Something as simple as getting enough sleep at night (9-10 hours) can be the difference between keeping the weight off and not gaining it at all and putting on the pounds:
A recent study from the United Kingdom reports that the lower the number of hours you sleep, the higher the likelihood you will put on extra weight. These findings apply to all age groups including children. The research team reviewed the findings from 696 studies on the effects of sleep time on weight gain. They found a solid relationship between hours of sleep and risk of obesity. All the studies of adults as well as children showed a significant and consistent negative association between Body Mass Index and hours of sleep.
There also appears to be a link between lack of sleep and stroke:
Another study reports that sleeping too little is linked to increased risk of stroke. While the researchers point out that their findings can be applied only to the postmenopausal women in the study, other experts are saying that the same relationship between sleep and stroke risk is universal.
I remember watching a Dateline where some university was conducting a study on the link between sleep deprivation and weight gain and what they found was not only did people eat more but they had cravings for the high fat, sugar salt foods and did a lot of sleep eating: munching while not fully awake. So, instead of making a resolution to lose weight, maybe your resolution needs to be to get enough sleep at night.
There’s so much information out there on what it takes to lose weight, that it all becomes information overload after awhile. It can be very easy to toss your hands up and say “Forget it!,” not knowing which way to turn, which tips to use and which to discard. Well, we completely understand the frustration. We get just as frustrated with all the dos, don’ts and maybes of weight loss, and what this expert has to say vs. the next expert and her recommendations.
So to help make your (and our) life easier we’ve compiled a very thorough list of all the best weight loss tips we’ve read over the years. These are practical tips that are often very easy to implement, but still yield amazing results. We want you to succeed and the easier it is to know what you should be doing, versus what you don’t have to worry about or shouldn’t be doing, the better.
Tip 1: Read and Understand Labels
If you don’t understand what’s on the labels…don’t buy it. If you’re serious about your weight loss then you’re going to have to be able to read and understand lables. Serving size, calories, no-sugar added and fat grams are all terms you’re going to have become familiar with. You need to know what you’re buying and ultimately what you’re putting into tour body. It’s not all as simple as it seems and if you’re eating blindly how are you ever going to take control of your weight and your overall health.
Tip 2: Have Whipped Cream as a Snack
Got a nagging sweet tooth? Want to keep the fat and calories at a minimum? Freeze a container of lite whipped topping and you’ll satisfy a craving for ice cream. Add sugar-free chocolate syrup and a cherry for that extra “oomph”!
Tip 3: Replace a Meal with Cereal
Replace a meal with cereal. Studies have shown that people who replace either lunch or dinner with cereal, lose more weight over the long haul then those who don’t. People who use cereal as a meal replacement eat fewer calories and learn portion control as well.
Tip 4: Make Water Your Primary Drink
After breakfast, make water your primary drink. At breakfast, go ahead and drink orange juice. But throughout the rest of the day, focus on water instead of juice or soda. The average American consumes an extra 245 calories a day from soft drinks. That’s nearly 90,000 calories a year — or 25 pounds! And research shows that despite the calories, sugary drinks don’t trigger a sense of fullness the way that food does.
Tip 5: Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
Tip: Don’t compare yourself to others. Every body is different. It stands to reason that everybody will lose weight differently. Even if you do the exact same things that I do, you won’t lose weight at the same rate. The key is in finding your triggers. Keep your goal in sight, and do whatever you have to do to meet that goal. When you start looking at another person’s habits, you’re only going to become discouraged and quit without even realizing that it’s physically impossible to be anybody but yourself.
Tip 6: Set Your Dieting Rules
Set your dieting rules. What are dieting rules? Dieting rules are a set of guidelines that you will follow to help you achieve your weight loss goals and hopefully, by the time you’ve reached your goal weight, they become habits and an everyday part of your life.
On average you have to do something 17 times before it becomes a habit. 17. So don’t think you’re just going to wake up one morning, decide you’re gonna lose weight and all your old habits will just fall by the wayside. No, you have give yourself a set of rules to follow to make that transition possible. And remember these have to be things you can live with FOR LIFE. Not just something you’re doing until you get fit into the little black dress.
Tip 7: Weigh Yourself Daily
I know many nutritionists, dietitians and what not say “Don’t be a slave to the scale.” And that’s good advice for when you first start losing weight. Those first couple of weeks of weight loss can be frustrating. You can go up and down, or not move at all. It is easy to get discouraged. So yes, during those early weeks of weight loss I would (if you can) keep your weigh-ins to once a week.
However, once you lose the weight, weighing yourself everyday becomes a necessity. Some of us become slack once we reach are goal weight. We go back to our bad habits that made us fat to begin with. We don’t notice how our skinny jeans are getting tighter, or how are middle tends to be expanding, and the next thing we know what was probably a five pound gain turns into a twenty pound gain and we’re right back where we started.
For some of us, without a constant reminder of our weight, we will always put the weight back on. Weighing yourself everyday will help you maintain your weight. If you see the scale creeping up then you know you need to makes some changes either by exercising more or eating less. If hitting your goal weight and maintaining your goal weight is a priority to you then becoming cozy with your scale is the best way to make that happen.
Tip 8: Drink Hot Water
Drinking hot water as appose to cold water can increase the speed of your metabolism and burn more calories.
Tip 9: Don’t Skip Breakfast
You would have gone hours without eating since the previous night, hence eating breakfast would not decrease your tendency to overeat later during the day.
Tip 10: Eat More Fruits, Vegetables and Whole Grains
People who eat healthy, mostly unprocessed foods, including fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and limited amounts of lean animal protein, often find that they can eat as much as they want without gaining weight. If they are switching from a diet containing lots of processed foods, they find that they can eat more yet consume fewer calories — and they lose weight.
Tip 11: More Muscle = More Calories Burned
The more muscle tissue you have, the more calories you will burn. This is why world class weight lifters must eat thousands of calories a day to maintain their weight. Muscle is active tissue, fat is not. Thus, muscle “burns” a significant number of calories each day for its own maintenance. In her book Strong Women Stay Slim, Miriam Nelson, a Tufts University researcher, showed that a group of women who followed a weight loss diet and did weight training exercises lost 44% more fat than those who only followed the diet. While aerobic activity can help burn calories, muscle’s where it’s at when it comes to giving your metabolism a significant daily boost even at rest.
Tip 12: Try Portion Control – It Works
One the easiest and least painful ways to get your diet started is to use portion control. So often, in much of diet literature, portion control is overlooked or not discussed seriously. Many “experts” claim that it’s too hard and the everyday individual is loathe to practice it because of its difficulty. The reality is portion control is quite easy and if you follow a few simple steps you can be on your way to a slimmer waistline:
Fix your plate the way you normally would. Pile the food on. Don’t worry about whether you’re putting too much on your plate, just follow your normal routine.
When you’re done take half the food off your plate and put in a container for later.
Eat the half you have left.
After you finish eating, wait 10 minutes and if you still feel hungry go and get the food that you put away and take half of that, put it on your plate and eat it.
Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
Try it for a week. After the first couple of days you probably won’t even need that second helping and my guess is, by the end of the week, you may have lost a couple of pounds. Ultimately, portion control is about eating less food so you consume fewer calories. If you’re now eating half of what you normally eat then you’re consuming half the calories and pounds will begin to come off.
Obviously what you eat matters, but if you’re just starting a dieting regime and you feel overwhelmed with all of the health and fitness advice from the “experts” this is a simple way to get the ball rolling. Once you see those early results you will feel motivated to keep it going and make even bigger changes in your diet and lifestyle.
Tip 13: Limit Salt in Cooking
Limit salt in cooking as well as check for hidden salt in your favorite foods. Other names for salt include baking soda, baking powder, MSG and soya sauce.
Tip 14: Know Your Danger Zones
If you know sitting in the kitchen is going to cause you to raid the pantry… leave the room. If lingering at the dinner table makes you long for dessert… vamoose! For example, don’t use the kitchen table for other activities like paying bills if you know you can’t fight temptation. (The cookie jar always calls my name when I’m busy crunching numbers.) Or, even better … as soon as you’ve finished your meal, head outside and take a walk. Not only will it get your mind off of eating, you’ll have the extra benefit of exercising!
Tip 15: Make Lunch Your Main Meal
Although they do this throughout Europe, a good explanation for eating your big meal at midday comes from ayurveda, India’s 5,000-year-old approach to wellness.
“According to Ayurvedic principles, we’re actually designed to eat the larger meal at lunch because our digestive ‘fire,’ called agni, is strongest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., so we digest more efficiently,” explains Jennifer Workman, a Boulder, Colorado-based ayurveda specialist, registered dietitian and author of Stop Your Cravings (Free Press, 2001). “I’ve seen people in my practice lose 5 to 10 pounds just by doing this.”
Tip 16: Start With Soup
This Japanese tradition is one of the best weight-loss strategies. That’s because eating soup, particularly the broth-based vegetable kind, before your entrée fills you up so you eat less during the meal, explains Barbara Rolls, Guthrie professor of nutrition at Penn State University in University Park, and author of The Volumetrics Eating Plan (Harper-Collins, 2005).
A two-year French study of 2,188 men and 2,849 women found that those who ate soup five to six times a week were more likely to have BMIs below 23 (considered lean), compared with infrequent- or noneaters whose BMIs tended to be in the 27 range.
Tip 17: Don’t Give in to Buffet Thinking
Do you suffer from buffet thinking? If the availability of more food items adds to your temptation level then, you’ll have to answer “Yes.”. A recent study suggested that the more food choices you have, the more you consume. Stick to a healthy variety of a fewer number of items and you may be less likely to overeat.
Tip 18: Don’t Eat Out of the Container
Avoid eating anything directly out of the container, particularly foods that lend themselves to binges like ice cream or potato chips. It’s virtually impossible to practice portion control when you eat straight out of a container. Plus, the experience of eating the food in and of itself will be different. As you eat from a container, you’re likely to feel out-of-control, thinking, “If I’m being this ‘bad’ then I should just go all the way.” You’ll feel more in charge of your actions by eating one serving mindfully from a dish.
Which one of these tips resonates with you? Do you see something here that is contributing to your inability to lose weight? Does the list reassure you that you’re on the right track? Which one or how many of these tips do you think you can add to your routine today, this week? Let us know what you think below and don’t forget to use the buttons below to share with your friends and get them in on the conversation.
Losing the weight is only winning a battle, keeping it off is winning the war. The major issue with maintaining weight loss is that people often view a diet as short term instead of a long term, permanent lifestyle change. So instead of embracing the new habits that let them lose the weight, people go back to the old habits that had them over weight and unhealthy to begin with. It then becomes a vicious cycle. To help with that we’ve gathered 1o tips to not only help you lose the weight, but keep it off as well.
1. Accept that weight management is an achievable goal
If you approach weight management with the concept that small steps will add up to make a big difference over time, then the idea of losing weight does not seem so complex.
2. Make a plan to succeed
Identify 10 food items that you currently purchase that you know are bad for you and that you can live without. Make a consistent plan to start eliminating 2 of these items each week from your grocery list.
3. Contact a nutritionist and make an appointment
Every individual should have a customized plan tailored to their age, weight, height, metabolism and activity level. This plan is best created with a professional who will dedicate time to working with you one on one.
4. Schedule regular exercise
Make it a goal to double the distance that you walk each day until you are walking at least 30 minutes each day.
5. Set realistic goals
Rapid weight loss that can’t be sustained only results in frustration. The goal should be to lose approximately 2 pounds every week. Depending on how much you choose to lose, over the course of a year this would result in a substantial amount of weight loss.
6. Develop a support system
It is important to join a support group and to develop a network of individuals who are committed to your success. Some of the most accessible groups exist at Weight Watchers, Beachbody.com and faith-based organizations. Inquire within your health plan for resources that also may be able to help you maintain your goals.
7. Weigh in regularly
It is important to check your weight regularly. Every week you should check your weight in the morning before you get dressed on the same scale.
8. Positive Reinforcement
Feel good about the success that you are making and provide a small reward for yourself each week that is not food related. Some excellent suggestions include a manicure, a massage, taking a scenic walk, purchasing a new CD or new clothing item.
9. Congratulate yourself
Weight loss is similar to a marathon that is not always won by leaps and bounds. The goal is to stay focused on your goal even if there are small setbacks from time to time.
These are some great tips to live by. For me step #3 resonates with me since it has never occurred to me to meet with a nutritionist for a consult about my weight loss goals. A personal trainer – yes. A nutritionist – not so much.
What do you think about the advice? Is there anything new here that you think will make a difference in your weight loss goals? What, if anything, can you take away form these steps?
Struggling to maintain your weight loss? Often a refusal to make long-lasting changes is the culprit to weight creep: the slow regaining of all of the weight you lost To avoid weight creep, here are 5 tips that get to the heart of your struggle with maintaining your weight loss and what to do about it.
1. Weigh Yourself Often
Once upon a time, experts said to stay off the scale—it can be discouraging. But after studying 3,500 individuals from the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR) who’ve maintained 60 or more pounds of weight loss for at least a year, researchers found that 44 percent weighed themselves daily. Unhealthy obsession? No. They use it as an early warning system for preventing weight regain. If your goal is to keep your weight at a certain level, you have to have feedback to see whether you’re successful.
2. Turn the TV Off
Scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York recently determined that simply seeing food can trigger a physiological “feed me” response. In the study, visual food cues caused brain activity to jump by 24 percent—mostly in the orbitofrontal cortex, the area of the brain that is related to drive and acquisition. So a constant barrage of pizza-delivery ads on TV could test your limits. And don’t get us started on the Food Network.
3. Pray the Fat Away
Christians who report feeling greater intimacy with God through prayer are more likely to be physically active than other christians, according to research from Cornell University. Studies have shown that those who have more social support move more, and being closer to God may give men that support. Another possible reason: General religion in the United States encompasses theological teachings about the body as a temple, which may also lead to the consumption of a healthier diet and increased physical activity. Amen to that.
4. Beware of Taste Bud Betrayal
Hunger increases taste sensitivity to sweet and salty substances. This means vending-machine snacks (which come in two flavors: sweet or salty—coincidence?) will taste even better when you’re hungry. You could trust that you’d savor the flavor by eating only a small amount. (Right.) Or you could sidestep this land mine altogether. Eat offensively. Eat regularly during the day to stave off cravings and the bingeing that can result.
5. Snack On Almonds
Seventy per day, to be exact. That’s the number that people in a City of Hope National Medical Center experiment ate daily for 6 months, in conjunction with a reduced-calorie diet, to drop 18 percent of their body weight. Almonds are a nutrient-dense food that provides healthful monounsaturated fat, protein, and fiber, which together contribute to feeling full. Go for whole almonds in their unsalted, raw, or dry-roasted state. Fifteen to 20 will do the trick for a quick snack. Try 50 as a meal replacement.
Weight Loss Wrap Up
I think for me one of the most important ones on the list is the “weigh yourself often” step. It’s easy to notice that your pants are getting tight or your belly is getting a little bigger but to dismiss and say, “Oh it’s only a couple of pounds,” and before you know it a couple of pounds turns into 20.
If you have a constant reminder of where you are weight wise, you will be able to make the necessary changes to your diet/exercise regime early enough to prevent your weight gain from getting out of hand and having to start again from square one.Which one, if any, resonated with you? Are you already doing some of these tips? Which can you see adding to your life today?
This is an interesting article, and it makes some valid points, but what I don’t think it fully mentions is that losing weight is actually pretty easy, it’s the keeping it off that’s hard.
Losing weight is not easy. No one should lull you into believing there is a quick way to lose weight. One important component of weight loss is that is takes time. There is no fast track to getting in better shape, but it is also never too late to start.
Definitely agree with the point that it is never too late start. I will add however that unless of until you deal with the real issues behind your weight gain, you will never be successful. The weight will always come back.
Weight gain is easy. Your body does not care if you put on some pounds. It has no real defense. Calorie laden foods and inactivity make the body hungrier. It sets off a chain reaction that leads to more hunger. When fat cells accumulate in the body, an unhealthy decline of the hormone leptin leads us to seek more food.
I think this is the important part people miss, the biochemical aspect of weight gain. Foods, particularly those with high fructose corn syrup, work against the body’s ability to let you know when you’re full. So, you keep eating, keep gaining weight, which makes you more inactive, more hungry and the cycle continues.
Losing weight and maintaining the weight lost is a lifetime project made even more difficult if you’re a person who has been overweight all of your life. You have to stay vigilant and be willing to change your life. That’s the key.
Last week I stepped off the curb and into the path of oncoming traffic.
Fortunately, I made it across the street okay, but it was definitely a wakeup call. I was essentially sleepwalking through my day on about 4-5 hours of sleep.
Unfortunately, this is a regular occurrence for me. I get in bed somewhere between 2-3:30 am and am up at around 7:30 am. Most days I think I “manage” it well but others, like that day, I know it’s a problem.
I’ve always known about the link between lack of sleep and weight gain. I have a friend who recently lost a good amount of weight and credits his success in part to always getting a good night’s sleep – at least 7 hours. With my average of 4 hours of sleep, I am missing out on one of the most crucial phases of the sleep process.
Phase 1: During this phase, a person is in between wake and sleep. The person can be awakened easily.
Phase 2: This is a period of light sleep during which body temperature drops.
Phase 3 and Phase 4: These are the phases during which a person experiences an increasingly deeper stage of sleep called delta sleep. During this restorative stage, the body is repairing itself, building bone and muscle and releasing certain hormones.
I know better than to think that I can just go home tonight, firmly pledging to sleep a minimum of 7 hours a night. I need to take small steps to change my habits.
Instead of trying to adhere to a strict lights-out policy every night, aim to get in bed early at least one night per week.
Ease yourself into your slumber session with a bath.
Eating a carb-based mini-meal of no more than 200 calories 45 minutes before drifting off can raise serotonin levels, helping you relax and sleep well. Try a whole-wheat English muffin with a tablespoon of honey or a cup of instant oatmeal with 1/4 cup of chopped apple.
How many hours of sleep are you getting on average each night?
We really do make losing weight harder than what it is. It really is as simple as burning more calories than you eat. The more active you are, the more weight you will lose and the easier it will be to maintain. From MSN:
University of Tennessee researchers studied the Amish community because the Amish, who use no electricity, are highly active in their daily lives. Amish men—many of whom are farmers—reported an average of 10 hours of vigorous work activity per week and, according to pedometers they wore, took an average of 18,425 steps per day. One man took more than 51,000 steps in a day by walking behind his horses in the fields. Women—who engaged in more moderate intensity activity such as gardening, cooking and childcare—tallied an average of 14,196 daily steps.
The researchers observed that the Amish diet is typically high in calories, fat and refined sugar foods such as meat, potatoes, gravy, eggs, vegetables, bread, pies and cakes. But only 4 percent of those surveyed were obese (compared to nearly 33 percent of modern adults) and only 26 percent were overweight (compared to around 65 percent of modern adults), as determined by their body mass index. This study suggests that the Amish were able to maintain healthier weights because they move so much.
The lesson here is clear. Sitting all day and not being active, regardless of what you eat, plays a BIG role in staying fit and healthy. So, even you don’t like going to the gym, or working out, or sweating, the very least you can do is strap on shoes and get to walking. If you’re hitting Amish like steps daily, you won’t have to feel guilty about that cookie you want to eat or a little ice cream after dinner. What’s 10,000 steps if it means you get to have a nice piece of chocolate cake?
Also, to get black women to exercise and adopt healthful lifestyles, you must take hair and appearance into consideration, Railey says. – “If a woman spends hours in a (salon) chair and spends $60, she’s out of the gym for at least two days,” Railey says.
So as you can see hair is a problem. A Big problem. My take on this is this: If it comes down between a a nice hairdo and heart disease/diabetes/cancer/hypertension and a slew of other illnesses. Which would you choose? That should be a no-brainer. But apparently it’s not.
I’m a black woman so I understand how a lot of BW’s confidence is tied up in their hair (and a myriad of other things) but at the end of the day your hairstyle shouldn’t dictate your health.
The way I see it there are only 2 options to the hair dilemma:
1. The Wrap
When I had hair (I’m currently a member of what I like to call: The Happy, Nappy, Natural and Free, Club) I used to wrap it before I went to the gym and slapped a scarf on it. Any Black woman worth her salt knows a well-executed wrap can secure salon style straightness with minimal effort.
What wrapping your hair also does is prevent a lot of the excess moisture (read sweat) from wreaking havoc on your do. I know that for many Black women the worst thing that can happen is to have their freshly relaxed hair “turn” and those edges not be a s straight as they were when they left the hairdresser.
Wraps help to cut down on the “turning” and once you’re ready to leave the gym if you have somewhere to go, comb out the wrap, apply a light bump with a curling iron or flat iron (optional) and you’re good to go. Just as fly as when you left the salon.
Now obviously if you’re working our regularly and you sweat profusely you will need to up how many times a week you wash your hair. Once a week to twice a week (three times a week is pushing it with relaxed hair ’cause it dries out so easily) should do the trick and be prepared to wrap it again.
If that sounds like it is too much work for you then there’s Option 2:
2. Go Natural
Yeah I said it. Go natural. Black women are the only women on the planet who are told that there is a problem with their hair being in its natural state. White women may dye their hair (we do it too) but the texture of their hair remains the same.
To sistahs I say:
Get out of bondage. Stop letting your hair rule you and wear (and love) the hair that God gave you.
With natural hair the issues Black women have with their hair and the gym disappear. Natural hair is wash-and-go hair. As a kid I used to envy White women and other non-black women for their wash and go/less labor intensive hair. It took me to get older to realize I had wash-and-go hair too; it’s just when you chemically alter your hair it doesn’t do what it’s naturally supposed to do.
I’ve been natural before. I had a min-afro for awhile and then at my mother’s insistence, I relaxed it. Then after a bad chemical burn that took out part of my hair and countless breakages and dryness I said, “Enough is a enough,” and chopped it all off.
So now I have a very low boys haircut. And when I say low, I mean low. There are men running around with more hair on their heads than I have.
And here’s a secret: Men LOVE it. Black men ladies. I get complimented on my natural hair ALL of the time. Young black men. Old black men. Rich, poor. Professional, blue collar. Compliments all of the time.
When I first cut it I was worried that I was completely ruining my dating life. I just KNEW brothers weren’t going to pay me any mind. Big butt aside I didn’t have any hair and all you hear (and see) is how a black man wants a woman with long flowing hair, whether it’s hers or not.
Here’s the other secret. The other thing I learned from this year of no hair: Men like women. Period. If they think you’re hot then it doesn’t really matter what’s going on with your hair as long as it’s neat and looks nice on you.
Oh and the bonus for those of you who want to date interracially: White men love it. I mean you’d think I was Halle Berry or something with the way they react.
My point is that you shouldn’t let your hair determine your health. AND whether or not a man likes your hair isn’t important, even though I know appearing attractive to the opposite sex is important to just about everybody.
While I’m trying to start a weight revolution maybe it’s time we start a hair one too. It’s time to stop ladies. Stop letting you hair rule you and time for you to rule your hair. Take back your life.