Remember those great bike rides in the park, grilling salmon on the deck while sipping ice cold lime margaritas. Those times really aren’t that far away. Warmer weather will sneak up on us shortly, so it’s time to begin looking our best to enjoy the heat.
This for some could be losing a bit of excess weight that accumulated by the slow and steady season of cold. So it’s time to focus on cutting down calories while increasing physical activity. The first step is not to over do it, as it takes time and patience.
Most don’t realize that the true definition of dieting is counting while managing your calories during a specific amount of time to reach a targeted weight loss goal.
The concern for dietitians is that weight loss for most is usually temporary. What happens is that once you resume your normal activities and eating habits, you’ll gain the weight back.
Different Beliefs About Permanent Weight Loss
So there needs to be a paradigm shift in how we think about food, which begins with establishing better eating habits. Adopting new habits such as eating 500 calories for breakfast instead of 1200.
What you’d need to do is replace those heavy fat muffins, cream cheese bagels, syrupy pancakes, grits and sausage, with cottage cheese, lots of fruit, yogurt, and grain cereals.
Then over time, you’ll find yourself being anywhere up to 7 pounds lighter just from breakfast alone, especially if you combine it with exercising for at least 30 to 45 minutes every day in the morning.
What this takes is discipline, as routine become habits. Once you get yourself in a habit of eating certain foods, then it becomes a lifestyle. Managing your weight not only helps you look and feel better, but you’ll also experience an increase in energy as well.
Adopting A Healthier Lifestyle
It becomes extremely important to monitor your cholesterol consumption levels. Diets which are high in cholesterol can lead towards heart disease and stroke.
It’s recommended you eat fish at least three times a week, preferably the type with darker flesh, such as, mackerel, herring, salmon, tuna, and trout. They’re all high in natural Omega-3 fatty acids, which lowers the bad cholesterol.
Limit your alcohol intake, stop tobacco smoking, reduce salt intake, and minimize saturated fat in your diet. Saturated fat is found mostly in animal products such as fatty meat like hamburger, cheese, and milk.
Instead, try fresh salsa, nonfat yogurt or low fat sour cream. Try to avoid the cream rich sauces and use more fresh vegetables and tomatoes for pasta sauces.
You Are What You Eat
A diet that’s high in fruits and vegetables helps in warding off major illness because of the disease fighting agents that are found in them. What they contain are a lot of fiber.
Cartenoids is a valuable nutrient which can be found in fresh dark leafy vegetables, tomatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, papaya, and cantaloupe. Natural vitamin C can be found in peppers, broccoli, tomatoes, oranges, and strawberries. It’s best to lightly steam your veggies, the more raw the better.
For A Better Diet
• Try drinking at least 24 ounces of water on a daily basis, this especially since you’ll be exercising more. Always drink a glass of water once you wake up in the morning, always drink skim or 1% milk
• The following foods are recommended: whole grains, wholewheat bread, tortillas, pasta, cereals, lentils, cooked dry beans, and peas
• Eat stove top “popped” popcorn with sea salt and olive oil to taste instead of the harmful microwave variety
• Try to limit the consumption of red meat to no more than four to six times per month
• Try using olive oil or canola oil when cooking, steam your vegetables or sauté them using a bit of olive oil or wine, use fresh herbs and spices for seasoning instead butter or sauces
Then Combine With Exercise
Some wonder how exercising can give you more energy. It appears on the surface that it saps out all your strength because you’re utilizing body motion when you’re exercising, making you tired.
This however is the complete opposite from the truth. The more that you exercise while losing healthy weight, the more energy that you’ll generate and maintain since you’re carrying less weight, which then exerts less energy. The more that you exercise, the more that you’re able to exercise.
Once you reduce your weight down to a manageable level, make sure that you monitor it by weighing yourself daily. This way, you’re taking measures to avoid sudden weight gain.
If you’re finding yourself to be 5 to 10 ten pounds heavier than your ideal target weight, then you should be cutting back immediately. It becomes a serious problem if you wait until you’re 30, 50, 75 pounds overweight.
It may at times feel like you’re fighting a never ending battle once your weight gain has become too extreme and unmanageable.
Before starting any exercise program, always consult your doctor if you have any of the following health issues: dizziness, chest pain, arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.
Preparing For A Year Round Low Calorie Healthy Lifestyle
• Reduce fat intake by consuming lean poultry, fish, and lean cuts of meat such as top round or tenderloin. On occasion, substitute beans or grains instead of meat
• Eat at least 4 to 6 servings of fruit and vegetables on a daily basis. The best fruits include fresh apples, blueberries, figs, kiwi, all which are high in fiber and nutrients
• Consume vegetables such as, beets, Brussel sprouts, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, chili peppers, spinach, squash, red bell peppers, tomatoes, and sweet potatoes, all which are extremely high in nutritional value along with containing excellent antioxidant properties
Adopting a proper diet and exercise program year round allows you to not struggle at this time of year, when you’re looking forward to shedding your inhibitions because of the upcoming warmer weather.