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WEIGHT LOSS TIPS

Everyone at one time or another goes through periods in life where they experience unwanted weight gain. Graduating from college, switching careers, pregnancy and simply maturing in age are all situations in which people tend to put on some extra pounds. Increasingly, new medical research is confirming what most people already know about excess weight. A tight belt could mean more than just feeling unhappy about your appearance. It can lead to increased health risks, such as high blood pressure and heart disease.

But there is good news. Anyone who makes weight loss a priority in life can and will lose those unwanted pounds with two key actions: diet and exercise. When it comes to diet, the majority of research says the best way to slim down is to cut the amount of calories consumed. Active men and women may need up to 2,500 calories a day. Some may only need 2,000.

So what should you do? Count the calories you take in on a daily basis before altering your diet. By eating 300 to 500 fewer calories daily than normal, most people will lose between one and two pounds a week. This is a safe, healthy number for adults. One way to cut the calories from your routine eating habits is to avoid fried foods and desserts that quickly eat away your daily calorie allowance and most likely do not provide the nutrients a body needs.

An additional way to cut calories is to watch what you drink. Most people donít even realize just three sodas consumed daily add up to more than 450 calories. Thatís more than a cheeseburger at most fast food restaurants! Instead drink lots of water to quench your thirst. Donít like water? Try adding a sugar-free juice mix to a gallon jug of water. This will increase your chances of meeting the recommended 8 glasses of water a day. Switching from whole milk to skim or non-fat will also help cut calories as well as limiting consumption of alcoholic beverages.

People have heard it a million times, but it still stands true. Eating fruits and vegetables is an important part of a healthy diet. Not only do these foods contain important nutrients, but also contain fewer calories for a higher quantity of food. For example, an entire bag of raw carrots found in the produce section of the grocery store has fewer calories than a small bag of potato chips you find at a local sandwich store. The carrots will keep you fuller longer too.

Another important part of a healthy diet is being realistic. Some people might go below the minimum recommended calorie level of 1,200 in hopes of a quick fix to a weight problem. While it might work short term, no one can function for long on this little energy. What usually ends up happening with extreme dieting is the person goes from eating very little to bingeing, which often leads to a net weight gain in the long run.

It is best to take the steady route making realistic goals for yourself. Start small by cutting one unhealthy item from your diet at a time. For example, one week you might try to limit soda intake, the next fried food. It is also important that you do not deprive yourself of your favorite foods all the time. Let yourself have the one piece of the key lime pie you have been craving all week. Just donít eat the whole pie.

As for exercise, start small. No one expects you to go from a Sedentary Sally to Mary the Marathoner overnight. If you can walk for five minutes, or even two, start with that and pick up from there. The important thing is to get moving. Burning calories is what's important. How you do it is a secondary goal!

Tips for losing weight

-Try not to let yourself get so hungry you feel like you are starving by the time you eat!

-Redefine what your perception of a perfect body is! There is a widespread misconception of what beautiful is. Beauty is who you are as a person- remind yourself of that.

-Try to not eat while in a hurry! This takes away from the importance of eating and usually results in over eating the wrong foods.