10 Steps to Speed Weight Loss

Making simple changes that either cut out or burn off extra calories will add up to weight loss over the course of a year.

If you’re struggling with weight loss, then you already know it’s the little things that add up — the “little bit more” at the dinner buffet, the “little bit too tight” feeling of your clothes. But what if you also knew about the little things you could do every day to increase your weight- loss success? Here they are.

10 Steps to Speed Weight Loss

1. Switch up your snacks. “First of all, watch mindless snacking,” says Emily Banes, RD, clinical dietitian at the Houston Northwest Medical Center in Houston, Texas. “[Those calories] really add up.” Instead of grazing on the baked goodies in the break room, have a plan for healthy snacks that combines a little bit of fat, protein, and crunch, such as apple slices smeared with peanut butter. If you are counting calories, doing the math may help: a pound is the equivalent of 3,500 calories, so if you can cut 100 calories out of your day, you will lose a pound in just over a month.

2. Cut out high-calorie condiments and sugars. “Instead of getting a coffee with sugar, try Splenda,” says Banes. Likewise, try mustard on your burger or sandwich instead of mayonnaise, and order your salad dressing on the side so that you can control the amount you eat.

3. Hoof it. “Exercise is key,” says Banes. People who manage at least 150 minutes of activity a week are more successful with weight loss. Take the stairs instead of the elevator or park a bit farther from your destination so you have to walk. This will add extra exercise — and burn more calories.

4. Anticipate temptation. If you know you can’t resist freshly baked brownies, don’t keep a mix in your pantry. Also, if you are going somewhere with friends and family and know you’ll have a hard time controlling yourself, make a decision before you get there about what you will eat — and stick to it.

5. Try the veggie-loaded plate method. Banes recommends using your plate to guide your food selection and portion sizes. One half of the plate should be vegetables. The other side can be split between protein and starchy carbohydrates. If you decide to get a second plate, says Banes, it had better be all vegetables. People who eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day are more successful with weight loss.

6. Skip the fast food. A study of 1,713 adults who have been successful with weight loss demonstrated that people who eat at fast-food restaurants less than twice a week have greater success with their weight loss. “If you do eat fast foods, don’t supersize it,” says Banes, and try to opt for a salad, small portions, or “get baked, not fried.”

7. Limit the calories you drink. While most people understand sugary sodas add calories, Banes sees a misconception when it comes to sweet tea and juices. Sweetened tea is no less calorie-dense than soda, and you’d be better off eating the fruit than drinking the juice, advises Banes.

8. Be accountable. Whether you have a diet buddy you check in with, a support group, or a food diary, keeping track of your daily food choices takes only a few minutes, but can double your weight-loss success.

9. Order smaller portions. Data suggests that people who order smaller portions or share a plate at restaurants are more successful with weight loss. Banes recommends ordering the lunch portion, an appetizer, or a children’s meal — or put up to half your meal into a doggy bag before you begin eating.

10. Acknowledge your success. People who believe they can succeed with weight loss actually do lose weight more successfully. How do you gain this confidence? Take a moment to pat yourself on the back when you make healthy choices and achieve your short-term goals.

These small changes, all of which can easily be made, will quickly add up to more pounds lost over time.

Source: EveryDayHealthLiving
By Madeline Vann, MPH
Medically reviewed by Lindsey Marcellin, MD, MPH

Men Prefer Women Who Are Curvy

Although many women aspire to be stick thin like models and actresses, a recent study reveals that guys prefer women who are shapely.

Forget stressing over each and every calorie! A recent survey from the dating site Yangutu has found that men actually prefer women who have healthy, curvy frames. According to its results, 78 percent of men prefer women with hourglass figures, while another 17 percent of men are attracted to women who are of average weight.

There is a reason why men might prefer women with ample curves. Men are visual creatures, and while they might respond to svelte fashion models, they are also biologically programmed to seek out a voluptuous figure. This is possibly because certain physical attributes like full breasts and a small waist-to-hip ratio are traditional signs of youth and fertility.

In fact, a 2010 study performed by researchers at Radboud University in the Netherlands found that even men who were blind from birth responded to these visual cues. The men were asked to feel mannequins who had varying waist-and-hip ratios, and then select the one they liked the best. Almost invariably, they chose the mannequin with the lower waist-to-hip ratio, just as the sighted men did. Hence, while size 00 might be the trend on the catwalk, it is voluptuous women with bodies like Marilyn Monroe or Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks who speak to a man’s basic need to procreate.

The message of body acceptance is an important one for all women, particularly for young girls. It is imperative that this lesson be learned and reinforced at home. If a girl grows up with a mother who is always dieting or skipping meals, she is going to get the message that her self-worth is inherently tied to her looks and her weight, and she is not going to learn healthy eating habits. Instead of purchasing the latest weight-loss products or stocking the fridge with prepackaged diet meals, mothers and daughters can stay healthy and fit together by choosing fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean proteins, and by making a commitment to exercise together.

The bottom line is that no matter what size you are, food is something that should nourish your body and your spirit, and the only “diet” to consider is one that includes real, nutritious foods. Starvation strips you of more than just calories, it strips you of your self-esteem and robs you of happiness — one skipped meal at a time. So forget diet fare and reach for fresh food like veggies and fruits — not only will you look great, but you will feel great as well!

 

Source: Dr. Laura Berman

Aside

Our eyes often lead us to pursue our passions, love, and desires.

 

From “love at first sight” to “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” our language is filled with expressions that capture sight’s crucial role in our romantic lives.

A person’s appearance often inspires romantic interest in the first place. A certain someone catches our eye and we’re off! The brain gets all wound up and the heart goes aflutter. The pursuit of love, or at the very least sex, is ignited by the delicious sense of sight. We write a love letter, buy new lingerie, and sensually undress, all in worship of the wonders of sight.

There are far subtler ways that sight bewitches and beguiles. Eye contact is a primary communicator of interest or a lack thereof. When we fancy someone, we usually look and look away before maintaining eye contact for just slightly longer than normal.

When you see someone you like, make a point to linger just a little once you make eye contact, if only for a few seconds. And it’s not just for seducing new love interests. Send your current partner a strong message by looking deeply into his eyes while across the dinner table or at a crowded party with your friends. Think intimate thoughts and he’ll feel the burn of your gaze.

Look into the Heart of the Soul  A tantric technique known as soul-gazing is used to transmit sexual energy and healing. Give it a try! Sit comfortably facing your partner and gaze into each other’s eyes. Focus on the left eye, above the heart. You can place a hand over each other’s heart to synchronize your breathing too. You’ll find the eyes make a straight line to the heart.

Guys Lead With Their Eyes  When it comes to sexuality, men are known to be more visual beings than women. Evolutionary theory has it that physical appearance was the best way for prehistoric man to size up a fertile mate. The markers of such fertility still ring true today:healthy skin, bright eyes, symmetrical features, even childbearing hips. We haven’t strayed too far from the caveman ideal.

However, sight is the supreme sex sense for women too, but in another way. Our own body-image drives our experience as sexual beings. A woman’s body-image is formed early in life. How we are perceived by others, be they parents, peers, or other important people in our lives, plays a powerful role in our image of ourselves. At puberty, our looks become meaningful in a way we may not have been aware of earlier. It is both powerful and destructive.

As women, we are so vulnerable to sight that it drives our sexual feelings, as well as how we feel about ourselves. We prepare our bodies and faces for visual inspection by shaving our legs, choosing the right outfit, and doing our hair and makeup. It’s a self-esteem thing that drives our sexual confidence inside the bedroom and out.

The good news is that most women come into a sense of their own as they get older. It’s true — and somewhat ironic — that women report feeling more confident in their appearance at middle age than they did when they were younger and more “conventionally attractive.” It’s as if we discover a confidence we never knew existed. We finally see our own beauty, as others have seen it in us for years.

 

Source: Dr. Laura Berman

 

Our Eyes Can Shape the Way We Feel

Aside

Our eyes often lead us to pursue our passions, love, and desires.

 

From “love at first sight” to “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” our language is filled with expressions that capture sight’s crucial role in our romantic lives.

A person’s appearance often inspires romantic interest in the first place. A certain someone catches our eye and we’re off! The brain gets all wound up and the heart goes aflutter. The pursuit of love, or at the very least sex, is ignited by the delicious sense of sight. We write a love letter, buy new lingerie, and sensually undress, all in worship of the wonders of sight.

There are far subtler ways that sight bewitches and beguiles. Eye contact is a primary communicator of interest or a lack thereof. When we fancy someone, we usually look and look away before maintaining eye contact for just slightly longer than normal.

When you see someone you like, make a point to linger just a little once you make eye contact, if only for a few seconds. And it’s not just for seducing new love interests. Send your current partner a strong message by looking deeply into his eyes while across the dinner table or at a crowded party with your friends. Think intimate thoughts and he’ll feel the burn of your gaze.

Look into the Heart of the Soul  A tantric technique known as soul-gazing is used to transmit sexual energy and healing. Give it a try! Sit comfortably facing your partner and gaze into each other’s eyes. Focus on the left eye, above the heart. You can place a hand over each other’s heart to synchronize your breathing too. You’ll find the eyes make a straight line to the heart.

Guys Lead With Their Eyes  When it comes to sexuality, men are known to be more visual beings than women. Evolutionary theory has it that physical appearance was the best way for prehistoric man to size up a fertile mate. The markers of such fertility still ring true today:healthy skin, bright eyes, symmetrical features, even childbearing hips. We haven’t strayed too far from the caveman ideal.

However, sight is the supreme sex sense for women too, but in another way. Our own body-image drives our experience as sexual beings. A woman’s body-image is formed early in life. How we are perceived by others, be they parents, peers, or other important people in our lives, plays a powerful role in our image of ourselves. At puberty, our looks become meaningful in a way we may not have been aware of earlier. It is both powerful and destructive.

As women, we are so vulnerable to sight that it drives our sexual feelings, as well as how we feel about ourselves. We prepare our bodies and faces for visual inspection by shaving our legs, choosing the right outfit, and doing our hair and makeup. It’s a self-esteem thing that drives our sexual confidence inside the bedroom and out.

The good news is that most women come into a sense of their own as they get older. It’s true — and somewhat ironic — that women report feeling more confident in their appearance at middle age than they did when they were younger and more “conventionally attractive.” It’s as if we discover a confidence we never knew existed. We finally see our own beauty, as others have seen it in us for years.

 

Source: Dr. Laura Berman

Our Eyes Can Shape the Way We Feel