Dieting? Here’s a Tip to Help You Succeed

Uncompleted diets and lack of will-power may lead you to think that losing weight is a difficult thing to do, but it is really rather easy.

The one single thing you need to do is burn more calories than you eat. I know that It sounds very simplistic and minimal, but that is it in a nutshell.

Your first step is to try to calculate how many calories you are burning daily. There have been studies that have come out over the years that estimate how many calories you burn per day based on your sex, age, weight, height and physical activity. When using these calculations, keep in mind that the number you get gives you an estimate, not a fixed number that never changes day to day. It will vary daily.

Good weight loss is considered to be one to two pounds per week. While it is possible to lose more, it is considered by the experts to be unhealthy for you.

So how many calories do you actually have to cut out of your diet? One pound of body fat equals about 3500 calories. If you want to lose one pound in a week, you need to cut 3500 calories out of your diet per week. While this might sound like a lot, it comes out to only eliminating 500 calories per day.

Your next step is to decide how you want to get rid of that extra weight. You can cut 500 calories out of your diet per day, or increase the amount of calories you burn by 500 calories per day. A combination of these two things is the easiest way to go. If you combine the two methods, not only will you lose weight, but you will be healthier.

So, let’s compare a few snacks to see what kind of choices you have.

(2) oreos = 140 calories, or (1) apple = 65 calories
(1) package of cheese crackers = 230 calories or (1) carrot = 35 calories
(1) donut stick = 230 calories or (1) celery stick = 5 calories

Just switching up these three items alone gets you to 495 less calories per day. Duh!

I think you can see where I’m going here. Yeah, I know that you will have to go to the trouble of washing and preparing the apple, carrot and celery, but it’ll be worth it. I found an easy way to do this. I buy, wash, divide into portions and package for a week’s worth of snacks once a week. I keep them fresh using a vacuum food sealer. You can seal them in bags or small canisters. You can take them with you to work, to the park or any place you need to go. That way, you aren’t tempted to grab a bag of junk food. As an added bonus, you will save a lot of money.

Once you start to see the steady and consistent weight loss, it will be easy to stick to this method. You won’t have to starve yourself or work out every single day to achieve your weight loss goal. Just remember that slow and steady wins the race.

Go to the USDA website and view the My Pyramid page for the calculations you need to determine your best choices for weight loss.

Should You Diet Or Not?

So, you’ve decided to lose a few pounds. Time to decide which diet you’re going to try out. Well, let’s see, there’s the grapefruit diet, the zone diet, the high protein diet, the low carb diet (probably the same as the high protein diet), the liquid diet, the Mayo clinic diet, the fruit diet, the cleansing diet, the cabbage soup diet, the rotation diet, the rice diet, the 1200 calorie diet, the 1500 calorie diet, the 3 day diet, the 4 day diet, the South Beach diet, the Adkins diet, the Mediterranian diet and that’s just to name a few. Then you have a much longer list of diet pills and patches that I won’t bother to list. Oh, in case you haven’t heard, Alli has just been recalled. Seems it causes liver damage. Thank you again FDA.

I have only one question for you. HAVE YOU LOST YOUR MIND? OK, I have two questions. Do you have any idea WHY there are so many “diets” out there? Well, you’ll probably say “one diet may not work for everyone”. There may be some truth to that theory,but let me tell you a quick story.

A friend of mine got engaged. It was a happy day for the lucky couple and all of their friends. They were perfect for each other. She decided that she needed to lose 15 pounds  before the big day. The wedding was set for 8 months from then, so she had plenty of time.

To make a very long story short, she went on a diet. Lost 4 pounds and couldn’t lose any more. She went on a different diet. Lost 2 pounds and couldn’t lose any more. She repeated this process through 6 different diets.  Now, all of this was combined with doing aerobics EVERY day. She finally lost a grand total of 9 pounds. The wedding was now 2 months away, so she resorted to liposuction to get rid of those last 6 pounds.

Can anybody guess why she couldn’t lose those last 6 pounds? She had screwed up her metabolism so badly that she could eat nothing and drink only water for a week and she still wouldn’t lose any weight.

I think the reason there are so many diets on the market is so that the people selling the diet can make a lot of money. Yes, you may lose a few pounds adhering to a diet for a few weeks, but can you keep it up? Do you expect to resume your regular eating habits and keep that weight off?

Let me outline a simple weight loss concept.  Eliminate preservatives from your diet. Think about it. What types of foods contain preservatives? Foods that come in a box or a crinkly plastic bag. Packaging with labels on them. Ever see a list of ingredients on an apple? What about a stalk of celery?

Now, I realize that dry goods like oatmeal and baking goods come in packages, but you can read the label and choose items that don’t have preservatives in them. If you can eliminate that ONE thing from your diet, you can conservatively lose 5 pounds per month.

Eat fresh fruits and vegetables. Try to buy organic when possible. Cook your meats yourself. Don’t buy frozen precooked anything. Try to reduce fats. Use Olive oil for cooking and make your own mayonnaise. Learn to read your labels. If you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it. Just my opinion.

The Truth About Food Safety

A lot of people go through life never having to read the label on a food package. They have great health, they’re not overweight and the family gene pool is a good one.

The same can not be said for the rest of the population. A lot of people must keep track of every morsel that they put in their mouth. Ailments range from high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, food allergies, obesity and everything else under the sun.

Common sense just tells you to “read those labels” on the food you are buying for yourself and your family. But what do you do if the labels you are checking are wrong?

If you are a breast cancer survivor, then you know by now that, in some cases, soy is your enemy. What if your label leaves soy out of the ingredient list? That wouldn’t be earth-shattering and you can compensate for it, but what if you’re allergic to peanuts and a manufacturer leaves that one off the label? Now, we’re talking major problems.

These things happen on a regular basis. A visit to the USDA website confirms it. Just check out the Food Recalls link at USDA Food Safety And Inspection Service and check it out for yourself.

Since the first of June, there have been 18 food safety recalls. The reasons for the recalls are:

  • listeria
  • under processing
  • mislabeling
  • foreign materials
  • e-coli
  • salmonella
  • undeclared ingredient
  • undercooked

Now, that’s some list. I don’t know about you, but it sure makes me want to cook my own food from scratch instead of buying processed food. But, don’t take my word for it, go and take a look for yourself.

I am not a rocket scientist, but I do have enough common sense to pay attention to the news regarding a food recall. It can really be a matter of life or death.

I don’t have to worry about it too much, though, since I am a “from scratch” cook. When you cook from scratch, your main concern is freshness of ingredients, proper cleaning and proper storage. That’s it! Making your own pizza or buffalo chicken wings is not hard. (Hint: Yep, they were in the recent recall list) Just grab a recipe and do it.

Once you start to cook using natural ingredients instead of convenience foods, you’ll see how much better you and your family feel. Just the piece of mind is worth it.