Are you like a great many who simply become weary of trying to lose weight? It’s not only about losing it, but it’s also about keeping it off. Like the other articles in this issue of My Health Express, we’re going to give you 10 tips to shed those pounds and keep them off.

The following tips are proven to be successful through weight-loss research. If you follow these tips, you have a great chance of reducing your weight and being more healthy.

Personal Eating Habits

1. Limit both calories and fat
• Eat a low-calorie diet. How many calories should you eat. Choose the weight you wish to be and multiply it by 10 then, add 200. For example, Joe wants to weigh 150 pounds so, 150 x 10 + 200 = 1700 calories. This amount is based on a day with no exercise. If you exercise, you’ll need to determine how many calories you might burn and add that amount to the above.
• Keep your fat intake below 30% of your total calories. A good ratio of fats:proteins:carbs for a healthy diet is 25% fat, 25% protein, and 50% complex carbohydrates that lean heavily toward green, leafy vegetables.

2. Meal Frequency – eat 6 small meals a day and start with breakfast
Dr. Tindall has taught meal frequency to professional and collegiate athletes for years, long before it became popular in lay magazines. Treat your body like a fine-tuned race car. Give it gas when it needs it most, i.e., hills, corners, and straight-a-ways. You do this by keeping your meals in the following basic order, which is based on about a 2,000 calorie per day diet (adjust for yourself).
• Breakfast (400 calories) – the most important meal of the day because is increases your metabolism.
• Morning Snack (200 calories)
• Lunch (500 calories)
• Afternoon Snack (250 calories)
• Dinner (500 calories)
• Pre-bed Snack (150 calories)
Cereal (hot or cold) and fruit is a common breakfast among weight watchers. Also, for more detailed instructions and menus, consult one of Dr. Tindall’s books, either 90 Days to a New You: Total Body Makeover or Nutrition Made Simple, both of which give detailed steps on the above process.

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3. Track your calories
Do not count every calorie, but initially, be aware of how many calories you are consuming. Once you’ve done it for a week or so, you will have a basic understanding of the process. You can also write this in your journal.

4. Eat consistently
Stick to your basic nutritional habits, if they are good ones, throughout the year. Some days you may overeat a little and some days you will under eat. Just remember this is long term and it will balance itself out. If you do so, you’ll be about twice as likely to maintain your weight goals. The biggest problems are to avoid splurging too much on the weekend and also holidays. When you feel full, stop eating!

5. Limit Fast Food and Restaurant Meals
The average intake of calories in the U.S. is twice as many as a person needs each day. A large part of this is eating out, whether in a drive through or sit down. Let’s look at an example. If you have a McDonald’s quarter-pounder with French fries and a coke, you have just had 790 calories. Put in perspective, a 5’ 2” female should weigh about 110 pounds and have an average calorie need of about 1300 calories per day. If she ate the above meal, she would have consumed 60% of her daily calories in one meal. This promotes both overeating and significant weight gain when done daily.

Exercise habits

6. Exercise 60 minutes a day
Dr. Tindall has answered this question often. People always ask “How many hours do I need to exercise each day to have the kind of body I want?” Assuming you’re not a competitive body builder or other competitive athlete, you need to exercise 5 hours per week. The most common exercise is actually walking so, walk fast.

7. Burn 520 calories per workout day
Choose exercises that will help you burn at least 500 calories per hour of activity. Speed-strength, martial arts, boxing, full-body activities, Cross Fit, etc. are all exercises that will help you burn lots of calories. Basic walking, biking, treadmill, etc. will generally burn much less. Lift weights and work the back, chest, and legs – the big muscle groups for the most amount of calorie burn in the shortest amount of time.
Other habits

8. Keep Track
You will want to weigh yourself about once per week – that is sufficient. Don’t be a scale watcher and do it every day, but consistently on a weekly basis. This will let you know where you are and also put a mild pressure on you to maintain. In other words, you’ll catch small weight gains before it gets to be overwhelming.

9. Forget TV – Choose a Hobby
The average child in the U.S. watches 40 hours of TV per week; the average adult watches 35 hours per week. Research has shown that people who watch TV less than 10 hours per week burn about 600 calories more than those who watch more than 10 hours of TV. So, what excuse do you have when you tell me you do not have time to exercise, but you watch 10 or more hours of TV per week? There is no excuse!

10. Never Quit
In the Speed-Strength Conditioning Department at the University of Colorado, Doc Kreis has the players wear shirts that said “Winner’s never Quit; Quitter’s never win!” It was the mantra of the team. Never give up – always be persistent. We all have set backs whether by injury, traveling, family issues, etc., but just keep going! If you never give up, you never fail.

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