Sunday, January 12, 2014

Staying Healthy: Weight Loss Tips

Trying to lose weight? Here are some info and resources that can help.

- Take Vitamin D. Obesity has been linked by research to low levels of Vitamin D, which acts as a support for metabolism and insulin secretion. It also promotes healthy absorption of calcium and phosphorous and improves the communications of cells throughout your body. Vitamin D is different from other vitamins as it is the only one the human body can manufacture itself with the aid of exposure to sunlight. Sources other than supplements include milk and fish such as salmon or sardines.

- Replace refined sugars. More natural alternatives include honey, which helps your body digest fats more effectively. If possible, change from consuming white bread, white rice and white pasta to brown bread with grains, whole grain pastas and brown rice.

- Ensure you aren't potassium deficient. Potassium deficiency produces fatigue and muscle weakness, which can prevent you from burning the calories you need to start dropping the kgs. Potassium also has numerous other benefits to your body including brain function, bone health and maintaining healthy blood pressure.

Citrus fruits are an important source of potassium, as well as avocados, bananas, grains, salmon and chicken.

- Tracking the amount of calories consumed versus the amount burned is surprisingly fun and motivating. Aim to burn 500 more than your intake for the day to produce effective results. A great source of information on most foods and their calorie count is here, and a handy tool for calculating the amount you've burned is this calorie burn calculator. I've used both in the past and they definitely help. Weight loss for me just doesn't have enough numbers to it beyond the scale. Knowing for sure what you've taken in and what you've burned gives you a sense of progress and accomplishment even when you can't see the results visually straight away.

- Become an '80/20' eater. If you can make 80% of the foods you consume beneficial healthy foods and keep 20% reserved for the fun stuff you're craving, you can achieve a good balance which will promote weight loss if maintained.

- Sleep a lot. No, seriously. Sleep has a massive impact on your body, weight loss, storing fat and your general weight maintenance. Do your best to get at least 8 hours a night.

Don't set that alarm too early. Good sleep is imperative for weight loss programs.

- Do your level best to snack on low calorie foods. Packets of chips and the like can be tempting, but even the small ones have 200+ calories. This is a cool and handy list of foods only have 40 calories or less. Try some of them out.

Other Entries in the Staying Healthy Series:

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