It is a time-honored tradition to make resolutions at this time of year. If your resolution is to lose weight - and keep it off, then keep reading! Here are six simple tips that will have you losing weight in a balanced and healthy way.
1. Lose weight with water. Water is essential for everybody - it is also the key to losing weight. If you haven't been drinking enough water, your body has developed a pattern of storing water. This water retention equals extra unwanted weight.
By drinking more water, you are not only flushing out toxins, you are also teaching your body that it no longer needs to store water. Drink at least 60 ounces of water (about 8 glasses) a day. Boil water and sliced lemons, and drink this throughout the day to help with fluid retention. If you are still not sold on the merits of water, try this on for size: water is a natural appetite suppressant.
2. Soup up your weight loss program. A simple dietary change will have you shedding pounds: eat a bowl of soup at least once a day. Nutritious, low-salt soups will nourish you as they flush waste from your body. People who eat a serving of soup daily lose more weight than those who eat the same amount of calories but don't eat soup. Go for homemade soup whenever possible, as canned soups are loaded with salt and chemicals.
3. Eat early to keep weight off. The human body follows a circadian rhythm, which means that the same foods eaten at breakfast and lunch are processed differently than when eaten at dinner. Studies show that when you eat your daily protein and fat at breakfast you tend to lose weight and have more energy; however, eating the same things at dinner tend to increase tendencies toward weight gain. I suggest that you eat your last meal of the day by 7 p.m.
4. Eat smaller meals, more frequently. Follow an eating schedule with five little meals every day. Eating steadily through the day keeps you from becoming famished and overeating at your next meal. Make a low-fat trail mix from raw almonds, pumpkin seeds, dried plum, and apples and have it available at all times to avoid the tempting lure of high-calorie snacks.
5. Adopt a balanced approach to your diet. Most of the fad diet programs out there nowadays are extreme in a few recommended foods, or else deprive the body of food altogether. This works in opposition to our metabolism and the results usually don't last, producing a yoyo effect that depresses your metabolic function - not to mention your self-esteem. We are natural beings that need a balance of nutrition from all sources.
Your diet should consist of a balance of organic sources of lean protein, complex carbohydrates, whole grains, legumes, nuts, fruits, and vegetables. Instead of white rice and pasta, opt for brown rice, bulgur, millet, or buckwheat.
Eat more green, chlorophyll-rich foods such as broccoli, kale, spinach, and asparagus. Eliminate candy, sugar, soda, and all simple sugars from your diet. Excess sugar ends up being stored as fat in your body, which results in weight gain. Also, keep dairy to a minimum because most dairy products are high in saturated fat. Avoid fatty foods, processed or fried foods.
6. Walk off the weight. The No. 1 cause of weight gain is inactivity. Physical activity is the key to speeding up your metabolism and burning excess calories. The best way to be physically active is to use your legs! Walk as often and as long as you can. Always take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Step outside during your break at work and take a walk around your building. Consider joining a local hiking club. Try taking a walk 30 minutes in the morning or 30 minutes in the early evening.
I hope this article helps you shed some pounds and add on the years! I invite you to visit often and share your own personal health and longevity tips with me.
May you live long, live strong, and live happy!
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To learn more about Dr. Mao and other natural health tips, go to askdrmao.com.
To purchase Dr. Mao's book, "Secrets of Self-Healing," click here.