Monday, December 6, 2010

Weight Loss Tips

Think long-term…. avoid the rebound effect.
Keep your weight-loss goals realistic. It is reasonable to expect to lose about one to three pounds per week. Too rapid weight-loss almost always results in a rebound effect, where all the lost weight returns if you fall off the path.
Quick weight-loss fixes never last long. In many weight-loss programs, the quick weight that you lose is often due to loss of muscle rather than fat loss. When you lose muscle mass, you actually lower your metabolism since muscles are the primary “burners” of carbohydrates and fats in your body.
Dramatic decreases in caloric intake leads to decreased or slower metabolism, and more weight gain.
Sudden, or too low caloric intake leads to a loss of muscle mass as your body struggles to meet its daily energy requirements by burning muscle rather than fat. It also causes your body to STORE FAT. This can happen whenever you eat less than 1000 calories a day. Your body requires at least 1500 calories a day just to perform its basic functions.
Decreases in your muscle mass result in a decrease in your metabolic rate, which in turn results in more fat being stored! This is the major reason for the failure of over 80% of diet plans. Instead of training your body to burn fat, they train your body to store fat.
Graze, Don’t Gorge!
Frequent SMALL meals are better for weight loss. Frequent small meals serve to convince your body that you are NOT starving, that food is abundant, and that fats DON’T need to be stored for hard times.
Research has shown that you can increase your metabolism (and lose weight), by eating smaller, more frequent meals during the day. You will lose weight on five small meals a day, and gain weight on two large meals a day.
Your Mother was right…. you need to eat breakfast!
Did you know that your body burns about 450 calories when you sleep at night? Your body needs to re-fuel at breakfast time. Believe it or not, breakfast actually helps to kick-start your metabolism!
If you don’t have breakfast, your blood sugar levels can fall too low, resulting in cravings for high-sugar food. It can also cause your metabolism to slow down, resulting in increased weight gain. Successful individuals in any weight-loss program always eat breakfast. Oatmeal cereal with egg whites on the side is a great way to start the day…you get both complex carbohydrates and protein. A small fruit topping (without sugar) gets you started on your daily fruit and vegetable requirements.
Forget the fast food.
Fast food is generally made with cheaper ingredients, such as high fat meat, lots of saturated and trans fats, lots of salt, and cholesterol. All of these ingredients lead to health problems, weight gain, high blood pressure, inflammation, and heart disease.
Consider what is in a basic medium fast food meal of a burger, French frys and a vanilla shake. In that one meal you will get 87 grams of fat and 1,480 calories. If you want to gain weight, inflame your body, and die of a heart attack, then by all means, go for it.
Keep the salt levels down.
Salt (or sodium chloride) is essential for the maintenance of human life. Salt controls the amount of water within our bodies and maintains the critical balance between cells and body fluids. It also aids in the contraction of muscle tissue and serves as a vital ingredient of blood plasma and digestive secretions.
Excess salt, however, upsets the electrolyte balances in your body. It can cause your body to retain water in its attempt to balance electrolyte levels within your body. Fluid retention causes increases in blood pressure, bloating, kidney failure, stroke, hypertension, and of course, weight gain.
Get All Your Building Blocks with EACH Meal
Fad diets, fasts, and other quick fixes deprive your body of the essential requirements it needs to survive. Your body's immediate protective response is to store every particle of nutrition it does receive, and cut back on its metabolism. In other words, your body stores all its input nutrition as help you survive what it perceives to be a hostile and food-poor world.
To really lose weight in the long term, you must ensure that you are giving your body the required nutritional elements that it requires. You need to convince your body that food is abundant, readily available, and fulfills all your body's nutritional needs. When you provide all the key building blocks of nutrition in each meal, your body becomes willing to increase its metabolic rate, and release the fat reserves that it currently has locked up.
The basic building blocks of good nutrition are green and colored vegetables, protein, good fats, and carbohydrates. Try including each of these in every meal.

Start thinking about your body-fat percentage.
Body-fat percentage measures the percentage of fat in your body. If you are 200 pounds and 30% fat, it means that your body consists of 60 pounds of fat and 140 pounds lean body mass.
Remember your goal is to gain muscle (which burns fat), and muscle also weighs more than fat. So initially, don’t worry about what the scales say. Your focus is to get rid of the fat while adding on muscle.
Also remember, a certain amount of fat is essential to bodily functions. Fat regulates body temperature, cushions and insulates organs and tissues, and is the main form of energy storage. If your body-fat percentage gets too low you can actually damage your immune system.

Add Muscle to Your Body
· Muscles burn more calories than any other type of tissue in your body (with the exception of your brain). Muscles help to increase your resting metabolic rate, which means you burn fat even when resting.

· For each pound of muscle that you add to your body, you will burn an extra 50 calories each day. This means if you add five pounds of muscle mass to your body, you can burn 250 extra calories a day, even when you are just sitting around.
Strength training (or muscle building) should be one of the fundamentals of anyweight loss program. (Note: diet changes alone will not give you the results you want!) Strength training builds muscle mass and increases your resting metabolic rate. Exercise and strength training are the keys for getting rid of all that already stored, excess fat.
Remember, you want to GAIN muscle mass. Since muscle weighs more than fat, you may find that initially you are gaining weight, rather than losing it. But that’s ok…because a few weeks later, all those new muscles are going to start burning your excess fat reserves, and that’s when the weight starts dropping off!

Get a good night’s sleep!
You need to sleep at least 8 hours every night if you want to lose weight. Lack of sleep increases stress, increased stress increases cortisol levels in your body, increased cortisol levels result in weight gain.
Proper sleep is essential! Your body uses this time to rebuild and repair tissue, to re-energize your immune system, cleanse your brain and body of toxins, and to replenish your energy reserves.
Lack of sleep affects the level of hormones which control weight-loss – melatonin and human growth hormone. Both of these are produced during sleep, and interruptions and lack of production inhibits their positive effects on your body. In fact, research has shown that the probability of your being obese is 73% higher if you get only four hours of sleep per night.

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