*Original article for SkinnyMom.Com
Crisis Averted: 50 Weight Loss Finds For The New Year
It’s not a surprise that the most popular New Years’s resolution made by women is to lose weight. But 25% of people who make resolutions don’t even make it past the first week! Don’t be a person who makes this same resolution year after year with no results. Tell yourself that this is going to be your year! You’re going to lose weight and keep it off. Of course it’s going to take some hard work and dedication, because if it were easy then everyone would be doing it! Here are some of the best weight loss tips, gadgets, and secrets to help you achieve your goal. You can do it!
Identify Your Ideal Weight: If you’re 5’4″ and have always been a little curvy, then there’s an ideal weight that should match your body type. Don’t strive to be 115 pounds if you know that’s unattainable. Choose a realistic, healthy weight that you know you can achieve. And remember, muscle weighs more than fat!
Spice Up Your Meal: The best benefit of spicy foods is that it slows your eating. Most of us are guilty of eating too fast, and by the time your stomach signals that it’s full, you’ve already eaten too much. Making your food spicier is an easy way to stop this. Spices also help to curb your hunger. I’ll take extra hot peppers on my next meal, please!
Photograph Yourself: Take the guess work out of losing weight by stripping down and snapping a picture of yourself in front of a mirror each week. You should take a profile, frontal, and rear shot. Pictures don’t lie, and this is a great way to document your weight loss progress. The scale may be telling you that you’ve gained three pounds this week, but it could easily be 3 pounds of muscle. Soon enough you’ll be able to enjoy comparing your photos to see how far you’ve come!
Use a Food Journal: Keeping track of what kind and how much food you’re putting into your body can actually help to double your weight loss. It helps stop mindless snacking and actually influences you to eat better. Try using My Fitness Pal; you can download the app for free on your phone and use it to count your calories and keep track of your exercise if you’re not a pen and paper type of tracker.
Stop mindless eating: We all know it’s bad to eat in front of the TV or computer because you aren’t fully conscious of what is going in your mouth, but we all still do it. Before you sit down in front of the TV or computer, measure out a single serving of your favorite snack. Don’t just eat out of the box or bag because you’ll end up eating two or three times more than a single serving.
Eat With Chopsticks: Using chopsticks while you eat will help you slow down and savor your food, which means you’ll feel fuller faster. It also means that you’ll take smaller bites which you tend to chew better, and that makes it easier to digest.
Eat Right Post-Workout: Don’t reward yourself with greasy, unhealthy foods after you workout. You should eat something with a healthy balance of protein and carbs in order to replenish your body within 30 to 60 minutes after your workout. This is when your muscles will benefit the most from nutrition. Some great post-workout foods include: hummus with pita chips, a whole wheat bagel with almond butter, tuna and whole wheat crackers, an egg white and spinach omelet, chocolate milk, and Greek yogurt. For more post-workout approved foods, click here. Also, be aware of foods to pass up post-workout.
Read Labels: Yes this can be a huge hassle, but it’s the best way to know exactly what you’re putting into your body. (Read: Food Labels Translated: 10 Alarming Ingredients to Avoid.) It can help you stick to the serving sizes and avoid unwanted calories and fats. If nothing else, just make sure you pay attention to the calorie count and servings.
Go Blue: Did you know that the color blue functions as an appetite suppressant? Serve food on blue plates, wear blue while you eat, use a blue tablecloth, or even use blue food coloring! This will help you to manage your food intake. Be cautious of red, yellow, and orange because these colors encourage eating.
Sit Down At a Table To Eat: Don’t stand, watch TV, or drive while you eat. This will cause you to eat more at a faster pace because you’re not paying full attention to what you’re putting in your mouth. Sit down at your kitchen or dining room table. This will allow you to focus on what you’re eating and you’ll pay more attention to when you’re feeling full, plus it makes eating an experience and not a rushed chore.
Meet Mini Goals: In order to keep yourself motivated, set small goals for yourself that you can easily reach. This will help you stay on track to reach your ultimate goal and it’s a great feeling to be able to cross something off on your to-do list. For example, one week you can make it a goal to head to the gym five times. When you’ve completed this, reward yourself with flowers or a movie. You’ll feel more accomplished and see that your hard work is paying off! For more tips on goal setting, read 5 Tips to Turn Your Fitness Goals into Reality.
To Be A Smart Snacker, You Must Be A Smart Shopper: If you buy foods like potato chips, cookies, or ice cream, you know you won’t be able to resist the temptation when the cravings hit. When at the grocery store, only buy healthy snacks like hummus, granola, yogurt, fruit, or vegetables. That way whenever you reach for a snack, you know it’s healthy! Need some more healthy snack options, check out these 30 healthy snacks.
A Healthy Cookbook: Use a cookbook to find simple, appetizing, and nutritious recipes that you can easily make for both you and your family. If you’re searching for slim recipes around the holidays, check out Skinny Mom’s online Holiday Cookbook.
Think Positive Thoughts: A negative attitude can make it almost impossible for you to lose weight. When you berate yourself for eating the wrong foods or view yourself in a negative way, it can make you feel powerless or unmotivated. Start thinking and repeating the same positive thoughts over and over because your mind will start to believe these thoughts are true! These statements become self-fulfilling and can be essential in your weight loss plan.
Hold the Condiments: Using condiments and sauces can add delectable flavor to your meal, but it’s easy to forget that they aren’t just toppings and have real calories. You can save around 100 calories per day by skipping out on condiments, which could help you lose up to 10 pounds per year! Make sure to pass on mayonnaise, ketchup, or bottled salad dressings. Instead use hummus, guacamole, or salsa to help send your meals over the top!
Hello Wello: How awesome would it be to have a personal trainer or to attend a group fitness class from the comfort of your own home? Well, now you can! Check out Wello online and find your groove. They offer affordable prices, over 40 types of workouts, and all you need is an internet connection and a webcam! Or, Skinny Mom’s Fitness Index is a great resource. With hundreds of workouts and exercise moves, you can sort for your desired target area, equipment and level and create customized workouts just for you! (photo credit)
Monitor Your Heart Rate: Purchasing a heart rate monitor is an effective, quick, and reliable way to maximize your workout and burn calories. It will help ensure that you’re maintaining your desired intensity level during exercise and make sure you’re not slacking off.
Drink Regular Coffee: Are you a person that doesn’t feel like your day has truly started until you’ve had a cup of coffee? Places like Starbucks pack hundreds of extra calories into your drink by using tons of sugar, whipped cream, and sugary syrups. Drinking your coffee black is your best option for weight loss. Instead of reaching for cream, use fat-free or soy milk. Add calorie-free sugar and sugar-free syrups if you need to add some flavor. And make sure you limit it to one cup per day!
Try Portion Plates: One of the absolute worst food trends in the past few years is the increase if portion sizes. Have you ever been shocked by how much food you were served at a restaurant only to end up eating it all? We eat much more than our bodies need. Regardless of hunger levels, studies find that if you serve people more food, they’ll eat more food. Check out these awesome portion plate products that help you to eat the right amount and right kinds of food.
Get a scale: This wireless scale from Withings gives you your precise weight and BMI (Body Mass Index) in just seconds! And since everything else in your house connects to WiFi, why not have your bathroom scale connect as well? It automatically uploads the data to your phone, computer, or tablet, so you can easily track your progress. Sounds amazing!
Take Your Vitamins: Vitamins can increase your metabolism, promote weight loss, and are essential to good health. One of the best vitamins you can take for weight loss are B Vitamins. Vitamin B6 helps aid in digestion, B5 helps to boost your metabolism, B12 keeps your body’s nerve and blood cells healthy, and B2 prevents your unused energy from turning into fat. For more information on what vitamins you should be taking, check out these must-have vitamins for proper body functions.
A Kitchen Scale: A fantastic way to watch calories and your serving sizes is to keep a food scale in your kitchen. Most people eat much more than the recommended serving, and a food scale helps teach you portion control. It’ll show you that the portion of meat you thought was three ounces (the recommended serving) is actually seven ounces!
Avoid Sodas: This is one of the main causes of obesity. Research suggests that soda, even diet soda, can make you feel hungrier and signals your brain to crave extra food. This makes weight loss nearly impossible. If you cut this drink out of your diet, you’ll see a huge difference in your weight within a few weeks. Read 6 Reasons to Ditch Your Diet Coke to learn more reasons to avoid soda!
Doggie Diet: According to research, 70 percent of Americans and 53 percent of dogs are overweight. Take your furry best friend with you on a walk or run a few times each week. The more you exercise with your dog, the more they’ll begin to expect it. They’ll whine and nudge you until you get off the couch, and you can use that as motivation to get in your daily workout! If you hate running with a leash in your hand, try out this Stunt Puppy hands-free leash.
Eat Small Meals Every 3-4 Hours: The longer you wait to eat between meals the hungrier you get, which causes you to eat more at your next meal. Eating small meals throughout the day can help keep hunger pangs at bay and will fuel your body in intervals.
Ignore Fad Diets: There are countless diets that guarantee super fast weight loss, but most of these programs are dangerous and detrimental to your body. It’s hard to ignore them because losing that final ten pounds in 5 days is so tempting! Short term gains rarely turn into long term benefits, so stick to healthy eating and regular exercise and ignore the temptation!
Go Out For Treats: Instead of keeping calorie filled foods in your home, go out for treats instead. The more of a hassle the food is to get, the less you’re likely to eat them. Just remember to eat in them in moderation and not often!
Eat an Appetizer: For an easy way to cut calories, consider eating a small snack 15 minutes before lunch or dinner. Studies show that men and women who ate an apple, cup of soup, or small salad before their meal ended up consuming around 150 calories less than when they didn’t eat beforehand. This gives your body time to realize that your stomach is getting full so you’ll eat less.
Play Wii: Not only can you lose weight by playing Wii games, but you can have fun doing it! This is a great way to involve the whole family and get everyone active. You’ll be guaranteed to have your heart pounding and your muscles working. Some of the best games for weight loss include: Just Dance 2014, Zumba Fitness, My Fitness Coach, and EA Sports Active.
Sugar Isn’t So Sweet: Sugar is addicting, which makes it hard to cut out of your diet. Eating refined sugar fills your body up with empty calories that will only cause you to gain weight. The American Heart Association recommends women consume no more than 100 calories daily from refined sugar, however most people consume about 6 times that amount daily. Pay special attention to your sugar intake, and soon you’ll see improvements in your weight loss and your overall health. Get the Skinny on 7 Sugar Substitutes from Worst to Best.
Hydrate: According to webmd, after drinking 17 oz of water, metabolism speeds up 30% within 10 minutes! Often when you feel hungry, you’re really just thirsty. Drink a large glass of water and then see if you’re still hungry. If not, you just saved yourself a load of calories! If you’re not an avid water drinker, try adding a slice of lemon, lime, or cucumber to give it some flavor.
Invest In a Juicer: If you don’t enjoy eating fruits and vegetables, juicing is a fun way to add these foods to your diet. A juicer is used to extract the water, vitamin, and mineral contents from fruits and vegetables. It’s also a convenient way to get fresh produce in your diet and to consume your daily recommended servings.
Get a Workout Partner: If you have an exercise buddy, your chances of sticking to a long-term fitness plan are higher than they are without a partner. You’ll be less likely to cancel a workout, the time will go by faster, and you’ll have someone to help motivate you along the way! Here are 6 more reasons workout partners increase the likelihood of meeting your fitness and weight loss goals.
Talk to the Hand: We all know portion sizes have gotten out of control. Luckily you have a guide close at hand. Here are a few recommended serving sizes: chicken: whole hand; meat and fish: your palm (flat); nuts: your palm (cupped), pasta and rice: your fist; cheese: your thumb.
Use a Pedometer: Being able to look down and see how many steps you’ve taken or calories you’ve burned is a great way to motivate yourself. You’ll be reminded to be more active. So start taking the elevator instead of the stairs, or park your car farther away; anything to help you take more steps than you did the day before! Check out the Striiv Smart Pedometer, they donate to charity for each step you take! What a great motivator!
Steam Your Food: Steam cooking is one of the most efficient ways to cook a healthy meal. It works by transferring the heat from the boiling water to your food, which lets it retain valuable nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. You can cook all kinds of food using this method, including vegetables, meat, pasta, and seafood. This disregards the need for cooking oil or fats while also keeping your food fresh, colorful, and natural.
Get a Support Group: The easiest way you can do this is by telling your family and friends your goals. Let them know what you want to accomplish and that you need their support. Whenever you’re tempted to eat something unhealthy, they can help talk you out of it or motivate you to workout. This will also keep them from accidentally sabotaging your efforts. Your family can join you in your workouts so you don’t have to do this alone!
Use a FitBit: Fitbit is a little device containing everything you could possibly need to lose weight. It tracks your steps, calories burned, stairs climbed, and your distance. At night it measures your sleep activity, teaches you how to sleep better, and wakes you up in the morning. It works 24/7 to help you meet your fitness goals. Since it never quits, neither should you!
Clean Out Your Kitchen: Go through your fridge, freezer, and pantry to get rid of all the foods that can sabotage your goals. You’ll probably find a lot of foods you didn’t even know you had! A clean kitchen filled with only healthy foods will make your weight loss that much easier.
All Fats Aren’t Bad: I’m sure you’ve heard before that the key to losing weight is a low-fat diet. You should definitely steer clear of saturated and trans fats because they’re responsible for weight gain, high cholesterol, heart disease, etc. However, monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and omega-3’s are known as “good fats” because they help manage your mood, fight fatigue, reduce heart disease, and can even help control your weight. Avocados, olives, nuts, peanut butter, salmon, and olive oil are just a few foods that contain these good fats. Read 5 Healthy Fatty Foods that Boost Weight Loss!
Stop Late Night Eating: When you and your family are finished with dinner, close down the kitchen for the night. When you stop mindless, late night snacking you can save 200 or more calories per day! Even if that means putting a sign on the fridge or pantry to remind yourself not to eat after a certain time, then by all means do it!
Try a Cleanse: A body cleanse works to remove toxic substances from your digestive system. It can also improve your stomach, intestines, kidneys, and other organs. One of the main benefits from a cleanse is weight loss because you get rid of built up waste in your digestive tract that’s attached to the linings of your intestine. Time for a fresh start!
Download an App: If you always have your phone attached to your hand or in your pocket, then why not use it for healthy living and weight loss!? There are thousands of free and cheap apps that can help you on your journey. Check out this page for a list of the best weight loss apps. And don’t forget to download the new Skinny Mom app!
Brush Your Teeth: When you’re done eating, brush your teeth and use peppermint toothpaste; the flavor is proven to help suppress your appetite. Brushing your teeth tells your brain that you’re done eating, so you’re much less likely to reach for that bag of potato chips and snack.
Use a HAPIfork: Eating too fast is a main cause of obesity. The HAPIfork is an electronic fork that monitors your eating habits and lets you track them on your phone or computer. It alerts you with lights and vibrations when you’re eating too fast. It also measures how long it took you to eat your meal, the amount of fork servings per minute, and intervals between your fork servings. A fork serving is defined as every time you bring your food to your mouth with your fork. How awesome!
Eat Breakfast: It’s the most important meal of the day! People that eat breakfast are more likely to exercise regularly and eat fewer calories throughout the day. A small bowl of cereal in the morning can help make all the difference because it’s fortified with vitamins, minerals, and fruit that is nutrient-rich.
Make A Workout Playlist: Putting together an upbeat playlist to listen to can make your workout go by faster and will help you power through it! Pick your favorite songs that keep you motivated and make you feel like you’re walking the runway!
Indulge: If you’re absolutely in need of a Snickers bar, don’t deprive yourself because you’ll eventually end up giving in and eating way more than you should. Instead, eat a small serving to satisfy your cravings then be done.
Sleep 8 Hours: Sleep lets your body rest so that it can perform to its best all day long. Sleep deprivation signals your metabolism to slow down and use less energy since there is less time to rest and repair later. Plus, sleep deprivation causes many to binge later in the day.
Eat A Colorful Diet: Incorporate the rainbow into your meal plan, and no I’m not talking about Skittles. Eating a variety of colorful foods, fruits and veggies provides your body with vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals that you can’t just receive in a supplement. Different colored foods indicate different nutritional values, so focus on getting a little bit of each color into your diet everyday.