The Secret to Reaching Your Ideal Weight

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There are many books and internet articles written about weight control. However, if you already know the stuff you should be doing, you might want to skip past the next section of this article. For those of you who are starting at the beginning, here’s some useful information:

Energy is measured in units called calories or kilojoules. If you want to lose weight, then the total calories that your body absorbs through eating and drinking must be less than the calories that your body expends throughout the day. And of course, if you wish to gain weight, the opposite is true

You can also help your weight control along by participating in regular daily exercise because this helps your body burn more calories. It does this not only during the exercise session but also for hours later, by raising your body’s metabolic rate. When you exercise, you produce feel-good chemicals in the brain which are called endorphins, and these often help to stop you from reaching for those high-calorie snacks such as cakes, donuts, and chocolate. Also, exercise changes the fat and muscle ratio in your body. Muscle burns more calories than fat, so make sure you enlist all the help you can get by exercising!

So if we have all this information at our fingertips, then why do so many people have such difficulty reaching their ideal weight? Well, I must tell you that a lot of it has to do with your subconscious belief systems. Do you know all the basics, but still find yourself unable to stick to a healthy eating and exercise regimen? You’re definitely not alone.

At this point, I would like to say that if you want to lose weight, then I strongly suggest that you reframe the notion of “losing weight”. So instead of saying you want to lose weight, I would like you to think of your goal in terms of “gaining control of your weight”, or, as the title of my article suggests, “reaching your ideal weight”.

The reason for this, is because your subconscious mind can be a fickle beast, and when you “lose” something, what do you automatically (and subconsciously) want to do? You want to find it again!

So it’s really important to focus your mind towards what you want, instead of what you want to lose, and this is because your subconscious mind works best with positive language. And speaking of which, how is YOUR body image? Do you continuously criticize yourself, or berate yourself for indulging in that triple choc milkshake? If so, STOP right now. If you want to reach and maintain your desired weight goals then you need to make permanent but manageable lifestyle changes, while at the same time allowing yourself the odd indulgence…without feeling guilty!

So, be realistic and work at a steady pace towards reaching and maintaining a body shape that is achievable for you. If you’ve always had a pear-shaped body, then you will not be able to slim down to a straight-up-and-down shape, even if you starve yourself! Don’t fall into the trap of unhealthy eating habits; depriving your body of essential nutrients is every bit as damaging as overeating.

Begin by working WITH your natural body shape, not against it. Send your subconscious mind the message that you love and respect your body. One of the ways you can help yourself along is by using daily affirmations. Start today; write down any negative beliefs you have about your body, and then replace these negative statements with positive ones. Remember:

Low-Fat + Exercise = Weight Loss

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Reducing your saturated fat intake is only part of the healthy body formula. You need to burn more calories than you consume in order to avoid having that excess food stored as body fat. That’s where exercise comes into play.

These exercise tips can get you started on the road to losing weight and keeping it off:

  • Always check with your doctor before starting an exercise program. This is especially true if you have, or are at risk of having, heart disease, diabetes, or you are seriously overweight.
  • Practice moderation by beginning with light and low impact exercises like walking, and gradually increase your intensity as your body begins to become conditioned to increased activity
  • Aim for at least 30 per day of light cardiovascular activity each day. You don’t have to do all 30 minutes at once. You can spread it out over the day if you want to.
  • Easy to do exercises include walking instead of taking the car on nearby errands. Take the stairs instead of the escalator when you’re going to the office or shopping at the mall. Take a walk during lunch time.
  • Start doing things that are both fun and provide exercise. Gardening, bike riding, window shopping downtown.
  • You can make exercise more enjoyable by wearing headphones and listening to music, or doing your exercises with a friend.

Here are some dietary tips that can change, or save, your life:

These foods have been linked to various health conditions including cancer, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease. Not all of these foods have been linked with all of these conditions, but each of them are worth avoiding when possible.

  • High in saturated fats, these foods should be avoided at all costs: All saturated fats and oils found in butter, lard, palm and coconut oil, bacon grease.Replace these foods with: Soft margarine (no fat kind), olive, safflower, soy, corn, canola, and peanut oil.
  • These foods contain trans fatty acids and/or partially hydrogenated vegetable oils and should be eaten only in very limited quantities: Hard margarines, most snack crackers, most cookies, corn and potato chips, shortening.
  • These meats contain high levels of fat and can cause serious arterial blockage and heart conditions. They should be eaten very sparingly: corned beef, pastrami, pork and beef ribs, beef steak, ground meat, most frankfurters, pork sausage, bacon, liver, kidney, and processed deli meats.Replace with these foods with skinless chicken or turkey, turkey or chicken frankfurters, ground turkey, occasional lean beef, veal, pork, lamb, fish, and vegetable dishes including beans, peas, pasta, or rice.
  • Try not to eat more than 2 oz of meat, fish, or poultry per day. Replace the rest of your meal with healthy vegetables, pasta and rice.
  • Be careful of fat that’s hidden in dairy products. Drink either fat-free or 1% milk. Replace other dairy products like cream cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream, and snack cheeses with their no-fat or low-fat versions.
  • Avoid eating high fat snack crackers, cake, cup cakes or muffins, and replace them with low-fat baked versions.

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