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Because A Mile Won’t Be Conquered Without Making Small Steps
Killing yourself with crash diets and intense workouts won’t do your body right. What’s more, they won’t take you closer to your weight loss goals. Try developing these five small eating habits, instead. You’ll never know, you could be losing a pound [or more!] a month and be nearer to achieving that elusive healthier [and sexier] you. Plus, you’re getting the whole family to eat healthily, too.
Admit it, the faster we get that leaner, less flabby body we want, the better. That’s why fad diets never lose their appeal – they all claim to give us results quicker than we can imagine and ever work for! However, doctors warn us about them, on repeat.
“The bigger claims they make, the more you should be wary,” says one health professional from New York regarding diet methods. “These fad diets could bring more harm than good to your body.”
This NY doctor along with a few dieticians and health advocates give their take on the five most dangerous diets practiced today and why they could be doing more harm than good to your body.
The Hollywood Diet
The Hollywood Diet’s creators, Jamie and Larry, claim that their regimen allows dieters to lose as much as 10 pounds in a 48-hour period provided that you get all your daily nutrient needs within this time via their specially-blended juice concentrate mixed with water. The dieter shouldn’t take in any other food item.
“The Hollywood Diet is good for detox or cleansing,” says one healthy lifestyle buff. “But I don’t think I’ll be able to survive it long-term.”
“This diet is extremely deficient in calories, only 800 compared to the standard 2,000-calorie intake for every person,” says one Los Angeles-based nutritionist. “This puts your body in a starvation mode which is quite harmful in the long run.”
Aside from these, the dieter may experience constipation or diarrhea, exhaustion, and nausea.
The Baby Food Diet
The premise of this diet method replace the dieter’s breakfast and lunch with pureed foods rationed in tiny jars (thus, the name as the jars resemble ready-to-eat baby food jars sold in supermarkets) and to eat a low-calorie meal for dinner.
“What’s wrong with this diet? Well, why to settle down for puree when you can have the real deal?” said one New York-based doctor. “It’s better to increase your serving of fruits and vegetables and lower your sodium consumption than deny yourself the pleasure you can get from eating and chewing real food.”
The Master Cleanse (Also Known As The Lemonade Diet)
Beyonce did this diet method – which consists of downing glasses of water infused with lemon juice, cayenne pepper, and maple syrup – and survived to tell the tale.
“Yes, the Master Cleanse lets you get off some pounds, but those are mostly water weight,” said the LA nutritionist. “You’ll most likely get the weight back when you also go back to eating solid foods. Besides, these kinds of diets are the ones that cause you to lose muscle mass which slows down your metabolism. The result? You’ll have a more difficult time losing weight in the future. Is it worth that risk?”
The Sleeping-Beauty Diet
This fad diet’s premise encourages dieters to down drugs so they can sleep their way to thinner waists. Accordingly, if you sleep in, you skip a few meals which result in you losing weight.
“This, by far, is the most harmful in the list,” said the NY doctor and the group agreed. “Not eating and drinking for days slow down a person’s metabolism and could bring about dehydration. Additionally, taking in unprescribed sleeping medications or other illegal drugs to induce sleep for days is very dangerous to one’s health.”
What’s The Best Diet To Follow?
“Look for diet plans that allow you to lose one to two pounds a week,” said the LA nutritionist.
“Most of all, don’t fall for the “lose weight easily and fast” diets that keep coming up,” said the NY-based medical practitioner.
Who says dieting is fun? Na-ah! In fact, it is, arguably, the most challenging lifestyle change one undertakes on his road to weight loss with exercising coming in as a very close second place. But these recent years have brought about innovations that ideally help a person looking to lose weight to achieve his goals. And one of these advances is smartphone applications.
2 in every 3 American adults are either overweight or obese. We all know that going beyond the healthy weight standards puts one at risk of a myriad of health conditions such as diabetes and heart problems. So, we strive to keep ourselves up in shape, dieting being one of the most common shape-up steps we do.
But how can we ensure we’ll stick to our dieting regimens? Easy. Through our smartphones! As one study put it, people who use apps to help them reach their weight loss goals succeed far better than their counterparts who strictly follow their diet plans alone.
So without further ado, here are the six best smartphone apps to use as weight goals’ helpers. And the best thing about them? They’re free!
FatSecret tracks its user’s food intake as well as his physical activities. Furthermore, it serves as a monitor device to keep the user updated about his weight loss progress. What do most users like about this app? It allows them to connect with other people who have the same goal as them – to ultimately lose weight.
My Diet Coach
If you like to incorporate fun into your weight loss regimen then, this app is your must-have. Aside from monitoring your food intake and physical activities, you can also set up challenges with this app and earn rewards if you overcome them like clothes for your app avatar.
MyFitnessPal works as a food reader. It gives its user the access to over 5 million food items, so you can count the calories your every meal has. The app works out the idea that one can lose weight by merely counting and controlling his calorie intake. Additionally, the user can add pre-packaged foods into his food diary by letting the app scan barcodes.
What’s more, its fitness tracker and user community access are perfect add-ins for someone who also wants support from others who have the same goal.
Like all the other weight loss helper apps, Lose It tracks its user’s food intake and exercise habits as well as his weight loss goals. It also enables him to contact other users for weight loss inspirations and support when the going gets rough.
What makes it unique, though, is its Snap It feature. It allows users to take a picture of their meals and keeps track of the calories.
Pact is both a conventional weight loss app yet not-so-conventional at the same time. Like the others, it tracks the user’s food intake and physical activities. However, it’s also the only one in this list that gives off a reward many would find worth losing weight for – cash incentives. But be aware. When you fail to meet the challenge’s goal, you might see yourself paying instead (and be out of your budget in the end!).
As its name implies, this app educates its users on healthy eating by enabling them to make the best choice when it comes to their meals. Want to know the most nutritious cereal out there? Consult Fooducate. Aside from this unique feature, the app works as any conventional weight loss apps do – tracking food intake and monitoring exercise and other physical activities.
Changing your lifestyle to achieve your weight loss goals is not an easy feat. Thatis why you need every help you can get along the way.
The Golden Nuggets Of Wisdom We Get From the Experts
Do nutritionists ever have struggles when it comes to weight and food?
“Yes, we do!” answers one well-known registered dietician and culinary nutritionist. “We have weight problems, and food struggles like everyone does. But because we work with nutrition, we’ve learned to deal with them smartly.”
In this note, let us learn a tip or two (or even more!) from the country’s top dietitians and nutritionists when it comes to food management and slimming down.
- Each meal should have at least four kinds of tastes.
Remember that tastes lesson you had in elementary? Who would have known it would turn out to be vital when it comes to slimming down?
“A satisfying meal is more than just nutrition,” says one leading nutritionist and dietitian. “There are six types of tastes – sweet, salty, sour, bitter, pungent and umami. If you have at least four of these flavors in one meal, you’re less likely to crave for junk foods later on.”
She goes on to suggest stocking up your fridge and pantry with various healthy condiments, herbs, and spices to make meals tasteful.
- Drink water along with your every meal.
60% of our body weight is water. It’s no wonder we need this colorless and tasteless liquid to function properly. And one dietitian’s simple slimming trick? It’s something not new at all – drinking about 16 ounces of water (approximately two glasses) as you eat your every meal.
“Water makes me feel full. I feel fully satisfied with my meal when I have water with it,” the dietitian and popular chain of fitness and nutrition studios owner says.
- Lessen your salt intake every day.
It’s not too late to train your taste buds to get used to only a little salt as our buds regenerate every ten days. So, if you’re used to putting too much sodium in your foods, it’s time to rein in.
“Salt might have no calories but putting in too much of it encourages your body to retain fluids,” says a registered dietitian who also serves as the spokesperson for one nutrition academy. “Less salt intake means less fluid retention resulting in less bloating.”
Don’t just make do with lessening salt in your meal preparations, however.
“Put in more flavor in your food to make up for the loss of saltiness,” she advises.
- Incorporate more protein into your breakfast.
Because the most important meal of your every day is breakfast, you have to make it the healthiest, right? RIGHT. Eating a nutritious morning meal not only helps in your trimming down goals, but it can also boost your mood throughout the day, improves your immunity and helps keep your mind killer sharp.
And one of the best ways to amp up your morning meals? Put more protein into them.
“When I have more protein for breakfast, I can last up to lunch without craving for snacks mid-morning,” says a corporate dietitian for a big marketing company. “Protein doesn’t mean meat. You can add nuts to your bowl of cereals or oatmeal or have cheese with your sandwich…get creative!”
Additionally, one research found out that people who incorporate protein into their morning meals had better weight loss results.
5. Take a 10-minute move break after an hour of sitting down.
“After writing for an hour, I make it a point to get up and move around for ten minutes. I call these my 10-minute move breaks,” says one registered nutritionist who also authored a few health bestsellers.
“It’s not just my way of burning calories,
but these breaks serve as mind refreshers, too,” she adds.
Set an hourly reminder on your phone. Then, for every hour of desk work, take ten minutes to stand up and move around may that be to get your water bottle refilled, go to the copier next door to copy some papers or even a little climb up-and-down your office building’s stairs.
And No, We’re Not Just Talking About Diet And Exercise!
What factors determine how fast (or slow) your weight loss is? Here are nine things that are significant influencers in your quest to shed off those extra pounds. Take note; this list doesn’t include diet and exercise!
- Current Weight
Your body mass tops the list of leading weight loss influencers.It’s because a person’s weight is the number one causal factor when it comes to calculating how fast the body burns calories every day. According to experts, the larger you are, the higher your metabolic rate is.
Fitness experts say that the older you get, the harder it is to lose weight. Additionally, you might lose those extra pounds, but they come off slowly. Two things come into play in aging – hormonal changes (menopause for women and lower testosterone levels for men) and sarcopenia, the loss of muscle mass brought about by your body’s aging process.
- Weight Loss History
Have you lost weight in the past? It could be the reason why you’re slow in losing weight now. Experts say that when you lose weight, your metabolic rate also drops.
Example, two women weigh 180 pounds but are still looking to lose more weight. However, one of them used to weigh 250 pounds. In this case, the woman who dropped from 250 to 180 will find losing weight more difficult by 25 to 30% compared to the other one.
- Length of Your Weight Loss Journey
Experts agree that for most people, losing weight at the beginning of their weight loss journeys is easier. This occurrence is mostly due to these three factors:
– Firstly, the pounds you dropped at the beginning of whatever regimen you’re following aren’t fat losses but water weight. Example, the body stores carbs in your liver and muscles along with water molecules. When you lessen your carb intake as part of your weight loss regimen, your body starts using those carb reserves. Thus, your body also says goodbye to those water molecules stored alongside with them. This decrease in your body’s water levels reflects on the scales as weight loss.
– Secondly, the amount of changes people do at the start of their weight loss journeys impact their weight rather drastically as the body is still getting used to them.
– Lastly, when people see that their weight loss regimens are making slower progress compared to when they just started, it often results in a drop of their resolve to pursue their weight loss plans. Their watered-down efforts make losing weight even more difficult.
If you’re already a health buff before you decide to lose weight, your weight loss journey will most likely be slower as your lifestyle needs only a little makeover. However, if you’re starting from scratch, the many changes your lifestyle is going to go through will also leave a more significant impact on your body and your weight.
“About 20 main genes and 200 minor ones affect a person’s fat storage and ability to maintain weight,” says one medical doctor. It’s the reason why some people don’t get fat even with the insanely huge amount of food they gobble up.
- Exercise Regimen/Choice of Workout
Aerobics might be an excellent regimen for those wanting to lose weight and build up their cardiovascular health, but experts advise that one who does aerobics must also do some muscle-building workouts to build up the muscles he has now. Loss of muscle mass slows down metabolic rate which can affect how fast you lose weight in the long run.
- Hormonal Health
Some people have hormonal imbalances that significantly affect their weight loss goals. An abnormal thyroid or an irregular cortisol production, for one, brings about weight gain and retention. Talk to your doctor if you are religiously going through your plans but is gaining weight instead of shedding them off.
- Sleeping Habits
“People who get less than seven hours’ sleep at night tend to have slower metabolic rates,” says one medical professional.
Additionally, sleep quantity isn’t the only determinant you should think about when it comes to sleep affecting your weight loss. Poor sleep quality also affects how fast your body burns the calories and increases cravings for high-carb foods. These, in turn, slow down weight loss.
So if you’re looking to lose weight but seem to be making little to no progress compared to others, check out if one, two or more of these factors are influencing your journey.