8 Reasons Why Size Matters: When Smaller is King
Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Jeremy over at SalutaryBlog.com. He recently started SalutaryBlog to help inform readers about health and fitness.
So often people try new fad diets but cannot (and should not) continue to follow the guidelines of these diets. Atkin’s, South Beach, The Chocolate Diet — you name it and it probably exists. Anyway, there is no reason for you to go on a “diet” – Yes, whatever you consume throughout the day is part of your “diet”, but work on creating a balanced diet and you will create for yourself a lifetime of proper nutrition and good health.
The problem with fad diets, is that people need to make complete lifestyle changes to adhere to the terms of whichever diet they have chosen. If you have a family you need to eat specialized meals or buy completely different food than the rest of the people eating with you. It can become extremely burdensome. Here is a number of ways to make small changes throughout your day that will make a big difference in the long run. Of course some amount of self control is still needed, but much less than if you were to get on a stupid fad diet. After all, do you want to be healthy or not?
Breakfast – If you do not already eat breakfast, the addition of breakfast can make a huge, healthier change for you. I wrote about the importance of breakfast, calcium, and fiber, but I will briefly explain them here as well.
Not enough time for breakfast? Wake up 15 minutes earlier and you have just begun your journey to lose an additional 12 pounds in the next year.
Don’t like breakfast foods? Don’t be turned away because you don’t like cereal or because you don’t like milk. Have a couple pieces of whole wheat toast with low fat butter or peanut butter, a glass of juice (orange, apple, pineapple), and a banana.
Portion size – Instead of 2 sandwiches, eat only 1. Instead of bringing a bag of chips to watch TV, bring a bowl with a handful of chips.
Frequency – Eat less, more often. This is similar to portion size, but linking them together has a huge impact. Instead of eating 2 sandwiches, and then 2 hours later eating something else, simply eat 1 sandwich, and then 1-2 hours later eat another sandwich. When you eat a lot and then don’t eat for awhile, your body goes into conservation mode. It doesn’t know when it will get energy again, so it stores it just in case it won’t for awhile. If you train your body to understand that you are providing it constant energy, it will work with you and become a constant calorie burning machine.
Water – Water is one of the most important factors. DRINK WATER! Bring a regular size cup of water to your desk computer. When you finish, go fill it up again. Do this all day. You will be annoyed by peeing every 13 seconds, but your body will thank you. Drinking cold water helps weight loss as your body works harder to bring the cold water up to your body’s temperature. Drink water when you are really hungry, and then eat. You will eat less. Creating a deficit in your eating vs. what you burn = weight loss! Drink water or skim milk instead of pop or 2% milk. Small change… Big results!
Fiber – Fiber is great at filling you up. You eat less food but feel full quicker. Whole wheat bread, vegetables, healthy cereals (raisin bran, cheerios, etc), fruits, beans, wheat pasta are all great examples.
Sugar – Sugar intake releases insulin which promotes the storage of fat (not good). Candy and pop are completely “sugarified” and un-needed. Mild portions if you are craving it, otherwise lay off!
Fat – Fat is needed, there is no doubt about that. But, there is fat in nearly everything we eat, and we do not need much extra. Therefore, instead of a turkey and cheese sandwich, eat just a turkey sandwich instead (use mustard and/or pickles as mustard has 0 calories).
Sleep – Sleep more. When you don’t get enough sleep, it drives leptin levels down, which means you don’t feel as satisfied after you eat. Lack of sleep also causes ghrelin levels to rise, which means your appetite is stimulated, so you want more food.
Remember, attempting to implement all of these changes at once will be extremely difficult. Best results are shown when people work really hard at changing 1 or 2 things per week. If you can concentrate really hard on decreasing sugar and doing that alone, you are much more likely to be successful in making these small, yet very effective changes in your lifestyle.