Hey guys, this is Rafi Bar-Lev. With all the site changes lately, I was a little busy to write a new article. So luckily, my colleague Greg Hayes from Life Fit Blog offered to guest post for me.
Also, the RSS feed had to be changed because of the site change – so please resubscribe to my RSS so you can keep getting new posts. (Sorry about that guys!) Without further ado, here’s Greg’s guest post:
["Lose weight? Does that like...require getting off the couch? Because I don't see that happening."]
As a kid, and young adult, I never spent much time thinking about fitness or weight management. In fact, although I was physically active, I never “worked” at fitness. It was a simple by-product of my lifestyle. I was active, and fitness followed.
Graduate school, parenthood, and a career fixed that little oversight. From the time I graduated college, until I decided to get my weight back on track, I gained a whopping 62 pounds. Since starting my journey, I’ve picked up a handful of truths about losing weight and getting fit that I’d like to share.
If You Want To Lose Weight, Expect To Be Hungry
One of the most unpopular facts about losing weight is that the math behind the equation is simple. Consume fewer calories than you burn. While starting an exercise routine will certainly help you burn more calories, not being disciplined at the dinner table will quickly ruin all your efforts at the gym.
There are, of course, ways to mitigate this issue. Eating small snacks throughout the day is a common tactic that works well; but it can backfire if you don’t pay attention to your food choices. For instance, there are far fewer calories in an apple than just about any packaged food you’ll find. Pick your snack foods wisely, with an eye toward fewer calories and high amounts of fiber.
IMPORTANT NOTE FROM RAFI: I have to disagree with Greg here. You don’t exactly have to be “hungry” to lose weight – just let’s say…less full than usual. Also, apples and fruits in general aren’t great diet foods, since fruits actually have a lot of sugar and calories. So stick to vegetables like cucumbers and carrots and try not to eat more than one fruit a day in the first stages of your diet.
Learn To Cook — Then Try New Foods
Several years ago, I had the opportunity to travel to Europe on business. I happened to be in Germany during the asparagus harvest, which sounded terribly unappealing. I despised asparagus, but I was proven wrong. They found some of the most imaginative ways to serve this vegetable, and I gained a new appreciation for this unique member of the lilly family. Shortly after returning home, I sought out, and learned how to cook asparagus.
When you start limiting your food choices by reducing your intake of high calorie foods, boredom at the dinner table can become a problem. Take the time to explore your local Farmer’s Market. You’re almost certain to find foods you’ve never tried before. Start including the likes of kale, swiss chard, and kohlrabi in your kitchen to make it easier to lose weight. Permanently.
According to the American Heart Association, the average American consumes over 22 teaspoons of sugar every day, which is 2-5X the amount considered healthy. Sugar sneaks into a wide variety of foods, some of which are obvious. Others, less so. It’s obvious to reduce your consumption of sodas and candy bars. Less obvious is the amount of sugar found in hydrating drinks, juices, and even fruits. Sugar, in all its forms, contributes calories. It’s OK to have some, but do it in moderation. And when you eat fruit, be sure to consume the whole fruit. You’ll benefit from the added fiber.
Many times, weight loss is about making small changes that add up. Include these three tips in your weight loss and fitness regimen, and you’re sure to lose weight, feel better, and have the energy for more enduring, powerful workouts.
Getting enough fiber is also important for weight-loss. Fiber promotes digestion and, over time, can ease bloating. In higher concentrations, fiber can be combined with herbs to cleanse the colon of wastes and toxins.