December 29, 2006

Easy Weight Loss Tips


know you are experiencing yo-yo dieting, but do not know how to stop it! It is time to get your balance back. The following easy weight loss tips will help you lose weight in a healthy way.

Tip 1: Find out how many calories you need

BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate)

BMR [kcal]
Body Weight [lb] x 15 + (moderate activity [mins/day] x 3.5)
Since you wish to lose weight, your target = BMR - 500 kcal

For instance, you weigh 140 lb and you perform 20 mins of moderate activity every day. BMR of this example = (140 x 15) + (20 x 3.5) = 2100 + 70 = 2170 kcal. BMR minus 500kcal; it would be 2170 - 500 = 1670 kcal. Therefore 1670 kcal is the target in this example to losing 1 lb per week.

Tip 2: Eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day

Fruits and vegetables are packed with beneficial fibers, vitamins and antioxidants. They fill up your stomach fast so you feel full earlier. They are also low in calories and helps to keep your calorie count low.

Tip 3: Watch for Portion Size

One serving of pasta means 1/2 cup of cooked pasta. However, most restaurants serve a pasta dish with 4 servings of pasta!!! You do not need to finish and clean off the plate every time. You can simply ask to take home the leftover.

Tip 4: Do not Skip Meals

Eating small frequent meals help to balance your calorie intake throughout the day and also keeps your blood sugar level balanced. Instead of eating 3 big meals, try to eat 5 - 6 smaller meals throughout the day.

Breakfast items to avoid

Carrot Cake MuffinPerhaps the word "carrot" make it sound like a healthy breakfast item, but most commercial carrot cake muffins are high in fat and calories. One serving of this favorite breakfast muffin from a coffee chain store contains a whopping 680 kilocalories and 40 grams of fat! Indeed, most muffins and scones are high in fat. Scones, in particular, usually contain trans fat as well.
DoughnutsDoughnuts are fried breakfast foods. If you do not eat french fries for breakfast, why would you eat fried doughnuts? One piece of glazed doughnut from a doughnut chain store contains 200 kcal of empty calories with precious few nutrients. What is worse is that it contains four grams of trans fat per serving. That is already two times more than the recommended amount of trans fat a day. Doughnuts with fillings contain even higher amounts of calories and trans fat, so stay away from this breakfast treat!

Frozen WafflesSimilar to doughnuts, frozen waffles are another example of empty calories when it comes to breakfast foods. Most store-bought frozen waffles are basically refined grain combined with refined sugar and trans fat, lacking health-promoting vitamins, minerals and fiber. Most people add syrup and margarine on their breakfast waffles, hence adding even more calories and fat. Not a smart choice to start your day!
McDonald's Deluxe BreakfastWith such breakfast items as scrambled eggs, hash browns, sausages, pancakes and dressing and syrup, this deluxe breakfast contains a shocking 1,120 kcal and 61 grams of fat! With that much fat, it is like swallowing 13 teaspoons of vegetable oil in one setting! What is more shockingis that this breakfast item at McDonald's contains 11 g of trans fat, that is is 5 times more than the daily recommended amount of trans fat!
The recommended daily intake for dairy is three servings a day and whole grains is at least three servings daily. If you do not normally eat these foods for lunch or dinner, it is easier to include these items in breakfast. Hence, choose whole grains such as whole wheat bread, whole grain cereals or oatmeal if possible. In addition, include a serving of dairy such as low-fat milk or low-fat yogurt, which is rich in protein, calcium and potassium. In general, try including at least three food groups in your breakfast so that you do not need to prowl for a mid-morning snack.

Tip 5: Go for wholesome fresh foods

If possible, purchase fresh foods and avoid package (processed) and convenient foods such as fast food. Packaged and convenient foods are often higher in sodium and fat content. Many people we spoke to are amazed that they can easily lose weight by packing a home-cooked lunch to work instead of eating out.

Tip 6: Don't be overly-restrictive

Everyone has his or her favorite treats. Simply allow yourself a little indulgence, but watch out for the frequency and the quantity. Having a small treat once in a while can be rewarding to your weight loss experience. Cutting too much of your favorite treats usually lead to an early relapse.

Tip 7: Understand Food Claims and Labels

A product labelled with a fat-free claim does not mean that it is low in calories. Similarly a product labelled as low-sugar or low-carb does not mean it is low in fat or calories. Always read the nutrition label on the packaging.

Tip 8: Watch for the sugary drinks

Juices, pop, cream & sugar in your coffee or tea all add up. Opt for drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day. In addition to providing hydration to your body, it will also help you feel full.

Tip 9: Keep a food journal

Keeping a food journal helps you pin point your eating pattern and will enable you to easily modify it. If possible, have your Registered Dietitian review your journal.

Tip 10: Exercise, period

Most authorities recommend 30 - 60 minutes of physical activity a day to stay healthy. Also try adding weight-bearing exercises at least 2 times a week. This will help burn some of the unwanted calories.

Adapted from HealthCastle