Weight Loss: Food and Eating Tips

Donít Eat Out
Whether itís the lunch truck, the office vending machines, or the fast food joints lining your route to and from work, just say no. Commercially prepared foods are rife with added calories, from buttered sauces and larded cooking oils to meat stock reductions and creamy dressings. Restaurants intensify flavor as a rule, and butter, wine, and animal fats do the job. Pass on the added calories, and the cholesterol.


Convert Social Time to Non-eating Time
Most social dates revolve around food. If you can, donít meet at a place to eat. Meet for a hike or go shopping instead. If a friend asks you to lunch, ask if you can bring salad for two and you can munch on a park bench or in a commissary area. If the goal is to talk, drink a Slim-Fast shake, down a fruit juice, or munch a protein bar and stroll instead. You will feel better, more energized, and post-exercise endorphins will kill any resultant hunger.

Be Your Own Mom
Remember growing up and eating fresh cut carrots, boiled eggs, peanut butter with celery, pears on cottage cheese. Mom gave these foods to you for a reason. Do you remember all the high fructose-syrup laden snacks she prepared? Did she serve you chilled coffee and ice cream milkshakes 3 times a day? If Mom made muffins, were they half the size of your fist, versus half the size of the human head? Mom knew the right thing to eat. Think back to when you were at a lower weight. Who was cooking? Regress to those choices.

Get Smart about Work Eating
Yogurt, fruit, naturally sweetened iced tea, low-salt tomato juice; these are all things with which to stock the office fridge. A Lean Cuisine frozen meal has about 220 calories in it and the food is yummy. That little packet of M & Mís has 360 empty calories in it, and youíll be hungry again in an hour. The mayo and tuna sandwich on the truck is about 460 calories, and filled with industrial preservatives and trans-fat. A warmed-up turkey burger from home is about half that and much fresher. Get in the habit of reading the ingredients of what you eat. If sugar and high fructose corn syrup are the first elements, pick something else. Stay away from empty calories. Even a warmed-up baked potato with low fat margarine is a better choice than a pound and a half of fried Chinese food.

Shop Smarter
Think ahead about what to carry for work lunches when you shop. Find shortcuts to healthy breakfasts and keep those ingredients at hand. Most markets now cater to dieters and people eating healthier. Browse your local store to see what is new. Put the right fuel in your body to help regulate energy levels. Keep some low fat cheese on hand for a quick burst of real protein. A packet of unsalted peanuts should be in your purse or desk drawer for a quick pick-me-up snack. Put an apple on your desk to remind you to say no when the group heads out for a muffin run. You cal also keep a pop-top can of soup with a bowl in the office kitchen. You are proactively saving hundreds of calories with every meal.

Drink More Water
Water is the locomotive of the human body. Stop pulling the brakes on your diet with carbonated sodas, salty snacks, and extended dehydration. A can of soda contains tens of thousands of square feet of pressure acting upon your stomach. Thatís pressure on your kidneys and abdomen, gases that your body doesnít need. Allow your body to commit that energy to burning fat instead of alleviating carbonation effects.

Back off on the Coffee
The average person may consume three to four large cups of coffee a day, probably more if they buy commercial coffee products at Starbucks or other beverage bars. This is bad for acid levels in the stomach, adds to stress, shrinks blood vessels, and can make the drinker irritated or jittery. If you want a quick burst, ask someone in the office to pour a little bit of his or hers into your cup. Take a quick shot and thatís it. But just say no to the Grande mochas.

Do the Math
So the boss is buying lunch and the burger place delivers? Why not fall into line and order up the combo with everyone else? Stop for a second and do the math. The average burger with cheese, fries, and a cola would be about 600-800 calories minimum. That is more than three hours on the treadmill - going fast. Look at the combo again. Do you really want to put three hours of treadmill debt back on your body?

Donít Be Blinded by the Science
No study will tell you how your body works. The key is conditioning your body to understand itís getting what it needs from what you are eating, in order to not shut down from a crashed reduction in calories. A radical increase in activity that will simply cause all your defense systems to rise up wonĎt work either.

A recent study published that 15 years of eating low-fat foods did not result in weight loss. What the fine print said was that these women were not cutting down in starches as well. What that meant was that their bodies simply learned to convert starches. You can eat three bags of no-fat cookies but it wonít make you skinny.

If there were an amazing simple solution to losing weight, we would have heard of it by now. Fasts simply activate the yo-yo response: your body might lose weight in response to a crash but your system is twice as likely to re-acquire the weight. Thatís how the human body is wired.

Better Living through Chemistry
Your body is not the same as it was when you were 20. It needs different vitamins and minerals to get things done daily. Since bones do not stop growing until 36 and your daily burger/coffee intake really doesnít serve that, get smart. Get some calcium. Get some potassium. Take a stroll through your local drugstore to find the vitamins and minerals you need.

A good multivitamin will regulate your energy throughout the day and make you less likely to crash in the afternoon, craving the company of a candy jar. Get some vitamin Cís to offset a salty lunch. Augment your diet with Omega-3 fish oils. Pick up some fizzy energy packets to mix with water. Thatís a calorie-free energy boost midday that might regularly replace the cola or coffee mochaccino.

De-Snack Your Home
Get rid of the convenience foods, the easy-fix snacks foods, and the munchy stuff. Avoid frozen wonton packages. Donít buy the endless bags of tortilla chips. Your body does not need ice cream. Low-cal sherbet is fine. Keep chilled water with lemon and a packet of sweetener in a pitcher for when the fridge browsing urge strikes.
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