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Bust Your Sugar Habit

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According to many experts, eating less sugar can improve your energy level during the day, will help you lose weight and can even help you to crave healthier foods. Why not give it a try?

Small Steps to Reduce Sugar
Weight Loss Spotlight10

Belviq: Can It Really Help You Lose Weight?

Tuesday April 22, 2014

diet pillsTelevision viewers are finally starting to see ads for Belviq, a weight loss medication that was approved by the FDA in 2012.  It was one of two medications  approved that year to help patients slim down.  Qsymia, the other weight loss medication has been available to consumers for some time. But now people who watch shows on Lifetime, Oxygen and a few other channels are starting to learn about Belviq.

Should I Consider Belviq to Lose Weight?

The most important thing you need to know about Belviq is that it is available by prescription only.  Patients with a BMI of 30 or over or those with a BMI of 27 and who also have a weight-related condition can talk to their doctors about taking the diet medication.  But just because you can take the pill, doesn't mean you should take the pill.

Belviq works in combination with a healthy diet and exercise program.  If you don't feel that you are ready to make changes to your lifestyle to slim down, the medication is not likely to make a big difference.  There is also the cost of the medication to consider and of course, side effects.

Consider All the Options and Talk to Your Doctor

Read more about Belviq, Qsymia and other diet medications before speaking to your doctor.  Then, along with your health care provider, evaluate all of your options for weight loss, including surgery, medications, behavioral therapy and lifestyle changes.

(photo source: morguefile)

Healthy Monday Tip: Skip Protein Supplements, Drink Milk

Monday April 21, 2014

milkProtein is the hottest thing in weight loss these days.  Protein supplements are flying off store shelves and protein-packed foods are in the grocery carts of dieters across the country.  But do you really need to spend extra money to get your daily dose of protein?  No, says David Pearson an exercise physiologist at Ball State University.  Just drink milk.

Benefits of Milk Over Supplements

Whether you are trying to lose fat, build muscle or attempting to doing both at the same time, milk provides benefits.  According to Pearson, it's a better alternative than pricey protein supplements even for men.

"Generally, very few of these products are backed by scientific studies to support their claims," he says. "While many people want to lose weight, some young men are looking to add size. Expensive weight gain and protein products have a high amount of carbohydrates that increase total calorie intake per day. This results in weight gain caused by the body converting excess carbohydrates to fat. In reality, you gain weight, but it's not the muscle you are wanting."

Eat Real Food, Say Experts

Pearson's advice is in line with the advice of many nutritionists, and even celebrities who have to lose and gain weight as part of their jobs.  I recently talked to stuntman Bobby Holland Hanton about how he slims down quickly when he needs to double an actor who is thin.  He told me that he doesn't like to use supplements to lose or gain weight.  He prefers real food.

If you're not sure how much protein you should consume each day, check the guidelines.  Remember that eating too much protein is not a good thing, especially for people who are trying to slim down.

(photo source: morguefile)

 


 

Tips to Avoid Wasted Fruit and Veggies

Friday April 18, 2014

fruitDid you see the recent news reports about the rising cost of fruits and vegetables? Ugh!  According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, fresh produce will be more expensive in the coming months because of the recent drought in California.  Author Eric Morath notes that tomato prices may increase by .45 cents  bringing the cost of a pound of tomatoes to $2.84.  So where does this leave those of us who eat fresh fruit and veggies as part of a weight loss or healthy eating routine?

Tips to Avoid Wasting Fruits and Vegetables

If healthy eating is a priority, you don't want to stop buying fresh produce. Frozen and canned foods are good alternatives, but you'll get more flavor and texture from the food in its original form.  If you can shop more often and buy less at each visit, you're more likely to keep waste to a minimum.  But that isn't possible for many busy dieters.  So here are a few ideas to use what you have, waste less, and benefit from the fiber and nutrients you find in fresh fruits and vegetables.

  • Eat produce at every meal. Even if you make a microwavable meal, you can chop up your extra tomatoes or mushrooms to add flavor, fiber and other nutrients - without adding calories!
  • Make omelets. I love eggs. They are full of leucine, an amino acid that helps you build muscle and maintain a healthy metabolism. I often use my week-old veggies in omelets or egg scrambles in the morning. They add bulk to my meal without adding fat or calories.  Watching your cholesterol?  Use egg whites or egg substitute.
  • Saute and freeze everything. I always keep chicken stock in my refrigerator.  If any veggies are going bad, I saute them in stock and freeze them in small containers.  Then I add them to meals as needed.
  • Pre-slice veggies for snacks. Get organized to lose weight and save money. Avoid the convenience packs of veggies - like carrots - and buy the less expensive bulk packs instead. Then take one day per week to slice and package the food into snack packs.  Put them in the door of the fridge or on a front shelf so you see them right away when you are hungry for a snack.
  • Freeze fresh fruit. Don't throw away fruit that is going bad! Peel it and freeze it. I make diet-friendly smoothies when I'm too busy to cook.  I also just got a Yonanas Banana Ice Cream Maker that will help me turn frozen fruit into soft serve ice cream.  YUM! (I haven't tried it yet, but look for my review in the coming weeks)

Got a tip to save money on produce?  Add a comment below tweet me or visit my Facebook page and let me know what it is.

(photo source: morguefile)

How to Talk Yourself Into a More Effective Workout

Thursday April 17, 2014

effective workoutThere are hundreds of gadgets on the market that will help make your workouts more effective. If you're trying to lose weight, this is key.  You not only have to burn enough calories to manage your daily caloric intake, but you also need to burn extra calories to create an energy deficit big enough to slim down.  The whole process can seem overwhelming.

Self Talk Increases Effectiveness, Says Study

So what's the best tool to help you achieve your goals at the gym?  Your own voice, says a new study.  In new research published in Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercisers scientists confirm for the first time that positive self talk can help you to work harder and work longer during exercise.

Techniques to Improve Your Workout

Many people are skeptical about the power of self-talk.  It seems wishy-washy and for some,  it's easier to rely on expensive tech gadgets that provide hard data. But why not give this technique a try?  It's free, it's easy and there are no risks if you include it in your workout. In addition, weight loss researchers have known for some time that the way you talk to yourself about your abilities has a measurable effect on your ability to reach your goals. 

Take a week and give it a try.  Connect with me on Facebook and tell me if it worked for you.

(photo source: Medioimages/Photodisc/Getty Images)

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