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Eat Smart Lose Weight

Dieting.  The never ending quest to lose weight.  Thousands of people have tried one as they look to shed a few unwanted kilos.  However, the majority of dieters are unsuccessful in maintaining weight loss for a prolonged period of time.  In fact I am sure everyone knows of a 'serial dieter', the type of person who is always on and off some form of dietary regime.  Their weight seems to soar like a yoyo.

OK, so why are diets difficult to adhere to?
Most diets require very sudden and / or major changes to ones normal eating habits.
These changes can be very stressful and difficult to maintain as they do not fit into your lifestyle or the habits of your family and friends.

Many diets make you feel hungry and deprived?
This is a prime time for binging on food to occur.  How many times have you heard people say "I'll start my diet again tomorrow!"  Try cutting out chocolate out of your diet when all of your friends are chowing down on a chocolate snack!

The majority of diets do not teach you to change habits.
With your diet often the focus is on a weight loss goal and their is limited guidance beyond this point.  The temptation to return to your old habits following completion of your weight loss can be great and often means that the weight that was lost slowly returns... only to start the cycle again!

The best approach to long lasting weight loss is to change both your eating and exercise habits - something that most diets do not address.

The equation for putting on weight is simple.  If you consume more energy than you burn you will gain weight i.e. if Energy Intake > Energy Expenditure = Weight Gain.  Excess weight is generally put on slowly over a long period of time.  This weight gain may be due to quite a small imbalance every day.  To lose this weight you need to reverse the imbalance by making small changes that fit in with your life.

How do I do this?
A few simple tips for those looking to lose weight.

-Eat smaller amounts more regularly - eg 5-6 small meals per day rather than 3 large ones.  This means you will avoid the hunger pains, and also you will keep your metabolism at a higher level - which can assist you in burning calories.
-Do not skip meals, especially breakfast.  You will have heard people say to you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day... well listen because it is.  It kick starts your metabolism in the morning ... hence the name break - fast.  By skipping meals people think that will lose weight - in fact this can assist in promoting increased fat storage.
-Eat 5 portions of fruit and veges per day.  Substitute snacks with fruit.  This is bulky food that will fill you up but has fewer calories.
-Eat starchy carbohydrate foods - eg wholegrain breads, pasta, rice.
-Plan ahead for meals - Failure to plan often leads to picking up a quick 'snack'' that is not part of your health eating plan.
-Do not grocery shop when hungry - How many additional items go in your trolley when you are hungry!  Eat first, then shop.
-Change your exercise habits.
This is just as important as changing what you eat.  Exercise burns calories and done regularly will assist in maintaining optimum weight.  In fact done correctly it can allow you to continue to eat more of the 'luxury' foods that you enjoy.  Additionally, exercise helps to regulate your appetite, tones and firms your body and can decrease body fat and increase lean muscle tissue.  Remember not all exercise has to be intensive.  A walk for 30 minutes 3 times a week is a huge improvement on doing nothing!

Nutritional Abuses

Alcohol's Effect On Metabolism

I am sure you will all be pretty devastated to hear this but NO nutritional benefit is derived from alcohol. Alcohol provides empty calories!  

Alcohol is 7 calories per gram which is almost as high as fat in caloric content. In addition alcohol temporarily slows down the metabolism. The effect of this is that less fat is burned (lower Basal Metabolic Rate). Additionally, alcohol inhibits the liver from metabolizing fat.

Generally, after a few quiet beverages many people are more likely to consume high fat foods which lets just say does not help the situation.