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See How You Don’t Have To Start Your Weight Loss Journey Sweaty!

See How You Don’t Have To Start Your Weight Loss Journey Sweaty!

Do you feel like you’ve tried everything to lose weight?

Maybe you’ve even had some success, but struggled to stick to a diet or exercise plan in the long term?

Don’t panic.

Many of the weight loss plans advertised online, in books, and on the covers of magazines simply aren’t sustainable. It’s not you that’s the problem – it’s the diets.

So, what is the best way to lose weight? By removing unhealthy foods, one step at a time.

No more feeling overwhelmed or trapped by a difficult diet or exercise regime – you’ll make real, long-term changes in a way that feels easy and natural.

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    Photo credit: Source

    Don’t try these techniques to lose weight

    There is so much information on how to lose weight, particularly online, that’s it hard to know where to begin. Lots of the weight loss advice you see on the internet simply isn’t helpful – it’s not sustainable, and it won’t help you stay healthy in the long term.

    Here’s what to avoid.

    Going on fad diets: these harm your body.

    It’s tempting to jump on the bandwagon with fad diets, but try and resist. Fads like the baby food diet, the alkaline diet, and diets which focus on avoiding fats have all been slammed by nutritionists. [1] It’s also been shown that counting calories doesn’t work well. [2]

    Trying every trendy workout routine

    Getting caught up in trying every new workout routine you hear about can feel just as overwhelming as hopping from diet to diet. Should you focus on HIIT workouts? Or is yoga the best? How many hours a week should you spend exercising? What if you’re working out wrong?

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    It’s enough to make you want to quit exercising altogether.

    Eating new superfoods

    ‘Amazing New Superfood Doubles Weight Loss’

    We’ve all clicked on headlines like this, hoping for a miracle cure to our weight problems. While some so-called ‘superfoods’ can be good for you, they won’t substitute a well-rounded healthy diet and lifestyle.

    Losing motivation again? Here’s why.

    You are too harsh on yourself.

    “I’ll run for an hour each morning, swim for an hour after work, and avoid all desserts and fizzy drinks.”

    It’s great to be enthusiastic about your weight loss, but plans like the one above rarely last long. You need to be realistic when planning your weight loss journey, instead of setting loads of difficult goals you know you’ll struggle to achieve. Instead of trying to quit everything at once, focus on making small changes to your diet.

    You expect to see overnight results.

    Losing weight is a process. If you expect to drop two sizes after a week of dieting, you’re setting yourself up to fail. Set realistic goals so you don’t get disheartened.

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    You focus on one-off actions, instead of building habits.

    Ever been to the gym for a single class, then wondered why you weren’t seeing a change on the scales? Or quit chocolate for a week, and been disappointed when you didn’t lose weight? Losing weight isn’t about one-off actions – you need to build habits which will last the rest of your life.

    Building good habits is the one way to lose weight effectively.

    So, how do you start to build the habits that will help you lose weight?

    Well, it’s been shown that building a habit takes only 7 days, as long as you do it right.

    Here’s what to do:

    • Start with baby steps. Make your new habit super-easy – something like, ‘Stop drinking fizzy drinks at work.’

      Photo credit: Source

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      • Change your environment. Set yourself up for success by filling your fridge with healthy food, sticking up motivational post-it notes and not buying junk food.
      • Stick your habits together. Try combining habits to make them stick. For example, you could make it a habit write a weekly meal plan while relaxing after your Sunday jog.

        Photo credit: Source

        • Break your large goals down into smaller ones. Your large goal could be to lose weight, while your small goal could be to cut out one unhealthy food this week.
        • Reward yourself. When you reward yourself for completing a habit, you strengthen it. Try jumping in the air, giving yourself a big smile in the mirror, or reciting positive affirmations each time you make a good food choice.
        • Avoid too much choice. Create your habits, make them specific, and stick to them. Too much choice overwhelms us, hence the need to avoid fad diets and workout routines.

        Cut one unhealthy food out of your diet today.

        Follow the steps above, and try eliminating just one of your least favourite junk foods from your diet. Do this each day for 7 days. Once you’ve managed that, you can gradually start to avoid other ‘bad’ foods, replacing them with new, healthy snacks and meals.

        Here are some great replacement ideas to get you started:

        • Fizzy drinks: fruit smoothies or herbal teas.
        • Cheeseburger and fries: veggie burger and sweet potato fries.
        • Sweets: nuts, seeds, and dried fruit.
        • Potato chips: vegetable crisps, flavoured nuts.

        Cutting out one food at a time much easier than giving up all your favourite treats cold turkey, so you’ll be much more likely to succeed.

        Weight loss is a journey.

        Start by eliminating just one bad food, and you’ll be one step closer to where you want to be.

        Stop jumping from diet to diet, desperate to reach your ultimate end goal. Instead, take it one step at a time to build healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime.

        Reference

        More by this author

        Eloise Best

        Eloise is an everyday health expert and runs My Vegan Supermarket, a vegan blog and database of supermarket products.

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        Last Updated on March 25, 2020

        How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

        How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

        When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

        So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

        1. Exercise

        It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

        2. Drink in Moderation

        I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

        3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

        Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

        4. Watch Less Television

        A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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        Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

        5. Eat Less Red Meat

        Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

        If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

        6. Don’t Smoke

        This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

        7. Socialize

        Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

        8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

        Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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        9. Be Optimistic

        Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

        10. Own a Pet

        Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

        11. Drink Coffee

        Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

        12. Eat Less

        Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

        13. Meditate

        Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

        Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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        How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

        14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

        Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

        15. Laugh Often

        Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

        16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

        Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

        17. Cook Your Own Food

        When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

        Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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        18. Eat Mushrooms

        Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

        19. Floss

        Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

        20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

        Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

        Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

        21. Have Sex

        Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

        More Health Tips

        Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

        Reference

        [1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
        [2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
        [3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
        [4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
        [5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
        [6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
        [7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
        [8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
        [9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
        [10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
        [11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
        [12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
        [13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
        [14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
        [15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
        [16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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