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Healthy Weight Loss Advice Articles

Healthy Weight Loss Advice

Portion-Controlled Entrees Enhance Weight Loss Success

We know that people CAN get healthy and lose weight if they improve their diet, eliminate the junk and reduce the overall calorie consumption, but frankly, that's a lot of work.

I'm Dr. Caroline Cederquist, giving you the Skinny on Your Health.

Even the most earnest among us make mistakes when measuring appropriate servings, eating too much of one food, not enough of another, or making inequivalent substations, say, ice cream instead of a cup of milk. It happens.

So how much effect does the fatigue factor - or the fudge factor- have? Researchers put two groups of women on nutritionally similar diets for eight weeks to find out.

One group had their meals all prepared in tidy, portion-controlled servings. The other group had to do their own measurements and preparation using the Food Guide Pyramid.

At the end of the study, the women who had the pre-packaged meals had lost 6.5 percent of their initial weight, compared to a 4.2 percent loss for the gals who had to do their own work.

Portion-controlled meals left less room for human error, and that made for a simpler path to success.

Attitudes That Prevent Weight Loss - All or None Thinking

How many times have you hit a hole in one? Bowled a 300 game? Earned all A's on your report card? If you're like most people, probably not too often!

I'm Dr. Caroline Cederquist, with Get The Skinny on Your Health.

Even if we hold ourselves to high performance standards, most of us truly don't expect to be perfect at all we do. It's odd then, that a sort of perfectionism dooms so many weight-loss efforts.

This all-or-nothing thinking often leads people to give up the entire effort as soon as there is any departure from the dietary plan. One cookie, and we throw in the towel!

But sometimes a late day at work interferes with a workout, or you end up at a meal where the menu is outside your control. That's no reason to give up. Just pick up where you left off and keep going, just like you would with anything else.

Because when you're trying to lose weight, the first thing to lose is self-defeating thinking!

Structure for Busy Grownups

When my busy patients commit to getting healthy, naturally we discuss changes in diet and exercise. But I often suggest a change they haven't considered: restructuring their daily schedule.

I'm Dr. Caroline Cederquist, giving you the Skinny on Your Health.

Just as fundamental as the specifics of diet and exercise is the notion of STRUCTURE. We can't work out like crazy for three days and then skip it for the rest of the month, or cram a whole day's worth of needed protein in right before bedtime. Our bodies can't make good use of that.

ANY nutritional regimen or exercise plan is based on REPETITION of healthy practices at appropriate intervals.

That's where a schedule helps. If you have to be at work, try anchoring your work OUT to your work DAY, either at lunch or before or after. If you have children to feed in the morning, plan to eat a healthy breakfast yourself during that time.

Diet and exercise are often the first things to go when busy people feel pressured, but building them into a planned schedule can be the first line of defense.

Unrealistic Goals and Weight Loss Outcomes

A lot of effort has been put into training doctors, dieticians and other weight-management professionals to get people to accept reasonable weight loss goals.

I'm Dr. Caroline Cederquist, giving you the Skinny on Your Health.

There's nothing wrong with having an attainable goal, rather than some pie-in-the-sky fantasy. On the other hand, I've always said that a little hope never hurt anyone.

But now there's new research that shows that having a reasonable goal doesn't make you ANY more likely to actually lose your weight than if you're hoping to squeeze back into your high school fashions two weeks from Sunday.

The research also found that people who DID have unreasonable goals WEREN'T any more likely to be disappointed or demoralized when they didn't reach them.

The researchers determined that doctors should spend LESS time trying to get patients to accept some lower weight-loss goal, and MORE time teaching them how to really lose any weight at all!

Basically, they said there's no harm in letting people have their dreams, as long as we show them how to eat right, control their impulses and get a little more exercise.

Weekend Eating Linked To Increased Fat, Alcohol, Calories

You've heard the joke: calories don't count if you eat them off someone else's plate…or in the dark…or on the weekend.

I'm Dr. Caroline Cederquist, giving you the Skinny on Your Health.

New research seems to show that Americans have bought into that last one. Averaged across all age groups, Americans take in 82 calories more on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays than they do on the weekdays.

But among Americans 19 through 50, it's more like 115 calories more, and most of that additional intake can be attributed to alcohol consumption!

People tend not to recognize their liquid calories anyway, so if they're adding a couple beers only on the weekend days, they may dismiss them as insignificant in the big picture.

But the big picture is where it shows up! The researchers said those 115 extra calories, three days out of the week, are going to mean five extra pounds in just one year. Imagine what that could do between now and your next reunion!

If you like a little liberty on the weekend, remember to balance it out Monday through Thursday with just a little more dietary austerity.

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