Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Weight Loss Tips, Continued...

My last post included the first twelve out of twenty-five tips for successful weight loss (from this article ). Here are the remaining thirteen, with my own comments in italics.

13. Cut out liquid calories. Eliminate soda and sugary drinks such as sweetened iced tea, sports drinks and alcoholic beverages. Liven up the taste of water by adding lemon, lime, cucumber or mint. Choose skim and 1% milk.

So far I've helped two people at work cut out their sweetened beverage habits. They didn't think they could do it, but they did, and I'm so proud of them. One can of soda has more than a day's worth of added sugar.

14. Practice the "Rule of One." When it comes to high-calorie foods, you won't go wrong if you allow one small treat a day. That might be one cookie or a fun-sized candy bar.

I'm all about this! If you read my blog regularly, you know what my "treat" is everyday; either a beer and dark chocolate, or a small bowl of ice cream and dark chocolate (one of the squares below).

15. Pace, don't race. Force yourself to eat more slowly and savor each bite.

16. Hydrate before meals. Drinking 16 ounces, or two glasses, of water before meals may help you eat less.

17. Downsize plates, bowls, glasses, silverware. Using smaller versions of your serving ware will help you eat less food naturally.

18. Adopt the motto "after 8 is too late" for snacks after dinner.

Sorry, I don't agree with this at all. If you get hungry past 8pm, eat! If you are eating past 8pm just because you are bored or saw something on tv that made you hungry, that's another story. I don't think there should be a certain time in the day when you need to stop eating, unless you truly have a problem with "mindless eating" late at night.

19. Buy a pedometer. Health experts recommend taking at least 10,000 steps a day, which is roughly 4 to 5 miles, depending on your stride length.

20. Treat yourself occasionally. If your chocolate craving is getting to you, try diet hot-chocolate packets. If you need a treat, go out for it or buy small prepackaged portions of ice cream bars. If you love chocolate, consider keeping bite-size pieces in the freezer.

Above (number 14 ) says treat yourself once a day, but now they are saying to treat yourself occasionally? I'm confused. I'll stick with the "treat yourself once a day" tip. After all, desserts are included in the food guide pyramid (they are basically the discretionary calories).

21. Dine at a table. Eat from a plate while seated at a table. Don't eat while driving, lounging on the couch or standing at the fridge.

22. Dine out without pigging out. Figure out what you are going to eat in advance. Get salad dressing on the side. Restaurants usually put about one-quarter cup (4 tablespoons) of dressing on a salad, which is often too many calories. Best to stick with 1 to 2 tablespoons. Dip your fork into the dressing and then into the salad.

23. Get plenty of sleep. Scientists have found that sleep deprivation increases levels of a hunger hormone and decreases levels of a hormone that makes you feel full. The effects may lead to overeating and weight gain.

I truly believe this is one of the most important tips in this entire list. Don't underestimate the power of sleep, or the power of sleep deprivation. Not getting enough sleep can truly effect your ability to lose weight.

24. Weigh yourself regularly. That's what successful dieters and those who manage to maintain weight loss do. Some step on the scales once a week. Others do so daily.

Sorry, I disagree. I think this strategy works for some, but not others. I know some people who get on the scale and see zero weight loss, which motivates them to do better, but others who see zero weight loss, which causes them frustration. This frustration might cause them to give up on their diet, or to take part in not-so-healthy weight loss strategies, such as skipping meals. If you associate with the later example, try weighing yourself once every other week.

25. Reward yourself. When you meet your incremental weight loss goals, say losing 5 pounds, treat yourself to something — but not food. Buy a CD or DVD you've been wanting or go out to a movie with a friend.

Question: With which of these tips do you agree or not agree ?


  1. I like the "rule of one"...I need to put this into practice STAT!

    I don't agree with jumping on the scale so much, however. I get that it's just a unit of measure, but people can abuse that sucker and let it dictate their mood or choices. I go with the ole standbys for tracking progress...measurements, energy levels, the mirror, and how my clothes fit.

  2. I think the sleep is important, absolutely! I think that's one of these tips I do really, really, really well with :) Love my sleep!

    I think water before meals is helpful, and same with after meal water. A bowl of oats washed down with water really helps to keep me full ALL morning long.

    I agree with the rule of one, too. Even though I'm hitting the weight loss wagon hard, I allow for a treat nearly every day.

    And I love that eating at night was addressed, albeit inaccurately (I agree, timing doesn't matter). I think people go over-board at night, but that doesn't mean that healthy eating at night is bad - moderation!! :)

    Great post, Gina!

  3. Again, great tips (well, mostly). I think I would go nuts if I weighed myself all the time. I won't get a scale. I go by how I feel (unfortunately right now, that isn't so good!). I definitely agree that I rather get my calories from food than drinks! A really good square of dark chocolate is SO much more enjoyable than a can of coke.

  4. I specially agree on 22. Let's don't make every dining out occasion like our last time dining out! save room for the next time! :)
    oh... getting enough sleep is very important too. when i don't sleep well... I'm in bad mood and I snack way too much.

  5. Love this post! thanks so much

  6. I agree with you about the time cutoff. My dad keeps telling my mom not to eat after 8 but I tried to explain to them that there is no magic time where you automatically gain weight if you eat after it! It would be funny if it weren't so sad.

  7. I hate the "don't eat after 8" rules! I love my peanut buttaaa before I go to bed.

  8. i need to start getting more sleep, that's a good one. i stay up too late!

    as far as eating after 8, thats nuts. last night i didn't get home until 7:30. was i supposed to skip dinner or something? i typically eat dinner late but it's not like i am just snacking from 5pm-10pm!

  9. I like the tips, and I like that you point out that some are not true for everyone. For me not eating after dinner is very useful as I easily "get carried away."

  10. Great tips! I like these, especially since I'm counseling quite a few weight loss clients at the time. The sleep one is huge! I have read the research on sleep, and I think we often overlook that when we address nutrition.

  11. I definitely practice a lot of these. I never consume liquid calories except beer and wine on the weekends, and I drink water all day long.

    I also always have a treat every day. Lately I've been having a peppermint chocolate after lunch and dinner (a small piece). I definitely believe knowing I will get a treat helps me the rest of the time- though I'm pretty used to healthy eating anyways.

    Think the 8 o'clock rule is pretty random and definitely think the scale thing depends on the person :)

  12. chocolate in the freezer is the ONLY way to eat ittttt!! i love love lovee frozen dark chocolate haha its such an addiction of mine!

  13. If people can learn to treat and return to healthy eating (guilt free) real weight loss can happen. Good job getting people to cut beverage calories (I feel coffee and tea needs to be included).

  14. I would agree with having a small "treat" each day. For me it's 2 squares of Lindt sea salt chocolate after dinner. I would also disagree with the after 8 is too late. Depending on the occasion, dinner may be that late or later. But I agree with you that you shouldn't eat (ever) just for the sake of eating....

  15. Nice list and I agree with your comments. #18 drives me nuts too. I worked in Vegas and for some people this meant, ok well, eat breakfast and then don't eat again while you work from midnight until 8 am. People do not have traditional 9-5 jobs anymore where it may make sense to not eat after 8 so you can be ready to sleep at 10 pm. It just doesn't work that way anymore. If I am hungry, I won't sleep well anyway. As for comfort, 1-2 hours before bed so you can actually digest food and possibly be more comfortable than having a large hot meal churning in your stomach. But some people can do that and feel perfectly fine too. Not a good idea to stuff yourself silly before bed, but only because it is likely you will be overeating.

  16. Your comments are AWESOME - I think you should be hired to rewrite all of these tips! :-) I'm so psyched to read that you were able to help 2 people cut out their liquid sugar - YAY for you!! (I love cucumber water, btw... :-) I'm also really thankful for your distinction about the after 8pm eating - usually I don't wind up eating after 8pm, but once in a while I find myself genuinely very, very hungry late in the evening and I've always been at a loss with what to do because of that "standard" advice, and usually I try to go to sleep hungry because that's what I'm "supposed" to do, but then I don't rest well... Thank you for easing my conscience and providing a sound guideline for all of us in that situation! :-)

  17. If I couldn't eat past 8:00 PM, I would never eat dinner during the week!

    I also agree about sleep and plenty of water. Although when I am truly hungry, water does nothing to fill me up.

  18. I agree with a treat a day. I usually have a couple pieces of dark chocolate with my wine.

    My weakness is eating while standing. I get the urge to nibble while preparing meals. I'm a work in progress. :)

  19. i better stick to weighing myself once a week instead of daily. :)

    i agree on the use of pedometer...been wanting to have one for like a year now :)

    i hope to find my motivation to change my eating habits...hopefully one of these days :)

    have a nice day!!! :)

  20. Love my pedometer - I wear it daily and it motivates me to get in more steps than I would otherwise if I didn't have the numbers staring at me!

  21. 17 is a great tip. we tend to use our plates/bowls as a measuring device (myself included.) i guess we decide how much we're going to eat before we even start!

  22. I love comment 17. I use a smaller plate and it makes it look like a lot but I know I am within my portion.

    I hope all is well! I am finally catching up with my favorite blogs.

  23. Totally agree with the sleep tip! So important!!!

    Also, many people do not realize how many calories they end up drinking each day with sodas, juice, etc.

  24. I agree that having a cutoff time after which you cannot eat is ridiculous. I often get home from work between 7 and 8. Shouldn't the suggestion be something like, "figure out your own cutoff time at night, after dinner, so that you do not succumb to the temptation to snack"? I dunno.

    Also, the pedometer advice is overall very good, but frustrating for me, personally. I LOVE walking but don't have much occasion to do it. I do ride my bicycle to/from work everyday and would like to think that's a tradeoff...?

  25. Thanks a lot for the tips. They're definitely very helpful. I've been following the food pyramid guide, and it really helps me in my diet.

  26. Thanks for sharing your weight loss tips. I hope other people will be motivated after reading this post.

  27. I just want to make one thing clear that diet doesn’t means to make away from food but diet means to have a food in a good routine basis to have a good diet. Yoga makes our body light as well as it also make our mind cool and helps in performing diligently all our daily work and makes our day very much beautiful. It will be also good to have juice and fruits on a daily basis. Don’t eat fast food as it contains lots of unhealthy ingredients.
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