Monday, February 21, 2011
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Have confidence in yourself. You should know the exact reason that stimulates you to reduce your weight. This will help keep you motivated in your weight loss program.
Set an achievable goal for your weight reduction. If the aim is not practical then you will easily get disheartened and stop following your regime. You must set a target that has a time limit. The amount of weight you want to lose and the time within which you would like to lose it should be decided beforehand. If the time and amount of weight is clearly decided primarily, your enthusiasm will keep you on the track until you reach your destination.
Determine your daily caloric intake. Losing weight is simply an activity. Lower your calories intake without starving. Remember to calculate your metabolism. The metabolism is a large part of your calories burned in an average day. To win the battle, know how many calories you consume in a day.
• Write down all the things you eat on a typical day. Carry a small notebook with you and write down every snack, every drink, and the contents of every meal. There are also great websites that you can use to keep track of calories, get recipes, and help achieve your goal. Don't forget to include the pats of butter or the spoonful of sugar in your coffee. It's best to do this for at least a couple weekdays and a weekend; it's even better if you can go a full week. There are also calorie tracking websites that can help you to do this, such as the US government Pyramid Tracker website.
• Do an itemized calorie count. When possible, write down the number of calories in each thing you eat as you eat it. Keep in mind that the recommended serving size is often considerably smaller than the serving you actually eat. Look up the calorie count on the internet for foods that don't have calories listed on the container or for fast food meals. You don't have to be 100% accurate, but you do want a good estimate of the number of calories you're taking in. There is an idea that multiplying your ideal weight by ten will produce a rough estimate of the number of calories you need to eat per day to maintain your weight. This is not true for everyone. You may wind up grossly under or over estimating the number of calories you should be eating. Consult a nutritionist. Use a scientific or health website to determine the number of calories you should eat a day or consult your doctor. Everyone has different metabolisms and there is no blanket rule that covers everyone's recommended calorie intake. Reducing 500 calories per day from the calories you eat to maintain your weight can help you lose a pound of fat per week. 
Go over the list and decide which foods to cut out or reduce. Cutting calories is usually a lot easier than you might think. For example, that daily tall latte in the morning may pack 500 calories. Since a pound of flab (lost or gained) is roughly equivalent to 3,500 calories, replacing that rich beverage with black coffee can help you lose a pound a week. Other easy cuts include salad dressing (salad dressing is the number one source of fat in the average American woman's diet), soda pop, candy, and butter. Look at the nutritional information for the foods you eat, pay special attention to your intake of saturated fats and empty calorie, high-sugar foods. You don't need to cut these things out entirely, but if you reduce your intake of high-fat, high-calorie foods you'll lose weight faster.
Seek out alternatives to the unhealthy foods you've identified. You can simply reduce the amount of soda you drink or mayonnaise you put on your sandwiches, or you can substitute healthier choices. Drink water instead of soda, for example, or use mustard instead of mayo. Low-fat and low-calorie options are also available for most foods, and many of these are natural, (although some may contain chemicals), and tasty. Start trying to eat healthy in most meals:
• Choose lean meats. Chicken and fish are both very low in fat, and certain fish like salmon, sardines, and fresh tuna are an excellent sources of antioxidants and Omega-3 fatty acids, which are also beneficial to your health, so aim to replace some or all of the beef or pork in your diet with these foods.
• Replace high-calorie side dishes with healthier alternatives. Many people get a ton of calories from side dishes such as macaroni and cheese, French fries, or potato salad. You can eat healthier and lose weight by replacing these with fresh vegetables and salads. Pre-made salads are practically effortless, and when accompanied by a reduced-calorie dressing or no dressing at all, they're weight-loss gold.
• Start your days off right. A fattening breakfast of bacon and eggs or a pastry can be replaced with yogurt, oatmeal, high-fiber, low-sugar cereals; or fresh fruit for fruit smoothies. However, for those on a low carbohydrate diet bacon and eggs are a great combo for breakfast, since neither have carbs. But don't fall into the trap of skipping breakfast. Eating a healthy breakfast increases your rest metabolic rate earlier in the day, and reduces snacking before lunch.
Plan your meals. Look for healthy, delicious meals online or in your cookbooks, and create a menu for the week. Make sure that your meal plan reduces your total calorie intake: you're not going to lose weight if you consume the same amount of calories by eating different foods. Make a list of what you'll need for these meals, and -- except for a few snacks, of course -- don't stray from your list when you get to the market. Planning your meals helps ensure you get a balanced diet and reduces the temptation to stop off for fast food or order a pizza. Remember, it's easier to stick to your shopping list if you shop when you aren't hungry - this will help avoid impulse buys which contribute to calorie consumption.
Watch your portion sizes. Eating a whole bag of rice cakes in one sitting won't help you lose weight. When eating chips, nuts, or dried fruit, put a portion in a small bowl and then put the bag away. That way you won't mindlessly eat a larger portion than you had intended. Even if you only make minimal changes to your diet choices, reducing portion size will inevitably reduce caloric intake. A great way to watch portion sizes while snacking is to buy one serving 100 calorie packages - and they come in many favorite snack food items! Eat slowly to avoid overeating; you will get satisfied with less calories.
Graze on healthy snacks. Just because you're getting healthy doesn't mean you can't snack. In fact, eating small meals and snacks throughout the day, or grazing, has been shown to aid weight loss, compared to eating three large meals a day, by keeping metabolism steadier. Pick snacks that are low in calories and fat and high in fiber dried apricots, nuts, rice cakes, fruits, baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, and so on. Vegetables are generally very low in calories, very high in fiber, and full of flavor and nutrition. Avoid starchy vegetables like potatoes, and try to eat vegetables plain, without fatty dressings or dips. Fruit also makes a good snack. Fruit contains more soluble fiber than vegetables, which slows your body's absorption of carbohydrates, thus releasing energy more slowly preventing sugar highs, and keeping you feeling full longer. Fruit juices are not a replacement for the real thing. You need that fiber, and juices often have more calories than the equivalent serving of fruit and as many calories as soda! Be careful with dried fruits, because without the water, you tend to eat more, and fruits, when dried, are calorie-rich per ounce. With any dry or dried food, be sure to drink plenty of water.
Get more fiber. There are many myths about fiber, but there is science to back up its helpful role in the diet. Fiber keeps the right amount of water in your intestines, making your digestive system work more efficiently and helping to keep you regular. Thus, just eating enough fiber may help you feel slimmer in just a day or so. There is also evidence that fiber in the diet can help prevent stroke and heart disease, ease the effects of diabetes, and may even directly help in weight loss.
Drink plenty of water. An adequate amount of water is essential for health, and a great many people simply don't get enough. What's more, if you're chronically dehydrated, your body will retain water in unflattering places, so if you make sure to get plenty of fluids you can start visibly trimming down in as little as a day. Remember, the more you exercise, the more water you'll need. See the related wikiHow for more details on how much water you should be getting. Drink one glass of water before your meal; it will help digestion and also to get the sensation of fullness in your stomach that will keep you from overeating; that in combination with eating slowly, will allow you to stop eating when you are satisfied, not when you already ate too much (If you eat too fast you can get full, even bloated but still be hungry) .
Write down your targets on sticky note pads and then stick them in most spaces of your home. These stuck notes will always remind you of your goal and will further inspire you to stay on your regime. They would not let you forget your goals at any time.
Exercise. Remember, you can lose weight either by decreasing your calorie intake or increasing the number of calories you burn. Any health strategy should include both, but if you want to lose weight fast, exercise is essential. By making time for exercise and other healthy, productive activities, you can also avoid temptation to overeat.
• Perform low impact aerobic activities. Moderate aerobic workouts incorporating brisk walking, cycling, aerobic machines, or swimming not only burn calories they also keep your heart healthy. Swimming is great, especially if you are quite overweight or have joint problems, because you can get the same benefits of running typically burning even more calories with much less stress on your joints. Try to get at least 30-40 minutes of aerobic exercise at least three or four days per week.
• Pump some iron. Resistance training, weight training, can help both sexes stay lean by building muscle and raising metabolism. The fact is, hours and hours of aerobic exercise won't help most people lose weight fast because your metabolism drops back to normal fairly quickly after stopping the exercise. If you gain muscle, however, your body's resting metabolism, (the amount of calories you burn when you're just sitting still), increases, because muscle requires a lot of calories to maintain. Studies have shown consistent weight training to raise the body's metabolism by 15%. This means an average woman might burn 200-300 more calories at rest every day! Resistance training is the gift that keeps on giving!
• It can be fun! Although you're losing weight through possibly painful exercises, it doesn't necessarily have to be a boring and painful procedure. If you want some extra motivation that will cover up the pain, get the video game Wii Fit. Built by Nintendo, this system helps you do exercises such as yoga, aerobics, strength training, and balance. If you want to work on burning calories, you can always run, but when you run on Wii Fit, it's twice as fun, because you always have a score to beat, and if you're competitive enough, it's a great way to burn the calories and get in shape.
Rest properly. This means not only taking at least 24-48 hours between strength training the same muscles, and taking 1-2 days off from exercising each week; it also means knowing how much sleep you need, since sleep deficiency impairs your ability to lose fat.
Be realistic. Don't expect a miracle. Healthy weight loss can be achieved fairly quickly, but you'll need to be patient. In addition, be sure to set realistic goals. Make sure that the weight you're trying to reach is a healthy weight for you, and keeping in mind that gaining pounds of muscle will help you lose fat, be trimmer, and look better even though you don't actually lose any weight. Your goal should be a healthy body, not a number of pounds! Everyone looks good at a different weight. A short person may look really good at about 112 pounds, but a person of a taller height would just look unhealthy. Keep yourself at a weight that makes you look good, not at a number that sounds good.
Make adjustments. A successful weight loss strategy based on reducing calorie intake and increasing activity can be adjusted to maintain your desired weight once you reach it. Unlike typical diets, this method is sustainable; it is a lifestyle change, not a binge-and-purge exercise. Slowly adjust your diet and exercise to include more weight training and calories, as much as is comfortable for you. If you do gain any weight back, you want that weight to be lean, toned muscle, not fat. In addition, weight training, no matter what your age, prevents muscle atrophy and can help stave off osteoporosis.
• Instead of thinking of it as losing a certain amount of pounds, think of it as being a certain weight. So if you are 145 pounds, and you would like to lose 10 pounds, think of it as being 135 pounds. This helps you think about it as a long-term goal and not just losing the weight to gain it back again.
Be confident. You need to believe in yourself! If you want to diet, and you know that it will make you feel better, then you need confidence. Otherwise, the temptation to cheat on your diet will make it harder, and you will not feel better when you do lose weight. Avoid temptations like chocolate, ice cream, and cookies. They may taste good, but there are other foods that taste delicious, too, without being unhealthy. You need to always encourage yourself to achieve the goals that you have set. Learn to evaluate your efforts fairly and objectively. If you fail to achieve your target for the week, find out why is it so. Is it because you have missed an exercise session? Or you have been eating junk food for one of the days? After evaluating, look ahead to next week and try your best to stick to your plan.
Be consistent and disciplined, and have self motivation. To lose weight effectively, you need to stick to your weight loss plan religiously so as to see results. When you think about giving up, visualize the benefits of slimming down successfully.
After you achieve your targets successfully, you must maintain your weight loss. You must form a way of life that is healthy for you. Make certain that you don't gain back the weight you lost by returning to your old eating habits.
You can simplify weight loss with a pre-planned diet, many of which involve ready-made food. Be especially cautious of and do not spend long (more than, say, a month) on a diet which involves an extremely restricted variety of foods; do not use any that involves drugs without consulting a doctor. Some involve special versions of a variety of more-or-less ordinary food.
• Preparing menus and queuing up portions of food well in advance can help you stick to a diet (by having a well-defined diet to which to stick) and avoid reminders to think about varieties of food daily, which is very helpful when trying to eat less of it.
Monday, February 14, 2011
Many people will choose weight loss as a New Year's resolution, but many will fail say experts.
One clinical psychologist says people sabotage themselves by not being clear on their goals.
Pam Wurst struggled for years to lose weight. One of the triggering points for her to finally shed pounds was when a 5-year-old child patted her stomach and asked: "When is the baby coming?"
"I about died," she said. "I wasn't even remotely pregnant, just really overweight."
Wurst, a 39-year old instructional designer, artist and consultant from Marietta, Georgia, lost about 100 pounds, starting from 264 to a low of 155. She lost most of her weight in the first nine months and has kept the majority of the weight off for more than six years.
Seth Leigh of San Tan Valley, Arizona, a computer programmer, has also struggled with his weight. He says he found the motivation to lose at least 110 pounds in nearly seven months so he could return to the Army National Guard in 2010 as an officer. (He has lost 135 pounds to date.)
He was 40 1/2 when he started his weight loss regimen. "I was facing an age deadline to get back and knew that once I turned 42 years old, it would be forever too late," he said.
The New Year represents a time to create resolutions and for many Americans, weight loss will be high on their lists. And while Wurst and Leigh's weight loss stories are a success, experts say most people will fail at following through on their resolutions.
Clinical psychologist Mark Crawford of Roswell, Georgia, says some people sabotage themselves by not being clear on their goals.
He offers some tips for getting it right.
1. Be specific about your goal.
"Saying that you want to lose weight is way too general," Crawford said. "You should set specific goals, like you want to lose 5 to 10 pounds."
2. Set a realistic goal.
Make sure you set something achievable and sustainable.
3. Establish a plan to reach your goal.
4. Set a time frame to reach your goal.
"Thirty days is a manageable goal to start with, and then go from there," he said.
Above all, Crawford says stay the course
"You will make mistakes," he said. "You will have slip-ups, it is part of it." But never use it as an excuse to give up.
A website supported by the National Institute of Health notes "the key to successful weight loss is making changes in your eating and physical activity habits that you can keep up for the rest of your life."
And even if you don't need to lose weight, it's a good idea to follow healthy eating and exercise habits to keep you healthy throughout your lifetime.
How did Wurst and Leigh shed pounds?
When Wurst first started her journey, she set a goal of fitting into a size 14.
"I didn't know how long it would take, but I felt like I could accomplish that in a year and I did," she said. She now wears a size 10 or 12, which exceeded her plan.
Wurst said when she first started losing weight, she set a goal of exercising six days a week, and three of those days were 22 minutes of cardiovascular moves. After a few months into her Body-for LIFE-program, her job required her to travel a lot and she cut back her workouts to three to four days a week.
Wurst changed her eating habits, too, and stopped eating junk food. She tries to set a goal of eating four to six small meals a day to speed up her metabolism.
Her meals often include proteins with portions the size of her palm such as fish, chicken, nuts, tofu, mushrooms and eggs. She eats carbohydrates such as multigrain rice or multigrain crackers. Wurst tries her best to avoid processed foods and soda.
Leigh had a different plan to shed his pounds. At the height of his exercise program, he spent up to five hours a day working out. His routine included walking, biking, swimming, lifting weights and burning calories on a treadmill or Stairmaster.
The iReporter restricted his diet to about 1,500 calories a day.
"I didn't have any time to waste or any days when I could afford not to exercise and eat properly if I wanted to qualify with the right weight for the Guard," he said.
"I had a few times during that heavy-duty weight loss period when I would go out and ride 20 miles on my bike at 11 p.m. or midnight, because I hadn't exercised yet that day and I wouldn't let myself go to sleep having missed a day," he noted.
Both Wurst and Leigh were motivated to reach their goals, but experts differ on their opinions on how much exercise is necessary and what type of foods to eat in order to lose weight.
For those of you planning a weight-loss program in 2011, consider guidelines the National Institute of Health offers on its website to help you get started.
Losing weight can be a challenge
Wurst said before her big weight loss, she tried a lot of methods to lose pounds, including drugs prescribed by her doctor. "In 2000, they tested my thyroid and found it to be very slow, and I was prescribed 300 mg of Levoxyl a day and told it would help," she said.
Six months later, she returned to her doctor in tears and said the drugs weren't helping.
"My doc shrugged it off and said 'fat people are jolly.' “She said.”I was heartbroken."
She struggled for a few more years until a friend visiting from Tampa, Florida, in 2004 helped her get started on the diet and exercise regime he used.
"At last, I finally found a program that worked," she said.
Leigh said he struggled for years as a heavy person and said he weighed more than 300 pounds for about an 11-year stretch.
For him, the motivation to achieve a dream is what it took to finally get him back to better health.
"I would imagine myself standing, in a nice new suit, in front of the Officer Selection Board, answering their questions about why I wanted to get back into the Army National Guard," he said.
"I must have imagined that interview with the board a hundred times while working out," Leigh noted.
Both Wurst and Leigh say the best part of their journey is they are now happier people than they were before the weight loss.
"I feel great and love to tell people about my story," said Wurst.
What is healthy weight loss?
It's natural for anyone trying to lose weight to want to lose it very quickly. But evidence shows that people who lose weight gradually and steadily (about 1 to 2 pounds per week) are more successful at keeping weight off. Healthy weight loss isn't just about a "diet" or "program". It's about an ongoing lifestyle that includes long-term changes in daily eating and exercise habits.
To lose weight, you must use up more calories than you take in. Since one pound equals 3,500 calories, you need to reduce your caloric intake by 500—1000 calories per day to lose about 1 to 2 pounds per week.
Once you've achieved a healthy weight, by relying on healthful eating and physical activity most days of the week (about 60—90 minutes, moderate intensity), you are more likely to be successful at keeping the weight off over the long term.
Losing weight is not easy, and it takes commitment. But if you're ready to get started, we've got a step-by-step guide to help get you on the road to weight loss and better health.
Even Modest Weight Loss Can Mean Big Benefits
The good news is that no matter what your weight loss goal is, even a modest weight loss, such as 5 to 10 percent of your total body weight, is likely to produce health benefits, such as improvements in blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood sugars.
For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, a 5 percent weight loss equals 10 pounds, bringing your weight down to 190 pounds. While this weight may still be in the "overweight" or "obese" range, this modest weight loss can decrease your risk factors for chronic diseases related to obesity.
So even if the overall goal seems large, see it as a journey rather than just a final destination. You'll learn new eating and physical activity habits that will help you live a healthier lifestyle. These habits may help you maintain your weight loss over time.
In addition to improving your health, maintaining a weight loss is likely to improve your life in other ways. For example, a study of participants in the National Weight Control Registry* found that those who had maintained a significant weight loss reported improvements in not only their physical health, but also their energy levels, physical mobility, general mood, and self-confidence.
Healthy Weight Tip
Waist circumference can help assess your weight and associated health risk.
Did you know that a reasonable and safe weight loss is 1–2 pounds per week? While it may take as long as 6 months to lose 5–10 percent of your body weight, it will make it easier to keep off the weight.
Did you know that a portion is different from a serving of food? A portion is the amount of food (big or small) you choose to eat. A serving is a measured amount of food or drink.
Speak to your doctor before starting a physical activity program if you have a health problem such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, or asthma.
Using tools can help you stick to your healthy weight plan and track your progress. Try one of these now.The combination of a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity is recommended, because it produces weight loss that also may result in decreases in abdominal fat and increases in cardio respiratory fitness. www.lamodademiami.com
Monday, February 7, 2011
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