6 Ways to Lose Weight Quickly

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There are healthy and unhealthy ways to losing weight quickly. Relying on quick fixes like appetite suppressants, liquid diets, herbal formulas and weight loss supplements will not produce long-term healthy weight loss. Although these methods might help a little, the best approach is make some big changes to your exercise and eating habits. As you begin your healthy weight loss journey, it’s imperative that you stay focused, consistent, motivated and disciplined to reap the best weight loss results.

Lose weight quickly by first eliminating foods that are high in sodium, fat and sugar, such as white flour products, deep fried foods, processed meats, fast foods, candy, chips, commercial baked goods and high-fat dairy products. Instead, select foods that are abundant in nutrients like lean meats, vegetables, whole grains, fish, nuts, fruits, seeds and beans.

Reduce your total caloric intake and increase your activity level to lose weight fast. To lose one pound of body fat, you need to cut 3,500 calories per week through diet and exercise. For example, you could burn 250 calories through exercise and then cut 250 calories from your diet per day. The key is to reduce your daily intake by 500 calories to lose one pound per week. Safe weight loss is one to two pounds per week. Losing more than that is not healthy because more than likely you’re losing muscle and/or water weight. And if you lose weight too quickly by not consuming enough calories, it can cause your body to go into starvation mode, causing your metabolism to slow down and store more fat.

Avoid high calorie, sugar-laden beverages, such as sweetened tea, sodas, flavored coffee drinks, milk shakes, and fruit juices. Liquid calories can add up fast and can easily sabotage your weight loss efforts. Instead, drink water and other healthy beverages like green tea or vegetable juice.

Eat more often to burn extra calories throughout the day. Every two to three hours during the day, eat a small, well-balanced meal. Combine a healthy balance of complex carbs and protein, and make sure you eat breakfast every morning. For example, a bowl of oatmeal with blueberries is an ideal way to start your day. Add soy milk, walnuts and yogurt for an extra dose of balanced nutrition.

Boost your metabolism and burn more calories all day long by building lean muscle. You will burn calories even while you’re at rest because muscle is metabolically active tissue. Weightlifting workout routines that target all of your major muscle groups will help you to build muscle. For example, you can do chest presses, back rows, shoulder presses, bicep curls, triceps dips, squats, hamstring curls and calf raises. Start with one set of 12 to 15 repetitions, two to three non-consecutive days a week.

Lastly, do some calorie-blasting cardio interval training to really ramp up your weight loss efforts. The harder you push yourself, the more calories you will burn. First, do a 5-10 minute warm up and then begin your workout. Here’s an example of a 20 minute cardio interval routine on a bike: 1 minute of pedaling as fast as possible, and then 2 minutes of slow, recovery pedaling. Continue this pattern for a complete 20-minute workout routine. Finish by cooling down for 5-10 minutes. Do your cardio routine 3 non-consecutive days a week. For example, you can do your cardio on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and your weight training on Tuesday and Thursday. Choose a form of exercise that you enjoy such as cycling, walking, running, swimming, stair stepping, jumping rope or elliptical training.

Calorie Deficit + Cardio + Strength Training = Weight-Loss

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If you’re like most of us, you would like to lose a few pounds. You’ve tried everything but you just can’t seem to drop those last 10 pounds, right? There is no magic pill and it’s not a big mystery why you can’t drop those last 10 pounds. Most people need to create a calorie deficit — burn more than you eat. Many fad diets are based on calorie restriction by limiting the types and amounts of food you eat. Dieting can help you lose weight initially, but in the long-run you will probably regain most of that weight-loss. Deprivation doesn’t last long and you will not be very happy if you have to continually deprive yourself of foods you love. The key to lasting weight-loss is to burn more calories than you consume and build muscle mass to increase your resting metabolism.

It’s pretty easy to gain one pound of fat but you have to burn 3,500 calories to lose it. You can lose 1 pound of fat each week by creating a calorie deficit of minus 500 calories each day. Your resting, or basal, metabolism is the amount of calories you burn just being alive. Lungs breathing, heart pumping blood, brain thinking, abdominal and spinal muscles holding your body upright, all burn calories. Your basil metabolism accounts for up to 75 percent of the calories you burn every day. Increasing your muscle mass by doing strength training exercises can increase your basal metabolic rate, so that you burn more calories when at rest. Muscle tissue also burns many more calories than other tissues in your body. Gain 1 pound of muscle and burn an extra 50 calories per day while resting. Gain 10 pounds of muscle and you will burn an extra 500 calories per day doing nothing at all.

For fast and lasting weight-loss, combine strength training with cardio. Do strength training 2 days each week and cardio 3 days each week. A typical week might be Monday, Wednesday and Friday doing cardio, and Tuesday and Thursday doing strength training. Cardio is any exercise that elevates your heart rate and makes you sweat. Running, jogging, bicycling, swimming and sports activities are good ways to get a cardio workout to burn fat. Strength training includes not only lifting weights and working out on cable and weight machines at the gym, but also includes bodyweight exercises, such as push-ups, crunches and planks.

Fat-Fighting Foods

You’ve probably heard about green tea. Claims about the benefits of green tea range from helping you to sleep to increasing metabolism to helping improve your mood. There is a basis for the metabolism claim — catechins. Catechins is a plant chemical that boosts your metabolism. To enjoy the fat-fighting benefits of green tea, drink several cups of hot tea each day. Replace your regular soda or coffee with cream and sugar with a cup of hot green tea. You will enjoy the benefits of catechins metabolism boost while cutting out extra calories from sodas and coffee additives. Hot peppers contain a chemical called capsaicin, which briefly boosts your metabolism and curbs your appetite. You might eat less when you eat spicy foods.

Grapefruit does not have a magic ingredient despite the fad diet claims from a few years ago. Grapefruit does contain plenty of soluble fiber, which takes longer to digest and may help you feel fuller longer. Raw fruits and vegetables of all kinds help you feel fuller longer and are loaded with vitamins and minerals. Raw vegetables and fruits are generally low in calories, high in fiber and loaded with nutrients your body needs. Trade potato chips and other calorie loaded snack foods for a plate of raw vegetables.

Use spices in your foods to boost flavor without added calories. Cinnamon helps to curb your appetite and may stabilize your blood sugar. Stir some cinnamon into coffee, tea, yogurt and milk drinks.

Why Can’t I Lose Weight? The Truth About Weight Loss & Exercise


You’ve been exercising regularly but the weight just doesn’t seem to be dropping like you expected. The truth is exercise alone won’t help you lose weight. Exercise is critical to being healthy, but if you want to lose weight  you have to change the way you eat and watch what you eat. Exercise is only part of the equation. You have to create a calorie deficit and exercise to lose weight. Eat fewer calories and exercise more to burn more calories than you eat. Don’t sacrifice nutrition in your quest to lose weight. Cut out the empty calories, such as candy, cookies, chips and soda. Replace those snacks with healthy, low-calorie alternatives including fresh fruit, dried fruit, nuts and whole grains. Trade ice cream for fruit sorbet and drink flavored water instead of soda. Small changes in your diet can make a world of difference in your caloric intake.

You can lose weight by dieting alone, but you may regain the weight unless you exercise. Exercise combined with dietary changes can not only help you lose weight, it also helps you maintain your weight loss. Many times people lose weight only to regain it later. Stay active, exercise regularly and continue to eat a low-fat, reduced calorie diet to keep the weight off. Binge eating can undo weeks of diet and exercise. Exercising a couple of extra minutes won’t burn the calories from 2 donuts or a greasy cheeseburger and fries. People often underestimate the number of calories they consume and overestimate the amount of exercise they get. Keep a food and exercise journal to more accurately measure how much you get of both food and exercise. You might be surprised to learn that you are eating a lot more than you thought and exercising a lot less than you estimated.

Don’t rely on the calorie counter on your treadmill or exercise bike. Calorie counters are fairly accurate, but they can vary from person to person. Exercise machine calorie counters don’t take into account the calories you would burn just by breathing and other bodily functions. So you actually burn fewer additional calories than the display estimates. You need to be physically active as much as possible during the day in addition to regular workouts. To lose weight and to maintain your weight loss, you need to change your lifestyle from sedentary to active in addition to changing your diet. If you need help getting on track and staying on your weight loss plan, a personal trainer may be able to help you.

Over 50? It’s Not Too Late to Get Fit!

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If you’re over 50 and you want to get started on the path to fitness and better health, there is good news. It’s never too late to get fit! Don’t let anyone tell you that it’s impossible to lose the middle-age spread that has widened your hips and given you a belly pooch. You can slim down and firm up flabby muscles. First, see your doctor for a complete physical. Take precautions to accommodate any limitations or illness, such as osteoporosis or diabetes. Consult a fitness expert or hire a personal trainer and GET MOVING!
The first step to fitness and a trimmer body is to exercise. If you’ve been sedentary most of your life or exercised only sporadically, start slow. Walking is a great way to get fit and lose weight. Start by walking around your block 1 time every morning or evening for 7 days. Start the next week with a walk around the block 2 times. Gradually increase the pace and distance you walk each day until you can walk at a brisk pace for a full 30 minutes.
Change your diet. Put away the soda, sugar and fatty foods. Replace sugary sodas with flavored water or a sugar free variety of your favorite food. Switch to low-fat or skim milk. Replace junk food snacks with fruits and nuts. Drink plenty of water, too.
Add strength training to your weekly fitness routine. Try to do some bodyweight exercises 2 to 3 days each week. Push-ups, sit-ups, crunches and squats are challenging functional exercises that use your own weight against the force of gravity to increase muscle mass and improve your endurance.

Stress And Weight Gain

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Many people are under stress. Work, social obligations, bills, running the kids here and there can cause a great deal of stress. Often people under stress fail to maintain healthy eating and exercise habits and may gain weight. You may be tempted to stop for fast food on your way to work or skip the gym because you worked late. Even if you do try to eat a balanced diet and exercise, you may still gain weight. Stress triggers a hormone that may actually cause you to gain weight. 
Cortisol is a hormone that is essential for a number of body functions, including maintaining blood pressure, metabolizing carbohydrates for energy and stimulating the release of insulin into the blood stream to keep blood sugar levels stable. Stress causes elevated levels of cortisol in the blood. Excess secretion of cortisol by the adrenal glands stimulates your appetite, which can lead to overeating or unhealthy snacking. 
Elevated cortisol levels may also cause your body to store fat in your abdomen. Belly fat has been linked to diseases, such as stroke, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers. The best way to combat stress-related weight gain is to reduce the amount of stress in your life. If that’s not immediately possible, continue eating a healthy diet and get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day. Exercise can help combat stress. Take time to relax and care for yourself. Do things that are enjoyable and help you relax. 

Debunking Diet Myths

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It can be difficult for some people to lose weight. When they don’t reach their weight-loss goals as fast as they think they should, some may be willing to try just about anything to lose weight. There is no shortage of fad diets and myths that can actually harm your efforts to eat a healthy diet and lose weight. There are no quick fixes for weight loss. The healthiest, safest way to lose weight and get fit is exercise and a nutritious diet.
One myth that persists is that you have to eat a low-carbohydrate, zero fat diet to lose weight. A low-fat diet with healthy carbohydrates and heart healthy fats combined with exercise can help aid in your weight loss efforts. Calories are the real diet busters. To lose weight, you have to burn more calories than you consume. Carbohydrates are an important part of your healthy diet. The USDA dietary guidelines suggests at least 1/2 of your food plate should contain fruits and vegetables, a little more than 1/4 of your plate should be whole grains and the final portion of your plate should be protein. The nutrients from all of these food groups are important for a healthy body. You have to reduce caloric intake and increase exercise to lose weight.

Some people still believe that skipping meals is a good way to lose weight. Skipping meals or fasting is not a good way to lose weight. When you skip meals, you will be more hungry and may over-eat at the next meal. Skipping lunch may cause you to eat more than you normally would at dinner. Skipping breakfast is a bad idea. Your body has been without food for hours while you were sleeping. Eating breakfast will replenish your nutrient-deprived body and jump-start your metabolism. Some people are able to lose weight by eating 3 small meals plus 2 healthy snacks throughout the day instead of 3 larger meals. It is also a myth that one type of food can help you lose weight. For example, grapefruit has been touted as a magic weight loss food because it is claimed to speed up the metabolism. Grapefruit is a healthy, vitamin-rich food, but eating a lot of grapefruit will not cause the fat to melt. Only a healthy diet and exercise really works. 

Another popular myth is that you have to give up all the foods and drinks that you love if you are going to lose weight. Again, weight loss requires burning more calories than you take in through your food. You can still have a piece of cake or a soda occasionally. Lasting weight loss requires a commitment to lifestyle changes that include exercise, plenty of sleep and a nutritious diet. Reduce the calories you ingest from sweets and sugary drinks to help reduce your total caloric intake. Include more fiber and whole grains in your diet to help reduce the overall number of calories in your diet. Get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day to lose weight and get fit. 

Fat-Fighting Foods

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Losing weight doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself of tasty, nutritious foods. Many of the foods you love can help you lose weight or help you maintain your weight loss. Continue to exercise regularly and enjoy some of these fat fighting foods.
Protein is an essential nutrient for muscle health. It also helps to build other body tissues, produces enzymes and hormones and helps to regulate the biochemical processes in your body. You can get protein from animal and plant sources. Eggs are low in calories and loaded with essential protein and can be prepared in a variety of ways for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Eggs may contribute to cholesterol, so limit eggs to a couple of times each week. Nuts are another great source of protein. They are also high in fiber and omega-3 healthy fats. Nuts can be eaten plain as a snack or added to salads, breads and cereals for extra flavor. 

Lean meats and fish are a good way to get muscle-building protein in your diet. Protein helps you feel full longer so that you eat less. Red meat is usually higher in fat than chicken. If you eat red meat, trim all the fat off the meat prior to cooking. Skinless chicken breast is a very good choice with less fat than other meats. Extra lean steaks and roasts are good choices. Fish is a great source of protein and contains little fat. Fish, especially salmon, is also rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fats.
Vegetable protein is just as healthy for your body as meat protein. Beans are especially high in protein and fiber. Beans are low in calories and fat too. Quinoa, cracked wheat and brown rice are other great sources of vegetable protein. They can be prepared as a side dish, used in soups and in casseroles. In addition to protein, these high-protein foods also contain iron, zinc, vitamin E and the trace element selenium. Fruits like watermelon, pears, apples, grapes and yogurt and berries are also high in protein and other essential nutrients. 

Good Sources of Calcium & Vitamin D

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Calcium and vitamin D are essential to strong bones, teeth and skin. Bone cells are replaced much like skin cells. Old bone cells are shed and new bone cells replace them. Your body needs calcium and vitamin D to replace bone cells. Vitamin D helps the body to absorb the calcium it needs to build strong bones and prevent diseases like osteoporosis. You need to eat a variety of foods rich in both calcium and vitamin D and get adequate exercise to keep your bones healthy and strong. Natural sources of vitamin D and calcium are best, but drinking vitamin D and calcium fortified milk and juices can also provide the essential nutrients your bones need. Only your doctor can tell you if you need a vitamin and mineral supplement. If you think you need a supplement, see your doctor for a check up before taking any over-the-counter supplement. 
Your body cannot make calcium; therefore, you have to get your calcium from the foods you eat. Dairy foods, such as milk, yogurt and cheese are rich in calcium and Vitamin D. Spinach, kale, collard greens, okra, white and soy beans, and fish, including trout, salmon, perch and sardines are rich in calcium. Orange juice and milk are often fortified with both vitamin D and calcium. Breakfast cereals, including oatmeal and some cold cereals, are also enriched with extra vitamin D and calcium.
In addition to milk, yogurt and cheeses, you can get vitamin D from foods like tuna, salmon, mackerel and other fatty fishes. Egg yolks and beef liver are also rich in vitamin D. Your skin produces vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. About 5 minutes per day is enough to stimulate your skin to produce vitamin D. Avoid over-exposure to the sun. Sunburn and skin conditions such as premature aging and skin cancer can result from too much sun exposure. 

Sensible Snacking

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Americans really enjoy their snack foods. Vending machines are located just about everywhere and contain sugary drinks, chocolate bars, salty chips and pretzels and candy snacks. Convenience stores and many grocery stores place the candy bars and small bags of chips close to the checkout line or beside the cash register where you will be tempted to make an impulse buy. These snacks can contribute hundreds of empty calories to your diet. According to the USDA snacks can amount to nearly 600 calories per day. Many people will consume a full meal’s worth of calories every day just by snacking. Eating between meals does not have to be a diet disaster. You can eat a healthy, nutritious snack between meals that can help boost your metabolism to aid in weight loss. The key to losing or maintaining your weight and still enjoy between-meal snacks is to snack sensibly.
If you get hungry between meals, you should eat a healthy snack so that you do not over-eat at mealtime.  Snacks that will curb your hunger without adding too many extra calories will contain fiber and protein.   Peanut butter on whole wheat crackers or on a stalk of celery will ease your hunger pangs and provide nutritional protein, carbohydrates and fiber to help you feel full. Raisins, walnuts, almonds, dried cherries and apricots or fresh fruits, such as apple slices, a pear, an orange or a handful of grapes are rich in nutrients, fiber and antioxidants. One-half cup of low-fat yogurt with fresh fruit, like blueberries, raspberries or strawberries, can help you feel less hungry while providing your body with important vitamins and calcium. 
Don’t keep a bowl of chips, pretzels, popcorn or candy on the table in the television room! Mindless snacking can add hundreds of calories to your diet and you won’t even realize how much you have eaten. Replace your high-calories television snacks with healthy alternatives like dried fruits, nuts, granola and fruits. Low-fat cheese and whole wheat crackers is a healthy alternative to popcorn and chips. Cut out the sodas when you snack. Drink a glass of water before your snack to help you feel full between meals.