Turn on the television or radio, surf online or open a magazine and you’re bound to find an advertisement for a weight loss product or some kind of endorsement for a new diet or eating plan. Everyone wants to get healthy and look at their best. The current ideal of beauty is far closer to what’s possible by a ‘real’ person than it has been for a long time. Thanks mainly to the popularity of actresses and singers who aren’t stick thin, coat hangers are no longer the thing and healthy muscles and curves are in.
If you have been working toward a comfortable ideal body weight then the chances are that you’ve read the same diet and weight loss tips over and over again. In some cases, it’s because someone said it and it got repeated endlessly. In others, though, it’s because the tip really does work. So here are five of the most common diet tips that really work – and why.
Tip #1: Drink a full glass of water 20 minutes before each meal.
This is partly because you trick your body into thinking that it’s full but also to make sure you are giving the body all the water that it needs. Your body needs water to maintain all its systems and to flush wastes away. When you don’t drink enough of it, it starts trying to conserve it by retaining water in muscle and fat tissues. Water your body faithfully and you’ll find that it starts ridding itself of excess water regularly too. Is it just water weight? Well, yes. But that water weight is weight you don’t have to carry around with you as long as you’re taking in enough for your body’s needs.
Tip #2: Eat your fruits and vegetables raw.
Raw fruits and vegetables pack more nutrition per calorie and in many cases you’ll be getting less calories when you eat your produce raw. Especially if you generally eat canned fruits or vegetables where there are added preservatives and flavorings that can increase calories substantially. However there’s another reason too: your body works harder to digest raw fruits and vegetables, and that means it uses more calories in getting all the nutrients out of them. Your body needs the extra roughage present in fruit and vegetables that haven’t been cooked and processed to keep it working correctly.
Tip #3: Eat a balanced diet.
Obviously this is more healthy, but will it help you lose weight? The answer is simply ‘yes’. When your body lacks nutrients in its daily intake, it tries to make up the difference by substituting other nutrients. The result can be false messages that you are hungry, when what your body really craves is enough of one type of nutrient. Eating a balanced diet provides all the nutrients your body needs in the proper proportions so that it isn’t telling you it’s hungry.
Tip #4: Half an hour of moderate exercise five times a week.
Your body uses the food it eats to produce energy for your general activities. The more energy you use, the more food your body will use to fuel it. When you eat fewer calories than your body needs, it will turn to stored reserves to keep it going. Adding just half hour of moderate exercise to your daily routine five times a week increases your body’s consumption of energy. But there’s also more. Your body is using up calories even when you’re not exercising just to maintain circulation and health in its tissues etc. It uses up more calories maintaining muscles than fat. As you exercise, your body is converting fat to muscle, thus resulting in a higher metabolic rate as it increases its activity to keep your muscles toned.
Tip #5: Snack between meals.
Our bodies are not designed for the 3-times-a-day eating schedule we’ve adopted. They work round the clock, and need energy all the time. Rather than eating all your calories in three sittings, spread them out over 5 or 6. The trick is to eat smaller meals – not add more food. You’ll keep your digestive system busy, and your body at full energy for longer.