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8 Things You Can Do to Easily Shed a Few Pounds

Nov 5, 2007
So you want to lose a few of the "extra" pounds you are carrying around. Here are a few things that I do that are easy to follow and can fit into almost anyone's lifestyle. By the way, even if you want to lose more than a few pounds, this is a good way to get started:

1) Eat slightly smaller portions at each meal. If you attempt to cut your meal sizes in half right off the bat, you will leave the table feeling hungry and that will lead to snacking and binge eating. So just cut down a little at first, and you will find that your body will adjust and before long you will be eating less and feeling just as full.

2) Plan to eat more often, and then eat more often. Schedule healthy snacks into your daily routine. If you get hungry half way between breakfast and lunch, but you haven't planned on it, you will be more likely to grab a bag of chips or some chocolate than if you had brought a low fat muffin or an apple for your snack. Not only will you reduce the number of calories you consume, but you will also save money too.

3) If you can, exercise in the morning before you eat breakfast. Studies show that you will burn significantly more calories throughout the day by doing this one thing. By exercising before breakfast your body dips into your fat reserves for energy which in turn increases your metabolism. This increase in metabolism can last for several hours so your body burns more fat all day long!

4) Get more sleep! How's that for a great way to lose weight? Now I don't mean sleep 20 hours a day, after all, you're not a cat. If you are the type of person that tries to live on less than enough sleep, you may be making it difficult for your body to burn callories effectively. When you are tired, your body feels stressed. This will happen to all of us sometimes, but when it happens on an ongoing basis you could be decreasing your ability to burn calories. When you are stressed your body releases a chemical called cortisol. Now cortisol is needed by our cells, especially in emergency type situations. But if we are cronically tired our bodies release cortisol on an ongoing basis. The cortisol breaks down muscle tissue and therefore decreases your metabolic rate. The more muscle tissue is broken down, the fewer calories your body can burn up.

5) Don't eat the last couple of hours before going to bed. If you can avoid eating prior to going to sleep at night you will be doing yourself a favor. By doing this your body will dip into its fat reserves while you are sleeping. It is generally not good to be too hungry, however, if there is anytime that it would be good, it would have to be when you are sleeping.

If you absolutely must eat before going to bed, then have something healthy such as an apple or some carrot sticks. Avoid the bowl of ice cream and the cookies.

6) Drink more water. There is a lot of information out in the nutrition field saying the we must drink the equivalent of 8 big glasses of water per day. This is really just a guideline, and the amount will vary depending on your size. For the most part, most people should drink more water than they do. Water keeps your cells hydrated which allows your system to digest food more easily. In turn this can help you to fight off illness also.

Something to keep in mind, try to drink water as soon as you can after you wake up. Your body hasn't had any water for several hours and your cells will need it. Also try to drink water throughout the day as opposed to all at once. And use common sense, don't drink 2 big bottles of water if you are going into a meeting or something else that will keep you from using the facilities as needed.

7) Drink less juice, pop, coffee, tea and alcohol. Some of these beverages such as coffee, tea and many types of pop contain caffeine which will dyhydrate your cells and slow digestion, exactly the opposite of what we want. While other beverages such as juice, pop and alcohol contain lots sugar and are very high in calories. It is O.K. to consume some of these in moderation, but cut back as much as possible, especially if you are trying to lose some weight. You might be thinking that juice is good for you and in many ways it is. What you may not know is that in order to make one glass of juice, such as orange juice, it take several oranges. So when you drink that glass of juice you are consuming the sugar from 7 or 8 oranges, depending on the size of the juice glass. The sugar in juice is healthier than that in cakes and cookies, but you still shouldn't have that much of it.

8) Do something active! When you are starting out, you don't have to run a marathon. In fact if you overdo it at first, you will likely injure yourself and make it impossible for you to continue for a while. If you are already relatively active, that's great, keep it up. On the other hand, if you haven't gotten around to any sort of exercise lately, then just work something in. Go for a walk after supper, take the stairs instead of the elevator at work, play a game of soccer with your kids, have a family bike ride, or anything else for that matter. Some forms of exercise definitely benefit you more than others, but initially we just want to get going on something. You can even do a few leg raises when you watch television. Be creative, do something and try to have fun.
About the Author
Darcy Aleck discusses some of the easiest ways to get fit, lose excess pounds and start living healthier with more energy. You can even get free fitness coaching and motivation by subscribing to his free newsletter. Find out what you should be doing to get healthy at www.YourFreeFitnessCoach.com
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