A non-stop schedule makes getting the rest you need difficult while also pushing stress levels to the limit. You might think you will recover once the holidays are over, but at that point the damage may be done. Research shows that both sleep and stress are linked to your weight loss success. Keeping rest and stress relief at the top of your priority list will ensure you get through a hectic period while still hanging onto your health and your waistline.
There is nothing wrong with choosing a few special treats during the holidays, but going overboard can undo weeks of healthy eating and exercise. Before you make the decision to cave into a craving, use this guide as a reminder of how hard you will have to work to offset the extra calories.
Research shows that reducing calorie intake alone is slightly more effective for weight loss than exercise alone, but combining these approaches leads to long term success. It can be tough to fit exercise into an already busy schedule, but the boost in metabolism you get from burning extra calories and building muscle makes it worth the effort. If the scale is stuck despite your healthy eating, add walking, jogging, dancing, or strength training to your routine to boost the calories you burn each day. (See How to Lose Weight: Diet or Exercise?)
Carbohydrates are a major fuel source for exercising muscles, the brain, and the central nervous system. When you drastically lower your carb intake, your body lacks the glucose necessary to produce energy. Without adequate carbohydrates, the body enters a state of ketosis where it begins to burn its own fat for fuel. This may sound appealing at first, but the process also produces ketones, a byproduct of breaking down fat stores. Ketones have been linked to gout, kidney stones, and kidney failure.
High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a sweetener used by food manufacturers. It is formed when corn starch is broken down into corn syrup. Enzymes are added to the corn syrup to convert some of its glucose to fructose. The result is a sweetener that is about 50 percent glucose and 50 percent fructose. It is a less expensive alternative to sugar, and it also serves as a preservative in packaged foods. HFCS is most often associated with regular soda, but if you check food labels, you will find it in pasta sauce, barbeque sauce, ketchup, sweet pickles, jam, bread, crackers, cereals, ice cream, and baked goods.
The key to smart snacking is finding foods with a balance of complex carbohydrate, heart-healthy fat, and protein. This combination gives you long-lasting energy and prevents a spike in blood sugar that will leave you hungry in a few hours. Here are a few foods that will curb hunger and keep you feeling full.
It is possible to lose weight by only reducing your calorie intake or by only increasing exercise, but research shows combining the two is a much more effective approach.
While reducing calories alone has a slight edge over exercising to lose weight, exercise can help you keep the weight off. Studies show that that those who successfully maintain their weight loss are often regular exercisers.
Hidden habits have a way of sneaking into your daily routine and preventing you from reaching your weight loss goals. These simple actions may seem harmless, but they can have enough impact on your calorie balance to keep the scale from moving in the right direction.
You are likely familiar with the pattern -- you get close to your goal weight and then sabotage your efforts by indulging in unhealthy foods or skipping workouts. The self-sabotage phenomenon is common, especially when goals are within reach. This can indicate that you have not fully realized the difference between wanting to be fit and actually being fit.
If you are a chronic nibbler, you may be eating more calories than you realize. A healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner can easily be undone by a bite here and a nibble there. It is easy to convince yourself that those bites don’t count, but the calories quickly add up. Below is a list of foods that are commonly nibbled when cooking at home, at the office, and at social gatherings.