Weight Loss Facts People Don't Realize
It is no secret that one of the keys to losing weight is lowering your fat intake and making sure you get plenty of exercise.
However, I think sometimes people forget they have to pay attention to every little thing that goes into their body. Just because a salad sounds healthy, it can quickly turn into a "fat trap" after the dressing is added.
I bought a grilled chicken from Sonic the other day. Sounds pretty healthy right? Well I just happened to look at the label on the dressing package and almost fell off my chair when I saw it contained 21 grams of fat! All of a sudden, that small salad isn't so healthy.
So my point is when you're trying to lose weight, take notice of the "little things". You may be surprised at what you find.
Sugar Contained in Drinks
A lot of people don't pay much attention to what they drink when they are trying to lose weight. However, did you know you can easily consume 800-1,000 calories and loads of sugar per day just from what you drink?
Be careful. Even though certain fruit drinks try to persuade you with their "High in Vitamin C plugs", make sure you read the labels.
Some of them are high in fructose and may contain as much as 30-40 grams of sugar in one serving. That is a heck of a lot of sugar for one drink - especially when experts recommend you only have 48 grams in a day.
Soda is another drink packed with sugar. Don't be fooled by the 0 grams of fat on the can. Keep reading a little further and you'll see that a regular 12 oz. Pepsi, for example, contains 41 grams of sugar. Not good.
Those thirst quenching, super-sized 20-ounce sodas you get through the drive-thru of some fast food chains can contain as much as 67 grams of sugar, while the 36-ounce versions average about 117 grams. That's 27 teaspoons and more than four times the recommended daily allowance.
Sugar is a carbohydrate so when it is not burned off, it turns into fat. Period. That 0-gram soft drink can still cause you to gain weight if you're not burning off what you consume.
So don't just read the caloric and fat content. Check the sugar in your drinks as well.
Sugar Contained in Fruit
Fruit is good for you. It provides a ton of vitamins and some fruits such as blueberries even have antioxidants which help protect the body from immflamations that can cause diseases such as cancer.
Some people believe when they are dieting they can eat all the fruit they want because it's healthy and natural. After all, an apple a day keeps the doctor away, right?
One thing you may fail to realize is that fruit contains a lot sugar. Even though it's natural sugar it can still cause weight gain if you eat too much and do not burn it off.
The more active you are, the less you need to be concerned about the amount of sugar in fruit. However, you should be aware that it can prevent you from losing weight if you eat too much of it.
Fruit is a carbohydrate and anytime you consume excess amounts of this food group, your body will turn it into fat.
Don't get me wrong, it's much better to snack on a piece of fruit than a chocolate bar, just remember to limit your servings in a day.
Sodium doesn't just come in salty foods like pretzels and popcorn. It's also commonly used to preserve foods. So you can find sodium in anything from canned foods, frozen dinners, packaged pudding, luncheon meats, to your favorite Chinese restaurant dishes, processed cheese and even dairy products.
It can be deceiving because a lot of people don't think about sodium if their food doesn't taste salty. They also don't realize that sodium may also cause you to store more weight around the mid section.
Always read labels and find out the sodium content. You should also not consume more than 2300 milligrams grams in a day. And if you are on a low sodium diet, then your limit should be around 2,000 milligrams.
Of course, if you have a medical condition or are on a low sodium diet then your recommendations will vary. Please make sure you seek advice from your phycisian.
Starvation and Hunger
So many people think the key to an effective weight loss plan is to skip meals.
While eating smaller portions and cutting your caloric intake is usually a good idea, it's NOT a good idea, however, if you're starving yourself and only eating one or two meals per day.
People don't realize that hunger actually slows your metabolism. So for all of you who think you're doing your body a service by skipping breakfast, you're actually hurting it in the long run.
Eating within one hour of getting up kick starts your metabolism and helps you burn more calories through the day.
When you wait until noon or 1pm to have your first meal, your metabolism is already sluggish, you have a tendancy to eat more and your body may not burn it off as well.
Eating smaller, frequent meals is the way to go. Digestion actually burns calories so if your body is doing this 5-6 times per day this is a good thing. Eating frequently also keeps you from getting hungry.
Here's an example of what you can eat:
Bowl of oatmeal, a piece of fruit and 2 slices of turkey bacon
Mid morning snack
Handful of almonds and a cup of low fat yogurt
Grilled chicken breast with a side of vegetables
Mid Afternoon Snack
Celery with peanut butter and a handful of raisins
Grilled Salmon and a side of brown rice
Try this and see how you like it. If you find yourself getting hungry, add a handful of nuts or a spoonful of peanut butter to one of the meals.
Experiment until it's right for you. Just make sure you're limiting your fat intake and eating fiber and protein. I bet you'll find you have more energy and you'll just feel better about yourself.
Never underestimate the power of water. In addition to a good diet and plenty of exercise, water is a great weight loss assistant.
First of all, if you are not accustomed to drinking a lot of water, you will find yourself running back and forth to the bathroom quite a bit. One may think your body would hang onto this water because it isn't used to getting enough.
What is really happening is that your body is flushing out the water it has been hanging onto during what some call "survival mode".
As you continue to drink at least 6-8 glasses per day, your body figures it doesn't need to store the water anymore. It assumes the water will keep coming, and if it does, the constant flushing will decrease, resulting in fewer trips to the bathroom.
As far as weight loss is concerned, water encourages proper kidney function and increases the efficiency of the liver's fat burning capabilities.
Drinking water also reduces retention. As I said before, when you don't drink enough your body tends to hold on to more fluids. Drinking enough will release what it doesn't need and you'll have less bloating.
So get to drinking!
So as you embark on your weight loss journey, just remember the little things. It's not just about the fat and calories in your foods.
Examine the sugar, sodium and also pay attention to the added items like salad dressings, ketchup and other condiments. You'd be surprised at how it all adds up.
Drink water instead of soda and high-sugar fruit drinks - or at least buy the fruit juices that contain less sugar.
Get To The Root of the Problem
If you are a person who continues to struggle with eating healthy and motivation, perhaps it's time to start looking at your weight as a symptom instead of the problem.
So many people think they are unhappy because they are overweight, but when the weight comes off, they still feel empty inside and turn to food again for comfort.
If you are a person that eats when you are sad, then you have to deal with the root of the problem and then tackle the weight. If you keep addressing the symptom (weight) and not the problem (sadness, low self esteem, etc.) then you'll keep going in circles.
Read this article that talks about the mental side of weight loss.