of satiety
at meal completion and 60 minutes afterward, which strongly suggests
benefits to eating more slowly." The women also judged themselves as
having enjoyed the meal more when they ate slowly than when they ate
quickly, Melanson added. Because the study proves that it does takes
longer for satiety signals to reach the brain letting the brain know the
stomach know that it is full, it is recommended that people should eat
slowly, pausing between bites and chewing each mouthful 15-20 times. This
simple act can help reduce overeating.
Cycle your calories.
Plan your days to include a low calorie day following a day of
unusually high calories. By "cycling" calories this way your body works
more efficiently to burn fat.
Control your food portions. Researchers at the National
Institute on Aging Studies found that middle-aged men and women who ate
their daily number of calories in one supersize supper produced more
ghrelin, a hormone that causes hunger, than when they ate the same number
of calories in three square meals. Smarter move, eat smaller meals more
Do NOT overeat. When you're done eating, you should feel
better -- not stuffed, bloated, or tired. So, slow down when you eat, give
your brain time to catch up with your stomach. It takes a minimum of 20
minutes for the brain to communicate to the stomach that satiety
(fullness) has been reached. The amount of calories consumed before you
begin to feel full can vary significantly depending on how quickly you
eat. So slow down, take smaller bites and enjoy and savor every tasty
Choose foods that are filling and low in calories. This means
meals and snacks made with whole grains, such as brown rice, whole-wheat
bread, fibrous vegetables and oatmeal, as well as legumes, such as lentils
and other beans. Regarding the veggies, start by focusing on getting the
recommended 5-9 servings each day. This may sound like a lot of food, but
eating this many servings of fibrous veggies (or low glycemic fruits) will
help increase your dieting success, because at the same time you are
meeting your fiber goals and feeling more satisfied from the volume of
food. You're also less likely to overeat because fibrous veggies and low
glycemic fruits typically displace fat and processed foods in many
Pump up the volume. Several studies over the past two decades
have shown that expanding food volume with non-caloric ingredients, such
as air and water, offers a means to control appetite. How does this
work? y adding VOLUME in the form
of air, water and fiber the calorie density of your diet can be reduced.
By lowering the calorie density of your diet you can eat more food, and
Increase your fiber. Fiber increases satiety (the feeling of
fullness) by adding bulk to foods without additional calories Fiber can
also help stabilize blood sugar levels by delaying stomach emptying which
slows the rate of carbohydrate absorption, improves the body's regulation
of blood sugar, reduces the risk of insulin resistance/sensitivity and
lowers insulin needs. Fiber also has many health benefits. Increasing your
consumption can also help decrease blood cholesterol levels, and
therefore, reduces the risk of heart disease. Fiber can also decrease the
risk of colon cancer by increasing the speed of elimination; reducing the
amount of time harmful toxins are in contact with the intestinal cells.
The recommended dietary fiber intake is 14g per 1,000 calories consumed.
This can be achieved by eating more vegetables (broccoli, carrots and
Jerusalem artichokes), root vegetables such as potatoes, yams and onions,
whole grains (oats,barley, chia, and barley), legumes/beans, certain
fruits (e.g., prunes, rubus berries, plums, bananas, and the insides of
apples and pears) and whole grain cereals.
A gradual increase is recommended to minimize the side effects of
fiber, such as cramping, diarrhea, and intestinal gas. It is also very
important to increase your fluid intake as you increase your fiber
intake. Soluble fiber is found in
varying quantities in all plant foods, including:
Drink lots of water. This helps your body in many many
ways. Many people underestimate the
importance of water to the body. There is a huge gap in knowledge
regarding the understanding as to why proper hydration is important for
health. The human brain is composed of 95% water; blood is 82% water; the
lungs are nearly 90% water. As one can imagine water is also the single
most critical nutrient for health, growth, and development. It is not only
the most important nutrient in the body, but also the most abundant. Water
is critical to the balance of all the body's systems, including the brain,
heart, lungs, kidneys and muscles.
Water is the medium for various enzymatic & chemical reactions
in the body. It moves nutrients, hormones, antibodies, & oxygen
through the blood stream & lymphatic system. Many people with ailments
might find that they can be improved or even cured with proper water
hydration. One of the most common reasons for low energy is not drinking
enough water. Read this to see all
the ways adding more water to your diet improves your health, http://www.mybesthealthportal.com/health-and-medicine/health-and-wellness-tips/15-health-benefits-of-drinking-more-water.html
Change your afternoon snack. By the time 3, or 4:00 rolls
around, your lunch has probably worn off and you're ready for your
afternoon snack. Instead of reaching for a Red Bull, a soda, or a candy
bar, try replacing these with a complex carbohydrate snack or more
protein. A snack low on the glycemic index (for more about the glycemic
index, and to see a long list of the glycemic content of various foods,
check out the nutrition section, and diet tools area at
www.musclemagfitness.com). Sugary snacks produce an instant rush and
increase in blood sugar, supplying you with more energy. However, this
affect is short lived and as your blood sugar levels come back down, the
result is a feeling of extreme tiredness. Try adding a protein shake or
bar as your afternoon pick-me-up and stay away from known tiredness
Reduce the intake of "fat-Free" foods. Reducing fat free food
consumption can help control appetite. One weapon Americans have pinned
their hopes on is fat-free foods, but the reliance on fat free foods has
been shown in study after study NOT to be effective in helping people
battle the bulges. The reason eating fat-free foods won't necessarily make
you lose weight is because it's the amount of calories you take in, not
the amount of fat, that determines whether you gain, lose, or maintain
weight. Fat free foods are often very high in calories and simple sugars.
Used in moderation, though, fat-free foods can help reduce your daily
calorie count. Another problem with fat-free foods is their low-level of
satiety, which is why it's so easy to eat larger portions of fat free
foods. a lot of them. The lack of fat doesn't satisfy hunger. Fat in food
creates a feeling of fullness-the sense that you've had enough to eat. If
there's no fat, it's more likely you will keep on eating until you're
stuffed, ending up with many more calories than you would have gotten from
eating a smaller serving of a food that contained a little fat. Several
recent studies have shown that by choosing a fat-free breakfast, satiety is
often reduced. In addition, many people consume larger quantities of
low-fat or nonfat foods than they do of regular foods, thinking because
the foods are fat free that they will not cause weight gain.
Eat good fats.
Omega-3 oils will improve fat loss as well as health. Eat plenty of
fish rich in Omega-3's like tuna, salmon, red snapper, flounder, cod,
haddock, and sea bass. Refer to the following article,
Also check out, http://www.mybesthealthportal.com/nutrition/general-nutrition-articles/what-is-the-skinny-about-saturated-fats-trans-fats-polyunstaurated-fats.html
Use non-food alternatives to cope with stress. Stress causes
many people to eat. It also raises certain hormones that stunt fat
burning. Everyone is faced with stressful situation; many of us
daily. Instead of turning to food
for comfort, be prepared with some non-food tactics that work for you.
Tactics may include meditation, message, exercise...just to name a few.
Clean out your fridge and food pantry. Failure to "snack
proof" your home can sabotage your dieting attempts. Replace high
fat, and highly processed foods with healthy alternatives.
drinking alcoholic beverages. They are just empty calories.
Focus on whether you are truly hungry. Many people are
emotional eater s and not truly hungry when they start chowing down....or
a specific time of day triggers a meal. Hunger is your body's way of
telling you that you need fuel, so when a craving doesn't come from
hunger, eating will never satisfy it. Whenever you feel like eating, look
for physical signs of hunger, rather than just eat to eat.
Curtail mindless eating. Sitting down with a bag of chips or a
box of bon bons in front of the TV is an example of mindless eating, where
you mindlessly eat without being hungry, but out of habit. do NOT eat
while watching TV!
Brush your teeth after every meal. Once you brush your teeth,
your teeth have a fresh, clean feeling. Studies show that just the act of
brushing your teeth deters people from wanting to eat immediately after.
Brushing your teeth also deters eating because several foods especially
foods that contain citric acid, reacts with the fluoride in the toothpaste
in such a way as to create a horrible taste. This flavor change has also been
shown to help deter people from wanting to eat. By committing yourself to
the minimum recommended brushing standard (two minutes three times a day)
you can lose 1.5 pounds every year. If you are brushing after every meal
(remember I am recommending 5 small meals a day) the benefit can be even
greater; up to 2.5 pounds every year!
Adhering to this brushing standard not only ensures the much-needed
weight loss as people age but it also ensures healthy and glossy teeth
resulting in better self-esteem, outlook, and reduced bills/visits to your
dentist. This simple act alone can take 15 to 25 unwanted pounds off your
frame over a ten year period!
Get active. No matter what other people may tell you, calories
do matter. It takes a deficit or surplus of 3,500 calories to lose or gain
a single pound of body fat. Losing weight is simply burning more calories
than you are eating (consuming). The more calories you burn the more fat
you will lose. Being active also
helps rev up your metabolism.
Becoming more active also has several other benefits. (1) It
creates a fat burning environment hormonally (3) reduces risk for chronic
diseases (4) Improves mobility and (5) you will have less time to reach
for your "comfort foods". Most people also eat out of boredom,
so just the act of being busier by implementing consistent exercise into
your daily routine will help you lose weight too! In order for exercise to
be helpful in weight loss, you should strive for a minimum of five 30
minute sessions per week. The good news is that recent research has shown
that three 10 minute sessions in a day are as good as one 30 minute
session. This helps many in combating the old "no time for
exercise" excuse. Bottom line;
make a commitment to get active today.
It doesn't take a lot of time or money to increase your activity,
but it does take commitment. Start slowly, work up to a satisfactory
level, and don't overdo it. You can develop one routine, or you can do
something different every day. Find fun ways to stay in shape and feel
good, such as dancing, gardening, cutting the grass, and swimming,
walking, or jogging. Just start moving!
Pump Iron. Make sure that you're doing resistive intense
weight training at least 3-4 times a week. There are many ways to make
sure a training session is intense: more sets, less time, higher
repetitions, more resistance, etc. The best routine incorporates and
alternate all methods to increase intensity in the gym. Limit your
workouts to one hour to keep anabolic hormones high and catabolic hormones
low. Overtraining will burn muscle as well as fat.
Get intense. Use High Intensity Training (HIT) rather than
long cardiovascular workouts 2-3 times a week on alternate days of weight
training. This training program will burn fat and increase your
Be an early bird. Do your training in the morning rather than
the evening. When you can train earlier in the day, you not only ensure
that you do not miss your training (because sometimes things come up later
in a day or you just get too tired) but studies show that you may also
burn fat quicker as your metabolism is usually higher in the morning than
in the evening.
Keep Your Eye on the
Putting the tips given above into practice just may not be
as simple as you think. The success of any long term weight loss plan
your ability to set manageable and achievable personal goals, track
regardless of how minute they may be and keep your eye on the end
result. (For more on this topic check out,
If you follow these principles, adjust during the process
when need be, and focus on your long term goals you will increase your chances
for success dramatically. Remember long term weight loss is a long term goal.
Your success will rely on your level of commitment and your ability to see the
end result, however far in the future it may be.
http://www.MyBestHealthPortal.com and http://www.MuscleMagFitness.com.
About the AuthorJeff Behar, MS, MBA is a recognized health, fitness and nutrition expert, regularly writing about hot topics in the areas of health, fitness, disease prevention, nutrition, anti aging and alternative medicine. Jeff Behar's work often appears in several of the major health and fitness newsletters, health and fitness magazines, and on major health, and fitness websites. Jeff Behar is also a well sought after personal trainer, motivational speaker and weight loss expert.