8 Secrets to Healthy Weight Loss

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to weight loss.

Weight problems are affected by our cultures, habits, genes, etc.

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Find the one that best describes your biggest obstacle and follow the relevant strategies. You may fit in more than one category.

Problem # 1 NOT ENOUGH EXERCISE….

We are designed to move but with technology and lots of conveniences, most of us spend a lot of time sitting.

SOLUTION…

Start small. Exercise for 30 minutes 3-4 times a week. Then build up to 60 minutes four times a week. Recommend exercises include cardiovascular, walking, and weight training.

Listen to good upbeat music. It will improve your mood.

To improve your chance of success, find a committed partner to work out with or join a fitness group or class.

Problem #2 THE WRONG FOODS…

All natural foods (in its raw form) are good. No such thing as a bad food as long as it is eaten in moderation. It is mostly what we do (the process) that makes the food bad.

Avoids foods that contain: sugar, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils/fats (trans fat), refined flour, and saturated fats.

SOLUTION…

Avoid eating those wrong foods especially if they are listed in the top five ingredients list.

Eat natural sugars from fruit, focus on whole grains, eat a diet high in fiber, choose from leaner cuts of meat, avoid deep fry foods, and avoid processed foods.

Problem # 3 MINDLESS EATING…

Mindless eating is eating when you are not hungry or do not stop eating when you are full.

SOLUTION…

Listen to your body, not your emotions. Before you eat, sit down, breathe, drink some water and focus on what your body is telling you. If you are not really hungry, it means you are just bored. Do something else besides eating. Do something that helps process your emotions like draw, walk, talk to a friend, etc.

Avoid eating in front of the TV or the computer. Eat at the dining table. Try to always eat with someone or a group of friends. People tend to eat more when they are eating by themselves.

Eat slower to give your body the appropriate time to send signals to your brain that you are full.

Problem # 4 GETTING OLDER…

Metabolism slows down about 5% every decade starting in our mid-thirties. But don’t let this be a reason just to put on the pounds.

SOLUTION…

Stay active. Exercise at least 30 minutes five times a week. Walk as much as possible. Incorporate strength training to maintain or improve muscle mass.

Be more conscious of what you put in your mouth.

Problem #5 POOR PORTION CONTROL…

Portion sizes have increased significantly in America. Overeating non-starchy vegetables are acceptable. However, Americans tend to over-eat simple carbohydrates, fats, and meat which will affect weight and health.

SOLUTION…

Half of your meals should from come from non-starchy vegetables. Try eating from a smaller plate. Eat from chopsticks or hold a fork in your non-dominant hand.

Problem # 6 STRESS AND FATIGUE…

Stress and fatigue usually leads to weight gain. Stress can lead to making poor food choices. Fatigue or sleep deprivation may increase stress hormones to can trigger weight gain.

SOLUTION…

Sleep more. Sleep at least 8 hours everyday.

Reduce your stress without using food. Meditate, exercise, or see a therapist.

Problem # 7 GOAL PLATEAU…

The last five pounds are very difficult to lose. Or you may find that you don’t see any positive results even if you are eating correctly and exercising regularly.

SOLUTION…

Increase your exercises and keep your food (calories) intake steady. You can either exercise more often or increase the intensity of your usual workout.

Eat small frequent meals (5-6 small meals in a day) instead of 3 large ones.

Problem # 8 YO-YO DIETING

Diets do not work! Diets may deprive you from certain foods. And how long can you deprive yourself from food? Going on low calorie diets many times may increase your chance of decreasing your metabolism. Dieting also promotes unhealthy mind-set of denial and reward.

SOLUTION…

Follow a healthy lifestyle: eat the right foods with regular exercise.

But if you must follow something, follow the Mediterranean lifestyle of eating. People in the Mediterranean eat lots of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, fish, olive oil and nuts. Also, they are very active people.

In conclusion…

We focus too much on subtracting or having less. How about focusing on adding? Add more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and exercising to your life. One of the biggest obstacles from changing habits is the “all or nothing attitude.” Sometimes, we will slip. But treat these lapses as lessons and not confirmation that you are a failure.