Disclaimer: The content of this article is not medical advice and does not supplement or circumvent the need for individuals to seek consultation from a doctor prior to beginning any weight loss regimen, exercise plan, or diet. Contact your doctor prior making any changes in diet or physical activity level.
Each New Year has something magical about it. At the first of January a brand new year lies ahead of us, it is always a bit like “starting all over”. With January right around the corner, everyone is thinking New Year’s Resolutions. A New Year’s Resolution is a commitment that an individual makes to a project or a habit, often a lifestyle change that is generally interpreted as advantageous. The most common New Year’s resolution is weight loss. So how do we go about winning this fight?
Fighting Weight Gain
It’s easy to become overweight in America. Everyday we are confronted with an abundance of food that is easily accessible. That’s one reason why so many Americans gain one or two pounds over the holidays, the equivalent of eating 100 to 200 extra daily calories. So what can we do to make the upcoming year a success. Let’s look at three different strategies that will help us win the battle of the bulge.
Strategy #1 Increase your calcium intake.
During the 80’s researchers were astonished by the results of a study that looked at the effect calcium had on blood pressure. Not only did two cups of yogurt decrease blood pressure, but also 11 pounds of fat loss in 12 months- even though the subjects had been told to try to maintain weight. As result of these findings we have the following:
– a high calcium diet turns more calories to heat than to body fat
– calcium-rich diets contribute to fat loss in the stomach area
– calcium-rich diets can help minimize midlife fat gain
– calcium within the cell regulates fat storage
More and more evidence is suggesting that consuming calcium-rich dairy foods three to four times a day equates to the burning of about 100 more calories of body fat a day. By burning 100 calories a day will translate into dropping 10 pounds in a year. If you can’t stomach the dairy, remember that broccoli, calcium-enriched orange juice, and supplements could be a viable option. Given that calcium-rich diets are helpful for not only weight loss but also for preventing osteoporosis and regulating blood pressure.
Strategy #2 Eat breakfast.
Around 40 % of Americans skip breakfast at least four times a week. Although skipping breakfast may seem like a logical way to decrease the amount of calories one consumes, breakfast skippers tend to be heavier than breakfast eaters. If an individual eats a larger than normal breakfast they will almost eat 100 fewer calories by the end of the day, an amount that can curb creeping obesity. Eating breakfast also causes one’s metabolism to jump start. In a group of dieters who have lost and kept off more than 30 pounds, 97 percent are now committed breakfast eaters.
Strategy # 3 Eat more fiber and whole grain fibers.
On average, North Americans consume less than 50% of the dietary fiber levels required for good health. Foods that fill you up (satiety) are rich in protein or fiber. The problem with protein is it often comes along with unhealthy saturated fat and unwanted calories. Therefore, the wise option is to consume foods that are fiber-rich. Fiber-rich foods also tend to be bulky; bulk helps promote satiety. According to Barbara Rolls, author of The Volumetrics Weight Control Plan, consuming bulky foods with high fiber and water content can help you eat fewer calories. Here is a list of fiber rich foods:
– Bran cereal
– Whole grain cereals
As a result of the great amount of food that is available to America, we all need skills to manage the food environment. This means eating breakfast and consuming more calcium, fiber, and whole grains.
Take Small Steps Today!
- Walk during lunch hour
- Drink water before a meal.
- Take a family walk after dinner.
- Join Boot Camp.
- Drink diet soda.
- Park further from the store and walk.
- If you find it hard to be active after classes, try it before.
- Take the stairs instead of the escalator.
- When eating out, choose a small or medium portion.
- Drink water.