Category Archives: Fundamentals

Empty calories – eat less, lose more

Luckily loosing weight goes hand in hand with getting a healthy lifestyle. If you begin you journey towards a lighter body and smaller waistline, your health will improve at the same time. Good healthy food is like medicine for your body and the right food will make you lose weight quickly. If you wanna find a fast way to lose weight, it’s your diet you have to take a look at as weight loss is 75-80% diet. So what to eat to lose weight? Is there really diets to lose weight fast?

There are lots of talk about fat burning and weight loss plans, and tons of information which makes you kind of confused. The basic of losing weight (excess body fat) is getting less energy, calories that is, into your stomach than your body is burning during one day. However counting calories is quite boring and time consuming.

Let me give you another key here – you have to adopt ideas, routines and habits that you can stick to for a long time. If things get to complicated we tend to give up. Who has time counting the calories in everything we put in our mouth every day?

Avoid empty calories

It’s far more easy to start avoiding things that you know will give you lots and lots of energy that you’ll have hard time burning. Here is fat loss tip; you must avoid the pitfalls like foods that make you wanna have more of it, that doesn’t make you feel full, that just is “empty calories” and food that makes you addicted to it. Stop drinking drinks with calories as they contains lots of sugar (calories), have no nutritional value (most of them) and they are easy to consume in great amount without being full. You have to eat less and less of this food and more and more of real, nutritious, satiating and healthy food options. Small changes eventually leading to big results.

To get a picture of your situation, write down everything you eat during a regular working day in detail. Think for instance about yesterday. What did you eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks? Do your best to calculate the number of calories in this food with help of nutritional facts labels and calorie tables on the net. A great site for keeping track of your eating and exercising habits is www.myfitnesspal.com. They have an iPhone app as well. You shouldn’t hesitate to sign up for a free acccount and download the app. If you start keeping track of what you eat every day for a while it may be an eye opener for you. Maybe you don’t really know how much food, snacks and treats you actually eat every day. When you see it “black on white” it’s harder to ignore it and it will make you more aware of you current eating habits.

Woman should go for about 2000 calories per day and men ca 2500 calories (in general). If you go way above this you can be sure to store some of them (as fat) “for a rainy day”, and we don’t like rainy days. You should also count the calories for the weekend as well as it probably is a lot more, especially if you go out partying every weekend. Family dinners with big portions of starchy food and fun-sized, sugar-packed desserts are also a part of many peoples weekends, and the calories keeps getting stacked.

Avoid the pitfalls that prevents fat loss

Do you feel hungry most of the time and have problems getting full?

You are probably eating food that raises you blood sugar sky high and after that leaves you wanting more. Again, sugar and wheat is responsible for this to a great extent. You have to get food with good nutritional value, protein and healthy fats to keep you feel full and give you energy for the whole day. Otherwise it will be very hard to not give in to unhealthy snacks here and there, and you will easily get cravings. A smart choice can be a handful of nuts or almonds to suppress hunger between meals. Almonds contains protein, fibres, magnesium, vitamin E and powerful antioxidants. Both protein and magnesium help regulating the blood sugar, which dampens the hunger.
You should eat at least five times a day, but in smaller portions, and it should be a balanced diet with lots of veggies, fruits, protein and some selected slow digested carbs. If you eat breakfast at 7 or 8 you are probably starved at lunchtime and eat a way to big portion of some convenient fast food. At six you have dinner at home and you are once again really hungry, eating two big portions of food and finishes off with a nice sweet dessert. After that you’re not fit for anything else than being a couch potato for the rest of the evening.

Oh, sorry I forgot. On your way home from the office you stopped at the supermarket to get some basics like milk and bread, and as you were so hungry everything looked soo delicious and you ended up buying glazed donuts, an over sized  fridge-pack coke, a couple of candy bars and some bags of snacks. Can’t run out of these at home, right? One and a half of the candy bars got eaten when you got stuck in the traffic jam.

Plan when to shop and what to eat

You must begin to plan your meals more carefully. A steady breakfast is a must, and a healthy snack after 3 hours so that you aren’t starved at lunchtime. A breakfast containing lots of protein keeps you full for a long time. Another snack in the afternoon will keep your energy level up and fit for fight. In between meals and snacks – drink lots of water. Start bringing home made food (leftovers) for lunch, and prepare snacks in the morning so you don’t have to go with what the vending machines offers. You will save lots and lots of money if you start eating lunch that you bring with you, and you will have total control of what’s in it.

Plan your food shopping carefully and try to buy more on fewer occasions. Be sure to always have a wide range of healthy food in your fridge and freezer.

Do not go long periods without eating. You may get very hungry eventually and do something irrational like grabbing for a candy bar. You should eat every third hour, but smaller portions than you eat now.

Hide and seek

Another pitfall is food with hidden sugars, carbs (wheat and starches). It’s time to start looking at the nutrition facts. Look for the amount of carbohydrates per 100g (preferably not more than 10g carbs/100g), and look if some kind of sugar is one of the first ingredients. Don’t think that fat in products will make you fat. That is a misconception that has been told to us way too long. What you should avoid is low fat products, where the fat has been replaced with thickeners, chemicals and sweeteners to make them look, feel and taste as good as the original. Nasty.

You’re stressed out and don’t have time

Stress is something that can be good for us. A little positive stress for a short period of time gets us focused and energized, able to do lots of work in a short period of time while feeling that we are in a flow. Everything seems to work like a clock.

However the most of the time is stress something very negative. It gets you in a bad mood, makes you be a person you don’t want to be – short-tempered, introvert, hot-headed and downright unpleasant. The most of us has a lot of pressure on us when it comes to work, family life, financial situation, worries and fears about the future. To be stressed for a long time, to have chronic stress,  is not healthy at all. The levels of the “stress hormone” Cortisol is constantly raised and this has bad impact on the blood sugar balance, blood pressure, immunity, muscle mass and bone density. Stress makes you crave more fatty, salty and sugary food and at the same time it slows down the metabolism which makes you put on weight, preferably abdominal fat (yes, that dangerous fat around your waistline). Excess of nervous energy can cause you to eat more than you normally would.

Yet another TV-dinner

Yes! You would like to exercise more, but you can’t find the time! Your work is so demanding, you spend far too much time in the car back and forth to work and the traffic jams are killing you. When you finally get home, you don’t have the energy to do much more than to heat up another TV-dinner or pick something up from around the corner. You don’t feel you have the time to make nutritious food to bring with you to work and this makes you go for the usual fast food when lunch time comes the following day.

You have to learn to plan more! Manage your time. Every person on the planet has the same amount of time. 24 hours per day, no more, no less. The difference between the most of the people and the people we call successful is that they have learned time management in perfection. They have learned to prioritize and focus.

You say you don’t have the time?

The most of us have more available time than we actually think. Can’t you spare 15-30 minutes a day for exercise at least? How much time do you spend in front of the TV each day? A good pulse-pounding interval exercise session in the house, apartment or the garage every day will give good results and doesn’t have to take that much time. After a while you will have much more energy and will be able to stay up late in the evening without feeling tired. Could that extra time in the evening be a good time for you to prepare a healthy lunch and dinner for the next day and after that write down a priority ordered list of things to do the next day? You will fall asleep faster, have a good nights sleep and wake up refreshed. Maybe you could get up 30 minutes earlier to be well on your way to work before all the other commuters jams the roads and highways.

You will be able to get more out of your day with a little planning and some ingenuity. You will find time to do the most important things, feel more harmonious. Don’t forget to deep-breathe whenever you feel that the stress level is raising.

Problems you encounter when trying to lose weight

The steps you have to take towards weight loss is actually easy to do. But they are also easy NOT to do. That’s the reason “successful people” are successful and the rest is not. They know that it takes hard work, persistence, passion, resolve and energy to take the necessary steps.

You may be super charged in the beginning and ready to take the world by storm, but it’s gonna come up things that will make it harder for you to succeed.

No support from people around you

People around you may not always be that supportive, especially if they see that you have a goal that you are working to achieve, and they don’t. Some people don’t want you to succeed as it makes them look bad. Maybe they are struggling with their weight themselves and if you start losing weight and they don’t, it’s hurtful for them as they feel like losers. Other people will make fun of you, or just being negative.

Gain respect

If your family still eats the same old junky food and never consider that you are having a hard time not to be defeated by the temptation, it’s gonna be hard for you. In the beginning it may not be so funny being the only one eating carrots when the others are feasting on chips and chocolate. Maybe they don’t mean any harm, but they don’t support you the way they should. You should tell them and show them that you are really serious about reaching your goal. This will hopefully make them show more respect and even be influenced by you in a good way.

Your friends thinks you’re boring and tries to talk you into another evening of watching TV, eating snacks and drinking beer. Maybe it’s time to team up with someone that think like you?

Hard to stay away from the goodies

Cravings is another thing that you will probably encounter as your new lifestyle will include abstaining things that you love to eat. It’s best to get rid of this stuff in order to minimize your exposure to it. Cravings can be really mean. For me it works quite well to think about and visualize how I will feel afterwards if I give in and eat for instance a big piece of cake. To go for a walk or exercise can really help to suppress cravings, as well as taking a really hot shower.

When it comes to these food and sweets cravings you should try to get out of the line of fire so to speak. Putting yourself in situations where you have to test your mental strength should be avoided. Go with friends or the kids to a fast food restaurant may result in you eating more than everybody else, even if you said yourself you were going to have just a salad. Having lots of sweets, soft drinks, ice cream, cakes and pastries at home will make it a hard time for you too so get rid of these products asap.

Cravings for sugar and wheat are common as these things are highly addictive. It’s almost like drugs. If you are used to get lots of sugar every day it may be hard to stop eating sweets, but cutting the sugar out of your diet is something you should try to do. Same goes with wheat that contains an appetite stimulating protein that makes you wanna have more of it. Nasty.

Even if it can be very hard to stop eating sugary things, you will find that your cravings decreases more and more the longer you refrain from them. The best way is to go cold turkey but that will take a lot of will power. When the craving for something sweet gets to intense, try to satisfy your sweet tooth with just a little bit of a “good quality sugar source” like a piece of 70% (or more) dark chocolate, and eat it slowly, enjoying every single bit of it. A sweet fruit may work as well. If you have a habit of eating something sweet after the dinner, maybe you should try to adapt the new habit of taking a 10-15 minute walk instead. Mint is known to decrease your cravings. Chewing on a chewing gum, fresh mint leaves or brushing your teeth might work for you.

Cravings for something sweet can be a sign of hunger, so maybe you should grab something to eat. Real food that is. Never go around hungry.

Get moving towards your goal – literally

You probably figured out that moving your body is one of the keys to losing weight. Exercise might sound really scary and boring to you. I have found that exercising is the single most effective way to get lots of energy. What is a nap on the couch compared to a quick power walk or an exercise session? Sleeping will just make you more sleepy (of course you should get a good nights sleep of 7-8 hours), but to laze around in the bed or sofa consuming snacks and sweets is gonna make you chronically tired.

You should get started right away to find a good way for you to exercise that you find enjoyable so that you can stick to the plan. If not playing any sports or going to the gym, walking is a good way to get started. And I don’t mean strolling around window shopping. Lace your sneakers and go out for a proper power walk. Being out in the nature or in the park can be a great experience. Set a goal for your exercise and get moving. No excuses!

If you for an example decide to start walking, decide which distance you should walk and how often. Don’t be to soft on yourself now, it has to be exercise. A great thing that I did was to download the iPhone-app “Runkeeper” which kept track of when and where I walked, and what distance. It made me compete with myself and keep track of all activities, which made me perform even more. I dig more into the field of exercise later as it is – want it or not – a central part in weight loss and weight management. Weight loss is about 75% diet and 25% exercise.

Start breathing – the right way

What now, do I think you’re not breathing? Of course you are, but maybe you are not doing enough deep breathing with your belly (diaphragm). This is actually a great way to calm your mind, and helps your lymphatic system boost up in the process of getting rid of all the toxins in your body. Deep breathing is a good way to lower your stress and anxiety (it lowers the cortisol level), suppress cravings, helps raise the cardiovascular capacity which means the amount of oxygen our heart and lungs can deliver to your cells. Deep breathing encourages the burning of fat even in low-demand activities as the high intake of oxygen promote burning of fat for energy rather than using up the energy supply in the cells.

Breathe your bad mood out

Have you seen the movie “The green mile” starring Tom Hanks? The giant Coffey, played by Michael Clarke Duncan has the ability to “suck” the illness and madness out of people and breathe it out as a black sizzling cloud of particles. I like to imagine deep breathing in that way, it’s so visual.

Whenever I feel stressed or bitter and angry for a silly reason I take deep breaths and as I breathe out I imagine all the stress, bad mood, anger, irritation and gloom disappear like a black gooey cloud. I breathe in clean air filled with harmony, comfort, happiness and relief and breathe out bad stuff. Try that the next time you are in a bad mood, or for example is stopping at a red light and feel the stress level raise.

Getting lots of oxygen into your body is a very positive thing. It’s one of the good things with aerobic exercise. More oxygen in – more carbon dioxide out, a good workout for your heart and a jolt of oxygen through your cells.

Start your morning by doing some deep breathing, while in a relaxed state. Take a really deep breath through your nose, hold it to the count of 4-6 seconds and exhale twice the time you inhaled. Repeat for a number of times. During this “exercise”, think about your goal and empower yourself by imagining yourself being that person you intend to be – slender, healthy, full of energy and fully alive.

Deep breathing can be a good first step to begin your exercise plan so start doing it whenever you can.

Empower yourself – get more energy

Clean up your life

When the decision to start losing weight is done you have to have motivation and energy to get a flying start and keep yourself energized. A great way to get more energy is to clean up. Yes that’s right! Clean up your home, clean up your garage, clean up your relationships. Decide to get to it right now. Do the cleanup you have been postponing way to long. If your house is a mess, put on some music that gets you in the right mood and start cleaning up. Throw away things and get rid of the and crap that you will never use.

Unfinished energy suckers

If you have lots of things lying around that you are gonna fix – either fix them or throw them away. Unfinished projects lying around just takes energy out of you. If must fix them but don’t have the time at the moment, put them on “the list” (read the next paragraph) and make a time plan for when to attend to them.The wardrobes, the clothes storage, and while you are at it you might as well clean out the garbage in the cellar, attic and garage as well. Find someone that can help you to transport all the junk to the nearest dump or to give it away for charity. The most of the clothes you have now aren’t gonna fit you in a near future (right?) so you might as well give them away or sell them. You will feel great once it’s done, and you got a workout as a bonus. With this accomplished, you can start on a “blank sheet of paper”.

Stop postponing things

Make a prioritized list of things you have to do with a big sheet of paper and a marker pen. This list might very well include the cleaning in the section above. Write down things that you have postponed for too long time, things that must be taken care of. When you complete one of these tasks you draw a line over it. You will feel good about yourself and you will have a good visual of your progress. Getting it visual, in front of your eyes, is powerful in the same way as writing down your goal, so get it out of your head and on to paper. When you have deleted an item in your list your will feel relief, and you can get that thing out of your head for good and start working with the next task on the list. Everything deleted will give you more and more energy as you don’t have to think about, or worry about it anymore.

Stay away from the “negodiles”

When it comes to relationships they can be really great or they can really suck the juice out of you and drain you of the little energy you have. Being around negative, complaining whiners is something you really should avoid right now. There is a law saying that you are an average of the five closest persons. Being around a bunch of grumpy kvetchers isn’t gonna make it very easy for you to maintain a positive attitude and keep you in the spirit of accomplishing goals.

Maybe it’s best to stop spending so much time with those persons and spend more time with people that can inspire you and encourage you. I know it may seem a bit hard as those negative persons might be close family. Maybe it’s time to tell them that you love and respect them, but that being around them means that you get depleted of energy.