Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ten Changes You Can Make to Your Diet to Start Losing Weight

The truth about diets is that most of them fail. Diets are often an expensive, temporary solution to lose weight with very little long-term success. Most diets do not fit into normal life and can actually lower your metabolism if not supplemented with physical activity. However, by making the following ten changes to your diet, you can start losing weight and keep it off for good.

1. Drink six or more glasses of water daily. Divide your weight in pounds by two and the resulting number is the number of ounces of water you need to consume on a daily basis to maintain and control your weight. Get a water purification system, add lemons or limes to your water and carry water with you everywhere you go. Be sure to drink at least two cups of water with every meal.

2. Use a salt substitute. Salt does not contain any calories, but it does cause the body to retain water. Use a salt substitute and your body will expel water and weigh less.

3. Take a multi-vitamin daily. Multi-vitamins not only enhance general health and provide protection from certain types of cancers, but medical doctors have also linked multi-vitamins to weight loss. Take a multi-vitamin with chromium, vitamins B-6 and B-12 once a day with breakfast to start shedding pounds.

4. Avoid cream and sugar in your coffee & tea by switching to artificial sweetener. The caffeine found in coffees and teas is as an appetite suppressant, making you less hungry after drinking to help you eat less at your next meal. Without sugars, creams or other additives, an 8-ounce cup of brewed coffee contains around 2 calories! However, two teaspoons of sugar is equal to 30 calories and one tablespoon of cream accounts for just over 50 calories, so switch to artificial sweeteners for maximum weight loss.

5. Boil and drain vegetables without butter. Feel free to eat your favorite vegetables with every meal, as long as you boil them without butter. Vegetables are caloric dense, meaning you will feel fuller from eating smaller portions. Use vinegar or lemon juice instead for taste.

6. Avoid dressing in your salad. By using vinegar, lemon juice or artificial sweetener in your salad, you can cut down on fat without sacrificing on taste.

7. Boil or broil all lean meats and fish (beef, veal, lamb, fowl and fish). Lean meats are high in muscle-building, fat-burning proteins. The leanest poultry choice that is also high in protein is white meat from the breast of chicken or turkey. Check labels on ground meat and only buy ground beef made from 90% or higher lean meat.

8. Avoid pork and shell fish. Pork and shellfish calories can be especially high due to added sugars and fats. Limit your portions of pork and shellfish or eliminate them from your diet.

9. Do not eat between meals or skip any meals. Eat meals at the same time each day. Skipping meals not only makes you hungrier, so that you will eat more than usual at your next meal, but also creates metabolic changes in the body that can result in weight gain.

10. Avoid all alcoholic beverages. Pure alcohol contains close to 7 calories per gram, making it almost twice as fattening as carbohydrates or proteins, which both contain about 4 calories per gram. If you want to lose weight and reduce body fat, stay away from alcoholic drinks.

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