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10 Little Things That Can Add Up To Big Fat Loss

August 14th, 2008

There has never been a magic bullet for weight loss, and short of drastic measures like surgery, there never will be. Everyone knows that crash and fad diets don’t work, just as everyone should know that improving the diet and increasing physical activity (exercise) do work.

You’ve got to change your lifestyle, and do as many of the “right things” as possible. The “right things” for healthy weight loss are primarily a clean diet and as much exercise as you can sensibly undertake.

But, apart from diet and exercise, there are also lots of little things you can do that help keep things moving along in the right direction. Here’s a list of things you can start doing today to stay on track and keep the pounds coming off in a healthy way.

1) Increase your NEPA in any and every way. What is NEPA? NEPA stands for non-exercise-physical-activity. Running on the treadmill is great, but it’s not the only way to burn calories or keep your metabolism revved up. You’ll “get credit” for all the physical activity you complete. Try parking at the farthest spot from the front door of a store, the shopping mall, or work. Why wait or hunt around for a “premium” parking spot? Parking farther away can add a 1/4 or 1/2 mile of walking to your daily NEPA total for each errand you run. It also makes it less likely for you car to be damaged by other cars while making it faster and easier to make your exit. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk, don’t ride up the escalator. Wash your car instead of taking it to a carwash. Go for a swim instead of sitting indoors on a hot day. Take a short walk when you have a break at work instead of going to the break room vending machines.

2) Drink green tea. Green tea is a legitimate weight-loss thermogenic ingredient that safely increases metabolism and the number of calories burned. Green tea is also extremely inexpensive and has powerful antioxidant benefits. Drink it iced in the summer and hot in the winter. Just don’t sweeten your green tea with anything sugary (suggestion: xylitol crystals)

3) Condition yourself to eat breakfast every day. If you’re not already in the habit of eating breakfast, you may not experience much of an appetite or hunger in the morning. You may have to force yourself to eat on the first few days but very soon you’ll be looking forward to a breakfast meal since that is a natural time to eat. You absolutely need to eat breakfast, ideally some quality protein and healthy fats, for your metabolism to come up to full speed. Skipping breakfast means starting the day off in a nutritional deficit, to which your body will respond by trying to conserve energy and resources. The result? You’ll lack energy and undermine your efforts to increase metabolism and fat-burning. Plenty of studies validate the importance of breakfast in achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.

4) Eat more slowly. Eating more slowly makes it much less likely for you to overeat since the “full” signal from your stomach lags behind your actual state of fullness. You can be full well before you actually feel full by eating too quickly, so eating is a hurry is a surefire way to overeat. Fullness, the sense of satiety after a meal, is an important biological signal that shouldn’t be ignored.

5) Take walks. A walk after dinner or on weekend mornings wont feel like work, but you can be assured that you’re burning calories and benfitting yoru metabolism.

6) Stop using sugar. Nowadays we have a wide range of alternatives to sugar, such as the xylitiol, so there’s really no excuse left for using sugar in any foods or drinks.

7) Get enough sleep. Researchers aren’t sure why, but there is an association between getting enough sleep (or not) and body weight.

8 ) Ditch that bathroom scale. Buy a tape measure or skin caliper, or have your bodyfat percentage measured at your gym. As you gain muscle and lose fat, your overall weight might not change that much even though you’re getting leaner since muscle tissue weighs substantially more than fat. Bathroom scales don’t tell you how lean you are, and needlessly discourage people who may in fact be making great progress towards leaning up.

9) Use a Carb Blocker. Cutting down on the carbs is a proven way to increase fat loss but it’s not always possible to avoid them. Keep a bottle of Carb Blockers on hand so you can enjoy high carb foods once in awhile without sabotaging your exercise and weight loss results.

10) Be patient, and be consistent. It takes a long time to lose fat, unfortunately, longer than most people expect or desire. It’s best to accept that and commit to making permanent the lifestyle changes like eating right and exercising . Once you’ve done that, just stay on tack and be consistent, the fat will come off bit by bit. It’s best to stay positive and focus on the long term benefits and results versus trying to shed some arbitrary number of pounds in some arbitrary time frame, as you’ve seen with sill “Lose 30 lbs in 30 days!” type advertisements.

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