Older generations of Americans may be familiar with the original “Battle of the Bulge,” a historic battle that took place in WWII as American troops saw their supply lines stretched and pressed on all sides by the forces of the Nazi army. Today’s generation of Americans interprets “Battle of the Bulge” to be a different tale, consisting of expanding waistlines and fighting with weight which haunts millions of Americans. During the first decade of the 21st century a staggering 64% of Americans were estimated to be overweight, or worse, obese. That represents an increase of 14% from the 1980s and 90s and a 36% increase from the 1970′s.
Individuals who are overweight or obese will find themselves facing staggering health problems and are among the most at risk for developing diseases and health issues as a direct result of their weight. There are literally thousands of tips, hints, programs, and diets available to overweight and obese individuals with the express goal of helping them get back to a healthy and comfortable weight. It can be hard to sift through the endless amount of different options out there to find the best tips, but with a little patience and insight any individual can find the right plan to help them lose weight.
Despite the wide variety of diets and exercise programs proclaiming to be the best, often times they set unattainable goals that can actually put an individual’s health at risk by offering risky weight loss routines or providing unsustainable practices for weight loss. Often times the best route for weight loss is through proper nutrition.
The best place to start losing weight is by examining your diet and looking at what needs to be changed. People often allow their fast paced life to dictate when and what they eat, resulting in too much high fat and greasy fast foods entering their body. Other times people simply don’t know when to stop and with restaurants providing large portions, individuals often have a clean plate in front of them before they even realize how much they actually consumed.
Look to add the follow items to your diet in order to promote weight loss:
• Fruits and Vegetables: This will help provide the body with necessary fibers, minerals, and vitamins which have proven helpful in battling diseases along with a healthier diet.
• Replace Meat for Fish & Seafood: Helps avoid the high fat content in red meats and much like vegetables and fruit, fish and other seafood have proven benefits in fighting diseases.
• Spice it Up!: Adding a little spicier food in your diet increases taste as well as the feeling of being full, which results in less feelings of hunger later on.
• Drink LOTS of Water: Avoid sugary drinks and alcohol as they lead to increased urination and dehydration, increasing feelings of hunger. Other drinks also add calories to the diet on top of those consumed in food.
The next step to take toward your weight loss goal is to look at the types of food you eat and how often you eat. Often people eat their meals at a fast pace without taking valuable time to chew or even to enjoy their meal. Studies have also shown that by breaking up a daily three large session meal pattern into 4 or 5 medium/small portioned meals can greatly boost up one’s metabolism.
Here are some helpful tips on planning out your meals:
• Eat a Good Breakfast: Skipping breakfast often results in more intense feelings of hunger throughout the day, leading to increased snacking and a higher intake of calories than if breakfast had been consumed.
• If You’re Not Hungry, Don’t Eat: Often people consume snacks to cope with stress. Avoid food if you aren’t hungry and try to find alternative ways of dealing with stress.
• Eat Several, Smaller Meals: Try eating 4-5 smaller meals in a day instead of 3 larger meals. This will help reduce feelings of hunger and help control the overall number of calories consumed for the day.
• Don’t Snack Late at Night: Eating snacks after dinner time can often be troublesome for your diet since our body needs time to digest and break down the food. If you can’t fight the urge, buy low calorie healthy snacks to keep around the house for emergencies.
A successful weight loss program doesn’t stop in the kitchen or at the table. Eating healthy will only get you so far, exercise and a physically active lifestyle can increase your overall diet. Exercise is not only helpful in burning off the calories we consume but can also provide your body with more energy. Exercise can lead individuals to boost of their self esteem, raise moods, and can result in better sleeping patterns.
When creating a weight loss plan, don’t be too strict on yourself. A diet is only going to be successful if an individual can maintain their commitment to the plan, but if you grow to hate your diet you are more prone to breaking it. Instead, control the manner in which you break your diet so that you can step outside your diet once in awhile without completely forgetting about it.
Follow these steps below to maintain your plan:
• Don’t Deprive Yourself: Everyone has a craving they simply can’t avoid, so don’t. Organize a night out with friends and enjoy your craving. Completely ignoring your cravings can be beneficial but harmful at the same time. The key here is moderation.
• Order Kids Meals: When eating out at a restaurant or unavoidable fast food restaurant, order the kids meal. These meals aren’t as healthy but the portion sizes are a lot smaller. Fast food chains and restaurants also offer healthier alternatives such as fruit, vegetables, and alternative drinks.
• Pass on Deep Fried: Instead of side dishes like French fries, substitute grilled vegetables or a bowl of fresh fruit for a healthier alternative.
Any weight loss tips will only be as successful as the individual trying to follow them. Set reasonable weight loss goals for yourself and you will find them much easier to attain, making you feel more confident when you reach your goals .