5 Foods to Increase Weight Loss

foods to increase weight loss

As we’ve discussed many times on this blog, there are no quick, easy ways to reduce weight at will, on the spot. It takes an attitude, and a plan, to convincingly reduce weight and improve health over the long haul. Today, however, we’re going to look at five foods to increase weight loss and keep you on the straight and narrow in your quest.

1. Water
I know we said foods but to me, water is a food. The body needs it to survive and it is a great way to aid in dieting provided it is used properly. It can take the place of sugary drinks, milk, and caffeine-laden beverages that can lead to heart problems. However, it must be consumed in reasonable quantities. It is not a case of the more water you drink, the more weight you lose. There is a tipping point and you need to know it. It is 8 glasses per day (64 fluid ounces).

2. Avocados
The super food that looks like a pear but is a dieter’s dream. High in fiber and protein, avocados contain large amounts of oleic acid which acts as a hunger suppressant. They have been shown to help lower blood cholesterol levels too.

3. Wine
Nope. Haven’t lost my mind, not yet anyway, but it’s true. A glass of wine a day increases calorie burn for about 90 minutes and the substance, Resveratol, contained in grapes, prevents the body from storing fat. Dieting wasn’t so bad after all now was it.

4. Black beans
Hugely beneficial because of protein value and fiber, black beans have been shown quantitatively to reduce weight when consumed as a supplement to normal dietary created meals. Black beans have no saturated fats as does red meat and can be used as a protein substitute.

5. Salmon
Salmon is a lean source of protein without the unsavory addition of monounsaturated fats that can be so harmful to the human body. Any kind of fish also contains omega amino acids that act as oxidants to protect and strengthen cells against cancerous degradation.

Of course we could sit here all night long with a laundry list of foods to increase weight loss but the key here is to generate some awareness of how you can quicken the process of weight loss not only by reducing food intake but also by changing the types of food that are on your diet plan.

In that way, you can achieve your targets, faster, and hopefully, with a bit more of a smile on your face!

Red Meat:10 Things We Should Know

The argument and discussion surrounding the consumption of red meat and its place in our diet plan becomes more difficult to understand by the day. From causing cancer and heart disease to building DNA and providing valuable iron and zinc, the pro’s and cons are many, but one thing is clear. Red meat is a valuable food source that can be incorporated into any weight loss plan.

Many studies have been undertaken that explain the dangers of red meat consumption and just as many that show the complete reverse. Here are 10 things that we should know about red meat and its properties as a food category.

1. High in protein
Few sources of protein provide the same concentration of benefit as red meat. For instance, there is about 21g of protein in a 100g portion of beef depending on the type of cut. Obviously, fattier meats contain less protein. Generally, look for loin cuts which have less fat.

2. Can cause cancer
Cases of bowel cancer have been shown to increase as the amount of red meat eaten in any given week increases. There are also cancer causing chemicals that are produced when beef is cooked over an open flame. Meat that is well-done contains more of these substances than say medium-rare cooked meat.

3. It is a great source of iron
Generally, teenage girls and women suffer from iron deficiencies and red meat maintains a healthy level of iron and zinc in the body to avoid health issues with anaemia and the like

4. When not cooked properly, can cause sickness
This is pretty much common-sense but needs to be mentioned anyway. Meat that is not cooked to a minimum of 145 degrees has the ability to cause sickness from food borne bacteria.

5. Pork is considered a red meat
Sometimes pork is referred to as “the other white meat” for advertising purposes but strictly speaking, it is a red meat due to having a higher concentration of myoglobin than either chicken or fish.

6. Red meat does increase LDL cholesterol
For people who are struggling with high blood cholesterol, particularly “bad” cholesterol such a the LDL variety, red meat has to be rationed or possibly eliminated altogether as it is an enabler for those problems

7. Chicken and fish are “better” sources of protein
For me personally, I choose to eat more chicken and fish than red meat, unless I choose to eat out for dinner at night. They are leaner, lower in saturated fats, and less damaging as a cholesterol source. They also offer a high protein value.

8. Our ancient ancestors did not eat more red meat
Initial studies have shown that possibly our ancient ancestors ate less red meat rather than more as they found the consumption of vegetables, and fish to be less dangerous to hunt for. They were also more sensible than their modern day relatives.

9. Grass-fed meat is less toxic than grain-fed
Grass fed beef has a higher beta-carotene content, is higher in Vitamin B and E, and carries less saturated fats.

10. Eliminate processed red meat ALTOGETHER
Meat sources such as ground beef, and meat that is pre-cooked in packages should be eliminated from any diet, weight loss orientated or not. The additives that are contained in these products are damaging and unhealthy. Particularly, ground beef contains a high level of saturated fats.

Red meat will continue to generate hours and hours of emotive debate about its benefits and detriment, but the bottom line is that if we discontinue the Whopper with Cheese visits, and restrict our consumption to the 6 ounce maximum daily intake, red meat can be a  healthy component of any daily meal regimen without causing unnecessary health risks.

The Cheat Day: The Science of Dieting

Cheat Day

Science has become more a part of our lives more than ever today and in the world of weight loss, it forms a big chunk of how we design our eating and exercise schedules. One innovation that has helped many people maintain their dieting focus is the Cheat Day.

Whenever we decide to enter any kind of dieting program that reduces or changes the intake of food into the body, we used to believe that our metabolism maintained the balance to our bodily functions to allow us to live our lives without feeling the hurt too much. The fact is that our metabolism is not this huge battleship ploughing through the waters of your daily health without regard for what we choose to tax it with, but more of a daily operating machine that changes radically to any kind of small variation to, in particular, food intake.

Typically, diets in the past have focused on reducing calorie intake and increasing exercise to burn fat and sugars which in turn reduces weight. When that happens, the body adjusts how it performs those functions based on those changes in food intake in order to conserve the body’s energy. It reduces production of the hormone leptin which we call the “Hunger Hormone”, which tells the body to hold onto fat. The Cheat Day is a way to “fool” the body into thinking that it was wrong to determine that we are starving it of food and that it should continue to burn calories and fat at the usual rate. It is a neat trick and an important addition to your dieting schedule.

Practically, the Cheat Day means that you sprinkle in a day, about one in seven, where you throw out all of the dieting restrictions you’ve imposed on yourself and eat normally. Now I know what everyone is thinking. We’re rubbing our hands in glee at the thought of stampeding to the ice cream, beer and Burger King Whoppers in the attempt to gorge for the 24 hour parole period. That is not what I’m saying. The key here is to just return to how you ate before you took on the weight loss program. If that involved a burger for lunch, fine. If you choose to use the Cheat Day as an opportunity to go out for dinner with the family, that is OK too. The point is that we want the body to have to process normal food intake to ensure that it does not make the change to your metabolism that reduces calorie and fat burn.

What is interesting about the Cheat Day concept, and was certainly the case when I first used the idea, is that your desire to eat large amounts, will have for the most part disappeared, hopefully. Importantly however, is what the Cheat Day provides to the struggling dieter. We all have those dark days when we want to toss in the towel and give up the weight loss plan when the food cravings begin to overwhelm you. This principle is a way to motivate yourself so that you have a “special” day to look forward to where those inner demons can be quelled and sedated until the next crisis.

Trust me and implement the Cheat Day into your weight loss program. It does work.

6 Things You Can Do to Organize Your Weight Loss Program Now

We’ve talked many times on this blog about weight loss becoming a state of mind rather than just deciding not to eat certain types of foods and to exercise more. Like anything else, if you don’t set a routine, your best intentions will dribble away slowly. Here are 10 ideas that will allow you to organize your weight loss program. (I always recommend you work a program like Weight Watchers as well)

1. Be sure to set an exercise schedule
Your exercise routine should be like a work task. It should be organized to be completed in the most efficient manner, producing the best results for the least amount of time spent. What this means is set a routine. Determine what time of day you will exercise. If you are disciplined, it will become second nature before too long. That is what we want.

2. Eat SOMETHING for breakfast
Many of us forget or just wake up too late to eat anything before we go to work. While we’re not advocating sitting down to a full meal of eggs, pancakes and the like, it’s very important to get something into your stomach in a morning. Try to drink a glass of orange juice with a granola bar. This will prevent those hunger pangs at about 10.30am that force a trip to the snack machine.

3. Pack a lunch
One of the worst routines that we all suffer from is the “where are you going for lunch today” syndrome. If you are to see quick weight loss results, you cannot eat out regularly at restaurants, especially at lunchtime. You must control your calorie intake and that can only be done by taking a lunch to work. It’s tough, but maybe what I would do is set maybe a Friday as your day for eating out with colleagues or friends. You’ll find its cheaper this way too.

4. Bring snacks for the afternoon
Along with foregoing restaurant lunches, we need to also pack a snack for the afternoon surge around 3.30pm. Stay away from the snack machine. The bag of $1 chips sitting in there will cost you a ton of unwanted calories and just cause more hunger pangs.

5. Cook in quantity
Planning your evening meals will also help keep you on the straight and narrow in your weight loss endeavors. Roasting a turkey at the weekend and then splitting it up through the week for evening meals with a salad, say, is an excellent way to restrict your calorie intake while at the same time making sure that you are getting sufficient nutrients to your body. Think ahead with all of your meals and you will be fine. Don’t let your stomach decide what’s for dinner tonight.

6. Plan to drink water
In my last job, I was banished to a new satellite location that had just opened up in another town and all we had was a water faucet, and a coffee machine. As I don’t drink coffee during the day, I was sentenced to drink tap water for the whole of my work day. I can’t tell you how much weight I lost unintentionally and how much money I saved. Water, and lots of it, never did any of us any harm.

By no means are these reminders going to immediately trim inches off your waistline, but what this will do is organize your weight loss to make sure that you are focused on what is important and that is your body’s health. This will also help you become successful with your weight loss plan so that you are able to feel that much better about yourself in the long term.