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|Health & Fitness: 10 tips to stay fit for life|
|Written by Tristan Skye|
|Friday, 21 January 2011 00:00|
1. Big Brother is watching. A food journal is the best way to keep track of your diet. It can also play the role of an accountability partner. At www.calorieking.com you can search food items to help you track down your daily intake. Many smartphones have applications to help you keep track of calories, fat grams, carbs and more. One of these free apps is called “Lose It!” Another fun app is “Foodpics Log” which uses your smartphone’s camera to capture what you really eat. You can even find a group in your area that will help support you like the Weight Watchers group at the Atlanta Lesbian Health Initiative.
2. Cheat to beat defeat. Allow yourself one cheat meal per week. This does not suggest an entire day of McDelight, but make sure you reward yourself to one meal per week that consists of foods that you are not allowed in your new diet plan.
3. Drop the Yo-Yo. Think of it as a “lifestyle change” not a diet. It’s easy to fall prey to “yo-yo dieting” with all of the diet trends and fads out there. Most of them you cannot do long-term; some even have risk-factors. Make sure to find a new style of eating that is healthy for the rest of your life.
3. Get Physical. Be active. Not everyone has the finances to join a gym or hire a personal trainer, but you have to make time. For a minimum of 30 minutes 3 days per week, schedule to be active. This could include jogging, yoga, pilates, rock climbing, kickboxing, riding your bike, Wii Fit, walking your dog or anything that helps get your heart pumping. Download the app for MapMyFitness.com or RunKeeper.com which uses your phone’s GPS and calculates how many calories you burned.
4. Just Breathe. Stress releases a steroid hormone called cortisol, produced by the adrenal gland. Cortisol is the nasty thing that invites Mr. Jiggles to move in to your mid-section. Meditation is an easy way to relax. Other ways include doing things you enjoy that are therapeutic; like art, writing, reading a book or listening to music. Oh, hate to break this to you, but playing on the internet is not a stress reliever.
5. You snooze, you lose. Get adequate sleep every night. This is for minimum of six hours. Sleeping allows your body to recover so you feel refreshed enough to tackle the next day. Too much sleep counteracts this philosophy, so try to keep your snooze at a maximum of eight hours.
6. Do not play Scale Wars. Do not weigh yourself every day. Watching the numbers on the scale can sometimes make you feel like all efforts are lost. Even with dieting, our bodies can hold excess water on certain days, which make us feel bloated and will reflect on the scale. Another thing to keep in mind, the more muscle you develop can actually increase your weight since muscle weighs more than fat. I suggest doing body measurements and you will notice your weight loss by how your clothes fit. Try not to step on the scale more than once per week and do it first thing in the morning. Preferably, without wearing clothes or shoes.
7. Say goodbye to sugar high. Sugar is proven to be addictive. Your body will start to crave everything from ice cream to peanut butter cups. Choose natural sugar alternatives instead, like stevia, raw honey or agave nectar.
8. Recycle. Donate your clothes, once they outgrow you. Reward yourself with new clothes. A bargain way to do this is to shop at your neighborhood thrift store.
9. Mirror, mirror on the wall. Last but not least, look in the mirror every day and tell yourself one positive thing about yourself. Even if you don’t believe it, speak it into existence.
BONUS TIP: The Hangover (aka: beer belly). One way to add liquid calories and carbs faster than a speeding bullet is by indulging in alcohol. If you choose to booze, remember that you are safer with clear liquors and low carb, low calorie beer. Beware of sugary mixers!
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