Thursday, 26 July 2012

Twenty-Five Shades to Shape Up Your Weight Loss - Part One

Summertime is here and the living should now be easy. That includes your weight loss plan. Here are the first twenty-five of my best suggestions to help you accomplish your weight loss goals.
1. Get a checkup: Assess how healthy you are. Know your numbers. Don't ignore any medical issues. Make a plan to lower that cholesterol or lose 10% of your weight in the next 6 months or take care of your teeth if you haven't seen your dentist in a year.
2. Fill up on fluids: When the heat is on nothing tastes better than an icy cold beverage. This is the time of year for smoothies, slushes and refrigerators filled with pitchers of mint, lemons, limes, apple slices, melon slivers, and cucumbers.
3. Use your muscles with your mind: Be smart about activity. Being outdoors is such a mind boosting experience. If you can take your workout outdoors please do so. Getting 15-20 minutes of sunlight will give your body a boost of vitamin D. And please breathe!
4. Get your 8 hours in: Staying active mentally and physically all day will ensure a restful night sleep. Summerize your bedroom. Bedding that is lightweight, light colored, and lavender scented, music of ocean waves, and a comfortably cool air temperature all add to the enjoyment of a good night sleep.
5. Get creative: There are so many foods to grill. Expand your palate try grilled pineapples over toasted angel food cake, or grilled parsnips, tomatoes, and mushrooms on thin crust pizza topped with feta cheese, and basil.
6. Grow an herb garden: Chives, basil, cilantro, dill, mint and rosemary are excellent flavoring to add for breakfast burritos, salads, salsas and dips, vegetables, fish, seafood and poultry, fruit ice desserts and summertime beverages.
7. Smell those roses: Find a botanical garden and take a stroll. Listen to the birds; take a picture of a garden you enjoy looking at. This can be an easy way to lower your blood pressure and relieve some stress.
8. Write yourself a letter: Where do you want to be a year from now? Are you working and happy at your job? Are you lacking computer skills? Is there a trip in your future? Do you have a bucket list? Why not?
9. Dance the night away: All you need is music. You don't even need a partner! Dancing is a form of exercise and has the additional benefit of taking your mind off any problems you might have in your personal life.
10. Volunteer: Do you have expertise or a hobby that you can share with others? Volunteers always get back so much more in rewards than they are giving. Our world can be a lonely place for a senior without family or an orphaned child or stray animal destined for death.
11. Get emotional: We often reserve our feelings for the sake of appearances. It is a fact that repressed emotions are a greater risk to our health. So let your feelings out. Wrap your arms around those loved ones; tell them they are important to you; remember birthdays and celebrate! Surprise someone with an unexpected gesture.
12. Start the day: Breakfast makes the rest of the day easier on your appetite. On the move either pack something the night before (English muffin, peanut butter and banana) or throw a shake together with coffee, cocoa, yogurt, ground flax cinnamon, fruit of choice, nuts, and ice. Add protein powder for additional staying power.
13. Make a date with yourself: Send an email, set an alarm on your watch to get up and move every hour even for 5 minutes. There are many free apps available.
14. Eat internationally: Each day create Asian-(stir fry), Mexican-(fajita), and Greek-lamb kebab), French, Italian-(cappuccino), Californian-(avocado salad), and Dominican-lentil stew), South American-(flatiron steak), Northeastern-(clam chowder), Southern-(collards), Tex-Mex-(chili). You never have to be bored.
15. Never be hungry again: The secret weapon is to eat every 4 hours. Have healthy snacks readily available in your car, gym-bag, on the job, in the freezer and pantry.
16. Lose the "disease to please": Be aware that practicing to say no is a positive behavior. No guilt attached. For the sake of your health and your planned schedule you might need to excuse yourself from volunteering to take over someone else's responsibility.
17. Strategize your kitchen: Check everywhere your eye will go. Place healthy products within your view. Please remove all foods and beverages that are not on your planned menu.
18. Measure your waist: Women 35" and men 40" are the numbers for you to not exceed. Abdominal fat is associated with increased disease risk.
19. Fill up your plates: That is a 9 inch one. When your plate is filled your perceived satisfaction increases. So trade in those large plates for smaller ones and beware when eating outside of your home.
20. Count your paces: Get a pedometer and aim for 10,000 steps a day. Sounds like a lot but the average woman walks 4900 steps a day without trying.
21. Know your family history: It might save your life. Talk to your relatives and share family medical history.
22. Brew a nightcap: Chamomile tea if left to steep all day might turn into a natural sleeping aid for you.
23. Om: Meditation has been around for centuries. It has been credited for lowering blood pressure and having positive stress busting effects so give it a try before saying nay. There are yoga classes, tapes, and books available.
24. Challenge your mind: Take a class, read a book, memorize a poem or do a crossword puzzle. Scientific studies show challenging your brain will help improve memory. It also will take your mind in other areas away from thinking about problems or hunger.
25. Say please to cheese: The calcium and appetite soothing benefits that cheese has goes a long way with satisfying the appetite. Cheese is versatile and healthy in small portions.
These practices are recommended by patients who have succeeded in losing weight, increasing their fitness levels and saying good bye to medications for high cholesterol, blood pressure, and high blood glucose or blood fat levels. I will be publishing my next twenty-five shades to shape up your weight loss.
Bernice Borow RD, CDN, specialist in weight management helps her patients to achieve success as they improve their health and wellness. She is passionate and dedicated to helping you succeed. Learn more at

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