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There are many reasons why you might want to lose weight. If you have been significantly overweight or obese for a long time, then you might have concerns about what the extra weight could be doing to your health. Obesity increases your risk of many health problems, including diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, gallbladder disease, and some types of cancer. If you have recently gained a bit of weight, then you might just want to lose some weight to fit back into your old jeans. Whatever your reason for wanting to lose weight, there are some important strategies that you should know about.
Eat Breakfast Every Day. One habit that's common to many people who have lost weight and kept it off is eating breakfast every day. "Many people think skipping breakfast is a great way to cut calories, but they usually end up eating more throughout the day, says Elizabeth Ward, MS, RD, author of The Pocket Idiot's Guide to the New Food Pyramids. "Studies show people who eat breakfast have lower BMIs than breakfast-skippers and perform better, whether at school or in the boardroom." Try a bowl of whole-grain cereal topped with fruit and low-fat dairy for a quick and nutritious start to your day.
A new German study found that when you drink 17 ounces of water (about two glasses) within a certain time frame, your metabolic rate shoots up by about 30 percent. Using these results, they estimate that by increasing your current water intake by 1.5 liters a day, a person would burn an extra 17,400 calories a year, resulting in about a five-pound weight loss.
“I always start [my day] with ginger tea, which is black tea with milk, honey, ginger, and cardamom. Then I’ll have a green juice with kale, beets, mint, apple, carrots, and ginger or a three-egg-white, one-yolk scramble. If I’m hungry, I’ll add half a cup of 1 percent cottage cheese to the eggs.” — Padma Lakshmi, who drops 10 to 15 pounds after every season of Top Chef
“Getting an extra half hour or 45 minutes of sleep can really make a difference,” McCall says. A study in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that missing your bedtime too often affects how your body responds to insulin, a hormone that regulates your appetite and metabolism. The cells of folks who slept only 4.5 hours a night were 30 percent less sensitive to insulin—comparable to the cells of someone who is obese or diabetic. Plus, too many late nights activates a sabotaging cycle: “Studies have shown that poor sleep can result into overeating, and overeating can result in poor sleep,” White says. What’s more, logging five hours or less is directly related to gaining abdominal fat, according to a study in SLEEPThe last thing you need is lower willpower or unnecessary fat gain, so shoot for 7 to 8 hours a night. Not only will this help stabilize your hormones to avoid the pounds piling on, but you’ll have more energy to slay your workouts, too. You know to skip caffeine after 2 or 3 p.m., but also try not to exercise too late because it raises your body temperature which can sometimes affect your sleep, White adds.
3. Exercise Ball Crunch: This is one of the most effective ways to strengthen and flatten abs. Studies show this exercise is 40% more effective than regular ab crunches as it targets smaller muscles for flat toned abs including the oblique’s for a small waist and the outermost muscles that your typical ab crunch may miss. To begin, lie down on the ball positioning it under the lower back. Place arms behind your head. Tighten your abs as you lift your torso off the ball while keeping the ball stable. Lower back down and repeat 15 times with 1-3 sets.
66. Fast During Your Plane Ride – Humans don’t need to eat every 3-4 hours. If it’s not a very long plane ride, it could be a great opportunity to give your digestive system a break from food by fasting. So skip the plane food and snacks and instead focus on your hydration by drinking lots of water. Plan on having a good meal once you’re at your destination.
“Your body begins to work differently. This study proves that small amounts of nourishment throughout the day are better than the same amount of food concentrated in three big sittings. If we feed the body at regular intervals we send a signal to the body that it doesn’t have to store calories. Conversely, when we skip meals we send just the opposite signal for the body to store calories, creating a negative effect on the metabolism.” — Dr. Wayne Scott Andersen, co-founder and Medical Director at Take Shape For Life
41. Eat Salad For Lunch (Or Dinner) – Salads are an excellent fat loss food because they are nutrient-dense, which means they’re high in fiber, water, vitamins, and nutrients. Salads fill you up without providing a ton of calories (as long as you’re not loading your salad with high-calorie dressings).44 Fill your plate with lettuce and veggies, top it with lean protein, and add a healthy dressing like olive oil and lemon juice. Voila, a delicious, satisfying, meal that can satisfy a man-sized appetite while helping you get lean fast. Try these recipes for inspiration: Ahi Tuna Salad with Carrot Ginger Dressing, Sweet & Crunchy Raw Kale Salad, Healthy Caesar Salad.
“Burpees are such a great way to activate multiple muscles, get the heart rate up and burn mega calories. In one single burpee, you work your legs, arms and abs and you also elevate the heart rate to increase cardiopulmonary strength. If you’re looking to lose weight, incorporating them into your workout routine is a must.”—Kit Rich, celebrity trainer and co-owner of SHIFT by Dana Perri
My question: even if you incorporate weight training or other resistance exercises into your exercise programming, won’t your weight loss almost inevitably involve a percent loss of lean body mass as well as fat? In my experience, if I lose weight strictly by dieting and don’t exercise at all, based on % body fat measurements, about 50% of my weight loss is fat and about 50% is LBM. If I add 45-60 minutes of exercise 4-5 times per week, about 2/3’s moderate-intense eliptical and 1/3 weights/resistance exercise, I can change that ratio from 1:1 to maybe 3:1 (i.e. 75% of the weight loss seems to be fat.) Under ideal conditions, is it possible to completely eliminate muscle loss when losing weight? My interest in this fraction is that it affects the estimate of what my final weight should be to obtain a given % body fat.
Sugar is a sneaky source of calories. Assess your current sweets habit, and be aware of these sneaky sources of added sugar. Don't eliminate sugar entirely or your palate will balk. You'll be pouring on sweet stuff even more. Instead, cut back in increments. If you put two packs of sugar in your coffee most mornings, try one—or cut down one pump of flavoring from your morning latte. Think you need "a little something sweet" after every meal? Skip the piece of chocolate, and chew gum instead. Slowly eliminating sugar from your diet is good for your health and your daily calorie total. Readjust your palate, and you'll never miss the sweet—but you'll be thankful for the new waistline look.
54. Pack A Lunch Monday Through Friday – Instead of buying lunch all the time, prepare a lunch at home and bring it to work. If you did your meal prep on Sunday, this should be super easy. An excellent lunch idea is grilled chicken breast with baked sweet potato and roasted vegetables like brussels sprouts, carrots, and red bell peppers. Add some healthy fats, like half an avocado or a tablespoon of olive oil, and you have a delicious lunch that’s low-calorie and filling.
I was lucky to end up back at my starting weight instead of above it. After about five years, 41 percent of dieters gain back more weight than they lost. Long-term studies show dieters are more likely than non-dieters to become obese over the next one to 15 years. That’s true in men and women, across ethnic groups, from childhood through middle age. The effect is strongest in those who started in the normal weight range, a group that includes almost half of the female dieters in the United States.
Unsurprisingly, the results showed that nothing had happened to the weight of the women receiving calcium or the placebo. However, the group which took the multivitamin lost more weight – about 3 kg more – and improved their health markers. Among other things, their basal metabolic rate (the rate at which the body burns calories when at rest) increased.
“It’s far more difficult to eat a healthier diet and fit in exercise if you don’t plan ahead. Plan out your meals for the week ahead and go grocery shopping over the weekend to ensure you have the ingredients you need on hand. If you can, do some meal prep in your down time—cut fresh veggies, marinate your protein, cook up a batch of whole grains in advance. When you’re prepared you’re far less likely to order takeout. — Jessica Fishman Levinson, MS, RDN, CDN, culinary-nutrition consultant and founder of Nutritioulicious
Cortisone as an oral drug is another common culprit (e.g. Prednisolone). Cortisone often causes weight gain in the long run, especially at higher doses (e.g. more than 5 mg Prednisolone per day). Unfortunately, cortisone is often an essential medication for those who are prescribed it, but the dose should be adjusted frequently so you don’t take more than you need. Asthma inhalers and other local cortisone treatments, like creams or nose sprays, hardly affect weight.