Category Archives: health and fitness

Dieting for Health

There is no greater reason to diet than for your personal health and well being. Those of us who are overweight know better than most the risks and possible consequences that may result because of our weight. Much like smokers however, the risks do not always seem quite so cut and dry until we reach our very own turning point. Whether your eating habits are born of an addiction to certain foods, an emotional need, or years of learned behavior and conditioning things will not change until you completely adjust your eating habits and your lifestyle choices.

Dieting for many has become a lifestyle in and of itself with people rapidly flip-flopping or yo-yoing from one diet to another with little success and growing despair over a sheer lack of results. The truth is that until you decide to forgive yourself for your failures and get right back on the wagon, so to speak, after falling off no diet is going to be successful. A simple diet isn’t going to magically make the pounds disappear and constantly depriving yourself of those things you enjoy most may have a more detrimental effect than a positive effect.

The number one thing most people need to learn is that dieting isn’t always a good thing. What most people who are overweight need more than anything else is to incorporate positive lifestyle changes into their daily routines. People scoff at the notion of taking the stairs or parking farther away and yet those are perfectly plausible methods of working a little more physical activity into your day. If those do not work for you how about learning to dance? Seriously, there are beginner dance classes in most communities that will welcome and invite dances of all ages, sizes, and fitness levels if you are willing to make the effort. What a great way to get fit, learn something new, and have fun without filling deprived.

Another great thing about an activity such as a dance class (consider ballroom dancing with your significant other) is that you are not eating or tempted to eat during the time that you are dancing in most cases. Another great thing is that you are burning those calories you didn’t eat. If dancing isn’t you thing, try joining a walking club or finding another hobby. Anything that gets you on your feet and away from the temptation of your refrigerator is a good thing when it comes to dieting and weight loss. You cannot lose a significant amount of weight by dieting alone. You must incorporate physical fitness into your daily routine in order to achieve those immediate and visually stunning results that many dieters are hoping to achieve.

Another pitfall when it comes to dieting is that people give up far too quickly. Just as the results are beginning and progressing people get tired of the process or frustrated that they aren’t accomplishing enough dramatic weight loss as quickly as they had hoped and give up all together marking off yet another failure when they could have achieved greater success than ever before if they had stuck with their original diet plan a little longer.

One more thing you should remember when it comes to dieting is that the scale can be your best friend or your worst enemy when dieting. If you are weighing yourself every day in hopes of watching the scale tick off yet another pound you are dooming yourself to failure. You will never achieve the results you are hoping for you if you are going into depressive bouts of Rocky Road or Chunky Monkey every night because you didn’t lose 10 pounds overnight.

When it comes to dieting there are very few diets that work. There are however, many lifestyle changes that when practiced consistently and aggressively will work. The thing to remember is that you are the one who must work because it is quite unlikely that any diet will.

Dieting Without Sacrifice

So many people view dieting as some sort of cosmic punishment for not having the perfect body. They believe that enjoying food is somehow bad for them, which couldn’t be further from the truth. If you want to be completely honest with yourself, when it comes to dieting, it isn’t about giving up food or flavor; it’s about discovering new foods and flavors. At least that is what it is for those who truly love food as well as adventure.

There are many spices out there that can make even the blandest of foods a little exciting. Fish and chicken are popular diet foods because they are lean meats. However, adding a little blackening seasoning is a great way to put a little punch in your meal that will make it taste great without packing on the calories of dressing marinades or soaking in butter before broiling. You do not have to stop there. Italian seasoning can also add a little flavor to your kitchen without adding the extra calories that you are working so hard to avoid.

There are all kinds of seasonings that will work well in this instance. Many great seasonings for chicken also make great additions to chicken that will be included in salads for healthier lunches or salad wraps. Grains are good for you when you concentrate on whole grains. They are quite often the primary source of fiber in a diet and you need fiber almost as much as you need water. At any rate, simple things that spice up the same old lunch can have a huge impact on your enjoyment of food.

You can even enjoy the occasional treat when dieting as long as you do so sparingly. The key when dieting is to learn about proper portions and moderate indulgence. You can find all kinds of low sugar or low carb desserts on the market that you can enjoy sparingly. You can even find sugar free or low calorie candy in some cases though you should keep in mind that calories, particularly when it comes to candy you eat unconsciously add up quickly and you must pay close attention to those things you put into your mouth.

My point in all this though is that you do not have to sacrifice flavor in order to diet. You can live without butter; there are many substitutions on the market that are quite remarkable. But seasonings are a great way to add a lot of flavor for a tiny bit of effort on your part. Desserts are also great and you can find many dips and sauces that can be made with fat free or low fat mayonnaise or sour cream in order to cut a few more calories during your dieting process.

These dips and sauces can often make a great substitution, when paired with vegetables, for those chips and dips we love so much and often miss when dieting. Cucumbers, green, red, and yellow peppers, broccoli, and carrot sticks all have a nice little crunch to them that when combined with a good low fat dip can help cure the crave beast for greasy chips that often rears its head when dieting.

If you watch your calories carefully during meals you should be delighted to know that there are many little snack treats that are prepackaged in 100 calorie packs for your enjoyment. This means that you can indulge on occasion in those treats that you love most without sacrificing all your dieting efforts in the process. These snack packs have become one of the best marketing ploys since the invention of diet colas. We all want the benefits of losing weight and will readily admit that if it were a simple process we’d all be thin. However, having something like these hundred calorie snack packs to carry you through the worst of your cravings can mean the difference between dieting success and failure. They are definitely the difference in the old way of dieting and the new way of dieting without sacrificing flavor.

Dieting to Lose a Few Vanity Pounds

There are those among us who wish to lose a few pounds rather than 20 or more pounds. While many of us would be grateful if that were the case for us, most will find that the smaller the amount of weight needed to lose the more difficult it seems to remove. The good news is that those with little weight to lose generally do not face the painful issues with exercise and physical activity that plague those with far more weight to lose.

There are some great products on the market that will assist those with relatively little weight to lose enjoy the weight loss process without feeling deprived. The new market of 100-calorie snacks is an excellent tool for just this situation. You can get the treats you need to get you through the day without exactly packing on the pounds in the process. You can count calories to no end but if you have only a few pounds to reach your goal weight and aren’t delighted with your tight and tone new body, then perhaps it’s best to work on tightening and toning rather than more dieting.

The thing that far too many people forget along the way is that dieting can only get you so far when it comes to results. There will come a time when weight training and cardio exercises of some sort are the only thing that is going to get you to the body you so rightly desire. Dieting is good for dropping the pounds, but dieting alone is unlikely to bring you the body of your dreams. You should also keep in mind that exercising and ramping up your fitness routine is a great way to renew your dedication to the process and your enthusiasm. This is particularly true if you have found a fitness routine that is appealing to you.

The fitness routines of today are not the tired old aerobics workout of the 1980’s. You have many options ranging from kick boxing, Tae Bo, Yoga, Pilates, and even belly dancing for those that dare. The point is that you are not as limited as you may think when it comes to entertaining options for your workout routine. Find a workout that you can actually be excited about doing and do it. There is a lot of truth to the old Nike commercials that boldly proclaimed: “Just Do It”. Whatever it may be in your fitness routine, it will not do itself. You must be an active participant in your weight loss and fitness endeavors in order to achieve any results that will be favorable.

Whether your weight loss and dieting goals are to shed a few pounds or many pounds along the way it is quite likely that you will at some point reach a plateau in which you discover that you need to ramp up either your level of physical activity or calorie burning methods or you will need to ramp up your calorie cutting exercises. Either way, dealing with the setback is almost as important as your decision to lose those pounds in the first place. Get back in the game and renew your efforts. In no time you should have lost those few pounds that you were hoping to lose and established the body you were aiming to create.