Modest changes to your diet add up. Cutting just 100 calories a day translates into a 10 pound weight loss in one year.
Deprivation diets set you up to backslide because you can’t survive on grapefruit and celery sticks for long. On the other hand, starting small allows you to make lasting lifestyle changes with less effort and discomfort. The only thing you’ll notice will be your shrinking waistline.
Lose weight without hunger pains and fatigue. Take a look at these no sweat strategies to start taking off pounds.
Changing the Way You Eat
Focus on fruits and vegetables.
Aim for at least 5 servings a day of fresh or frozen fruit and vegetables. They’re nutrient-dense so you’ll feel full while eating less.
Redo your salad.
Some salads are more fattening than a fast food burger. Steer clear of bacon, extra cheese, croutons, and creamy dressings. Pile up leafy greens and other vegetables instead. Add protein with grilled fish or chicken.
Budget your sweets.
An occasional treat can make it easier to stick to your diet. Plan ahead for how you want to spend your sugar calories. A half ounce of dark chocolate has about 100 calories.
You’re less likely to overeat if you eat before you’re ravenous. Keep cut vegetables and peanut butter in the office refrigerator. Pack a cooler with hummus and baby carrots.
You’ll be satisfied with less food if you give your brain a chance to realize that your stomach is full. Pull up a chair and savor your meals. Chew each mouthful carefully.
You can enjoy a wide variety of foods like ice cream or baked ziti if you stick to a reasonable serving size. Learn to eyeball what four ounces of meat or one ounce of cheese looks like.
Dine at home.
Eating at home rather than a restaurant will usually save you much more than 100 calories – even when you eat the same dishes. Luxury hotels and neighborhood diners both tend to use a heavy hand with oil, butter, and other fattening ingredients.
Changing the Way You Drink
A 12-ounce can of cola has 140 calories, and they’re all sugar. Drop the soda habit or have a calorie-free club soda.
A cup of orange juice has about 130 calories. Opt for a small orange with 45 calories and more fiber.
Trade in whole milk for low-fat or skim milk. Soy milk has even more protein and fewer calories, but check the label to avoid added sugars.
Enjoy cocktail hour.
A Bloody Mary has only 125 calories compared to 500 in the average Margarita. Wine and light beer are also good choices.
Whip up smoothies.
Drink a meal. Choose ingredients that provide complex carbohydrates and protein like green vegetables, berries, peanut butter, Greek yogurt, protein powder, and flax seeds.
Slim down coffee.
There are almost 50 calories in a tablespoon of sugar, and 20 in the same amount of half-and-half. Gradually cut back by half.
Tea has no calories, and it’s full of phytochemicals that protect your health. Enjoy it hot or cold.
Focus on water.
Make water your first choice for what to drink. Flavor it with mint, cucumber, or cut fruit for more variety.
Losing weight is easy when you cut calories in places where they won’t be missed. Eat a little less each day, and exercise regularly so you can reach your fitness goals.
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I really wanted to talk about this topic today because the overweight and obesity epidemic is at an all-time high! We are a fat society and it’s killing us prematurely. Not only do I truly believe that you have the power to lose weight to improve your health, but the science also agrees! You can adopt healthy lifestyle practices that improve your health and enrich your life, which can in turn improve the lives of those close to you. You have the power to break the cycle of obesity so that you can leave a legacy of health to your loved ones.
I use lifestyle medicine as the first line of treatment, before medications, to treat lifestyle-related chronic diseases. Lifestyle-related chronic diseases include diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and some cancers, just to name a few. Lifestyle practices, such as eating a whole-food plant-based diet and regular physical activity, can help you lose weight, and maybe reverse some of your chronic diseases. In certain cases, these approaches may even outperform pharmaceutical therapy.
Since weight management is very important in combatting chronic diseases, I recommend that you be mindful of your weight and its fluctuations, and that you monitor your weight AT LEAST on a weekly basis. I recommend a scale that includes a body composition monitor (*this scale cannot be used with a pacemaker or other implanted devices):
Physical activity (or exercise) can improve your health and reduce the risk of developing several chronic diseases like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and cancer, just to name a few. Physical activity can improve your mood, boost your immune system, and even help you maintain a healthy weight.
I often recommend yoga and resistance training for physical activity, but as you are aware, there are plenty of forms of “movement” that you can do! But for the basics, especially if you’re just getting started, yoga and resistance training are where I would start.
Yoga can be a great way to improve your strength and flexibility, manage your stress, improve your heart health, and lose weight! I recommend using a grounded yoga mat to connect yourself with the earth and reduce inflammation.
Resistance training is the mainstay for overall health. It not only has beneficial effects on reducing body fat, it also increases muscle size and strength. Here are some basic dumbbells/free weights that I recommend to everyone.
Another alternative for dumbbells/free weights are resistance bands. They are great for physical therapy, yoga, strength training, and excellent for traveling:
Remember, living a healthy lifestyle including eating a whole foods plant-based diet, regular physical activity, and reducing stress are the best ways to maintain a healthy weight. Let me know what you think in the comment section below.
PS. I am always asked what tools and resources I recommend to help you reach YOUR health goals. Here is the ever-growing, always updated list for you.
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