Water is the cheapest of all weight loss solutions

It goes without saying that water is the most essential item that you can consume, when you trying to loose weight. That is, trying to loose fat. Water has got so many benefits to your general health and to your weight loss efforts that I cannot possibly list all its benefits.

Water increases your performances in every aspect of your life. You work well when you are well hydrated. You brain works efficiently when you are hydrated. Your strength and aerobic capacity also gets a boost when you are properly hydrated.

You may even think of water as a drug. Yes a drug, but a drug with no side effects, no expenses and most of all, it comes with no pain. Water increases your muscular development. Increases your metabolism and makes you loose fat at a quicker rate.

Drinking correct amount of water is essential in building up your physique and feeling good generally. The amount of water recommended is about 8 to 10 glasses of water, but that can and does vary. It depends on a lot of factors. So how much water you need has really got no ONE answer.

It all depends on you, your body, your activity level. A person who is a big and wide, would need more water than a person who is skinny and small.

A person who exercises more (an athlete) would definitely need a lot more water than a person who sits on his chair in front of a computer all day long. The amount of calories you burn does have an effect on the amount of water that your body needs.

You might as well be saying that, this is something every person on earth knows. Yes, it is no secret, but rather a well ignored fact. Everybody knows that we should drink water all day long but how many actually do it? Very few.

I have just given you some good reasons to keep yourself hydrated. Remember, 8 to 10 glasses of water is the bare minimum. If you live or work in hot and humid environments then you need more water. To be safe, your lower limit of water consumption should be 10 glasses of water.

You can drink above that limit as much as you want.

Sodium is a big NO NO!

Yesterday I was eating this soup that comes in a pack. Bought it from a superstore. It was the “Knowrs chicken garlic soup”. As you might know that I am on a strict diet now a days. Just trying to loose that last 10 pounds that I so desperately want to loose.

The diet was the reason I was trying this soup. I was really impressed by the amount of calories it had and the volumne it contained when I finally prepared it. I was having the soup for the past couple of weeks as my dinner. I ate nothing with it or after it.

To be honest, it did feel good, taste good and I was pretty confident that I finally got myself a food that I could eat at night and get satiated rather than picking up 3 or 4 late night snacks everyday.

As usual, I was preparing this LOW CALORIE AND HIGH NUTRITION soup. I use the word PREPARING but in fact all I had to do was put all the contents of the pack into a bowl, put some hot water, stir and add an egg into it to have my soup ready.

On a random thought, I thought I might as well look at the label which stated the nutrients that the soup contained (or at least what they are telling me it contains) and I noted that it contained sodium which amounted to 525 mg, in one serving and had 45 calories.

I was taking, on average, five servings (according to what the pack said) so that means I was taking about 220 calories in my dinner. That is quite  low and I was happy that such low amount of calories could fill me up so much.

It was not until,I read yesterday that the government has set the limit of sodium intake to around 1500-2000 mg a day. I thought I was pretty safe. That soup only had 525 mg per serving but that is exactly where I was wrong. The soup did contain 525 mg of sodium.

But that was for one serving. I was having 5. I went like, bonkers. I was thinking to myself, what had I done. Taking in so much sodium at one sitting. I was not even counting the sodium that I ate from other foods that I ate earlier in the day (breakfast and lunch) and this soup alone poured into me a grand total of 2500 mg of sodium per day.

I looked up the harmful affects of taking high amounts of sodium and guess what. Sodium is super bad in amounts greater than what is recommended my most cardiologists and government people.

Over dosage of sodium damages your body’s ability to loose weight. There is more water retention in your body as a result of having more salt in your body which gives your high blood pressure and can lead to heart attacks.

This is why I keep on stressing on the fact that these so called BIG BRANDS do fool you with their low calories stuff. Almost everything I found to be labelled low calorie had more sodium in it. I have not studied the connection between low calories and sodium but you can bet I am willing to find out.

It may be that there isn’t any real connection at all, but I just want to find out, even if there isn’t any. Always, read the label carefully before you buy and more importantly eat these low calorie foods. Sodium is not good for your body (in amounts greater than recommended).

How to stay Motivated for weight loss

Many people know how to loose weight but what they do not know or do not want to know is how to get motivated to start loosing weight by following a weight loss solution. Even if these kind of people find a way to get motivated, it becomes really hard for them to stay motivated for long in order to loose weight and then keep that weight off.

So let me break it to you, the greatest secret to loosing weight is motivation.The more you get motivate yourself, the more chance you give yourself of succeeding in your weight loss goal.

If you have sufficient amount (yes amount) of motivation then there is literally nothing that can stop you from loosing weight and keeping that weight off. If you have sufficient motivation then you do not need to follow a strict diet controlling the amount of proteins and carbohydrates that you eat throughout a day.

You would need any ridiculously difficult diets to follow, if you are motivated enough, you will automatically start to eat mindfully and a lot less than what you would have eaten had you been not motivated. So here are the weight loss tips on how to stay motivated for longer terms:

  1. Find out the reason of why you want to loose weight. Is it because you want to look good? Is it for health reasons, do you want to feel more energetic or you just want to be generally more healthy so that you can carry out your normal routines with ease. Is it because a special event is coming out? Finding out why you want to loose weight may be the most important step of all the steps when it comes to loosing weight. Try to find out exactly why you want to loose weight so that you can give your weight loss efforts a meaning. This would greatly help you stay on track if you go off track during your weight loss journey. Knowing why you want to loose weight is the key to staying motivated all the time.
  2. Find a partner. It is often easier to stay on track when you know that you have some competition. A partner can help you stay on track by reminding you of the foods and the plan that you are supposed to eat and follow respectively. Having a partner can also boost your enthusiasm for exercise. A partner can push you WHILE you exercise so that you can get the maximum benefit out of each and every workout that you do. A partner can make your that you do not slack off during exercise.
  3. Join a event or something. It is often difficult to stay motivated by purely imagining stuff. If you join a competition then you would know that you must stay in shape in order to perform well. That will further motivate you to exercise daily and keep you diet in check. You will eat healthier foods when your mind knows that you have to perform at a competition.
  4. Set yourself goals. Long term goals and short term goals. Long term goals can be the ultimate amount of weight you want to loose. You can set the time period and the things you are willing to do in order to achieve that goal. Short term goals can be weekly goals. Short terms goals are a great way to help you stay motivated as it is a useful tool to help you chart and measure your progress. Using short terms goals, you can alter your diet and exercise plans in order to achieve your long terms goals. You would feel a sense of accomplishment on reaching each one of your short term goals. A lot of people do not have enough patience to keep working hard without any reward if they do not have a short term goal and focus only on long term goals. By having short term goals, you can avoid get demotivated.
  5. Do not get fooled by the all or nothing attitude. Even if you miss out on a workout on a particular day, get as much exercise as you possibly can. Even a few push ups would do. It is not necessary that you workout 20 or 30 minutes every single day. If you do not have that much time on a particular day or are pressed up hard for time because of your commitments and miss out on a workout. Do not get demotivated, this is part of the journey. You miss some workouts and you make up for those on a day in which you feel good about yourself. Remember, every exercise you do, even as little as doing a single lunge helps you move forward in your ultimate goal of loosing weight and keeping it off for the rest of your life.

Getting motivated and staying motivated is the key to loosing weight. It is the mother of all weight loss solutions. No amount of weight loss solutions can help you better than this single weight loss solution.

Taking it day by day(not getting distracted by what bad you did the day before or at present) along with keeping a sight of your long term goal is the another key to maintaining the habits that will help you to loose weight.

10 Simple Foods to keep you full for longer

Obviously any food can make you feel full for some time. A Large Pizza or even a Mcdonald’s King Burger (If there is one) can fill you up real good and you do feel satisfied (more like guilty) after eating it.

But what happens after an hour or two. You start feeling hungry and you want to eat something else and something more. That something more, more often then not is a unhealthy piece of food. Very rarely have I seen people wanting to eat something like a apricot when they feel hungry.

Usually when you feel hungry you try to eat some calorie laden, extra fat (or extra cheese, it is the same) stuff that makes you, well, fat. So there I some foods that I recommend to other as a weight loss solution.

Yes, weight loss solutions. If you can just substitute all the junk food you eat (meaning from restaurants and places) with these foods, I can guarantee you that you will loose weight. If you can make these foods as a part of your diet for the rest of your life then you will have a healthy weight for the rest of your life.

It is as simple as that. I know, people generally believe that a calorie is a calorie and the only way to loose weight is to eat less of them. While, that is true but not entirely. A calorie is a calorie but the calories you get from whole grain is much better than a calorie you get from French fries.

Here is the list of ten foods that you should incorporate in your diet. Starting from today.

  1. Apple. Great food. Eat 3 or 4 a day and this will certainly make you feel full as it has got a lot of fiber.
  2. Lean meat
  3. Salmon
  4. Low fat yogurt
  5. Carrots
  6. Oatmeal. Eat it plain
  7. Cucumbers. Great stuff if you want some crunch. Makes you feel satisfied after biting so much.
  8. Green leafy vegetabls. Like Spinach.
  9. Some people feel full when they drink tea. But it is somewhat addictive.
  10. Almond and Walnuts. Make sure they are unsalted.

Add these foods to your daily intake and you won’t have to worry about waistline so much.

What is Bingeing?

I think I have dealt with the issue of bingeing before, but lets just give it some more detail. So what is bingeing? Bingeing is a eating disorder even if you do not throw your food out afterwards.

People who binge have many excuses for it and sometimes have solutions for eat after they have had their binge. Something like, “I will exercise more after I binge” which is completely unreasonable as the amount of calories that you are expected to eat while bingeing far exceeds the amount of calories you will burn while exercising. There is no match.

But this is something that most people know so what do they do after they have binged? They do nothing. They just sit, thinking that all is lost and now no amount of exercise or diet will help them so they might as well eat some more and lie of the couch and watch some TV.

Some people binge after they have lost the amount of the weight they wanted to loose. For example, you work hard for 3 months and loose 10 kgs. You get excited and start to eat whatever you want for weeks after (Just like Opera) thus gaining massive amounts of weight.

Ofcourse there are remedies for this and the easiest of them all to put into practice is the art of self talk. Yes, it is no joke and certainly not a crutch. It is an extremely helpful (actually a success tool) tool which can restrain you from bingeing.

Even world class athletes and many scientists use self talk to give themselves that extra boost of energy and motivation to achieve something big, in your case, that something big is loosing weight and then keeping it off.

One thing before I mention some interesting self talk that people have with themselves just before they are about to go on a binge. Stop blaming your genes or your metabolism for your failure to loose weight. You need to reject this stupid notion.

Start doubting yourself about everything you eat and everything someones else tells you to eat. Make your own judgement by listening to your body, the signals it gives you after eating certain kinds of food.

Have this goal of eating sensibly. You should be able to talk yourself down from the ledge of bingeing. Ok, so the four most common and yet stupid statements which people use as an excuse to binge are:

  • “This food is so delicious, I think I deserve to eat it in any amount I want”. You can eat your favorite food but now in any amount you want. Infact, you cannot or should not eat any food in any amount you want. It should be in small portions. The best tool to weight loss is also portion size control but most people have a hard time dealing with it.
  • “I have lost two pounds, now I can celebrate with some good old food”. No. If you have lost pounds then that is that. What you eat today affects you today and what you eat tomorrow affects you tomorrow. All you are doing by telling yourself this, is reversing the benefits you gained previously from controlling your diet. You just have to keep on going.
  • “My metabolism is fat, I can easily loose weight. I can start again tomorrow”. There is no tomorrow. You have got to start doing it right now and keep going.

It is a process of changing your thinking. Replacing your old thoughts with new ones. Start doing them from today.

Another easy weight loss solution

This is something cool I dug up today. I was reading this book and it starts of by telling the reader the easiest and yet the most important practice everyone should start doing if they want to loose weight and keep that weight off permanently.

That simple tip is to EAT YOUR FOOD MINDFULLY AND SLOWLY. Savor the moment. Know what you are eating. Try to imagine the health benefits that food would give you which would ultimately help you loose weight.

Actually, thinking about your food has two added benefits. One is that you would be more careful about the foods you choose to eat and second, there would be less chances of you over eating. Eating in front of a television is the worst thing you can do if you want to cut down your food intake.

Eat in a place where there are no distractions except the food. Enjoy your food. Eat it slowly. Taste it properly. Most of us do not even recognize this problem as we keep on hoarding food down our throats without giving it any thought.

Now to the science part. When you eat, the stomach gets the food you eat (Duhh!!) but there is a delay between the time you feel full and when you are actually full. That time delay is 20 minutes. It is the time when your brain gets the signal of being full.

If you eat too fast, you would get full but your brain would not have received any signals of satiety which would lead you to eat more. If you eat slowly and with calm then your stomach will get sufficient time to tell the brain exactly when it gets full so that you stop eating.

Eating slowly with calm will also help your body to absorb the nutrients in your food better. Sitting down and then eating slowly is a lot better than just grab the food and eat on the run. There is very little value to the food eaten that way.

5 Reasons to do cardio in the morning rather than in the evening

I am a little confused about using exercise as a weight loss tool now, though I did use it when I first lost my extra flab. Here are a few tips that you can use to make the most of your exercise:

  1. Assuming you are doing cardio exercise (aerobic exercise like jogging or even walking), doing it in the morning will increase your metabolic rate which means that you will burn more fat throughout the day without breaking a sweat.
  2. Exercising early in the morning makes sure that you do not blow out(miss) your exercise schedule because of your work or because your friends invited you to a happy hour at the pub.
  3. Doing cardio in the morning makes you feel good for the rest of the day, you will have more energy which will obviously help you carry out the rest of your tasks throughout the day.
  4. Doing cardio in the morning burns more fat as compared to doing the same amount of cardio with the same intensity in the evening. After you wake up, that is after a 8-12 hours of fast, your body does have have too much carbohydrates to give you energy from, when you exercise and thus it burns fat for energy.
  5. When you exercise without eating prior to the exercise, your body burns more fat because if you eat then first you have to burn off the energy taken from your food and only then will your body tap into your fat reserves for energy for you to benefit from.

There are many many other benefits of exercising early in the evening. No matter what the exercise (aerobic preferably) but always remember. Some exercise at any time of the day is better than having to exercise at all, so do not use this as an excuse to miss out on your cardio.

You can obviously do cardio in the evening as well, that is also extremely beneficial for your general health but if you want to boost your fat loss rate and give yourself tons of energy in the morning to really take on what lies ahead for you for the rest of the day then exercising in the morning is the way to go.

My Weekly Workout

Ok. I admit, I am really lousy head when it comes to doing exercise on a regular basis. I don’t know. I used to believe in exercise as a weight loss tool all my life till now.

I have read a couple of books on this and have asked some experts too. They say, that exercise burns so less calories and it alone cannot be depended on to loose weight. Exercise does burn calories no doubt but the amount of time it takes to burn of considerable amount of calories is just ridiculous. I have not calculated but it is for sure in hours.

Anything less than 20 minutes is useless. I am talking about cardio here, not weight lifting or playing tennis. Apparently, playing tennis also is not the ideal exercise to loose weight (or loose fat in other words) because it involves too much stop and start routines.

You know, you hit a shot, win a point and then walk up slowly to the other side of the court which gives you resting time in between more intense periods of actually playing the point.

Soccer is more suited to people who want to loose weight and loose fat through exercise as you constantly have to move throughout the 90 minutes.

Anyway, coming back to the benefits of exercise to loosing weight. One thing I think I should clear up is that apart from loosing weight, exercise is a superb tool to maintain your weight, your general well being. It helps you to stay alert for longer periods of time, you feel more energetic throughout the day and your joints stay in good shape. You stay in good shape.

The conclusion I arrived to after some sessions (rather long sessions) of reading was that to loose weight you have got to control your food intake. Your body burns about 2000 calories a day and if you do not consume anywhere close to that, you will make quite a deficit in your calorie intake and calorie burnt accounts which ultimately will lead you to loose weight.

One author wrote that to stay thin you have got to eat less but to stay in shape you have got to exercise. Now having this mindset now (knowing that I am not using exercise as a tool to loose weight), my weekly workout (I call it a workout, basically it is nothing but a bunch of random activities) is as follows:

Monday: Nothing

Tuesday: 30 minutes soccer

Wednesday: Weight training with dumbells (I do just the biceps, triceps and some calf exercises)

Thursday: Lunges (with dumbbells in both hands)

Friday: 30 minutes soccer

Saturday: 30 minutes soccer

Sunday: 30 minutes cardio (little jogging. Generally I do not get my heart beat rate above 150)

You might notice that I never do two things on the same day. Though most experts recommend to do weights and then cardio each day for 3 or 4 days a week. I have just lost some faith in that.

Obviously, I will keep on reading more about this. There is a lot of confusion about how to loose weight and stay in shape, out there. I will be posting as soon as I get a grip on something new and interesting.

For now, just know the same old formula I told you in my first post. Eat less. Exercise more. Though I am now, not so sure about the exercise more part when it comes to loosing weight. Obviously, you should exercise if you want to have  a reasonably good shape.

What is food?

Source: PetitPlat by Sks from Flickr

Food is addictive. Just like nicotine and Alcohol but unlike alcohol or nicotine, it is essential. We need food to survive. However, as we all know, excess of anything is bad, therefore excess of food is bad. Really bad. So bad, most of the population is always trying to fight over eating all its life.

Most people do not understand the addictive properties of food and hence concentrate on the traditional diets and stuff. I have met very few people who do not know what to eat when you want to loose weight and keep it off. Everyone of us knows to eat fruits, vegetables and lean meats.

To stay away from fried foods and in general all fast foods. We all know what. What most people do not know is that WHY we need to eat. When you understand this simple question, only then will you be able to survive your diet and have a successful weight loss solution at your hand.

Since the time we are born to the time we die. Think about the associations you have with food. Throughout our lives, whenever we feel sad or bored, we search for food.

When we eat it, we feel stuffed and good. Whenever parents go out, you are more than happy to see them back if they bring something for you to eat.

Whenever you meet a relative on an occasion, food is something that is always part of the preceding. Food is more closely related to our lives then we think. It is not just something that we put in our mouth and then move on with our routines.

Every major event or celebrations involves food. Birthday’s involve food, weddings involve food and whenever you get high grades in school, your parents involve food by throwing in one of those parties. In fact, now a days even funerals are not complete with food.

And did I miss the ones on Graduations and millions of more events. Everything, has food in it. Imagine a birthday party with no food. Wouldn’t you feel sad?

This is exactly the reason why most people fail their diet. When they are told that they are going to have to give up something which has given them happiness, has been a part of their happiness everywhere all their lives. Whenever doctors tell you to give up unhealthy food and exercise more, we all think that is a nice idea.

Who does not want to loose weight and keep fit. But there is an inner voice as well. That tells us that while this sounds great, exercise and eat healthy but it ain’t gonna happen as it requires too much sacrifice and control. For most people, when they go on a diet, this is the starting point of their road to failure.

Food commands so much respect in so many different scenarios,from us in our lives that we start thinking, party time means food time. In fact, another interesting thing you might notice in a lot of people is that, they seek for their favorite or forbidden food when trying to escape from their stressful daily lives.

So it is super important that you understand the importance of food in your life and treat it accordingly. Change this idea that food is for your happiness and escape from your sorrows. Change the idea that party time means food time.

On the contrary, many athletes I have read about take exercise as an escape from all the days stresses that they have to deal with. Many marathon runners admit the fact that running sets them free and they actually feel good after their work.

With this in mind. Think of food as something you need to survive not as something you necessarily need to enjoy.

3 Not so obvious signs of over training.

We have talked a lot about how you MUST train in order to loose weight and then keep that weight off. Diet is also another way to loose weight but lets just stick to exercise for the purpose of this post.

So how do you know if you have over trained yourself in your quest to loose weight. There are 3 signs:

  1. You loose your enthusiasm for your exercise and your workout routine. You don’t feel like exercising. Infact, you just start thinking that exercise is having no affect on your weight loss efforts at all, instead all its doing is making you eat more and put on more pounds (which we all know is false).
  2. You wake up in the morning after considerable amount of sleep and still feel tired and lethargic. Don’t feel like doing anything and just live a lazy day, sitting around watching TV. If this happens there is a very good chance that you have over trained yourself.
  3. You get mood swings. You start noticing people even more. People start telling you that you are starting to behave differently.

These are the not so obvious signs that you can start to observe in yourself if you think you have overtrained.

There are obvious signs as well, such as working out every body part every day for the whole week. Or eating nothing the whole day, trying to live on water.

Remember, no matter how strong you are or how long you have been training for. Your body needs to recover from the workouts you do. You cannot just keep on going lifting weights until you drop dead. You have to strike the balance.

Balance that allows your body to train well and rest well do. Muscles grow while resting not while lifting, though if you don’t lift, you muscles don’t grow. It is as simple as that.

Same is the case with cardio exercise. If you are having difficulty in running or jogging for the first 5 minutes or are starting to get blurry vision then stop and review your workout schedule. It may too much things on it which your body obviously cannot handle.

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