Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Swimsuits and Weight Loss

How is it September already? Seriously - where has this year gone? I feel like only yesterday, I was sitting there writing up my New Years resolutions and planning exotic vacations that I can't afford to take. Well, I suppose the latter part still holds true. Speaking of vacations, my Key West excursion is coming up in just over a month and I have yet to shed those pesky extra pounds that I gained earlier this summer. Ugh.

Fortunately, I still have time to slim down before the big trip - and no, it doesn't entail weight loss pills or the drastic elimination of certain foods and beverages. Between ramping up my exercise regiment - and embracing portion control, calorie reduction, sugar-free foods and beverages, I should be able to safely lose a few pounds in the next month. Check out these awesome tips from the website.
  1. Dear diary… Keep a food journal. Often, we eat more than we realize. And when it comes to weight, every calorie counts. It helps to write down all food and beverages consumed throughout the day to get an accurate picture of the number of calories you are consuming. From the bagel and banana at breakfast, to the salad dressing and roll with lunch and handful of mixed nuts before dinner, write down everything you consume. You may find that the calories really add up! These types of journals can help uncover hidden calories, specify eating patterns, highlight problem areas and, essentially, increase the chances of weight loss success down the road.
  2. Is it the size of your fist or your face?  In today’s era of super-sized meals, many people are completely oblivious to what a normal portion looks like. In fact, research shows many restaurants serve two to five times the typical serving. For a more accurate representation, use your hand to measure food. Three ounces of meat or cheese should fit in the palm, while a cup of vegetables or fruit should be the size of a fist. When eating out, try to take home leftovers or split an entrĂ©e with a friend. At home, use a measuring cup, tablespoons and teaspoons to sift out appropriate portion sizes. This helps reduce daily calorie intake.
  3. Feeling frustrated? Hit the gym. Regular exercise can produce overall health benefits. And it doesn’t have to involve hour-long training sessions at an expensive fitness center. Go for a quick jog in the morning before you get ready for work. Instead of driving to the office, walk or bicycle. Bypass the elevator for the stairs and go for a brisk stroll around your building after lunch. Remember, muscle burns more calories than fat, so a regular mixture of cardio, flexibility and toning exercise is the best way to increase metabolism.
  4. Eat less, more often. Many experts say eating small snacks throughout the day will lead to healthier choices when it comes to the three main meals. Bring healthy snacks to work to curb your appetite, such as carrot sticks, pretzels, string cheese, low-fat energy bars or fruit. This way, you’re less likely to go home and eat a box of crackers with cheese before dinner. Also, frequently consuming snacks can help keep your blood sugar level steady and your energy up.
  5. Sugar-free does a diet good. Sure, too much ice cream is not necessarily a good thing. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have to deprive yourself of the frozen treat. Instead, try the low-calorie, sugar-free version. Have five pieces of sucralose-sweetened chocolate instead of regular chocolate and save 50 calories. And sugar-free yogurt eliminates about 110 calories per serving. If you start incorporating sucralose into your favorite recipes now, you could easily be flaunting a healthier weight in a few short months.
Excellent advice. I'll definitely be adopting these tips in my quest to slim down over the next few weeks. Wish me luck!

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