Here is the key to losing weight and staying fit: Reduce the number of calories you consume each day and exercise more. That’s all there is to it. Seems pretty easy, doesn’t it? But it must not be too easy since there is currently an obesity epidemic in the United States with more than 32% of adults classified as overweight.
To help you stay fit and lose weight I’ve listed a few tips and tricks below that may get you started on dropping those unwanted pounds and improving your health (a few of the items may surprise you).
1. Some types of food will actually cause your body to burn more calories in the digestion and absorption process than the foods themselves contain. For example, say you eat half a cup of green beans which contains 25 calories, but then your body burns 35 calories working to digest them. So you just burned off ten calories even though you were taking in food. Some people refer to food items that work in this way as “negative calorie” foods. Obviously these will be great foods to eat while you’re on a diet since you can consume as much of them as you want anytime of the day. So what are they? Although space limitations prevent us from listing each of them (they all fall into the fruit and vegetable categories), here are a few foods to get you started: grapefruit, broccoli, beats, apples, lettuce, onion, strawberries, tangerines, cucumbers, garlic, spinach, turnips, asparagus, cauliflower, papaya, and zucchini.
2. Drink cold water. Many people know they should drink a lot of water during the day, which serves many health and weight loss functions (water helps a person stay properly hydrated, fills up the stomach and fights off hunger pains, eliminates toxins from the body; all of these are of course very beneficial). But you can go even further if you drink cold water, which will cause your body to burn more calories while increasing your metabolic rate, which is always a good thing for weight loss.
3. Workout and build muscle tissue. If you have enough muscle on your body you will naturally burn calories as much as twenty times faster than someone without a lot of muscle tissue. Hence, working out and building muscle naturally increases your metabolism, but always consult your doctor before beginning any strenuous workout program.
4. Eat grains. Grains will help keep the weight off and also lower your chances of getting diabetes. Grains also help prevent heart disease, fight off cancer, and help prevent strokes. But most grains, usually in the form of cereals, do not taste good to many people; and it can be quite difficult to find a good source of grain that has a pleasant flavor. Recently however, an issue of a men’s health magazine listed a few of the best tasting grain-based cereals that are high in fiber, low in calories, and a good source of carbohydrates. General Mills Fiber One, Kellogg’s Smart Start, and Post Raisin Bran each scored high in the taste department.
5. Drink pomegranate juice. Most people find pomegranate juice to be delicious and it is also very healthy for you. A recent joint study at the University of Naples and UCLA concluded that pomegranate juice contains powerful antioxidants that stop fatty deposits from forming on the walls of arteries in the body. Thus pomegranate juice hinders the development of heart disease while also eliminating fat.
6. A little chocolate is okay. Yes, you read that sentence correctly. Due to the fact that chocolate contains a lot of flavonoids (pigments found in plants that serve as antioxidants in the body which also help process Vitamin C — another great antioxidant), it can help you lower the chances of getting a stroke and also ward off heart disease. But you shouldn’t eat just any type of chocolate. Always pick dark chocolate (the premium variety), which is the lowest in fat as well as calories; and it contains the largest amount of flavonoids.
7. Eat nuts (in moderation). A recent study at the University of Illinois concluded that a diet rich in nuts helped participants lose more weight than others who consumed the same level of calories throughout the day, but whose diet did not include nuts. Even better news is that researchers found the fat loss to come directly from the fat reserves on the participants’ bodies. So those fatty, hard-to-lose areas, such as the stomach region, hips, and rear end are where the fat loss was specifically targeted by eating nuts, which is wonderful news for most people. When shopping for nuts, the best type to get is simply a can of mixed nuts. For instance, a blend of cashews, pecans, and pistachios would be a good choice.
So there you have seven weight loss tips you can use to jump start a new diet, or just to help you maintain the one you’re on. We should all get started living a healthier lifestyle so we can reduce the large number of adults currently overweight in the US.