Many men and women made plans to to lose a specific amount of weight in one month in early 2011. Unfortunately, by this time, many New Year’s resolutions are already almost forgotten, given up on in frustration or simply tossed aside. The vast majority of resolutions involve changing diets and attempting to eat foods that promote weight loose and better heath. One reason so many fail is an over-optimistic, complete makeover of eating habits. Drastic changes rarely stick; it’s really hard to give up old habits and make a 100% change.
Rather than starting out with a bang, then fizzling completely out, take a look at changing just a few things in your diet. To hasten shedding those 10 pounds, start this month targeting sugar intake, exchanging just one can of pop for water. In a few weeks try exchanging 2 cans for water. Most health experts advocate water over diet versions of pop, as water is a much healthier choice. In one year, over 60 pounds of sugar will be eliminated from your diet by this simple exchange! This is one of the slow and steady tricks that adds up to an amazing number of calories over the course of a year.
Sugar is implicated not only in weight gain but in many chronic diseases effecting increasing numbers of Americans. Type 2 diabetes is linked to excess sugar and refined grains, certain cancers may be aggravated by sugar, and even Alzheimer’s disease may have a sugar connection.
While you are cutting sugar intake, look at the breakfast cereal, muffin, or pastry you start each day with. Replacing these with a bowl of cooked oatmeal with fresh fruit not only decreases fat and sugar intake, it provides a burst of healthy nutrients and fiber to your day. Increased fiber intake can help burn those calories faster, helping you achieve more rapid weight loss. Fiber keeps the digestive tract in good working condition and helps protect the cardiovascular system. As usual, when eating healthy foods you get multiple benefits.
Another area that can be easily addressed is fat consumption. Try this simple switch. Rather than buying two percent or whole milk, buy skim milk. Add it to your coffee, oatmeal, recipes, or enjoy a glass with a meal. Saturated fat has been closely linked to heart disease, so again, not only will you lose weight, you’ll protect your health.
Another simple exchange is using natural nut butters instead of margarine, loaded with trans-fats, or butter, full of saturated fats. Use nut butters on toast or bagels, and enjoy their healthy taste. Cooking with olive oil rather than butter saves calories and speeds weight loss and is known to lower bad cholesterol.
One of the easiest changes that promotes weight loss is portion control. Look at your plate and figure a 10 to 20 percent reduction in portion size. Leave some of the plate empty. Enjoy the foods you always eat; just eat a little less each meal. Over a year, using only this simple technique, you can lose 10 to 20 pounds or more.
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