Healthy Foods to Lose Weight

The perfect diet is one in which you can eat more, and still lose weight. And you can with healthy, low calorie density foods.  So instead of spending hundreds of dollars on special weight loss foods and processed foods, stock your pantry with an arsenal of wholesome choices to win the war against the bulge.

Healthy foods to lose weight include a balanced diet of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low fat dairy products, poultry and fish which contain loads of fiber, protein and nutrients.  They also boast a lower energy density compared to other foods. Energy density, also called calorie density is the number of calories in a portion (ounce or gram) of food.  What this breaks down to is– low calorie density foods provide fewer calories in a larger portion. Based on an abundance of research, health professionals agree that the smart choice is low calorie dense, healthy foods to lose weight.

Fruits and Vegetables Cut Calories

Most fruits and vegetables contain an extremely low energy density making them the superstar in calorie cutting.    For example, carrots have a caloric density of 0.44, which means 0.44 calories in a gram.  In contrast, crackers have 4.46 calories per gram.  It may not sound like a lot, but 1 cup or 128 grams of carrots are 52 calories verses 1 cup or 70 grams of crackers at 300 calories.

While low in calories, fruits and vegetables have a high fiber and water content satisfying you with a feeling of fullness, while controlling hunger.   Studies show that those who cut calorie density in their diets also drop the most weight.  And foods that are lower in calorie density typically contain more fiber, vitamins and minerals making them healthy foods to lose weight.

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Whole Grains Decrease Appetite

Whole grains contain lots of fiber to give you that full feeling and decrease your appetite. Although whole grains have a higher calorie density than vegetables, they’re still far better than their refined competitors. That’s because in white breads and pastas the fiber-dense bran and the nutrient-rich germ have been removed, leaving only the starchy, sugary endosperm.    And even though reduced calorie white bread may be lower in calories it’s stripped of fiber, which will leave you feeling hungry and wanting to eat more.

Protein Spends Energy

Healthy foods to lose weight include proteins.  In general proteins are high energy density foods, because they contain fat, especially red meat.   However, to fulfill the protein requirements in your diet chose fish, white-meat poultry, legumes and fat free or low fat dairy products.  These are the best low calorie density food options that are high in protein, but lower in fat.  In addition, the key is to cook these foods with little or no oil. The goods news it that proteins are the perfect fill me up food, because it has a slow and steady effect on blood sugar.  And the body spends more energy to digest protein then carbohydrates and fats.  Healthy foods to lose weight include low fat proteins, which are needed to preserve muscle while you’re burning fat.

These are the ideal healthy foods to lose weight! In addition to the health benefits, if you eat foods with a  low calorie density, you can fill your plate with more food while taking in fewer calories.

Exercise to Lose Thigh Fat

If you want to lose thigh fat, it helps to understand both the good and the ugly truths that surround it.  As you probably noticed women have a little more cushion around the hips and thighs than men, and that’s for a good reason.  The female hormone estrogen directs fat storage to the hips, buttocks and thighs, which acts as reserve energy for the demands of child bearing and rearing.

Unfortunately it’s the first place most women gain weight and the last place to lose it. But this will make you feel better again–You can do something about it with a combination of exercise to lose thigh fat.

In order to gain the most benefit, design a routine that includes both cardiovascular (aerobic) exercise and strength training (anaerobic).  The aerobic work, such as swimming, jogging or inline skating, boosts your metabolism and burns fat from the thighs, while strengthening exercises supersedes fat with muscle for lean and tone thighs.

Power Up Aerobic Exercise to Lose Thigh Fat

Aerobic exercise consists of low intensity activities for a long duration, like riding a bike.  In regard to the thighs, if you put some passion in your ride with high intensity intervals, you’ll get more bang for your buck.  Researchers at the School of Medical Sciences at UNSW found eight seconds of sprinting on a bike, followed by 12 seconds of light cycling for a 20 minute period results in 3 times the fat lose compared to steady light cycling. And most of the fat comes off the legs and buttocks.

Inline skating is another great aerobic exercise to lose thigh fat and best of all, it’s fun fat blasting.  Grab your skates and head to a park with steep hills to put some power in your roll.  If you want to lose more weight and shape your thighs in less time, pepper your aerobic exercises with high intensity intervals.

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Super Strength Training Exercise to Lose Thigh Fat

To reshape your thighs, try these effective anaerobic exercises a few times per week.

Squats–These are simple to do at home or work without any fancy equipment.  A favorite is the chair squat which can be done with or without a chair.  Stand straight with your feet hip-width apart (in front of a chair if you’d like) and tighten your tummy.  Gradually bend your knees and slowly lower your body keeping your back straight.  Move the hips back as if you are going to sit in a chair. Try to maintain your weight directly over your feet, keeping heels on the floor. Stop about an inch from the chair and hold for a couple of seconds, then slowly return to a standing position.  And by spreading your feet slightly wider when doing squats, you will use more of your inner thigh muscles.

Another great exercise to lose thigh fat focuses on the inner thigh muscles, which get feeble because they don’t get a lot of use.  You can tone them by working all the muscles in that general area with the Pillow/Ball Squeeze.
Pillow/Ball Squeeze–While sitting in a chair, place your feet on the floor with your knees bent 90 degrees. Place a pillow or soft exercise ball between your thighs. Exhale as you squeeze the pillow/ball between your thighs, as if you were trying to squeeze the air out of it. Hold for 1 minute as you breathe normally. Rest 30 seconds to 1 minute and repeat.  Gradually work up to 1-3 sets of 12-16 repetitions of this targeted exercise to lose thigh fat.

Exercises for Belly Fat

Even if you don’t go on a diet, the benefits of exercise in fighting belly fat are clear and evident.   Studies show that visceral fat cells, which lie deep in the abdomen, respond well to a variety of physical activity. And even in modest amounts, exercises for belly fat reduce the harmful effects of potent visceral fat.

Abdominal fat is characterized by a round apple shape with a widened waist that embodies our lower torso.  It consists of a layer of subcutaneous fat, the stuff you can grab, but hidden deep within is a bulk of dangerous visceral fat that nestle around the organs.  In contrast, those with a pear shape have a less threating layer of subcutaneous that pads the hips, buttocks and thighs.

However, for those with an apple shape, the good news is stomach fat is the first to go when we start exercising and begin losing weight.  And the best exercises for belly fat include a fun blend of aerobics to burn calories, strength training to increase lean muscle mass and targeted exercises to tighten tummy muscles.

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Aerobic Exercises for Belly Fat

Simply put, aerobic training burns fat, especially abdominal fat.  The first visible change you’ll notice after starting an aerobic routine is your tummy slimming down.    Running, jogging and even a brisk walk are simple, yet powerful ways to burn calories. And if you want to try a cheap trick, periodically squeezing or holding in your belly during your jaunt actually works out the deepest layer of abdominal muscles, the transversus abdominis.

Strength Training Exercises for Belly Fat

Strength or resistance training is known for its muscle building benefits.  Interestingly, researchers have also found that exercising with weights can help those who want to lose belly fat by decreasing both the surface subcutaneous fat and the deep visceral fat in the abdomen.  A University of Pennsylvania study reported that an hour of weight training twice a week reduced body fat by nearly 4% and helped to keep visceral fat off.

Spot Exercises for Belly Fat

Spot exercises are great for firming abdominal muscles to shape women with a slim silhouette or to help guys turn a beer belly into 6 pack abs.  The midsection muscles consist of the rectus abdominis that run down the front center and a set of internal and external obliques which lie to the sides.  Deepest in the belly area are the transversus abdominis muscles for breathing and compression of the internal organs.  To strengthen all these muscles and get the optimal benefit, it’s important to exert a mix of spot exercises.

Most important, scientific research shows that crunches top the chart in regards to exercises for belly fat.  In addition, bicycle maneuvers (crunches) come in at number one, working the rectus abdominis and obliques 250% better than traditional crunches.  Here’s how to do the bicycle maneuver:

Bicycle Maneuver— Lie on your back, flat on the floor with your hands beside your head.  Bring your knees up to about 45-degree angle and slowly go through a bicycle pedal motion.  Touch your left elbow to your right knee, then your right elbow to your left knee. Keep your breathing relaxed and even throughout the exercise.

And to work out your transversus abdominis, the muscles deep in your abdomen, try abdominal hollowing as recommended by Mayo Clinic.  Follow these exercises for belly fat:

Abdominal Hollowing—  Get down on all fours and let your belly hang down as you take a deep breath. Breathe out as you gently draw your bellybutton inward and upward toward your spine. Hold for 10 seconds, and then rest for 10 seconds. You should try to work up to 10 repetitions.  You can also do versions of this exercise when sitting at your desk or standing in line.

How to Lose a Belly

When it comes to belly fat, it’s not just about appearances–it’s what you don’t see that matters.   What lies underneath a bulging belly can threaten your health more than fat deposits in other areas of your body such as the hips, buttocks and thighs.  Unlike subcutaneous fat found behind the skin, belly fat contains visceral fat cells deep in the abdominal that surround internal organs.  That’s why it’s important to learn how to lose a belly.

Visceral fat cells aren’t fat blobs just hanging around, waiting to be burned up into energy.  Research shows that they are biologically active.  In excess, these cells produce hormones and other substances that may nearly double a person’s risk of death from a variety of illnesses including stroke, heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.  And you don’t have to be considerably overweight to be affected.

Carrying abdominal fat can be dangerous. So discover how to lose a belly through targeted tips aimed at trimming your tummy.

Swap Refined Grains for Whole Grains

Although there isn’t a secret food that zaps visceral fat cells, several studies show that substituting whole grains for refined grains, will help fight excess fat in the midsection. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that the consumption of whole grain reduces belly fat, while refined grain intake actually increases it.

Make the healthier choice by filling your diet with natural whole grains, which include brown rice, oatmeal, dark bread or bran, and whole grain pasta and breakfast cereal.  Another important tip on how to lose a belly–Many products on the market can be misleading, so be sure to read the package labels carefully to guarantee you’re getting 100% whole grain.

Manage Stress Levels

According to research, when stress levels are heightened and prolonged it can cause the adrenal glands to release excess cortisol, a “stress” hormone.  To meet the body’s demands under stressful conditions it mobilizes energy such as carbohydrates, proteins and fat from sources within the body.  When the energy is no longer needed, cortisol will then relocate it in the form of fat cell deposits deep in the abdomen.

Cortisol also aids in the growth of adipocytes or baby fat cells into mature fat cells. And when levels of cortisol are elevated, appetite and weight gain increases.  How to lose a belly includes coping with the stress in your life. To reduce stress, help decrease cortisol levels and prevent belly fat, practice relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation and visualization.

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Eat Smart Fats
Fats contain double the calories found in carbohydrates and proteins, so they shouldn’t be consumed in excess.  However, our bodies still need small amounts to function properly.  All fats have the same 9 calories per gram, but some are healthier than others.  And interestingly, research suggests some help to rid visceral fat.   For a tip on how to lose a belly–switch to smart fats.

Monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) such as olive and canola oils appear to assist people in weight loss without a change in their calorie intake and help reduce both visceral and subcutaneous fat.  You can also get MUFAs from avocados, nuts, seeds, olives and soybeans.  So swap healthy plant fats in place of saturated and trans fats.

Exercise for a Trim Tummy

Regular moderate exercise for 30 to 60 minutes per day works wonders to combat belly fat. When you increase your activity levels through aerobic and anaerobic exercise routines the first place that drops inches and pounds is in the abdominal area.  To see results quickly, one of the best tips on how to lose a belly is to start exercising.  And as you slim down, tighten the muscles under your tummy with specific workouts that target the abs.

How to Lose Calories

All of the unhealthy fad diets and weight loss schemes with promises of a quick fix create a lot of miscalculating by those trying to slim down.  Many people either don’t know or forgot the basics on how to lose calories successfully.  And it begins with doing the math.

The simple weight loss equation states a pound is equivalent to 3,500 calories.  If you want drop pounds then you have to create a calorie deficit by 1) reducing the calories you take in through your diet or 2) burn more calories than you take in through exercise or 3) a combination of both.   To lose a pound in a week, for example, you need to eliminate 500 calories a day.  When discussing how to lose calories, health professionals agree the best way to accomplish that is by both eating less and exercising more.

It may sound deceptively simple, but you’ll discover that it’s fairly easy to increase your activity level to burn an additional 250-500 calories, while eliminating another 250-500 calories a day with the food you eat.  Healthy weight loss should be gradual with a goal of no more than 2 pounds a week.  And studies show that by avoiding yo-yo dieting and slimming down steadily, there’s a much greater chance the weight will stay off.

How to Lose Calories through Diet

The best way to cut calories in your diet is by changing you food frame of mind and shifting to wholesome foods.  Start with a focus on eating for nutrition.  Avoid processed foods like refined white bread, which are stripped of nutrients, then packed with sugar and fats creating a lot of “empty” calories that add up fast.
Whole foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains contains loads of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.  And natural fiber helps to make you feel full without adding many calories, let alone useless calories. New dietary guidelines recommend filling half your plate fruits and vegetables.  Discover how to lose calories by simply replacing some starchy pasta with vegetables, which will easily cut out from 100-200 calories in a meal.
When an uncontrollable sugar craving does arise tame your sweet tooth with sweet-tempered substitutes.  Instead of a cup of chocolate ice cream packed with 300 calories, try an option that is less than 100 calories such as a  juice popsicle or a cup of frozen grapes.  Replacing high calorie foods with healthy, yet tasty alternatives is the smart way to lose weight.

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How to Lose Calories through Exercise

Burning calories involves more than just a diet—that‘s if you want to succeed.  But let’s face it, some of us find exercise routines boring, and even downright agonizing.  This is a major reason why many people stop losing weight.  The trick is to find workouts and activities that you enjoy doing, so it doesn’t feel like boot camp.

It could be participating in a sport such as a game of tennis or just riding your bike through town.  Swing dancing with friends burns about 225 calories in 45 minutes.  And did you know that steady walking, while window shopping in the mall costs about 225 calories in an hour and a half.  How to lose calories requires increasing your aerobic activity through fun and clever ways.

In addition, mix in a couple workout routines to tone up and add spice to your exercise program.  The point is to simply increase your activity levels the enjoyable way, because if you don’t like it you won’t do it.  Keep in mind that small steps every day result in large gains over time.  And not only will you melt the pounds away, you’ll look good and feel great.

Lose the weight now

What are we waiting for? We know when it’s time to lose weight. We spend a lot of energy talking about it and learning how to do it, but that alone doesn’t slim us down.  The hardest part is actually starting, and then staying motivated until we meet the goal.  There’s no better time than now, so take the leap by making a commitment to succeed, creating a plan for a healthy you and rallying the support of others.  Let’s set the date to lose the weight now.

Make the Commitment for You

Self-motivation is key to any weight loss program. If you try to battle the bulge only because other people want you to, you won’t succeed.  List the reasons that inspire you to lose weight and keep it handy.  You probably want to be healthier and look good, but there may be many more personal reasons such as actively devoting more time to your children or grandchildren, or participating in fun activities with friends. Writing down all the good reasons to lose the weight now helps to stick them in your mind and reinforces your drive.  And finally alter your attitude with positive thoughts and images.  As put so nicely by Samuel Johnson knock the “t” off the “I Can’t” because You Can!

Set Sensible Goals and a Working Plan

Setting unrealistic goals to lose weight ASAP only leads to frustration, then a loss of motivation.  And failing to plan is another reason why diets fail. Studies suggest that creating a personal action plan that includes a sensible diet and exercise program is critical to achieving results. To lose the weight now and take a bite out of your dieting efforts follow the recognized weight loss guidelines of no more than 1-2 pounds per week.  Start with an initial achievable goal of 5 to 10% of your current weight.  Set your start date and goal date, with 5 pound milestones in between, and then celebrate when you reach them.   Research also shows that keeping a daily diet journal is a powerful weight loss tool, which helps you to think about your long term goal while staying focused on short term milestones and successes.

Bolster Up Support to Stay on Course

Trying to lose the weight now is challenging enough, but going at it alone can weigh down your motivation.  So enlist the help of your family, friends and coworkers into the program. Even if they don’t need to lose weight you can encourage a healthy lifestyle with good eating habits and lots of activity.

Make Healthy Eating Habits a Family Affair

Invite your kids on grocery shopping trips to help them select nutritious foods and snacks. Apart from getting them to eat better, you’ll keep sweet temptations out of your house, mind and mouth.  Encourage your family to plan and prepare healthy meals in the kitchen with you.  That way you’ll avoid cooking one meal for yourself and another for them, making your dieting efforts so much easier.

Go from Gadget Fatigue to Get-Up-and-Go

To lose the weight now accelerate your physical activity. Turn off the TV, computer and electronic gadgets then take the family outdoors for a playful game of basketball or afternoon in the park. It’s not only fun and healthy, but you’ll also spend quality time with your partner or kids, while dropping the pounds.

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Join a Support Group

After you start a diet program, the most difficult periods usually occur during the fourth and eight week when enthusiasm starts to fade.  If you’re not highly motivated, studies show a weight loss support group does wonders to help you stay on track. So what are you waiting for? By following these proven tips, you can lose the weight now!