Monday, February 28, 2011

Keys to Successful Weight Loss by Janelle Gallo

Keys to successful weight loss

There are many factors that contribute to weight loss that should be followed. It is not just one factor that is to be followed but a combination of all these factors will help with a successful & healthy weight loss. Remember, it is great to lose weight but if you aren't healthy inside than you are only setting yourself up for problems down the road. Here are the factors:

1) HEALTHY EATING- Your diet should consist of lean proteins such as fish, chicken, turkey, eggwhites, fat-free cottage cheese and greek yogurt, whey isolate & casein shakes. Eating organic and hormone-free meats is especially important because they don't have added hormones and chemicals added to them. Along with lean proteins, there should be a variety of dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, romaine lettuce, broccoli and fruits. Berries have very high antioxidants. Finally, staying away from refined carbohydrates such as cakes, cookies, pastries, any foods that have white flour and are processe. You need to incorporate whole grain, complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, quinoa, sweet potatoes, red skin potatoes, and oatmeal or grits. Lastly, incorporating healthy fats that are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated helps lubricate and protect joints, are good to for the brain and help reduce inflammation in the body as well as help you burn fat. These sources should come from fish oils, olive oil, nuts, natural nut butters, avocado, coconut & coconut oil, and seeds. Remember, too much of healthy food can prevent you from losing weight. You must have small portions and eat frequently throughout the day to keep blood sugars normal and metabolism to speed up. Calories in =calories out. You must burn more calories than you eat in order to lose weight, so total calories for the day that you ingest is what counts.

2)EXERCISE- You must be active and get your body moving. Performing cardiovascular exercises that bring your heart rate up will burn fat. Activities such as brisk walking, cycling, jogging, running, plyometrics, group exercise classes such as zumba, cardio kickboxing, spinning and various exercise machines such as the elliptical, stepmill or treadmill is also a great way to get your body moving. Remember, do activities that you enjoy. It will make exercise fun and motivating. These activities will help strengthen your heart, & blood circulation. Perform these exercises at least 5 days a week. Along with cardiovasular exercise, strength training is beneficial for building muscles, and strengthening muscles and bones. If you develop more lean body mass, your body will burn more fat and burn it more efficiently. Also, having strong muscles will help strengthen the joints. You can use dumbbells, barbells, tubing & bands, a cable system, as well as machines to strengthen the muscles. Lastly, incorporating flexibility into your routine, will prevent you from getting injured and keep muscles from becoming so tight. Yoga, pilates, and stretching exercises are beneficial for this. Give yourself 2 full days of rest to recouperate and recover your body from exercise. More is not better and won't get you results faster! Your body is like a car, if you overwork it, it will eventually break down.

3) WATER-Too many people don't drink enough water. Water is very important for our bodies. It is good for the hair, skin, and nails as well as keeping your body hydrated. Research has shown that drinking a lot of water helps the body burn fat. It also helps your body to perform exercise. Being in a dehydrated state is not healthy. It can cause muscle cramping, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, and you can even pass out! Your body is made up of all cells. We need to hydrate them in order for them to perform their activities. Water also helps with transporting food into our cells so we can have the energy to perform exercise and burn fat. So, drink your water! Aim of 1/2 gallon to 1 gallon of water a day.

4)SLEEP-I can't tell you how important sleep is to the body. Quite often I get clients that have their diet and exercise down perfectly but they are not losing weight because they get 5 hours a sleep a night. Aim for 8 hours a sleep a night. Sleep helps your body recover from the everyday stressors it experiences. When we are sleep-deprived, we see the body's natural hormones become disrupted. Cortisol levels tend to rise and then the dreaded fat in your midsection suddenly appears. Other hormones such as gh levels, and estrogen or testosterone is thrown off. If hormones are imbalanced than the body will have trouble burning fat because of the lack of sleep and stress that is being put on it. So, get your sleep and try to cut down on the stress in your life. It will only hurt you in the long run.

4)DECREASE STRESS-As stated above, stress can hinder your weight loss. We all have daily stresses that we deal with but when you are overstressed, you begin to change your body's chemistry. Cortisol levels raise, & hormones become imbalanced as when sleep deprived and your body starts to crave sugary & salty foods. This can hinder your healthy eating and cause you to gain weight. So finding ways to de-stress helps. Take a yoga class, meditate, go for a walk instead of eating bad food, talk to friends and family to vent and get feelings out, read self-help books. All of these things can help you manage stress. Stress is the silent killer, so decreasing it will put you on the path to a healthy and successful weight loss.

5)HAVING A POSITIVE MENTAL STATE- Research has shown that people who have a more positive state of mind suffer less from disease and live longer than their counterparts who tend to be negative. Having a positive outlook towards your weight loss will make you more successful with it. You have to believe that you can do it, and when there are setbacks or hard times, you must still learn from them instead of pointing out the bad experience you had. Having a mental picture and visualizing what you want to look like or be like will help also. If you have constant negative thoughts about the weight loss process or say you are going to try, will only set yourself up for failure. You have to say to yourself that you are going to "DO" it, regardless of what happens. Remember, mind=body. Having a positive mind, can help you accomplish any fitness goal.

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