Category Archives: health and fitness

Healthy Dieting Tips

When it comes to dieting you will find all kinds of crazy and faddish diets on the market today. In addition to the many diets there seems to be every kind of diet aid you can imagine. From shakes the diet industry has evolved to include everything from candy bars and pudding to pills and patches. Each item makes the claim that it can help you drop those unwanted pounds quickly and easily. Well I can tell you for a fact there is very little easy for must of us about dropping a few pounds.

If you would like a few tips that should make your weight loss goals a little easier to achieve then perhaps the following tips will help you out.

Drink Plenty of Water

There really isn’t enough that can be said about the importance of drinking water in an effort to reach your fitness goals. Water hydrates the body first and foremost but water is also an important way of tricking your body into believing it is full. Other drinks do not work nearly as well as water in this endeavor and many drinks, even fruit juices, contain empty calories that you can ill afford when dieting.

Another great thing about drinking a lot of water while dieting is that it helps your skin retain its elasticity so you can avoid some of the ‘loose skin’ look that often accompanies massive weight loss. As an added bonus drinking plenty of water will have your skin looking radiant and beautiful as well.

Set Goals

Having goals is one of the most important things you can do when working to loose weight. Try to make sure that your goals are aggressive but can be achieved. If you are frustrated early in the dieting process by unrealistic goals you are much more likely to give up. However, challenges are always going to inspire us to achieve greater things in life. If you can find a ‘weight loss partner’ in order to have a little friendly competition for the weight loss totals for a week or a month then you are going to be far more likely to accomplish your goals than if you keep them quietly to yourself.

Eat More

Did you read that twice? Yes, eat more healthy foods that are high in fiber. Eat more vegetables and fruits-fill up on these foods that are good for you and you will not be inclined to binge on calorie laden junk food.

Move!

While this seems a little too simply stated for most, getting up and moving is one of, if not the absolute best way to burn calories. The simple truth is that you are not going to lose weight unless you use more calories than you consume. The more activities you enjoy that burn calories, the more likely you are to shed those unwanted pounds and meet your weight loss goals.

Some great activities that actually burn calories include the following: gardening, golf, dancing, playing volleyball, walking, jumping rope, playing hop scotch with your little ones, and playing tennis. I mention these activities because you can trick yourself into believing that you aren’t really exercising while burning calories. Even cleaning house requires movement and energy and if you dance around a little to some good music in the process you might burn a few extra calories.

Dieting, when successful can help restore self image and self-esteem in people who are otherwise beautiful people inside and out. The steps above are not the only things that are involved in the dieting process but they can help you reach your weight loss goals particularly when combined with a diet plan that you feel confident you can follow. Be sure that on those days when will power is non-existent that you do not derail your diet efforts all together by giving up. The most important thing you can do when dieting is to go back to dieting once you’ve strayed.

Dieting with Slim Fast

Slim Fast is another great diet aid that has been around for quite a while. From it’s origins as a thick and gritty powder designed to help you stave off hunger to it’s current incarnation as a line of weight loss products and meal bar supplements we have seen some amazing transitions and longevity in this particular product.

Slim Fast is becoming famous for the new flavors they have introduced and their steady stream of testimonials from those who have met or exceeded their goals by using the Slim Fast system. Using Slim Fast when dieting can assist those with little will power when it comes to chocolate and sweets achieve their weight loss goals by having the higher calorie shakes and snacks throughout the day followed by a sensible meal in the evening and indulging in their craving for sweets throughout the day. It’s a good plan as long as those using it can manage to stick with the plan.

In the past Slim Fast would not have been a product I would have recommended for those needing to lose a large amount of weight. That has changed however in the last year or so as they have introduced a much more aggressive health and wellness plan that is appropriate to those who have more pounds to take off than the simple 20 or so vanity pounds that was typical of the Slim Fast user of the past.

When it comes to dieting, not all plans are one size fits all, nor should they be. It’s good to see that Slim Fast is also adapting to meet the various needs of consumers. Not only does Slim Fast offer consumers shakes and meal replacement or snack bars that are convenient to use even when on the go but they also offer meals that you can prepare as well as healthy convenience meals to replace those evening meals when you are on the run. For those who like options, Slim Fast seems to have more options than ever before.

More than options however, it is good to see that Slim Fast, even after all these years, is still getting results by those who stick with the program. The truth is that the product wouldn’t have been around this long if it wasn’t working for someone along the way. Like many other weight loss plans, Slim Fast has taken to pushing the benefits of an active lifestyle in addition to the need for a healthy diet. There are some that will argue that you are not getting all the nutrients you need from drinking shakes but it could be reasonably argued from reading the label that the average shake contains more vitamins and nutrients than a sad margin of people consume on a daily basis.

Whether your dieting goals are very short term and specific or long term and lifestyle altering, Slim Fast can assist you in reaching those goals. This is a lifestyle adjustment in itself though and you must be prepared for a new way of eating in order for this plan to work for your specific dieting needs. If you haven’t checked out Slim Fast lately and you have made the decision to lose weigh but are uncertain how to go about it, perhaps it’s time you take a second look at the Slim Fast line.

The Dieting Mind Set

When it comes to dieting, far too many people set themselves up for failure before they even begin the process. They literally dread going on their diets and before they start the process are planning their mishaps along the way. Sad to say but true, far too many would be dieters are planning their first Rocky Road mishap while eating their last bowl of Rocky Road before the big event.

I have no idea why we tend to do this to ourselves but it is something I see in dieters everywhere. The far too popular notion is that one must binge on the foods most loved and enjoyed before beginning the dieting process because these things must be completely eliminated in order to shed those unwanted pounds. If you are honest with yourself, nothing could be further from the truth. Moderation is simply a concept that many of us are loathe to embrace.

You must change your way of thinking about food and your personal enjoyment of food in order for any diet you embrace to be successful. Food isn’t the enemy. And that is something that not enough people really understand. Even the ‘tasty’ foods aren’t the enemy. The enemy is your personal inability to properly portion the foods you eat. The problem is that the vast majority of us eat the wrong foods far more often than we eat the right foods. This is where the problems lie.

Our bodies need the nutrients we are lacking by not eating the five servings of vegetables and three servings of fruit each day that we should consume. Our bodies know that something is missing and we feel hungry or deprived. If we were actually consuming the proper balance of fruits and veggies each day we would find that we were far less likely to feel hungry and desire those foods that aren’t as healthy. This means we would be much more likely to enjoy them in moderation as they should be enjoyed.

Portion control is another problem that we have. We live in a society of “up selling”. Super sized fries and empty calories by the gallon of your favorite cola are offered with almost every fast food meal that can be bought. You must learn to say no to these things and avoid situations in which you may feel tempted to partake in these up sized orders.

To be truly successful when dieting you need to embrace the process as building a healthier you rather than depriving yourself of something. Do not think of your weigh loss plan as something negative but rather a positive force in your life to make changes for the better. When you have negative thoughts do not direct them at your diet. When you feel deprived remind yourself that you are depriving your bones of carrying around that excess weight. Remind yourself that you are depriving your wardrobe of those bulky clothes that are designed to hide the bulges. Remind yourself that you are depriving your body of years of bulges and bringing back the body of your youth.

Do not get so caught up in the dieting process that you forget to enjoy some of the goodies that life has to offer. Watching your weight and counting your calories does not mean that you can never go over your allotment. The goal however is to find balance. If you learn to portion your food correctly, indulge in moderation, and incorporate enjoyable calorie burning activities into your daily routine you may be amazed at the results.

Dieting for weight loss and health is only depriving if you allow it to be. If you cannot control yourself when it comes to indulging then by all means avoid indulging. However, if you can learn to incorporate those small treats into your routine in moderation and burn those extra calories as well, then you should find yourself a much happier and more successful ‘dieter’ than you have ever managed to be in the past.

Finding the Beauty Within While Dieting

There seems to be one universal truth when it comes to dieting. No one really enjoys the process though we all eagerly await and anticipate the results. The problem is that far too many men and women around the world focus so much on dieting and perfecting their external beauty that they forget the beautiful people they are inside along the way. Our culture is becoming obsessive about the perfect body and the perfect body image.

If there was one message that should make it out to everyone dieing it is this: dieting should be more about health than beauty. You should not need to conform to some preconceived notion of what is or should be beautiful. If we create a world where everyone looks alike it would be rather boring in the end.

You need to focus on being happy with who you are in order to achieve the greatest dieting success you will have ever dared dream. Many of use eat out of emotional need or a simple need for comfort when we are depressed, hurting, uncertain, or simply in unfamiliar territory. There is no solution that will work for everyone when it comes to making peace with who you are and this by no means indicates that you should no longer seek to be the healthiest you there is. It simply means that your focus should be more on coming to terms with who you are as a person than in creating a new person or imagine behind which you can hide.

Dieting for the most part is an opportunity for many men and women to become someone else. Whether that someone is the person you used to be or some person you think you want to be, you are quite unlikely find happiness at any weight until you accept you for the person you are inside. This is often a difficult process but one that is well worth the effort. Once you’ve accepted the person inside you can address the specific needs that often lead to the excess weight to begin with. Depression is a common factor in weight gain as well as an inability to lose weight. By finding contentment depression will no longer a controlling factor in you life. For many, this is the freedom they need from their weight problems while others will find there are still hurdles remaining.

The important thing is that you stop allowing the person you are to be defined by what the scales say about you. Once you’ve reached a point in your life where you are happy with your appearance and feel that your personal fitness level is in hand you should discuss things with your doctor and see what he or she has to say. We do not need a nation of size 5 women. We need a nation of women who are self-aware and self confident and not afraid to be who they are on the inside regardless of how they look on the outside.

Finding the beauty within is often the most important aspect of dieting that there can be. Take the time while dieting to get to know the person you are and introduce that person to the person you want to be. In time the two will work out a healthy compromise and you will find that image isn’t really everything no matter what the glossy magazines try to tell you.

Teen Dieting

We have the highest teenage and childhood obesity rates today than at any other point in the world’s long history. Much of the blame for this is on the fast food, low energy society that we have become. Far too often we feel that it is safer to keep our children inside our homes rather than out and about in the great outdoors. The things we are doing for the protection of our children are actually detrimental to the health of our children.

There are things however that are being done to address the problem and get our children more involved, more active, and better educated about making the proper choices about diet, nutrition, fitness, and overall health. The problem for most teens is getting them off the computer, phone, or away from the television long enough to get active.

Even video games are getting in on the act of getting children up and active by creating games such as Play Station 2’s Dance Party Revolution and the new Nintendo Wii gaming system that seem to be taking the market by storm. These systems allow consumers, to actively participate in the game play adventure rather than sitting back and playing the game in a static environment. It is a great way to get teens off their seats and active. These games are also fun for adults and will have the same effects when it comes to activity. Whoever thought we’d be actually encouraging game play for exercise?

Get Outside and Get Active

Teens learn by example and whether they care to admit it or not, they typically enjoy doing things as part of the family. Go rock wall climbing or mountain climbing. Go bike riding as a family. Camp in the great out doors and go hiking, boating, or biking yet again. Learn a new sport together. It’s amazing how much fun you can have learning how scuba dive and while you are at it, neither of you will be consuming empty calories. Even if the sport you take up together doesn’t involve a lot of physical activity it is quite likely more active than sitting in front of the television.

Have your teen join a recreational sports team. We have all kinds of sports teams available in our community in which our teens can join. Even those with no skills at all can join and play in some of the leagues while other leagues are competitive. Getting out and about for a softball game, soccer game, and even volleyball can be a great way for the family to do something together and the games and practices are opportunities for your teen to be active.

Lawn work is another way to get out and get active with your teen. The key, as always, is in your teen burning more calories than he or she consumers. It is often easier said than done but it is quite possible if you work to get them out and about. Find things however that will be interesting to your teen and focus on those rather than torturing them with activities that hold no interest at all (well maybe not the yard work). At any rate, filling their time with activities is also allowing time that they aren’t consuming calories as well and that is something worth considering.

Encourage your teen to eat healthier foods. Eliminate calorie-loaded sods, fruit juices, and energy drinks from your pantry shelves, and encourage your teens to drink plenty of water each day. Introduce as many vegetables as possible to the diet of your teens and get rid of the prepackaged convenience goodies that teens are notorious for depleting in one sitting. Also having your teens actively participate in the preparation and clean up for meals will help them pay more attention to the things they put into their mouths as well as the messes they make in the process.