By Gretchen Powell
Ive touched on some of the specific things Ive done to achieve my 60-pound weight loss in the past, but have yet to really dive into the nitty-gritty of all the changes Ive made to my life as a former couch potato. So today Ive got five of my favorite tips for losing weight in a healthy way. Some of these may seem like common sense, but maybe theres at least one idea in here that might be new to you!
1. Sub whole wheat for white.
This ones kind of a no-brainer, lets be honest. Eat whole grains! White breads and pastas simply cannot compare nutritionally to the brown stuff. But Gretchen! you say. A slice of whole wheat bread has the same amount of calories as a slice of white bread! Well, technically, youre right. But while you may not be saving on calories by making the switch, you are still getting more nutritional bang for your buck, which means more fiber to help you stay full longer. And staying satiated for longer periods of time means youre less likely to fill up on other unnecessary foods. Just remember: Multi-grain is not the same thing as whole grain. Go whole or go home.
2. Embrace green.
Kermit the Frog may believe its not easy being green, but at least its easy to get your greens. Spinach, romaine, arugula, collard, chard, kale, turnip greens I even hear good things about dandelion greens and they will literally be right in your backyard this summer! Put greens in salads, steam em, stir-fry em, toss em in a smoothie, let them wilt under a plate of hot pasta, the possibilities go on and on.
3. Eat breakfast.
When I was in the midst of my weight gain, I would never, ever eat breakfast. After all, Id think, Im not hungry right when I wake up! Why force myself to ingest calories if Im not even hungry for it? Well, because eating breakfast rocks. It kick starts your metabolism that went to sleep when, uh, you went to sleep. (Why do you think its called break-fast?) And as long as youre eating a balanced breakfast (alas, Im not talking Pop Tarts here) it will keep you satiated throughout the morning and make you less likely to binge on bad foods later in the day. A balanced breakfast should include both fiber and protein. Think eggs, cottage cheese, oats, or whole grain cereal.
4. Fat is your friend.
So youve been told your entire life that fat is the enemy. Fat is why youre fat. Well, let me just debunk that myth for you. Fat is integral to being able to feel full and satisfied after a meal! Always utilize common sense and portioning, but dont hesitate to embrace nuts, seeds, avocado, olive oil, nut butters, etc. When it comes to losing weight, my body responds much, much better to a diet higher in healthy fats than one high in sugar, which is usually what you get if youre eating lots of stuff labeled fat-free or low-fat.
5. Eat less sugar.
Sugar is delicious, theres no two ways about it. And sugar is in everything. Now, a little sugar here and there is perfectly fine, but foods that are high in sugar come at a price. Sugar is your bodys first source of fuel. So lets say you have a job where you sit on your glutes for eight or more hours a day and you dont necessarily lead a super active lifestyle outside of that. Well, your body doesnt exactly have a need for all that fuel. So what happens? The sugar gets stored away for the day that you are in dire need of it you know, when youre stranded on a deserted island or pioneering across the country in a covered wagon. But until that day comes, all that fuel is just going into storage. As fat. The kind of fat that sits on your thighs and arms and around that oh-how-I-wish-it-were-even-a-2-pack midsection. Simply pay attention to the grams of sugar in your foods, and adjust your diet accordingly.
Armed with these seemingly simple tips, I bet youll find that making adjustments to even out the health of your lifestyle is easier than you ever thought!
Gretchen Powell is a fitness and healthy living blogger in Falls Church. She is not a registered dietitian, nutritionist, or medical doctor, and a medical professional should be consulted before undertaking dramatic diet changes. For more, visit honeyishrunkthegretchen.com.
- ^ honeyishrunkthegretchen.com (honeyishrunkthegretchen.com)
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How Do I Get In Shape Over The Summer? I weigh 130 plus pounds and I’m 13 years old. But the 130 pounds is mostly fat. By fall when school starts again, I want to have lost some fat and gained some muscle. Every day I play DDR (Dance Dance Revolution) on difficult, and it is difficult, I sweat my butt off every time. I also go to the pool and swim 24 laps every other day. But I haven’t seen any results. Should I keep doing what I’m doing, or should I add something on? Please give me some fat loss tips, thanks!
First of all…good for you for working out and taking charge of your health. I am sure you are a beautiful person.
How’s your diet?
Are you eating enough protein? Are you eating a lot of empty carbs like pastries….? How’s your sugar intake?
Sometimes the scale doesn’t change but our bodies do. Try taking measurements. I had lost 13 inches off of my body….but only 10 lbs on the scale.
Keep in mind that muscle weighs more than fat.
Keep a food journal – it will hold you accountable. Look up online how many calories you should eat based on your age, height, weight, and activity level.
Hope this helps sweetie and best wishes.
How Should I Train For Cross Country Running And Loose Weight?? I am overweight and want to start cross country in fall (end of august/ begining of sept. so 4-5 months) I can’t run for more than 300-600 feet at a time and need to build up to the 3 mile (5K). I need training tips and weight-loss/ fat loss tips. Any help is appriciated!!!!
Dani, I know you answered my other question. I was trying to get a variety of answers.
The best thing would be to start jogging now. Start at a managable pace and go for as long as you can. You just have to build up to it. When I started running I could only do a mile, after a while of doing that and gradually adding more distance, I got up to 4 miles. As far as weightloss – cardio is the best way, so stick to the running. Try a stationary bike if you can’t get outside much, but cycling on a stationary and running are completely different, so you definitely want to train with running.