Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Looking for another excuse to walk? You just found one!

I've thought of another (free) way to lose fat, and that is to volunteer to walk dogs at an animal shelter. Since I haven't yet done that, I couldn't tell you how long or how many dogs you get to walk. What I do know is that a reputable shelter will make sure that you are right for the volunteer job. They'll probably hand you an application and even check references. They take their job of dealing with animals quite seriously, although they are grateful for the extra help.

Once you've been approved, the shelter will insist on training you to walk dogs, even though you might have done that job before. They have rules and regs to follow and maintain and will want to make sure that everything goes the right way. I'm sure that the amount of training time varies. A few shelters are private, and I would guess that the majority of shelters are public.

Altogether, it's a win-win-win situation for you, the dogs you are assigned to walk and the shelter. You'll get plenty of exercise and have fun doing it, all for free. This beats paying money for a health club and getting stuck in an expensive exercise regimen any day.

the power of walking

Traveling to Europe one summer, I did a lot of walking. In England, for example, I walked to places like the British Museum and visited the shops afterwards. In between times, I stopped for a quick hamburger and fries or headed for the well-known department store, Selfridges, where I enjoyed tea and scones in its spacious dining area. Throughout my travels, I packed away various meals and desserts in countries like France and Italy.

Now, you would think that I would have also packed in those pounds and resemble the Michelin man on my return to the United States. That didn't happen. Instead, I actually lost a good 20 pounds or better, in spite of all I ate in England and Europe. But I walked a lot too, sometimes so much that I couldn't feel my legs any more. There was too much to see and do.

If I could only do the same amount of exercise here at home, I would probably shed more than 20 pounds. The whole key is to move, get in the habit of moving and keep it up! Better yet, plan on making a habit of moving, because onee you've shed the weight, you've got to keep it off.

Getting in the habit of walking

Many times, the choices you make can and do affect how much fat you'll lose. Getting bad habits to good ones is about half the battle. You can, for example, decide to drive a short distance to do errands or walk that distance instead. Usually, it's way too tempting to just get in the car and drive to your destination --- it's quicker, more convenient and comfortable. So you opt for driving.

But there's no reason why you shouldn't at least consider walking a few times. Having done this myself, I can tell you that the first time you walk the distance that you normally drive in, that walk can feel like it's going to last forever, even for short distances! To make matters worse, you see cars whizzing past and think of how comfortable their drivers look covering a short distance in a few seconds.

Ok, that was the first walk. But then you walk that short distance again and this time, it doesn't seem so long or slow. Nor do you feel so tired. A few more walks after that and you find that you're used to walking. You're also stronger and even a little slimmer! You can also control how fast or slowly you move, where to go and what to do. You're getting used to walking and are now looking forward to that little jaunt. Personally, I prefer taking that walk ---and run ---in the morning, but found that early evenings work just as well. It's a personal preference thing. Even more important, it's a thing that can quickly become (good) habit-forming.

Dealing with breakfast issues

If you're like me, you have a hard time eating breakfast in the morning, simply because you don't feel hungry at 5 or 6 am, whatever time you get up in the morning. The situation is even worse when you don't have adequate food in the house. What to eat? I dunno. This is one of the biggie mistakes a lot of beginners make and one that I keep making.

This is because my bad breakfast habits are still ingrained in me. I'll be fine for one or two days in terms of making sure that basic items are available for breakfast. But once those items are consumed, I'm forced to visit the supermarket again and you know how that all goes. I have found that having oatmeal and fresh fruit usually works, as it does take awhile to get through oatmeal. Quaker's is superior to other brands, in my opinion. I've practically tried them all, including supermarket brands, which do taste like cardboard, but Quaker's, though it is more expensive, is worth the price. As for fresh fruit, oranges are good. If you live alone, though, you don't want to stock up on too much produce at one time, as a lot of it will spoil before you have a chance to eat it all.

Bananas are good, but any other fresh fruit, such as apples (in season) are equally good.

And as tempting as it is to nuke a frozen breakfast, don't, if you can help it. Such breakfasts are processed and loaded with chemicals and calories that will sabotage your efforts to lose fat. You're better off eating toast than one of those things. Ditto for fast-food breakfast sandwiches, although I admit that they can be an occasional treat.

Four examples of "brainless" exercises

Ok, the alarm clock rings, you wake up and get out of bed. Only this time, try to avoid slowly rolling toward the edge of the bed and getting up. I know, I know, I used to do that myself and my efforts to lose fat wound up being done in vain.

Brainless example 1:  Jump up and down 20 times, run in place for three minutes.

Brainless example 2:  "Climb" the bed. Pretend the bed is a giant step. Raise up one foot and place it on the edge of the bed. Then remove it, stand on the floor, and place the OTHER foot on the bed. Keep doing this for 3-5 minutes. Each morning, challenge yourself to do more.

Brainless example 3:  Do ten jumping-jacks. You can repeat one way of doing jumping jacks ten times or avoid boredom and change the way in which you do them. It doesn't matter. Just do them. Challenge yourself to do more.

Brainless example 4: Punch your pillow. Seriously! Place the pillow against your bed's headboard and start punching it. Punch at a fast pace. Pretend the pillow is someone you don't particularly like or someone who is always giving you a hard time or hassling your for something all of the time. You can't say or do anything to that person like murdering or hitting him or her, but you can pretend that your pillow is them and punch it quickly for two or three minutes.

Substitute "brainless" exercise every morning to lose more fat

I'm speaking from experience on trying to lose weight. It isn't easy. A lot of effort and time are involved. There, I've said it. And like I said, I speak from experience.

One of the biggest mistakes I made in my early efforts to lose fat was frequently returning to my bad habits. That is, I would take my time getting out of bed and didn't exercise. I also feasted on coffee and an orange for breakfast. Then around 10 am or so, I'd begin feeling hungry again, ravenously hungry. Instead of eating something sensible, I looked around or purposely went to Dunkin Donuts and ordered a coffee and one or two donuts. And so on. Ultimately, my efforts dwindled and I was right back into my bad habits.

So what should I have done instead?

Start gradually and focus on one thing at a time. That is, for example, focus on getting out of bed immediately and start exercising. I like the type of exercises that don't require a heck of a lot of effort to do, especially in the morning, such as running in place or touching my toes for x amount of times. In other words, an exercise that doesn't require a lot of thinking. Exercises that require a certain number of moves and so on require thinking. When you get out of bed in the morning, the last thing you want to do is think. You just want to get out of bed and do what you gotta do. So if what you gotta do is one or two "brainless" exercises after jumping out of bed, do it, and make a habit out of doing it to overcome any previous bad habit.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

"Recognizing" a healthy fruit of choice and lose weight

Many times, people who want to lose weight and try hard to do so eventually stop. They become bored and who can blame them? And the funny part is that varying what you eat helps, but doesn't go far enough. A way that might help is to jazz things up a little.

For example, set aside a Friday or Saturday and make the main focus of meal and snack times a different fruit. You could have cantaloupe or pineapple slices with ham, for instance. If you want to make a really big deal, figure out a theme, such as a Hawaiian luau party or a Sixties Fruit Fest or something like that. You won't be limited to what type of food, but a combination of healthy foods that focus on one or more fruits. You'll definitely eat more fruit and in addition, may try different recipes for preparing and eating it. Your imagination is the limit!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Ways to sneak in more exercise

Here are more ways to sneak in more exercise:

Take the long way home - Instead of walking the most direct route home, extend your walk by a few blocks. I call this the "scenic route." You'll learn more about your neighborhood and beyond.

Jump rope often - This is really great because you can do it practically anywhere for as long as you want, like in the garage or basement or dining room or deck or....,.......

Try walking, then running, then walking - Especially if walking all of the time bores you, try varying it with running. You'll burn more calories and get in shape sooner.

Take the dog on longer walks - This is almost too easy to do if you happen to own a husky mix, but something that you can easily adapt to whatever breed of dog you own. Your dog will benefit from the exercise as well.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Started on the first phase of my running regimen

Heeding admonitions to "move around more," I decided to do something more proactive about it and try running. My first step involved reading the first chapter of a book, Run Your Butt Off by Sarah Butler. That chapter's advice focused on the concept of walking, ie, begin walking 30 minutes for three or four times a week.

Actually, this is something I'm already doing and experiencing the benefits of. I don't feel tired and can easily change to a more rapid pace. Instead of driving to do bank and store errands, I walk in nearly all types of weather in wind, rain, and hot sun. But somehow I've survived.

Okay, things get interesting in Chapter 2, where the workout consists of walking for 4 minutes and running for 1 minute, repeating that sequence 4 more times and ending with four minutes of walking. Hey, I can do this! However, the author still cautions readers to go slowly, meaning running slowly. Yep. Guess I can do that too. We'll see what happens. Will I be able to continue? Will I get winded too fast? Bored too soon? Time will tell..

Ease hunger pangs with these satisfying AND pleasantly filling snacks

Sometimes, no matter how hard you try to eat less and exercise more, you still feel those hunger pangs between meals. And you really have to find something, anything to munch on. I used to munch on crackers and sometimes I still do. Anything to stave off that gnawing hunger.

One idea is to sip soup. I tried this out and found that it works. Of course, chunky soups work even better. At first, you think that you won't fill up but believe me, by the time you finish eating that soup, you're satisfied! You can still supplement it with a buttered slice of wheat or rye bread.

Another idea is to munch on "airy" snacks such as cheese puffs or rice cakes. Eat and savor each one slowly and you will find that you're filling up nicely.

Also consider nibbling fruits, such as bananas, blueberries, and oranges, or vegetables  cucumbers and raw carrots. I mention these as a last resort, because even though they are healthy foods, they don't have the same appeal as a nice plump donut. If you can possibly substitute soup or an airy snack, do so. You'll keep off the extra calories and unwanted fat.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Practical tasks that get you moving and help you to lose fat

Examples of practical fat-losing moves include gardening, mowing, raking, doing laundry, lifting laundry basket, moving furniture before mopping or washing floors, cleaning shelves, using leaf blower, carrying groceries, packing items in boxes/crates and cleaning bookcases.

You don't perform each of these tasks every day, but you eventually do at some point. You can choose how many, when and where to do these tasks. Those are the best parts of simple, practical tasks as the ones listed above. They get you to move and do things to improve your surroundings and your life and cost you nothing.

Undoubtedly, you can think of other practical everyday tasks that have you moving around and doing things that involve bending, lifting, and walking. Every activity completed means additional calories and weight lost. The longer you sit around on the couch, the more you feel tempted to continue doing so. Vowing to get up and get moving doesn't do the trick. I should know and can't tell you how many times I've settled down on the couch, thinking, I'll get up to do this or that in about a minute. I never did. One minute turned into an hour and a half, making me realize that good intentions alone don't work. It takes moving around to initiate more moving around. Likewise, sitting idly brings about more sitting --- and weight gain.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Turn an activity into a habit --- and lose fat fast

Losing fat and excess weight is never a one-shot deal. In other words, exercising one day a week and then forgetting all about doing anything for awhile isn't going to cut anything. Any positive results from yo-yo efforts will be nil.

I've had some experience with such yo-yo exercising and didn't get any results. I did, however, notice that my belly got slightly bigger, making it more difficult for me to even think about fitting into a smaller size again. Happily, I overcame yo-yo exercising, found an activity that I loved and incorporated it as part of my daily routine.

Of all the exercises I tried, walking was by far the easiest. I could vary my walking speed, walk longer distances, and even vary that with a bit of jogging. Walking was part of my daily routine, so much so that if I didn't go for a walk, I became uncomfortable. I also did other activities, like cycling, in between and did slim down. And if you're looking for motivation for taking a walk, get a dog. Seriously! For the most part, dogs love to go out for a walk and are fine companions. Unlike humans, they don't whine or complain. But I digress.

Anyway, the key is to find one or more activities that will get you moving and incorporate them in your daily routine. Religiously. Every day, at some point, morning, afternoon, early evening. Establishing that routine will take a week or two until it finally becomes a habit, but that is all worthwhile. The more "natural" that given activity fits into your routine, the easier it will be to maintain it and ultimately lose fat. It is practical and free.,

Monday, June 20, 2011

Who should be blamed for fat kids?

I heard this question posed during a recent talk-show and quite a few listeners blamed the parents. That is, the parents set wrong examples, such as relying on fast foods for meals instead of cooking meals at home. If eating out happens frequently enough, the whole family will tend to gain weight. Another bad example at some homes is giving kids junk food for snacks instead of fruit or other healthy selection.

There's nothing wrong with an occasional candy bar or can of soda. Everything in moderation. But frequently indulging in these foods will lead to obesity eventually.

Another thing is that restaurants, schools, and other places have been blamed for making people fat. Now more recently, parents are receiving more of the blame and perhaps rightly so. Parents are their children's first teachers. If parents don't set the right examples by buying AND eating healthy foods, they and their kids will become fat. Feasting on processed foods and sugary treats also leads to diabetes and other diseases.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Snug-fitting stuff

I happened to catch part of an infomercial promoting a new type of bra, one that allows its wearer to cover or "hide" fat. The new design and fabric used made all the difference in this new bra. Models were featured wearing the new bra and looking good. Whether this newly-designed bra is worth all of the fuss remains to be seen.

If nothing else, the informercial highlighted parts of the body where fat was much more evident otherwise, such as in the back and the abdomen in the front. Naturally, snug items as bras and belts will squeeze fat wherever it is and make it more obvious. Take the matter of zipping up a pair of tight jeans, for example. The minute they are zipped up, the fat around the abdomen and thighs "pokes out,: so to speak, and sort of spills over the waistband of the jeans, creating a "muffin' top.

To make existing fat less obvious means avoiding snug-fitting undies and jeans and shirts. There's no other way around it. Instead, save the snug stuff for the slimmer, trimmer body that is in the process of happening.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Making yourself fully aware of how many calories you are really consuming

Recently, I read an interesting article in which the writer recommended writing down everything that you eat, even that miscellaneous piece of candy before dinner. No matter how insignificant that food was, just make a note of it anyway.

Once you've done this for a week or so, note down the calories of each item that you've eaten. You'll have a better idea of how many calories you manage to pack away. You'll also have a better idea of foods to avoid entirely or at least of which to eat in smaller portions.

I've tried doing this and it was very revealing. I found, for example, that times in which I was looking for something to nibble on tended to be the most dangerous for me, as I resorted to eating cookies, chips, or donuts, thus spoiling my appetite for a more sensible meal later on. Another thing is that writing down the name of everything you eat can be intimidating. You really don't want to, but at the same time, you know that you must, for your own sake. It's not easy to do and it does take an effort. However, it is all worthwhile in the long run.

Two ways to ensure that you'll keep excess weight off once it's been lost

The fact that weight loss takes time to achieve can be very discouraging. Weeks and months can go by without noticeable results. You see the same thing every time you look in the mirror. It can be very discouraging.

But experiencing so much boredom and few results don't have to happen for you. Combine newer veggies with your salads instead of eating the same boring salad each time. And plan to integrate your new eating habits in regular meals. If you have to, do so gradually. After all, once you begin to lose weight, you'll want to keep that weight off and in order to do so, you'll have to reinforce your exercise routine with sensible meals. Such meals are an ongoing thing. Going back to old ways of eating will bring those excess pounds back before you can say, where's the beef?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Why buy these vegetables when you can grow your own?

The easiest vegetables to grow in your own backyard include the following:  tomatoes, radishes, green beans, lettuce, potatoes, cucumbers, herbs and squash. Tomatoes are especially easy to grow, as certain types can be grown in a hanging basket. You not only get freshly-grown tomatoes, but an attractive decoration for your home as well!

I may just try my hand at growing potatoes first. And I know from experience that stringbeans are easy to grow. As a child, I was encouraged by my mom to try growing stringbeans and wound up with a luscious crop of them! Believe me, whatever you can grow at home, such as tomatoes, will taste a whole lot better than the stuff you can buy at your local supermarket. Those tomatoes, for example, will taste like real tomatoes, not like rubber.

I'm not an expert gardener by any means, but I do possess a green thumb, sort of, and have had luck in growing grass and stringbeans. It's just like any other activity. You have to make up your mind to do it, and then just do it! The ultimate benefit is that you'll be motivated to eat more fresh veggies and speed up your weight loss.

Monday, June 13, 2011

the new jeans FIT

This morning, after placing my favorite jeans in the wash, I turned to the new jeans I've recently purchased. The last time I tried those new jeans on, I could only get the zipper up half way. This was really disappointing, as I planned to wear them right away. So I folded them neatly and placed them within handy reach.

No way was I going to leave those new jeans gathering dust on the chair!  For the following two months, I dutifully ate slowly and stuck to a diet containing mostly fresh fruits and vegetables. I also ate turkey and chicken, wheat bread. Occasionally, I cheated by eating donuts or cake, though I didn't make a meal out of those foods.

Today was the day to try those new jeans on, which I did after some hesitation, and THEY FIT. I mean that I was able to zip the zipper all the way up without struggling or holding my tummy in. Now, I hastily add that I still have some work to do. My tummy can stand to shrink a bit more. It's still too obvious, but there isn't that much to worry about.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Being able to tell when you've lost some weight

Looks are often deceiving. You find yourself, as I often do, looking in the mirror and not seeing a slimmer, trimmer body. But that's because you are used to seeing yourself often in the mirror. Therefore, any weight loss that may have happened in the meantime is frequently overlooked.

I think that this is not only a shame, but a discouraging factor. How can you try to maintain a good diet and exercise regimen if you're not seeing any results?

The thing is that those results may be there, but aren't noticeable just yet. To find out if that is so or not, go to the closet right now and choose an item that you haven't worn because it was a little snug-fitting at some point. So try putting it on now and see how it looks and feels. You might be in for a pleasant surprise!

In fact, try this item on again in two weeks. You may find that it fits and looks even better on you than it ever did!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Snacking at the airport

I rarely go or stay at an airport waiting for a flight and have to admit that while there, I didn't look for snacks. I was too busy coping with my anxiety about flying and details that needed immediate attention.

In any case, the question of snacking at the airport is interesting and challenging. A lot of snacks are rather overpriced and are way too sweet or salty. But if I were hungry and had the job of choosing a likely food, that food would have to be pizza. I prefer plain pizza to other varieties. For one thing, it's slightly cheaper. For another, you know and can see exactly what you're about to put in your mouth. And finally, pizza will fill you and be much better for your diet overall. And of course, foods such as cakes, doughnuts, hamburgers and fries are no-no's as snack foods. They are diet-wreckers that should be avoided.

Now for anyone with diabetes, choosing a snack is quite another matter. Normally, you can't eat foods containing sugar, although you can eat sugar-free cookies and candies. In some cases, a slice of pizza may be eaten. Fresh fruits should be fine.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

adjusting your fat-loss activities in extreme heat

In all of this extreme heat featuring one hundred degree temperatures, it's really an effort to think, much less move around.

Speaking of which, the best time to walk or jog or cycle is early in the morning while it is still relatively cool. Make sure that you avoid wearing flip-flops, though. They do not properly support or protect your feet the way in which a good sports shoe can. A cotton top with short sleeves is cooler than polyester. Same goes for pants or jeans.

I also delay my shower until after I'm done exercising outside. I throw my sweaty clothes in the washing machine and then take a shower. Of course, after that, I try to keep moving, such as doing simple household chores or even dancing to music. I know, it's tempting to flop on the bed or the couch and go to sleep and sometimes this is exactly what I do. I justify napping by explaining that I needed it.

All in all, in extreme heat, exercising early in the morning is the best bet. Early evening may work as well, but you would have to try this out for yourself to find out if it works or not. Then by the time those temperatures hit the nineties and above, you will have finished doing what you had to do.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Are you consuming more calories than you think you are?

If after a period of time in which you have faithfully exercised and included lots of healthy foods in your diet --- and still your belly looks pretty much the same ---- maybe there is more that you can do to shrink it and get noticeable results.

First, you need some numbers
That way includes noting down every single thing you eat per day. That stray cookie or piece of candy. That ice-cold can of soda. Everything should be mentioned. Keep taking notes for about a week or so. Then check off items like cookies and next to each of those items, write down the number of calories. A single cookie consumed in a week and a half might not affect your weight or belly size much, but how about that half-gallon of ice cream, burger and fries, and carton of pizza with all of the trimmings?

Play the "Halving" game
Adding up the calories of each of those foods will produce a surprising total. Yes, you.ve actually consumed those calories during that period of time. Yes, you've satisfied a craving. All completely understandable. But now that you've seen how many calories you have consumed, you should plan to reduce them. Instead of three or four cookies, eat one or two.

Plan to avoid buying calorie-filled foods
Stuff like cookies and doughnuts should be left where they are in the store. Buy substitutes that will fill you up and satisfy your sweet tooth, such as grapes, berries, peaches, bananas, raisins, plums and melons. These fruits also contain water, so they should fill you up and satisfy your cravings in practically no time. You will have consumed the equivalent amount of required glasses of water at the same time.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Ways to avoid looking (and feeling) fat

I went to get my hair cut today, and as I sat on a salon chair, I could see that I needed to stay focused on my efforts to lose weight. The "evidence" was that I still had a belly, though not a really big one, sticking out of my tee shirt. Seeing that kind of shocked me. I thought that my efforts were paying off faster than they were. Big mistake, lol.

So I learned what to avoid doing as far as disguising a small belly.

. Avoid tucking shirt in jeans. What happens is that you stretch the shirt over your belly and make it stick out more. Remedy this by wearing your shirt over your jeans or pants.

. Avoid wearing shirts that are two or three sizes larger. These shirts kind of drape over your belly without hiding it. The effect is that it looks like there's a medium-sized beach ball or cantaloupe under your shirt. You're better off wearing a shirt that is your correct size. If you normally wear size 14 or 16, then continue to do so.

. Avoid wearing jeans whose waistbands squeeze too much. Jeans that include waistbands that fit too snugly around your middle squeeze and as a result, make your belly stick out even more. If you have a large belly, you will find that it hangs over your belt. Holding yourself in to accommodate jeans that are too small has the same effect and is extremely uncomfortable as well.

. Avoid wearing stretch pants and jeans. The problem with these is that they cling to every lump of fat and other irregularities and actually emphasize those faults, making you look even fatter. Opt instead for denim or chino pants, jeans or shorts instead. You'll be more comfortable and look better.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Why snacking on foods you love isn't "bad"

After posting a list of possible foods to munch on during snack time, I realized that I hadn't really explained why I eat them or why I included them in a snack-food list.

Generally, so-called "healthy" snack foods include a lot of fresh veggies and fruits, which is fine. If you look at the list in yesterday's post, you'll likely notice that I did mention a few fruits and veggies. Don't get me wrong, though. Such fresh produce should be eaten more frequently than foods that we'd rather eat. The thing about limiting yourself to fresh produce, though, is that you'll more likely become bored eating the same old thing day after day and even worse, you'll start craving foods that you love to eat, but are not good for your diet or weight-loss efforts.

You'll miss those so-called "forbidden foods" because you haven't eaten them for some time and want to be able to taste them again real soon. Not only that, when you do eat them again, you'll likely eat them in large quantities until you've satisfied your cravings. In other words, you will have gone overboard.

On the other hand, you shouldn't deny yourself the pleasure of snacking on foods you love. You feel satisfied after eating them and at the same time, adding variety to healthy foods. Everything in moderation!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

17 Snack Food Ideas

Eating the same stuff in between meals can temporarily satisfy you, but it can bore you as well. Here are a few snack suggestions to consider and try:

- Raisins
- Buttered bread or roll
- One slice of pizza
- Ritz crackers and peanut butter
- Grapes
- Crackers
- Dry cereal, such as Raisin Bran
- Fruit, such as oranges and cherries
- Peanuts, cashews, walnuts
- Bananas, apples, cherries, blueberries
- Raw carrots, cucumbers
- Peaches
- Raisin bread
- Toast
- Breadsticks
- Cheezits
- Graham crackers

Saturday, June 4, 2011

A short progress report on my efforts to lose fat

Time for a quick update here:

On the value of moving around as much as possible
- In my last post, I've discussed the value of moving about as much as possible, even finding excuses to walk instead of driving. Yes, I do move, as I suggest, every day. Most of the time, I'll walk even if I have to force myself to do so. I've found that having an excuse to walk, such as doing an errand, provides some purpose. Otherwise, boredom is highly likely. After all, you can only take so much purposeless walking --- it's always best if you are doing so for a reason.

On drinking 8-10 glasses of water every day
- I don't actually drink 8-10 glasses of water every day, but what I do is drink equivalent amounts. For example, I drink two-three cups of green or black tea per day, I eat an orange or other fruit daily, and eat my share of green vegetables. All of that seems to work, as it fills me up and reduces the temptation to eat a doughnut, cookie or piece of cake.

On snacking
- This area has been the most challenging one yet. I do follow my own advice and make sure that I have enough fresh fresh produce around to nibble on in between meals. But I'm still struggling with overcoming temptations to eat other foods, such as doughnuts, that are not so healthy. I love them because I feel more satisfied after eating one and enjoy a quick cup of tea with it. Also, an occasional doughnut is a treat for me and something different than the usual produce.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Get yourself to MOVE it everyday!

The whole idea is to move yourself everyday. When you first awaken in the morning, get out of bed immediately and start moving! Do simple exercises or walk really fast for at least a half hour or more, but DON'T just lie in bed thinking about it. You only encourage more fat in places where it is the least flattering to your shape and your health.

Your body was designed to move. If you sit nearly all day, you're doing the worst possible thing! Get back on your feet and move. Learn to dance, hop, jump rope, walk, run, jog, but don't stop there. Find excuses to move. Instead of driving five blocks to the store, walk and walk quickly. Walk for the fun of it. You'll feel better and burn more calories than you ever believed possible.

Do (Your Own) Kung-Fu

Learning a little kung-fu basics can be a great starting point for exercising. Initially, you learn and practice ways to focus your mind on what you are doing and then on the moves you are making. Then once you begin to execute those moves, you do so with grace, strength and energy. But you can easily let kung-fu inspire you to create your own moves, both mental and physical.

To begin with, you'll need to develop the power of focus. Your best bet will be to begin as simply as possible. For example, think about the way in which you jog. Are you merely putting some bounce in your step and one foot in front of another to move forward rather mindlessly? Then it's time to regroup!

What are you trying to accomplish? How is moving your feet this way helping you to meet your goal? Put yourself in your foot's place. What are you feeling? Where are you hurting?

In other words, you've got to get your mind into the habit in the discipline of focus. The questions above are designed to help you to begin and maintain focus and concentration. As you focus, you can't allow other thoughts or things distract you.

Should you literally drink 8-10 glasses of water a day???

Some people interpret advice on drinking 8-10 glasses of water a day literally, and are surprised that drinking so many glasses of water a day is not only borning, but not good for your health in the long run. To turn that advice into a technique that can work for you, you need to realize that you can get your water from a variety of sources other than glasses of water.

For example, you can eat jello, fresh fruits and veggies, and drink orange juice and grapefruit juice. All of these foods contain water. Lettuce and stringbeans are two examples of veggies that contain plenty of water. Eating them and varying your diet with other healthy foods will fulfill your need for water. Just remember to eat before you're hungry and drink before you're thirsty and above all, take time to enjoy and savor your food.

Sneaky Tips to Lose Weight

I've done (and am still doing) the following and found that it works. Here are the tips:

- Plan your next day's fat loss "moving" activity, but keep that activity simple. For example, consider jogging around one block three or four times. That's it for the day unless you'd like to supplement an evening walk or bike ride.

- Make sure that any fat loss "moving" activity is fun and one that you look forward to. Otherwise, it will become just another drudge thing to do and get over with as soon as possible and eventually become easily forgotten.

- Definitely choose an item of clothing that is at least one size smaller than your present size and plan to try it on at the end of each week. You might be pleasantly surprised!

- Avoid stressing over any missed exercise sessions or pigging-out sessions. Those are history. Learn from them and move on. There's no point in indulging in should-have and would-have guilt sessions. Such sessions only increase stress, which isn't good for you or your efforts to lose weight.

- Plan to try healthy foods that you haven't eaten before or for some reason, developed a dislike for, such as fish. For example, for years, I limited myself to drinking black tea, but have changed all of that by gradually drinking green tea.

- Try a new exercise activity, such as learning how to play tennis. Developing your playing skills with practice will give you plenty of exercise, make you more limber, increase your endurance, and decrease your clothing sizes. This also goes a long way for increasing your confidence level and your can-do attitude similarly affects other activities with enthusiasm.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Drink green tea and reap the benefits

So yesterday, I found and bought a box of one hundred green tea bags and had a cup of green tea last night. If I drink it long enough and who knows, become acclimated to it over time, I will gain benefits such as weight loss. My teeth will have less plaque on them and my risk of developing certain cancers will decrease as well.

Makes me wonder why more people don't drink and enjoy a nice cup of green tea.

It is healthy after all. But not a lot of us have ever been introduced to or ever heard of green tea and just got used to black tea. Certainly at home, no one ever mentioned green tea, much less recommending us to try it.

Well, I'm happy to report that there's not much difference between black and green tea as far as taste goes. You don't really taste green tea, for that matter. It is mostly water and its color is different, but there's no real difference in taste. Tea is tea. Once you've poured it in your cup, you sip it slowly as opposed to gulping it down hot.