Sunday, April 28, 2013

10 Secrets for Weight Loss Success

1. Set Goals
Successful people set goals in all parts of their lives and health and fitness goals are no different. Set yourself realistic goals under the smart principles... Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely.
If you have a lot of weight to lose that long term goal may be overwhelming so break it down into monthly and weekly goals and celebrate your achievements. (Be careful not to undo your good work so you will need to choose your celebration wisely!!!)
2. Have a Plan
Write down your eating plan. Plan your meals a week at a time and shop weekly with a shopping list. Avoid the aisles of biscuits, drinks, snacks and processed food. If you stick to the outside parts of the supermarket where the vegetables and fruit, meats and natural foods hang out you won't go too far wrong.
Make an exercise plan or get someone to make one for you and keep you accountable.
3. Make Lifestyle Changes
Healthy eating is a lifestyle and to make the necessary changes you will have to form new habits. You may find some of your friends or family will actually sabotage your efforts to change your habits and this can be difficult to deal with. You may also find you need to be careful to spend time with people who will support your efforts and encourage you. After a few months of persistence you will see the results and this will help with your motivation.
4. Motivation and Support
Changing a lifetime of bad eating habits is not easy!! Find a buddy to work with but make sure it's someone who will keep you accountable and won't listen to your excuses!! If you need to, use online support and there are even people out there who are happy to give you email support and motivation for a small fee. It will be worth it to become a healthier you.
5. Portion Control
One of the easiest ways to reduce calories consumed and thus start your weight loss program is to reduce your portion size, even halve it. Use smaller plates, buy some if you have to, and it won't look half as bad and don't fill it to overflowing!!! We really don't need that extra food. Eat slowly, savour each mouthful and chew your food. Allow your body the time to recognise when it's had enough.
6. Sugar and Fat
Our supermarkets are bombarding us with low-fat options in foods but if you read the fine print they are all loaded with sugar to compensate.
Avoid processed sugar (white, raw or brown) and fruit juice. Sugar is poisoning our society and is hidden in every processed food we purchase. Go on a quit plan if you need to. Your body will thank you, you won't face diabetes and anything sweet will taste horrible after a while. Juice is concentrated fruit with all the sugars and calories and none of the fibre. We physically couldn't eat all the pieces of fruit in a glass of juice. Eat one piece of fruit instead. Google the amount of sugar in soft drinks, sports drinks and sodas. You'll be horrified!! There is about 10 teaspoons of sugar in a can of cola.
Some fats are good in moderation and our body needs them. Omega-3 fats are essential to our bodies' function.
Good fats are found in Olive oil, Avocados, Nuts, Seeds and Fatty Fish.
Bad "Trans" fats are found in Commercially Baked Goods (pies, cakes, donuts, muffins), Margarine, Fried foods, Packaged snacks and Pre-mixed Cake Mixes etc. Avoid these altogether.
There are other fats that fit in between so limit them to very occasional use.
7. Exercise
Move more. Exercise boosts our metabolism and maintains our muscle strength and endurance. Exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes every day until it becomes a habit. Brisk walking is excellent exercise and can be done with a friend. Cycling and swimming are easy on the joints. If you enjoy company and classes try the gym. Strength training is great for building muscle which burns calories faster. Make sure you use correct technique to avoid injury. Don't worry about bulking up. This isn't possible without using extreme weights. Older people benefit greatly from a light weights program. It's always best to seek a doctors OK prior to starting a new exercise program.
8. Best Foods to Eat Are:
A good source of protein, lean meat and chicken, fish, eggs, lentils and beans.
Vegetables, as many as you can eat with as much variety as possible. They can be delicious with simple creative light cooking. Nothing kills the taste and nutritional value of vegetables like overcooking!!! There are plenty of quick and easy recipes and cooking tips online.
One or two pieces of fruit daily.
Wholegrain unprocessed cereals like oats and rice.
Stick to natural unprocessed foods and you'll lose some weight without even trying.
9. Foods to Avoid:
We've already touched on sugar and fat. Avoid all trans fats, sugar, soft drinks, soda and sports drinks. Processed foods, packaged biscuits and crackers, breakfast cereals, white flours, white rice and high carbohydrate high GI foods like these. Keep your alcohol consumption to a minimum. These are empty calories.
10. Avoid Temptation
If there are certain triggers to your overeating or poor food choices avoid the temptation. Don't go near those aisles in the supermarket, avoid fast food places like the plague. It's all about choices and you can choose to make the right choices for your health with a little discipline.
Follow these 10 tips and you'll find you have more energy and confidence, your clothes will look better, you'll avoid the pitfalls of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and falls and fractures. Good luck with your weight loss goals!
Neal Johnston is a qualified and experienced Health and Fitness consultant with a special interest in the health issues of the over 40's. If you are interested in contacting Neal or require further information email

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