Weight Loss Tips

Strategies and Tips for Safe, Sane and Effective Weight Loss

The weight loss industry in North America is very big business:
  • An estimated 50 million Americans will go on diets this year.
  • Almost 99 percent of people who go on diets fail to achieve their weight-loss goals.
  • More than 97 million adult Americans are considered overweight.
  • Each year an estimated 300,000 Americans die from obesity-related diseases.

Have you heard about the popcorn diet? How about the grapefruit diet? Or maybe you'd be interested in the soup diet, or the nothing-but-submarine-sandwiches diet?

In North America we seem inclined to try every wacky thing that comes along if we think it will help us with weight loss.

But fad diets are just that: fads. They may seem to work at first; they may even help you drop 5 or 10 pounds in a hurry, but because they don't promote a healthy balance of nutrients or help you develop healthy eating habits, they can do more harm than good.

If you are menopausal or peri-menopausal you may also want to read this page... Menopause and weight gain

The American Academy of Family Physicians notes that rapid weight loss associated with a fad diet means you're most likely losing water and muscle mass, not fat.

Additionally, there are potential health risks associated with a fad-diet type of weight loss plan, including:

  • Anemia
  • Gallstones
  • Muscle weakness and atrophy
  • Gout or kidney stones
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Dry skin
  • Electrolyte imbalance
  • Stress, anxiety or depression
  • Skin rash
  • Temporary hair loss
  • Heart rhythm irregularities
  • Heart failure

The Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research suggests that the components of an effective weight loss program must include a nutritionally balanced diet, the ability to maintain that food plan long-term, and an exercise plan that increases your activity throughout the day, as well as exercising several times a week.

Simple, right?

Eat healthy and exercise.

Well, it may be simple in theory and it seems pretty obvious, but it aint' always easy!.

If it were, millions of Americans wouldn't be overweight. But don't despair. The nutritionists at St Joseph Regional Medical Center in Indiana offer the following strategies to help you effectively lose weight for a lifetime -- so you don't spend your lifetime trying to lose weight:

Click here for my recommendations on the best online weight loss programs.

Cut the fat, but be careful! Many so-called 'Low Fat' products add an excessive amount of sugar to enhance flavour, this can be just as bad as high fat!

Fat has more than twice the calories of protein or carbohydrates. Limiting fat in your diet can really make a difference in achieving your goals. How can you do it? For starters:
  • Use nonfat or reduced-fat mayonnaise and salad dressings
  • Remove fat and skin from meats
  • Saut√© in broth, rather than oil or butter
  • Eat low-fat dairy products
  • Read labels on packaged foods, and avoid products that contain coconut oil, palm oil and other tropical or hydrogenated oils.

Reward yourself Stay motivated by setting "mini-goals" for yourself, and give yourself a reward when you reach those goals (for example, after every five-pound loss).

Think before you eat. Ask yourself if you're really hungry or just bored, angry or depressed.

Take in fewer calories According to the American Dietetic Association, you'll need to lower the calories you take in (and/or increase your physical activity) if you want to lose weight. Eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, and grain products, as well as lean meat and poultry.

And because a restricted diet often means an unbalanced diet, it's wise to take a nutritional supplement to ensure you're getting all the vitamins and minerals your body needs.

Eat a wide variety of foods You'll stay better motivated if your meal selections are varied. If you eat the same things every week, you're more likely to get bored and want to splurge.

You don't have to clean your plate It may contradict what your mom taught you, but a big step to weight loss is to stop eating when you're no longer hungry, even if there is food left on your plate. (Of course, the other option is to take smaller portions in the first place.)

Slow down! Eating more slowly or spreading your meal into small courses allows more time for what you have eaten to register in your brain - you will feel fuller and eat less because of it.

Get support It's easier to lose weight and maintain weight loss if you have the support of family and friends. As a matter of fact, the single most effective motivator can be sharing your experience with a friend. So recruit a buddy to share in your exercise and weight loss program and your chances of success are greatly increased.

Most of all...Be sensible.

Successful weight loss and healthy weight management depends on sensible goals and realistic expectations. Setting realistic goals gives you a better chance at sticking with your diet and maintaining your healthy weight for a lifetime.

Take a supplement. The average North American diet is missing many essential nutrients including minerals and vitamins. Nutritional supplements may fill in what's missing in a person's diet. Because many weight loss programs typically restrict calories, getting the right amount of what you need can be more difficult. Taking a nutritional supplement is becoming the only way to meet your daily requirements.

Some Doctors attribute cravings of fatty or sweet foods to a deficit of certain minerals in the diet.

In fact, those wild cravings for peanut butter and pickle milkshakes during pregnancy could be attributed to shortages of minerals in a womans body that are being demanded by the developing fetus!

We met a woman who, all through her childhood and young adulthood, had a powerful craving for dirt! She would have uncontrollable urges to scoop handsful of dirt into her mouth and eat them.

These cravings finally stopped when she moved to North America and started taking a multi-mineral supplement on the recommendation of a Naturopath. Doctors had been unable to solve her strange problem.

A quality mineral supplement might help to relieve your cravings too!

For an almost endless supply of Weight loss tips visit my Personal Trainer Blog. Don't forget to scan the archives.

Recommended Resources:

Menopause Weight Gain Help Find menopause weight gain help and resources to eat well, exercise, lose weight and fight the signs of aging that women over 50 experience.

Fat Burning Food List

Delicious Low Fat Recipes
If you are looking for delicious low fat recipes, Jeff, The Skinny Chef, has an ever-growing collection in his site. The recipes come with the number of servings, amount of fat, kilojoules, calories and Weight Watchers points. His recipes are so delicious... you won't believe they're healthy! (But they are!).

You can find more information about weight loss, diet, and fitness onWeight Loss Essentials

Hypnosis may be a complementary option for some people. Learn to train your brain for weight loss.

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