Foods That Help You Lose Weight

Every diet aficionado always dreams of losing weight quickly and almost effortlessly. If it’s not us, we all have at least one friend who is a diehard health buff and always preaches what he/she does. It’s actually not bad to take care of your body while you still can do it and you don’t need to do anything drastic. The key elements for this feat can be summed up into three: exercise, discipline and diet.

Exercise

Exercise would entail that the health advocate devoting at least 20 minutes a day, 3 or 4 times a week. Of course, this would also depend on what you are aiming for. If you are aiming for a simple well-toned body, then that frequency would be enough for you. On the other hand, if you’re looking to bulk up, then you might want to invest more time and better facilities in it.

Discipline

Discipline itself is an extraordinary achievement that so many fail. They start off well for the first few days or weeks, and then start to feel the pangs of procrastination until they eventually forget that they were on a health regimen in the first place. There are many ways to discipline yourself, with some suggestions that you start off slow, to drastic changes like revising your daily schedule and routes.

Diet

The last and usually overlooked factor is the diet. People sometimes think that eating less is the only and best way to go. However, eating smarter, not harder can help you in the long run. You can easily find healthy foods that satisfy you almost everywhere. If you don’t want to eat out every meal or if you want to prepare food yourself, you can buy these foods yourself and have the peace of mind that you saved money and you yourself prepared it to your standards.

Healthy Food to Lose Weight

Foods that target weight loss work on increasing your metabolism or the rate in which you burn calories, and the effort your body digests these foods can help you shed those calories in the process itself. The foods listed below are common and easy to prepare as you will find out; you might even find out that you already have it in your kitchen. In that case, all you need is to increase your intake or combine it with other healthy foods.

    • Whole grains – from the name itself, you can get the idea that your body needs a huge amount of energy to break this food down; which is why nutritionists and even trainers recommend having a good source of whole grains in your meals. It can be found in oatmeal or brown rice and never in processed foods.
    • Lean meats – yes you read it right. People think that for a healthy and effective diet they have to avoid meat and substitute it with other products. If we think about it, we are developing our muscles through our regimen. As a plus, protein needs a lot of energy to digest. This means that as your body processes these meats you get to burn off a small percentage of your calories as well.
    • Low-fat dairy products – aside from building your muscle mass and keeping your shape, these products also help to maintain your metabolism at a healthy pace. This can be attributed to their calcium and vitamin D contents, just remember to keep the quantity in check.
    • Green tea – instead of the usual soft drink or carbonated beverage, why not replace it with a healthier brew? Just after drinking green tea, it immediately speeds up your metabolism. If you don’t fancy hot drinks all the time then you don’t need to fret. You can replace it with iced tea that you can leave in the fridge for when you feel that thirst.
    • Hot peppers – after eating just a handful of these is enough to make people sweat or fidget about. There’s a good reason for that reaction – it boosts your metabolism and also burns off the calories while you fret about. For preparation, you can just eat it raw, cooked, dried or in powdered form. You can just add it in soups, dishes, sauces or even in the preparation phase.
    • Spinach and green vegetables – we always hear the doctor recommend that we add regularly to our diet ‘green leafy vegetables’ – and it’s for a good cause. These contain compounds that fight free radicals and as a bonus, they also help in repairing of muscles while you are getting your body ripped.
    • Tomatoes – putting all that fruit vs. vegetable debate aside, you can focus on the fact that tomatoes contain a lot of good things for your health and weight loss. To begin with, their very low on the calorie meter, but the fiber content gives you that full feeling; plus we all know that fiber can keep your bowel movement healthy. In short, tomatoes are good in managing your weight in the short and long term.
    • Sweet Potatoes – this is actually a very good vegetable, one that is easily overlooked. Because of its name, you might think that it is on the unhealthy side. However it is actually much healthier than its name suggests, and you can eat a couple of these when you’re dieting. One important characteristic of sweet potatoes is that they have few calories, but keep you full for long periods. In fact, if you have the cravings for potato chips, you can easily replace it with their sweeter cousin, to help you lose weight instead of putting it on.
    • Chicken Breast – if you’re on a vegetarian or vegan diet then this might not be an option for you. However for those of you that can eat this, its high protein value and low amount of fat are two of the main reasons why you should add this into your diet. Being one of the most popular meats, incorporating chicken into your meal plans won’t be that difficult also. One thing that you need to remember if you eat chicken breast is that it needs to be skinless. Chicken skin can easily soak up all the oils and raise the calories through the roof easily. If eating chicken without chicken skin might seem so bland to you, you could add some of the fruits or spices mentioned to make it more interesting.

From the three important factors (exercise, discipline and diet) in a healthy regimen, people easily overlook one or two things in their quest for their ideal body. They might think that working out too rigorously while focusing on protein intake is the only way to go about it, but then they realize that they can’t maintain their shape while they tone down or taper their exercise sets. It is always a good idea to include something so casual like diet in the therapy. Remember that eating smart and choosing foods that help you lose weight can dramatically increase the results and help your health in the long run as well.

Exercise Tips for Everyone

Staying fit can be a challenge. Anyone can start going to the gym, but not all people can stay committed to it every day. Excuses become common in the next few months and before you know it, you’ll even forget that you ever went to the gym. Here are some exercise tips for staying and keeping fit. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or a professional, there’s something for everyone here.

Stay Consistent

It is one of the common feature for health aficionados everywhere. When getting up off a couch is already difficult, going to gym everyday for a couple of hours can be mentally exhausting. What you can do is to start doing simple things. There is a concept called the one pushup method to develop your exercise habits. What you do is to do a single pushup when you wake up. That’s it, just one single push up. You do this until it becomes a routine then you work your way from there. Eventually, you’ll get used to it.

A lot of gym buffs fail with maintaining their exercise regimen because they immediately go all out in hopes of getting results quicker. Although they can really give you fast results, the problem will be a few months after. When you stop going to the gym, your muscles will get flabby and you end up in worse shape than before you began working out. Make sure you choose an exercise regimen that you are able to stick to after a few months or even years.

Set Realistic Goals

One of the possible things that motivate people to work out is when they want to have the same body like that of a celebrity. If you fall into this criterion, you have to accept that you and that celebrity are very different, and although you may be able to achieve that result, it may take quite a while. If you set your own bar too high, it will lead to frustration and disappointment which may be unhealthy. What you can focus on instead, is developing healthy behaviors. As we said, once you get the hang of having a healthy lifestyle, you will be able to maintain it for a long time.

Use a Buddy System

It can be dull and boring when you work out by yourself. You can find a friend or relative who shares the same goals in terms of health and fitness as you. What makes this a good method is that you can encourage one another and exercise together. Not only will you improve your body, but you can also strengthen your relationship.

Activities You Love

When you’re not at the gym, you can still continue your workout. For example, you can take up dancing, gardening, cycling or playing sport. If you already have a physical hobby, then you can continue doing that in your ‘off’ days. Since it’s also an activity you like, you won’t notice how long and tedious it is.

Exercise, Exercise Everywhere

No, we don’t mean that you suddenly break out in a run or you suddenly drop into a pushup position when you’re at the office. What we mean is that you incorporate it into your daily tasks. Take walking for example, instead of walking at a leisurely pace, you can make it brisk; like you’re going to a meeting and you’re already late. The common method is to use the stairs instead of the elevator. If you commute to and from work, you can get off a stop or two earlier and walk the rest of the way. So even if you’re at the office most of your time, it doesn’t give you a reason why you can’t stay fit; like what we’ve been saying all along: it’s all in your mind.

Go Green

When you have to run for errands, why use the car when you can bike or walk the way? Unless you expect to carry bags from groceries or a piece of furniture, you can be more active while you cross off your to-do list. Aside from being healthy, you won’t bother looking for parking spaces and of course, you’ll also do your part for the environment.

Get Professional Help

While you’re a beginner in this area, you won’t know everything about exercising. This part is especially crucial. If you do an exercise wrong, you could be bulking up or cutting down in the wrong way. In the end, you’ll end up looking far from your target image. When you get professionals to assist you, first they’ll check your body and also assess what type of exercises you are good at and where your weaknesses are. By improving your weaknesses and reinforcing your strengths, you will improve your overall fitness.

Use the Right Gear

If you go to the gym, it can be easy to overlook the gear you need. You might think that a simple shirt, rubber shoes and basketball shorts are all you need. However, you need to consider that a lot of injuries happen in the gym because people don’t take time to get the proper equipment. Here are some of the basic equipment and what you need to know about them.

  • Wear shoes that fit well, are comfortable when you move, and give the right kind of support for your body. While you run on that treadmill or lifting weights, your body weight will be on your feet. If they are not supported well, you could tear a ligament or worse, break your bones.
  • For exercise clothing, wear fabrics that absorb sweat and remove it from your skin. If you prefer loose, light clothes then cotton is also fine. You should avoid wearing rubber or plastic suits or belts since these prevent your body from dissipating heat properly.
  • Avoid ankle and wrist weights. Aside from altering your normal movement patterns, you increase the risk of injury. If you need to add weight to your workout, you can wear a weighted vest. It helps to distribute weight evenly and allows you to move more naturally compared to weights attached to your extremities.
  • If you prefer bringing your workout outdoors, you need to be properly equipped as well. Wear protective gear like helmets, knees and elbow pads for contact sports. If you like running or exercising in the evenings outside, wear reflective clothing and/or lights.

Exercising definitely needs to be consistent and continuous. You can’t just jump in, work your way in getting that ideal body shape, and then quit. Working out also includes maintaining your body shape even after you have obtained it. Following these exercise tips isn’t enough; you need to make sure that you take care of your body in other aspects like having the right state of mind and eating healthily as well.

Guide to Eating Healthy

There may be a couple of reasons why you would want to eat healthy: somebody told you, it’s your (yearly) new year’s resolution or you think that it’s about time you take care of your health. Whatever the reason may be, it will be a difficult path, depriving yourself of your comfort foods and minding your portions each time you eat. On the brighter side, you should also look at the improvements you will be making as you increase your lifespan, you get a better life and you also set a good example to the people around you. If you’re new at this endeavor, here’s a quick and basic guide to eating healthy for you to get on that healthy bandwagon.

Free Your Mind

Everywhere we turn, there’s always an advertisement about a new fast food product that satisfies your deepest food cravings. That’s a part of their advertisement strategy so there’s nothing wrong with that. What’s wrong is how much we are affected by it and forget that we do have a choice regarding the food we eat. Instead of simply following what our taste buds dictate, think about the long term effects. Don’t worry, there are also some good things you will instantly feel when you eat healthy food.

Think Natural

A good way to think in general which food is good for you is to think where it came from. Natural food or ‘real’ food are things that grew in the ground, on a tree, came from the sea, lived on land and flew in the air at one point in their lives. Meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits are just some examples of real food.

On the other side of the scale, junk food comes from a drive-thru window, a vending machine, or a processing plant. If it has a lengthy ingredient list, then you can be sure that it’s not good for your body. Of course, we know that it came from natural food; but it underwent 20 steps before it reached your table, and those steps make it the unhealthy choice.

Be Realistic

There are a lot of diets out there that have outrageous claims. Some claim that you can lose a lot of weight in just a few weeks. Deep inside, you know that it’s just a lot of hot air and nothing else. If you’re just starting to eat healthy, there are a lot hurdles you have to overcome and results are still quite some ways away. Keep in mind that small changes produce big results. You start off slow, then you’ll eventually work your way from there. Ever heard of a yo-yo diet? That’s reality catching up with a crash diet.

Eat Moderately

When people hear that someone is on a diet, what immediately comes to mind is eating very small and starving with crazy concoctions. However, a key foundation to a realistic healthy diet is moderation. It might seem vague and varied, but moderation will depend on your normal eating habits. After all, what you are aiming for is a diet that you can maintain for a long time, not just weeks or months. No matter what those fad diets tell you, you still need a healthy mix of fats, carbohydrates, protein, vitamins and minerals to keep your body functioning. Depriving yourself of one food group is detrimental to your body and will work against you instead. Moderation is the key to a lot of things, including eating. Instead of thinking that some food groups are ‘off-limits’, try to reduce their intake into smaller portions instead.

Eat Properly

From what we’ve talked about, healthy eating does not depend on your food only. The way you think about food is also very important. Think of food as nourishment and learn some healthy eating habits instead of something to keep your hunger at bay. Concerning eating habits, here are a couple of pointers you could start with.

  • Eat socially. Eating with other people can have social and emotional advantages. Compared to eating in front of the TV or computer where you tend to mindlessly overeat, eating with people encourages healthy eating.
  • Savor your food and chew slowly. When we eat fast, our minds don’t even bother thinking about what we’re taking in. We just want to remove the discomforts of hunger and that’s it. If you chew your food, you taste the flavors and feel the textures. It makes us mindful of how the food was prepared and if it’s really healthy or not.
  • Don’t confuse boredom with hunger. Listen to your body and check if you’re really hungry or if you just want to do something else. Try drinking a glass of water to see if you’re just thirsty. During a meal, stop eating before you feel full. It takes a few minutes before your brain decides that you’ve had enough and this is also where eating slowly comes in.
  • Eat small frequent feedings. You don’t need to stuff yourself during one meal of the day and then eat almost nothing for the other meals. It will damage your body, not to mention making you feel tired and lethargic all day. Instead, you can choose to have small frequent feedings that give you regular bursts of energy all throughout the day.

Stock up on Fruits and Vegetables

Every great diet is anchored on fruits and vegetables. It might not be fun to eat for others, but it’s definitely a good foundation for a healthy diet. They are low in calories and their nutrients are denser than a Chinese phonebook. Remember that eating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables is very important in your diet. Try to eat them every day and every meal. Great choices of fruits vegetables include:

  • Green, leafy vegetables. Packed with iron, calcium, potassium, zinc, magnesium, and vitamins A, C, E and K you can go beyond bright and dark green lettuce and include broccoli, Chinese cabbage, and kale. These are just some of the examples of green vegetable that you can add to your diet.
  • Sweet vegetables like sweet potatoes, beets, carrots, corn, and yams add a healthy sweetness to your meals. In addition, they also reduce your craving for other sweets; you can even eat these sweet vegetables as dessert.
  • All fruits can be used as a snack since they are filled with vitamins, antioxidants and fiber. There are a lot of health benefits from fruits which other food sources are unable to provide, so keep a healthy mix of fruit in your diet.

Eating healthy can be very daunting and frustrating a lot of times. However you don’t have to deprive yourself from those sweet temptations. As we pointed out in this guide to eating healthy, you start slow, moderate your intake, and then continue to build that healthy habit. It can take months, but after that it will be comfortable and may even seem natural for you with time. That’s one of the reasons why crash or sudden diets fail; it’s not the diet, it’s you – and your motivation to stay on that diet.