Many people decide that one of their New Year’s resolutions is to lose weight. Unfortunately, it seems to take a lot longer for the weight to come off than it did to put on the extra pounds we are concerned about after the Holidays. The following 4 weight loss tips that work will help you to make positive changes you can stick with throughout the year.
1. Start by Making Small Changes
Resist the urge to slash your caloric intake in half and to never let anything that you consider “bad” past your lips for the rest of your life. No matter how motivated you are at the beginning, you are setting yourself up for failure. A better choice is to start by making small changes, like substituting a salad for fries with a meal or choosing lean meats and whole grains whenever possible.
2. Drink Plenty of Water
Many people are not well hydrated as they go through their daily activities. It’s easy to interpret feeling thirsty as hunger signals. Carry a reusable water bottle with you and refill it several times throughout the day. It will help your body to flush out impurities and burn calories more efficiently. When you don’t drink enough, the body thinks that you are living in drought conditions and tends to hold onto the water that it has. Drinking plenty of fluids causes the excess stores to be flushed out, leading to weight loss.
3. Combine Exercise with a Sensible Diet Plan
If you want to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you are taking in. By increasing your level of physical activity, you can become more physically fit while burning calories. Ideally, you want to have five, 30-minute sessions per week where you are exercising. The good news is that exercising for 10 minutes at a time can provide some benefit.
4. Add Weight Training to Your Exercise Routine
Working out with weights helps you to build up lean muscle in your body. Muscle burns calories at a higher rate than an equivalent amount of fat does, which will help you to lose weight. This is the reason weightlifters need to consume large numbers of calories each day. By adding weight training to your exercise routine, you are less likely to get bored and give up on your goal to be more physically active.
The good news about adolescent heart disease is that it’s not a major cause of death for younger people. Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death for adults in North America, though. According to the Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital, someone dies every 37 seconds due to cardiovascular disease.
High Blood Pressure in Children
High blood pressure is a relatively rare occurrence in children. Approximately three percent of kids have this medical condition, which can be serious if it goes untreated. Part of a child’s annual checkup should include a blood pressure check.
A family history of high blood pressure means that a child’s blood pressure should be monitored carefully. High blood pressure in children may result from another medical condition, such as kidney disease.
Help Children Make Good Lifestyle Choices
Parents can have a big influence on their children’s health choices by making good ones themselves. Children watch what their parents do, and this can have a greater impact than what they say. Parents can help their children get off to a good start by doing the following:
- Drinking alcohol only in moderation.
- Quitting smoking (or not taking up the habit in the first place).
- Eating a balanced diet that includes whole grains, lean protein, fruits and vegetables.
- Getting regular exercise
A child to learns these good health habits early is more likely to continue to observe them in adulthood. Some of the risk factors for heart disease are not things that an individual can control, while adopting good health habits will lower the risk of of heart disease for adolescents and adults alike.
When it comes to eating well for your heart’s sake, be sure to eat a variety of foods. When we decide that certain foods are “bad,” it makes them more attractive to us. Rather than taking the things that you enjoy the most and putting them on a list of forbidden pleasures, why not vow to eat well and consume your favorites in moderation?
Food isn’t inherently “good” or “bad.” There are some choices that are better for your health than others, such as choosing whole grains, lean meats, and fresh fruits and vegetables more often. Very few people can stay disciplined enough that they make healthy choices all the time.
Instead of feeling guilty for falling off the healthy eating wagon and deciding to continue making unhealthy choices, give yourself a break. It’s OK to have a treat sometimes.
Most of us associate losing weight with going on a diet. We think that if we cut back on calories or limit ourselves to only a few “magic” foods we will shed unwanted pounds quickly and reach our ideal weight. The truth is that diets don’t work. If you want to achieve a healthy weight, you need to be prepared to make long-term changes to what and how much you eat…and stick to them.
You didn’t put on the weight overnight, and it’s not realistic to think that it is going to come off that quickly. Start by making some small changes, like substituting a baked potato for French fries at lunch or dinner. Plan to eat a salad with your lunch or dinner every day. Permanent changes that you can stick with are key to achieving a healthy weight.
Being overweight or obese does increase the likelihood that you will be diagnosed with heart disease during your lifetime. The risk does diminish if you can get to a heart healthy weight, though. Following a balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy products and whole grains is a good place to start. There are no “good” or "bad" foods, and you can still have a treat on special occasions, so long as you eat healthy foods most of the time. Try eating well at least 80 percent of the time, and you can enjoy special foods at other times, too.
Did you know that the foods you choose to eat have a direct effect on your heart health? They certainly do! While you may be drawn to foods that are high in saturated fat and sugar, since they tend to be appealing, a better choice is to load up your plate with a variety of fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. Do include whole grains and low-fat dairy products in your daily eating plan. Your heart will definitely thank you for it, and if you decide in advance that you are on an adventure in healthy eating, you won’t find it boring to eat well.