Archive for the ‘Weight Loss’ Category

Quit Smoking and Lose Weight with Simple Changes in Your Diet

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

Are dietary changes going to stop your nicotine cravings? Probably not. But, simple changes you can make in your diet can make cigarettes less palatable and therefore, make them taste bad so you may have an easier time saying no to them.

Some of you non-smokers may not believe that there are foods that make cigarettes taste good, or taste better. I personally gave up smoking ten years ago. I was just a social smoker anyway. Now I can’t even stand to be within 30 feet of someone lighting up, but back in the day, drinking and smoking went hand in hand. Now I know why.

Duke University researchers found out that certain foods make cigarettes tastier. Among those foods were alcoholic beverages, which accounts for those who just end up smoking when they drink. Also on the list of foods were caffeinated beverages and meat.

There were foods that were found to make cigarettes taste worse and these are the foods you should increase to help you stop smoking. It will make the cigarettes less appealing taste wise, which may give you the kick start you need to drop the cigarettes altogether. The foods tended to be fruits and vegetables, no caffeinated beverages like water and juice, dairy beverages like milk and dairy foods.

The study also found that smokers tend to have poorer diets than non-smokers. In all likelihood, this is because the foods that complement cigarettes tend to be unhealthier foods for you to consume. Smokers who are severely addicted and are not looking for a way to quit will make those food choices based on how they experience cigarettes and food as a whole. It appears that those who smoke are going to make poor food choices because of the taste factor and also those who smoke are probably less likely to be concerned with other areas related to a healthy lifestyle.

When someone decides to quit smoking, they are probably going to be looking to make positive health changes in other areas. Thus, changes in diet that would naturally occur when someone chooses healthier foods, will end up aiding in the decision to quit smoking by creating a negative taste association when experienced together.

For those people who have avoided smoking cessation programs because they fear weight gain, I recommend having healthy snacks on hand. Fruits, vegetables and nuts are all healthy snack foods that allow you to meet the need you feel to have something in your mouth . These will replace the need to have a cigarette in your mouth while at the same time making any cigarettes you smoke less tasty to you, doing double duty for your health.

Resources

Daniel J DeNoon, Quit Smoking Diet: Veggies, Milk, WebMD

Easy Ways to Lose Weight After You Quit Smoking

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

If you’ve managed to quit the smoking habit, you might have gained a few pounds as your body adjusts to the change. Many people even use smoking as an excuse to keep extra weight off, but if you’ve taken steps to turn yourself into a former smoker, there are plenty of ways to lose weight sensibly and reduce the chances of gaining weight for the long run. Here are ten ways to continue on your journey towards better health by minimizing weight gain and even losing a few pounds in the process:

Lose Weight by Following a Structured Meal Plan
Now that you’re not fighting cravings for cigarettes all day, you may start turning to food for comfort instead. Stick with a structured meal plan that provides ample nutrition so you’re not stuck with food cravings; eating a balanced diet actually reduces the chances of cravings and overeating, so you won’t be at the mercy of sugar and fattening foods as you start to work off the weight.

Lose Weight by Increasing Your Exercise Routine
Losing weight with exercise is one of the best ways to keep it off for good, but you do need to follow a fairly intensive routine to get the process started. This varies by individual, and you can find out what works best by simply trying different routines until a few ‘stick.’ Aim for at least 3-4 sessions of cardio per week, along with 2-3 sessions of weight training. This will be enough to boost your metabolism into high gear, and will also improve your mood. Smoking does provide a temporary (and unhealthy) ‘high’, but you can enjoy a better mood boost with regular exercise instead.

Lose Weight by Counting Calories
If you’ve never glanced at nutrition facts and calorie charts before, this will be a valuable exercise in learning how to manage your daily diet. Learn how many calories really are in that ‘healthy salad’ from the café so you’re not loading up your diet with all the wrong food choices. The easiest way to manage your diet is simply to cook and prepare foods for yourself whenever possible; this will give you more control over the ingredients, and you can set up a customized meal plan to stick with for the long run.

Lose Weight with Healthy Snacks
Most former smokers find they are a lot hungrier than usual; this is because nicotine does work fairly well as an appetite suppressant, and as soon as this wears off, hunger pangs can become fairly intense. The best ‘cure’ for this is to simply eat 2-3 health snacks throughout the day; this keeps your blood sugar levels stable and prevents an overeating frenzy at the next meal.

Lose Weight with a Coach or Personal Trainer
If you’re not confident about your motivation level, enlist the help of a coach or personal trainer to help you tough it out. Just having one person help you get through the rough spots can really keep your motivation in high gear, and you’re much more likely to stick with a plan when someone can hold you accountable. Find a coach or trainer in your community that specializes in weight management or even smoking cessation; the investment could be well worth it.

Lose Weight with Sugar-Free Candy
Many former smokers turn to candy to manage cravings, but this can quickly lead to weight gain (pure sugar!); reach for the sugar-free candy whenever possible so you can curb that sweet tooth without the extra calories. Just avoid aspartame-infused candy that has its own set of health hazards; today it’s easier to find alternative sweeteners such as Splenda and stevia that don’t present as many dangers as other artificial sweeteners.

Whether you choose to make a few more appointments with the treadmill, or take the steps to fill your candy jar with sugar-free candy, you’ll need a plan to start losing weight after you quit smoking. Move towards even better health with any or all of these choices after you’ve quit smoking for good.

100 Free or Low Cost Ways to Stay Busy While Trying to Lose Weight or Quit Smoking

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

It’s Your Life!

If you are trying to lose weight or quit smoking, here are 100 ways to keep busy, stay productive, and drop those unwanted pounds, or cigarettes, just as I did. Feel free to add your own solutions to my tried-and-true list.

1. Try a new make-up look

2. Try a new hair cut/style

3. Learn how to cut your children’s hair

4. Learn how to cut your own hair

5. Decoratively embroider clothes as you mend them

6. Crochet a muffler

7. Crochet an afghan

8. Knit a shawl

9. Knit a sweater

10. Learn how to make pizza

11. Bake bread (bake an extra loaf for hungry friends or neighbors, and deliver it)

12. Bake cookies, or cupcakes

13. Plant a garden

14. Plant fruit trees, or berry bushes

15. Decorate your room

16. Sew an outfit

17. Sew a decorator pillow

18. Make a braided rug

19. Weave a basket

20. Throw a pot on a potter’s wheel

21. Paint a picture

22. Take photographs

23. Model for professional pictures

24. Make crafts with your kids

25. Take a class at church, or local community college

26. Read a book

27. Put on headphones and listen to music

28. Take a bubble bath

29. Put on a self-tanning product

30. Paint your fingernails and toenails

31. Get a professional manicure or pedicure

32. Go horseback riding

33. Take a drive

34. Go hiking in the mountains

35. Go skiing

36. Go to the beach or lake

37. Go surfing or shell-collecting

38. Make shell crafts

39. Watch a video

40. Clean the house

41. Sweep your porch

42. Rake leaves

43. Shovel snow

44. Take the kids to the park

45. Wash your pets (and cage/house if necessary)

46. Wash the car

47. Write a poem

48. Write a letter

49. Write a novel

50. Organize your photos

51. Back-up your photos onto disc

52. Scrapbook your photos

53. Organize closets

54. Donate used clothes, shoes, and other items to the needy

55. Volunteer locally

56. Paint your kitchen

57. Wallpaper or border your living room

58. Learn how to make decorative soaps

59. Learn how to sew

60. Start a patchwork quilt

61. Finish making that quilt (or afghan)

62. Mend an heirloom quilt

63. Start a windowsill herb garden

64. Dry and crush your own herbs

65. Make potpourri from herbs and dried flowers

66. Make scented oils from dried flowers

67. Exercise

68. Go for a run

69. Walk the dogs

70. Learn yoga

71. Compose a song

72. Learn to play an instrument

73. Practice playing a musical instrument

74. Do the laundry

75. Do the dishes

76. Clean out the refrigerator

77. Clean the oven

78. Iron clothes

79. Clean out your fireplace

80. Make a movie on your cell phone

81. Accessorize outfits, and then hang them together in your closet

82. Make your own jewelry

83. Nail-polish-paint worn out sunglasses frames

84. Give your face a masque or scrub (using natural kitchen foods)

85. Prepare for disasters or emergencies

86. Read the Bible

87. Pray

88. Go to church

89. Move to a new neighborhood

90. Start (or stop) dating

91. Fall in love

92. Write love letters

93. Hold hands

94. Hold that “special someone” very close

95. Get engaged

96. Plan a wedding

97. Get married

98. Love deeply

99. Laugh often

100. Have children (The very reason you gained weight, or started smoking in the first place!)

So go back to number 1, and start all over again. Children and life are blessings to be enjoyed in 1-to-100 ways, so cope with it by staying busy!

Your Diet for Life. A Weight Loss Diet Plan that You Can Embrace for Life

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Hello dear reader. You want to lose weight but you don’t wish to to waste your time trying yet another diet fad that won’t work.

You are tired of all the diet plans which claim perfect results so you are ready for something real. The first thing you need to do is figure out a natural goal for the real you.

You must remember that losing weight is different for each person. The entertainment industry would have you study that unless you are passing size 0 and so nearly skeletal you have not achieved the ideal weight loss goal. This is a huge lie.

To achieve your correct weight a realistic fat loss goal should be the one you set out to achieve. Successful weight loss requires permanent changes to your eating habits and physical activity. This means you must find a weight loss diet that you can embrace for life.

So let’s say you read about a great sounding diet in a magazine article, and it requires taking in a lot fewer carbohydrates. On the surface you are busting to lose ideal weight but deep down you know you can not stand to give up pizza night. Which part of you do you think will win out in the end? Would Garfield give up lasagna?

There are several effective diet plans that you could tailor to you and that is the true key to finding diet plans that really work. You will also need to consider changing your current favourite meals to healthier versions that still taste fabulous! Will power is a huge myth, all those folks did better than anyone else was find the diet that fit their work schedule.

A great way you can make sure a diet plan work for you is by seeking out the help of others who are going through with the same battle as you are. Friends, a family member, or weight loss groups can be good for this. It is harder to make an excuse if you have to tell someone other than yourself.

You should’nt fall for the ‘myths’ of weight loss. One you might have heard before is not to eat at night. This is not true unless you have had three large meals during the day. The truth is that if you spread your meals out into smaller portions several times a day, you can eat later and feel more satisfied and less guilty for doing so.

Another typical myth is if you cheat or cut a day on your diet you will fail completely. The truth is that if you cave in one day and go to the fair and have that treat, you can go right back to your good habits the next day and be just great. Also if you notice that you stopped losing weight for a couple weeks, you can have a cheat day to help kick start your weight loss again.

Look into the variety types of diet plans out there. Find the ones that offer life long plans for staying at your best weight. Do not stay on diet’s that suggest you don’t consume one type of food for a prolonged period of time with the exception of “fake” foods like processed candy.

Keep in mind these little hints and you will be well on your way to a healthier life. Remember to always be good to yourself and do not give in!

The One Diet that Worked to Lose Weight

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

No one ever said it was going to be easy. It would take discipline, be stressful to adhere to, and might take months or longer to see any results. But, I was 250 lbs. and going nowhere but up. Living in the Midwest, especially in Ohio, its easier to ignore that you need to lose weight. There’s not much peer pressure. Most of the population was just like me and there were very few people here trying to impress anyone.

Trying to lose weight was for me. It was a personal project. I was 39-years-old at the time, when you feel as if time and opportunity is starting to get by you for the first time in your life. So, that had me thinking about what the extra weight was doing to me physically, and what may be going on inside that I wasn’t aware of. I started right at the height of the low carbohydrate frenzy. All the books were out, I read all about these type diets on the web as well and finally just caved in and bought “the Atkins diet” and “the south beach diet” so I could have some type of guide right there in my hands. I read through these books quickly and found that it might just be best to start eating the foods they suggested, in the right quantities prescribed and get into ketosis, where fat would be used for energy. I took a leap of faith at that time and followed the foods and quantities to the letter.

Life was very difficult for the first couple of weeks. It is tough to get those carbs out of your diet, and my family was still very much into them. Denying myself the foods that I had eaten for my entire life was a challenge. I was determined this time to fight and stay on this low carb path though, no matter what. After losing 13 pounds in about 15 days, I had enough motivation to know that something was working here! This pace was due to water weight being eliminated, but after 3 months it was still coming off fast and I was down to 225. The comments began, and they were great! “Have you lost weight?”, “You look different, your face is thinner”, and so on…these continued to reinforce my positive attitude and commitment to eating a low carb diet. After almost a year, I was down to 177 and eating a few of those “cheater” foods here and there, but strict as ever. I also became more educated about glycemic indexes and cut back on all meat and cheese and began to watch the heavy fats. (Also known as “more fruits, vegetables and salads”).

I kept at this diet for three years. It worked for me and I stayed in the 180’s, where I still look very thin, but not anorexic. I will admit that I was not exercising a lot during this and that may have made the results move even faster. My blood pressure went down to normal, from borderline high, and I felt quick and had abundant energy the whole time. My family seemed to hate me as I didn’t eat a few birthday cakes, favorite recipes at the holidays and cut alcohol down to only an occasional low carb beer, two at the most. Was this a success? Yes, as I looked and felt good for about three years. Afterward I began to cheat more and more, I felt that I could gain a few pounds and would be able to handle it. A few more…turned into getting back up to where I was originally and it took about two years. little by little to overturn all that will power from before.

This is my story of the only time I had success losing weight on a diet. I did try some others, (low fat, high exercise, more fruits and veggies, etc), but the low carb method is the only one I was able to make work and stay on for enough time to see 75 pounds come off and stay off. It was worth it, it was so great to fit into smaller clothes, getting positive comments and having women say they were noticing. I am thinking of doing it again soon to try to get healthier and look better than ever!