How to Lose Weight Fast – Proper Choices

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basic food pyramid

Everyone knows there are a lot of so–called diet plans and weight loss plans out there that make a lot of very interesting claims about losing weight. A successful weight loss diet begins with self evaluation, a decision to make some changes, and a commitment to implement those changes in everyday life, day after day.

So how does one know which is the best weight loss program? Which weight loss diet will help to reach the ultimate goal weight? How much weight will be lost and over what period of time? These are the questions which must be considered before starting on any weight loss diet. Here are some tips for making a better choice when it comes to food.

Include Variety From All Major Food Groups for Optimal Weight Loss

It's time to learn a few things about food that need to be understood clearly. First, food was meant to be enjoyed, savored, and shared among friends and family. Food is a part of everyday life and is necessary for continuing in that life every day. The problem in this modern society is that there is plenty of food, but little knowledge about food.

A good place to start learning about food and it's effects on the human body is the basic food pyramid ( This information in this pyramid is based on the latest and best science and not biased by any business or organizations that may have a stake in it's message. That message is to eat a variety of foods from all the major food groups represented in order to lose or maintain a healthy weight level.

My Pyramid is the Basis for Healthy Living

The food pyramid can be a good place to start learning about eating the right foods that will aid in weight loss. The foundation of this pyramid is eating the right foods along with exercising daily and controlling weight. Following this simple plan will help to keep most folks healthy and keep them from developing one or more of the many diseases that may be brought on by excess weight gain.

Think about this because no one wants to go through life hindered or held back by acquiring a disease that could have been prevented by simply eating better. It seems such a simple thing really, but some folks will just continue on as they always have, and end up with diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, or any number of maladies that will almost certainly occur unless eating habits are changed, and weight is controlled.

Choose to Eat Healthfully

OK, here's the bottom line. Unless eating habits are changed, disease and possible premature death are almost certain. Sorry to sound so abrupt, but there it is. The choices mad today will affect the choice of which future will be lived. Will it be a future filled with chronic health problems, disease, doctor visits, and hospital stays? Or will the future be full of longer life and health?

So choose today what will be on the plate at the very next meal. Make a decision for healthy living and commit to changing existing eating habits. Instead of chicken–fried steak, have a skinless chicken breast with some flavorful seasoning. Rather than a fatty snack before bed tonight, have a cup of flavored tea or a small bunch of grapes. Big change comes from the many good or bad food choices made daily.

It's going to be a whole lot easier to make these small, minor changes now rather than have no choice regarding future changes in health and well–being. Is it easier to decide to make a change now in the type and amount of foods consumed, or to be limited to certain type and amount of foods in the future? Get started today toward losing weight and head down the road toward a healthier future.

As with any radical changes in diet or exercise, it may be beneficial to consult a health care professional, nutritionist, or doctor before starting any diet, exercise, or weight loss plan. This article is for informational purposes only.

The information provided herein is of a general nature and should not be substituted as advice from a qualified professional.

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How to Lose Weight and Get Fitter on a Cruise

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Lose Weight on Cruise

Cruise food can be a weight-conscious person’s nightmare, beginning with the early risers’ breakfast and working right through to the midnight treat. It’s a really challenge not to gain weight during a cruise, let alone actually lose weight.

Part of the problem is the ‘It’s there, it’s paid for so why not take it?’ mentality. The main enemy here is the buffet, although others cite 5-course dinners, cocktail happy hours, ice cream dispensers, poolside or bar snacks with drinks or the chef’s special tastings.

Buffets are usually part self-serve, in that passengers can help themselves to packaged items and starters, but the main courses of carved meats, soups, fish, stews and stir-fries are likely to be served onto a plate by kitchen staff. Left to themselves, many passengers simply take too much because there are so many delicious possibilities, and the staff will simply serve a ‘normal to large’ portion unless caught quickly.

Coping with the Cruise Food Buffet for Effective Weight Loss

  • Take a look at the whole display first and decide exactly what to eat, rather than just joining the queue and trying a bit of everything.
  • Beware servers trained to dish out Sumo-wrestler-size portions.
  • Eye-ball anyone serving before handing your plate over, with a smiling, firm, ‘Half that, please. No, really,’ and a smiling hand-chop gesture.
  • Be very clear, because English is sometimes a third language for cruise staff, and they are only trying to please.
  • Look at what people leave on their trays uneaten. Some ships are abandoning trays because so many people take far more than they can ever eat.
  • Think ‘green’. The waste is truly appalling, and be aware that many of the crew are from places where people may regularly go hungry.
  • All the low-cal, low calorie stuff is there for the taking, whether it’s food or drink.
  • Substitute vegetables for carbs – the choice is better than most people have at home, and they’ll keep hunger at bay.
  • Having overdone lunch, don’t fall into the trap of taking extra snacks or packaged items away as a substitute for dinner. Inevitably these will quickly become ‘as well as dinner’.

Healthy Eating and Drinking at Dinner

Check the dinner menu early, then go for a stroll to assess what courses to leave out. After all, who eats 5 courses at home every day – or any day? Waiting until others have been served allows time to note the size of the portions. Choose the healthy option, or diabetic option wherever possibly – the chefs are so good, you won’t regret it.

Drink water from the dispensers before dinner, have a spritzer instead of wine, and only one or two low cal drinks a day. Cocktails are for special occasions – such as the first and last nights, and maybe a gala night or two.

Exercise for Weight Loss at Sea and on Cruise Excursions

The rules of effective weight loss apply at sea as well as on land. If more calories are consumed than are burnt off by activity . . . we know the rest. So devising some extra exercise is a good idea. For example, never use the lifts, especially going up. Some ships have 14 decks or more, and a lot of calories can be burnt off just by walking at a regular pace. Early morning and late at night are best, building up day by day the number of decks that can be done without stopping for breath, or the number of deck laps jogged or walked.

Top Tip for Weight Loss Plan on a Cruise

Most cruise ships tend to have bunk-type beds, with no foot boards which is a great advantage here. All that’s required is either packing or keeping a large, plastic (at least 1.5 litre) drinks bottle with lid, or two smaller ones.

  • Leave the label on or fit something to act as a grip – an old kitchen glove, band-aid strips, or even a sock will do as long as it’s tight.
  • Fill the bottle with tap water, and lie face up at the foot end of the bed, with the back of the head just over the edge. Holding the bottle or bottles firmly with both hands, swing back, with arms straight.
  • Raise arms and lower to stomach, and repeat according to your present level of fitness.
  • Try 20 or 30 times at first but aim to achieve 50 times or even more.

The best part of this is that it can be done in privacy at any time, and it’s great for the stomach muscles and upper arms as well as for burning off extra calories.

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How to Stop Overeating and Binging

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stop overeating

In The Appetite Awareness Workbook (New Harbinger Publications, 2006), Linda W. Craighead, PhD lists seven points of intervention on overeating, bingeing, and obsessing with food. By becoming more aware of the some of the physical and emotional triggers for overeating, an individual can eliminate their need to eat more food than their body needs.

Overeating Trigger – Getting Too Hungry

When restricting calorie intake, it can become too easy to become too hungry between meals. Even individuals who have dieted excessively in the past may have learned to tune out feelings of hunger and therefore no longer recognize hunger before it becomes severe.

Craighead’s appetite awareness training has an individual rate their level of hunger on a scale of one (too hungry) to seven (ignored fullness) before they start eating. Although it can take some time before learning how to judge one’s hunger, it can show a pattern of waiting too long to eat. It can also identify if the reason for eating is because of feelings of deprivation instead of hunger.

Overeating Trigger – Breaking Food Rules

If an individual eats something not on a diet’s list of permitted foods, the person may say, “What the heck,” and overeat or binge. After following a restrictive diet, a person may look at any small deviation as permission to binge and start over another day. Acknowledge a need for flexibility in one’s food choices.

Overeating Trigger – Ignoring Fullness

It is easy to overlook the stomach’s signals for fullness. By the time an individual notices that they are full, they may really be stuffed, having overeaten. Overeating on a regular basis may mean that an individual doesn’t feel uncomfortable with too much food in his or her stomach it has become a normal sensation.

Overeating Trigger – Eating When Food Is Available

Scheduled snacks and mealtimes can be useful cues to eat. However, when food is available at other times, it may become socially and emotionally uncomfortable. The problem with these times is that a lack of hunger when eating makes it harder to notice sensations of fullness. Craighead encourages mindful eating at these times so an individual can enjoy special foods without overeating them.

Overeating Trigger – Emotional Eating

Eating can be soothing and distracting. Although not a problem if it occurs occasionally, it is an issue if it happens frequently. Feeling full usually has no part in stopping an emotional eating event. Overeating while trying to lose weight may set off a binge that makes an individual upset, which then leads to emotional eating – a vicious cycle.

Overeating Trigger – The What the Heck Response

For whatever reason, if more food is consumed than an individual feels they should have eaten this can lead to a response of “What the heck?” that then leads to permitted overeating for a period of time. However, an individual can acknowledge the negative feelings associated with overeating before they permit a binge. A 300-calorie slice of chocolate cake is nothing compared to taking in 3000 extra calories after determining “What the heck?” and consuming much more food.

Overeating Trigger – Plan to Binge or Overeat

Planned overeating usually occurs occasionally at celebrations and doesn’t threaten overall weight loss or gain. Planned binges connect to “what the heck” responses and unplanned bingeing. However, planning regular binges with the thought of “correcting” it with excessive exercise or purging can lead to long-term health problems.

Each of these triggers is a point “where you can learn to make different eating decisions.” By becoming aware of times when overeating can occur empowers an individual with the ability to plan in advance for ways to avoid sinking into one of these situations.

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How to Lose Belly Fat For Good

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Lose Belly Fat For Good

There are many reasons belly fat tends to build up and collect around the abdominal area. These reasons include hormonal changes, heredity, and natural weight gain that comes with growing older, especially in women (sorry, ladies!). Fat that is located deep within the abdomen is not as susceptible to spot reduction techniques but regular exercise does tend to get rid of it pretty quickly.

Whether trying to lose belly fat or just lose weight from any other part of the body, the basics remain the same: eat less and exercise more. Belly fat is an indicator of future problems with disease, future problems with joints, and what sort life will be lived in later years. Everyone is one day older today, and most everyone is going to live well into their 70s, 80s, or even 90s. Wouldn't it make sense to start today and maintain the current level of health well into those later years? Start with losing that belly fat for good.

Start With Waist Measurement

The BMI, or Body Mass Index can be calculated with the help of a doctor or health care professional. BMI may not reliable when determining an accurate measure of body fat percentage or the way in which the unhealthy fat is distributed. However, there is a much simpler method for determining if one has an unhealthy amount of belly fat.

Researchers have found that using a simple tape measure may be the most effective way of determining the amount of unhealthy body fat, especially belly fat. To measure the mid–section, place a tape measure around the belly at about the level of the navel. While breathing normally, pull the tape taut, but not so tight as to press down on the skin.

Healthy Belly Measurement Means Healthy Weight

Women should shoot for a healthy 33–inch waist measurement while the men should shoot for a waist measurement of less than 40 inches. Any more than those aforementioned measurements could indicate an unhealthy concentration of belly fat. These belly fat cells aren't just unsightly, they're also actively producing hormones and other substances that will ultimately have a long–term effect on overall health.

Putting on pounds in the belly area doesn't just make clothes fit more tightly. Extra belly fat can have negative effects on good health, especially in the long-term. Extra belly fat will increase the risk of developing heart disease, breast cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, colorectal cancer, and gallbladder problems.

The Battle Against Belly Fat

It's time to identify the enemy and start fighting back against belly fat. The first line of defense is to exercise daily. The level and frequency of exercise should be based on current activity levels and weight loss goals. Shoot for doing exercises that target the deeper and lower abdominal muscles. The Department of Health and Human Services recommend a weekly exercise regimen of two hours and 30 minutes of moderate exercise, one hour and 15 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity, and weight training.

The second weapon against belly fat is diet. Simply decide to reduce calories by reducing portion sizes and replacing what is normally eaten with fat-free or low-fat healthier foods. Low-fat milk, cheeses, and meats are a good place to start. Cut out any sugary sodas, fried foods, high-fat snack foods, and any other obvious culprits. As weight is lost, maintain a healthy diet and regular exercise.

Don't Despair Over Belly Fat

Okay, so there's a bit of belly fat down there. Don't get depressed over it. It is possible, and very doable, to lose that belly fat.

Concentrate on some honest self-assessment and then set some realistic goals for weight loss and exercise. Begin in stages and start changing the diet this week, while starting some exercises next week, add more the next, and so on. It's all just a matter of deciding to do it and sticking to the program. Soon, the pounds will start coming off, the risk of developing some horrendous disease lessens, and self-esteem begins to rise – and it looks good, too.

As with any radical changes in diet or exercise, always consult a health care professional, nutritionist, or doctor before starting any diet, exercise, or weight loss plan. This article is for informational purposes only. The information provided herein is of a general nature and should not be substituted as advice from a qualified professional.

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