Seven Effective Ways to Lose Weight
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You know the rule when it comes to losing weight -- take in fewer calories, burn more calories. If you’re trying to drop a few pounds, don’t start off by trying to overhaul all your eating and exercise habits. You’re better off finding several simple things you can do on a daily basis — along with following the cardinal rules of eating more vegetables and less fat and getting more physical activity. Together, they should send the scale numbers in the right direction: down.
1. Make water your primary drink after breakfast.
At breakfast, go ahead and drink orange juice. But throughout the rest of the day, focus on water instead of juice or soda.
2. Carry a small size notebook everywhere you go.
Write down every single morsel that enters your lips — even water. Studies have found that people who maintain food diaries wind up eating about 15 percent less food than those who don’t.
3. Buy a pedometer, clip it to your belt, and aim for an extra 1,000 steps a day.
On average, sedentary people take only 2,000 to 3,000 steps a day. Adding 2,000 steps will help you maintain your current weight and stop gaining weight; adding more than that will help you lose weight.
4. Find an online weight-loss buddy.
A University of Vermont study found that online weight-loss buddies help you keep the weight off. The researchers followed volunteers for 18 months. Those assigned to an Internet-based weight maintenance program sustained their weight loss better than those who met face-to-face in a support group.
5. Bring the color blue into your life more often.
There’s a good reason you won’t see many fast-food restaurants decorated in blue: Believe it or not, the color blue functions as an appetite suppressant. So serve up dinner on blue plates, dress in blue while you eat, and cover your table with a blue tablecloth. Conversely, avoid red, yellow, and orange in your dining areas. Studies find they encourage eating.
6. Clean your closet of the “fat” clothes.
Once you’ve reached your target weight, throw out or give away every piece of clothing that doesn’t fit. The idea of having to buy a whole new wardrobe if you gain the weight back will serve as a strong incentive to maintain your new figure.
7. Downsize your dinner plates.
Studies find that the less food put in front of you, the less food you’ll eat. Conversely, the more food in front of you, the more you’ll eat — regardless of how hungry you are. So instead of using regular dinner plates that range these days from 10-14 inches (making them look forlornly empty if they’re not heaped with food), serve your main course on salad plates (about 7-9 inches wide). The same goes for liquids. Instead of 16-ounce glasses and oversized coffee mugs, return to the old days of 8-ounce glasses and 6-ounce coffee cups.