There has been enough research done on weight loss to know that it is not just about the food we eat but how, why, what and when we eat that matters. We eat food for energy, and to maintain our body. Society has encouraged eating as a comfort for the mind instead of a fuel for the brain. How to eat has changed also, snacking was an “extra” not a staple of your diet. What we eat does not just include counting calories but it is important to factor in how it is prepared and portion sizes. When to eat can depend on a busy day’s schedule, but eating before bed should definitely be out of the question. Fewer calories in and more calories out are key to successful weight loss.
The best foods for weight loss should be low fat but high in protein. A main problem when dieting is the portion size, when reading labels, serving sizes can be deceiving. An average portion of meat is 4 ounces, a serving size of any frozen treat is 1/2 cup, and any calorie count on cereal is based on 1 cup. When using dairy products low fat or no fat is best and when eating eggs leaving out the yolk (yellow) can save you almost 60 calories. In any bread product whole grains have the protein and fibers that are needed while most white breads products have added sugar. Both fish and poultry are very high in protein but it all depends on the way they are prepared, if possible always avoid meats that are deep fried. When buying red meat you will notice there are 3 grades; Choice, Select, and Prime; Prime grades contain more fat. Another way to tell is by the cut of the meat, if it called “round” or “loin” it is a lean cut. Always choose the leanest cuts of meat possible. As for snacking, if it has empty calories (high in sugar) avoid it, eat a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts.
The best cardio for weight loss is any exercise that raises your heart rate. Most of these exercises we do daily without even realizing it. High energy dancing not only burns calories but helps improve your circulation as well. By walking stairs for 5 minutes a day the leg muscles get toned as well. After eating a meal going for a 15 minute power walk can usually burn off the calories that you just ate; when you are ready to increase your exercise level or just for a change of pace try bicycling or jumping rope.
The best exercise for weight loss would be any of the toning exercises. Toning exercises work by raising your metabolism which burns calories and defines the muscles. Most of these exercises were taught in high school physical education. By doing a daily 15 minute regimen of push-ups, sit-ups, squats and crunches will not just burn calories but will show in a trimmer and more fit body. Both aerobics and jogging at local gyms not only work on the body but are known to be beneficial in relieving stress.
As with any weight loss program a combination of dieting and exercising is essential. Dieting is like anything else in life and sometimes rules get broken. It is okay to have some cake or potatoes chips every so often but in moderation, have a little piece of cake or a few chips; When counting calories it is never healthy for women to go below 1200 calories a day or for men to go below 1500.