When it comes to losing weight, many of us have tried more than once to shed those extra pounds only to be unsuccessful. In fact, many of us have spent most of our lives being unhappy about our bodies, wishing we had a flat stomach or a stronger core, but not knowing how to get started.
If every year, your New Year’s Resolution has been to ‘finally lose my stomach pooch’, ‘knock off the baby weight’ or ‘lose20pounds.” you are certainly not alone! According to Forbes, only 25% of people stick to their resolutions after the first month.
Dig a little deeper and after the first month, you’ll see a staggering drop-off with only 8% of people continuing to follow their resolution.
So, the question is: how can you come up with a plan that is realistic and that you can stick to so you can finally lose that stubborn belly fat?
Rather than focusing on long-term goals, one of the most successful ways to stick to your weight loss and flat tummy aspirations is through proper planning and creating small, achievable milestones that keep you on track. It’ll require some drastic changes to your diet and overall lifestyle, but the strategies featured within this guide are proven to work.
First, we are going to go over many ways of achieving a flatter stomach. Then, we will explore the top fat burning foods that aim to destroy stubborn fat that is usually difficult to lose.
Then we’ll take things a step further by taking a closer look at thefoods that you should absolutely avoid (or at the very least, eat in moderation) while on your belly fat burning journey.
Finally, I’ll give you some powerful exercise tips will keep you on the right track while turbo-charging your fat burning progress.
Before we dive in however, please keep in mind that your goals oflosing that stubborn belly fat, getting a toned body and living a healthier life won’t happen overnight. Your goal should be to make a lifestyle change that will eliminate and keep off the fat once for the rest of your life.
Losing weight, and toning up your body will require consistencyand determination. A few minutes each day is all it takes but you need to be persistent in your goals and stay focused. Reward yourself for the milestones you reach and then set new goals.
During our younger years, we don’t often pay much attention to pursuing a healthy lifestyle. There’s too much to do and no time to think about something we can think about later. However, we should think about it if we want to become a super-ager.
A healthy lifestyle includes nourishing the body with superfoods, which are vital to having an improved quality of life. Superfoods are packed with nutrients that can enhance health and well-being.
They have great health benefits, such as improved bone health, proper brain function, good eyesight, heart health, and more. If you pay attention to what you eat, and how much you exercise and sleep, you have a great chance of protecting yourself from chronic or degenerative diseases.
Superfoods For Improved Mental and Physical Health
Here are some superfoods to add to your diet now, so you can become a super-ager later!
Consume high protein-rich foods. Aside from lean meat, poultry, and seafood, aging bodies need eggs in their diet to enhance calcium absorption which will help rebuild and strengthen muscles, maintain muscle mass and tissues, and promote bone health.
Eggs also strengthen your immune system and they increase satiety or fullness. Think of them as super eggs because they are little bundles of goodness and have so many health benefits.
Fish – Excellent Source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Fish, such as mackerel, salmon, sardines, and tuna are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids (DHA), which are good for a healthy heart and brain. Low DHA levels can cause memory loss or symptoms of dementia, so add fish to your weekly diet.
Fruits and Vegetables – The Colours of Goodness
Red fruits and vegetables can help fight cancer and reduce heart disease. They have powerful antioxidants good for the eyes, hair, nails, and skin, and protect against cell damage, inflammation, arthritis, diabetes, and autoimmune diseases. Their lycopene can reduce signs of aging.
Examples are beets, peppers, red onions, tomatoes, pomegranates, strawberries, raspberries, and watermelon. Strawberries are a low-sugar fruit. They contain vitamin C and help fatigue and body inflammation.
Blueberries can keep seniors hydrated and energized. Its vitamin C, K, and manganese are immune-boosting antioxidants and protect against muscle weakening and cancer.
Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables are rich in nutrients, including vitamins C and E, zinc, beta-carotene, fiber, and potassium. They increase blood flow, lower the risk of stroke, protect eyesight, and promote healthy gut and gut motility. They also have anti-inflammatory properties, help balance hydration, boost the healing of muscles, and increase energy and endurance.
Examples are bananas, carrots, corn, lemons, oranges, and peaches.
Replace white and yellow potatoes with orange sweet potatoes if you want to increase your beta-carotene, fiber, potassium, and vitamin A intake. They have a higher nutritional value than potatoes. Their sweetness is healthy because of their complex carbohydrates and sugars. They can provide seniors with energy that will motivate them to exercise and build muscle. As a wonderful bonus, it slows down aging. A baked sweet potato with organic butter is delicious and healthy.
Green fruits such as avocados have the healthiest fat that provides the energy needed by seniors in moving and exercising. Kiwi fruit has high vitamin C content and abundant antioxidants that protect against disease and inflammation. They can also boost your mood, with their mood-lifting hormone serotonin.
Dark green leafy vegetables, such as kale, romaine lettuce, spinach, and swiss chard have been superfoods for a long time because they are high in vitamins A, C, E, and K, calcium, carotenoids, fiber, folate, and iron. Blend them into smoothies, or as an added ingredient to your meals.
Broccoli is another green vegetable full of nutrients such as vitamins C and K, and calcium. Like other dark green vegetables, broccoli acts as an antioxidant.
Beans and Lentils
Beans and lentils are high in vitamins and minerals such as iron, magnesium, and zinc. Beans are also rich sources of antioxidants, carbohydrates, fiber, protein, and micronutrients such as folate. Lentils are vegetarian protein, high in fiber and essential amino acids, and low in cholesterol. By replenishing lost minerals in the body, eating beans can help maintain blood sugar levels. Lentils can be cooked on their own, added to salads, soups, and stews, or as a side dish. They are healthy for the heart too!
They are known as healthy carbs that can energize you through the day. They lower the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Oats, muesli, barley, and brown rice are just some examples of fiber-rich whole-grain foods. Quinoa, which is full of protein, copper, fiber, healthy carbohydrates, and magnesium assists in building and repairing muscles. Oats are great for heart health, and when eaten at breakfast, can help energize you. They also provide fiber which is good for gut health.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts such as almonds and walnuts are full of healthy fats and proteins that give seniors a healthy heart and nutritional energy throughout the day. They rebuild and strengthen muscles that enable you to exercise. They also provide amino acids, carbs, fiber, and vitamin E. Chia seeds and pumpkin seeds are healthy snacks that energize and build endurance. They have a high fiber content too, which aids in digestion. Nuts and seeds make great high-energy snacks.
Herbs and Spices
Don’t forget your herbs and spices! Turmeric and cinnamon are known for their anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger and garlic are other superfoods to add to your super-agers diet. The benefits of garlic and its healing properties are an article all on its own, so don’t leave this little super food off your list!
Consuming colorful foods from nature will help guarantee your physical and mental health. Remember, moderation is key. Too much of anything is not usually good. Add the above superfoods to your diet and your days will be healthier and no doubt you will live longer.
We all have to deal with inflammation in our bodies at some point in our lives as inflammation can arise from many health issues, such as an injury, joint problems, or even catching a cold. Therefore, inflammation will always be a part of our physiological functioning. It is one of the ways our body fights against harmful infections, injuries, and toxins.
Acute and Chronic Inflammation
Acute inflammation is one thing, but chronic inflammation is a whole different matter. Acute inflammation usually lasts for a few days, whereas chronic inflammation can run from several months to years, depending on the body’s ability to respond to harmful pathogens. However, there are ways to deal with painful inflammation while allowing the body to heal.
Foods and Supplements to Fight Inflammation
Our diet plays a vital role in our health, including how it helps to treat chronic inflammation. The food we eat contains certain minerals that can help fight inflammation. Therefore, we can boost our diet by eating the right ‘anti-inflammatory’ foods and as an added boost take supplements that specifically treat inflammation.
Turmeric is well-known for its anti-inflammatory properties, thanks to a compound called curcumin. Turmeric can help reduce inflammation and swelling around injuries. It can help alleviate symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, and relieve inflammation caused by diabetes, heart disease, and bowel problems.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
One of the most popular anti-inflammatory supplements is omega-3 fatty acids, which are commonly found in fatty fish such as cod and tuna. Those who have taken these supplements will usually vouch for their effectiveness. It is so effective that many people have replaced their over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen, with omega-3 fatty acid supplements.
Green Tea Extract
Traditional herbal medicine has used green tea to deal with various ailments. The anti-inflammatory properties of green tea are derived from epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), caffeine, and chlorogenic acid – all known to be powerful antioxidants. The presence of toxins in the body can lead to inflammation, as it is the body’s way of dealing with harmful elements found in our cells. Green tea decreases inflammation by working as a preventive measure against oxidative damage to your cells.
Do you know why you feel a burning sensation when you eat too many pineapples? That’s because of bromelain, a powerful enzyme abundant in the fruit. Bromelain contains anti-inflammatory properties and performs as well as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Bromelain can help relieve inflammation pain caused by injury and muscle soreness. If you look at some of the supplements on the market you may find that many of the expensive supplements for inflammation pain include bromelain as a main ingredient.
You can purchase Bromelain Supplements on their own, or ‘Bromelain and Turmeric Supplements’ are available too.
Just as pineapples contain bromelain, peppers contain capsaicin. Capsaicin is the ingredient responsible for making hot peppers hot and the ingredient that is beneficial in reducing pain caused by inflammation, and also nerve and muscular pain. There is no need to eat lots of chili peppers to help alleviate pain, you can take supplements or even use capsaicin creams instead.
Garlic is another food that is high in anti-inflammatory properties, thanks to its ingredient called allicin. A potent anti-inflammatory compound, allicin is known to strengthen the immune system while fighting off disease-causing viruses and bacteria. Plus, long-term use of garlic supplements helps reduce, and lower the risk of developing chronic inflammation.
Many foods contain zinc, including meat, poultry, nuts, seeds, and eggs. Zinc is also a common ingredient often found in various multi-vitamin supplements and for a good reason. Zinc is known for its anti-inflammatory properties that can help boost the immune system and decrease the rate of infections. Zinc is also effective in reducing oxidative stress, or the premature aging of our cells, which often leads to inflammation and increases the risk of developing various illnesses. A direct link between zinc and inflammation has been found, whereby many people suffering from arthritis have also been found to have a zinc deficiency.
Suffering from inflammation is not a comfortable experience. Acute inflammation can lead to some discomfort, while chronic inflammation can have long-term side effects on the body and also affect a person’s mental health. Excess pain can cause symptoms of depression, as life can feel like it’s not worth living. Therefore, anti-inflammatory supplements may be helpful for many reasons!
The Plan: How to Lose a Small Amount of Weight in a Short Time Period…
Uh oh. Something’s coming up – a class reunion, a wedding, or maybe a beach vacation. And you need to drop some weight fast so that you can look great in your swimsuit, your jeans, or that new suit or dress you want to wear.
You need to lose a small amount of weight really quick! Don’t panic.
There are ways to slim down fast, but you have to be prepared to do some things that might be tough. After all, you didn’t gain the extra 15 or 20 pounds in a couple of weeks. It’s not going to be a cinch to lose it in a couple of weeks. But, you can do it.
When people try to lose weight really fast, there are some things you need to be aware of. First and foremost, quick weight loss diets usually fine for short-term use (as long as you’re healthy), but you shouldn’t stay on them for more than a week or two.
After that, if you want to keep losing weight, switch to a plan that allows you to lose at a slower pace that’s healthier for your body. Not eating anything at all is not a diet, and it certainly isn’t healthy.
Even if you want to lose weight very quickly, you still have to put some food in your body. Don’t try to starve yourself. Also, quick weight loss plans are usually low on variety when it comes to food, so they can get boring quickly.
Since they’re made for short-term use (only a few weeks at a time) you can survive the boredom, lose the weight and enjoy getting into those skinny jeans.
Remember that once you come off your quick weight loss diet plan, you aren’t going to be able to go back to your old way of eating, unless you don’t care if you put all of the weight right back on. Start back into a normal, healthy diet, by eating three reasonable meals a day and one small snack.
Finally, exercise is going to play a huge role in your quick weight loss plan, so be prepared to really work out!
How to Eat
For dropping weight quickly, detox and fasting programs can work wonders. These can take on a variety of flavors, shapes and sizes. You’ve probably heard of some: the Seven Day Juice Diet, Three Day Diet and Cabbage Soup Diet are a few.
The premise behind these types of eating plans is that you consume foods that are naturally very low in calories and fat, along with some foods that may have properties that help to boost your metabolism, or cleanse your system of toxins.
Of course, there are severe restrictions in many of these diets, too. The restrictions could include refined sugar, carbohydrates, alcohol, caffeine, certain fruits, fast foods, and meats.
The good news is that you won’t have to eat like this for the rest of your life, and if you lose the weight you need to in time for the big party, you’ll be happy you did the diet. Basically, quick weight loss programs do two things: They clean out your system and they help you shed some extra pounds fast.
You’ll often hear of detox diets. While detox diets aren’t necessarily made for weight loss, they do result in some quick weight loss. These diets often involve consuming very little or no solid food and lots of juices, teas, special liquid mixtures and purified water.
The idea is to get the toxins that have taken up residence in your body to move elsewhere – somewhere outside of your body. Detox diets usually focus on cleansing organs and bodily systems like the lymphatic system.
Some detox diets are extremely rigorous and strict, and can last several days. Some are gentler. In the process of clearing your body of toxins, weight is usually also lost in the form of water and then fat.
Fasting diets for weight loss are used to jump-start a diet, and to help break food addictions. It’s like going cold turkey. Juice fasts are very popular for shedding weight quickly, but they shouldn’t be used as a permanent weight loss solution.
Juice fasting diets involve drinking different types of fruit and vegetable juice combinations and fruit smoothies to help clean your body out (so it’s like a detox diet in that way), and to help your body lose weight fast.
In many ways, detox and fasting diets are similar, and both may use simple, raw foods to produce results. If you want to use a detox or fasting diet to drop weight fast, you can do it very simply – here’s an example of a good detox/fasting plan:
Make a fruit smoothie from one banana, the juice of one freshly squeezed grapefruit and two freshly squeezed oranges, and a handful of strawberries. Combine together in a blender.
Make a hearty vegetable soup filled with your choice of favorite veggies, and made with vegetable stock (don’t use chicken or beef broth). Have a serving of applesauce along with your soup.
Combine three or four handfuls of washed spinach, several lettuce leaves, a handful of alfalfa sprouts, one cucumber, four or five stalks of celery in a blender, then add enough purified water to create a juice. If you like, add a squeeze of lemon juice for flavor. Drink up!
Carrot or celery sticks with hummus, small apple or orange, fresh berries
As you can see, this diet leaves out all meat and dairy. You don’t get that morning cup of coffee, or your diet soda. There are no sugary treats as rewards for doing well. But you would only stay on a diet like this for one to two weeks max. Beyond that would be unhealthy.
You will, however, clean your system out well with this diet plan, and you’ll drop weight too. And you can do a detox and fasting program every once in awhile to clear out your system and drop more pounds fast.
Now if you don’t think a plan quite like this is going to work for you, you can do something like this, and still lose weight:
Black coffee or tea, one piece of toasted protein or whole wheat bread (dry), one half grapefruit or a whole orange
One serving of tuna, or lean meat or poultry – broiled or baked, fat and skin removed, or two eggs – cooked without oil; a small vegetable salad with low-fat, low-calorie dressing, or a serving of streamed vegetables; water, diet soda, black coffee or tea
Same as lunch (you can eat the same types of foods, but it will probably be nicer if you don’t have exactly the same thing you had for lunch)
Carrots, celery, fruit juice (no sugar added)
This diet gives you more variety, but is still very strict. It probably can’t technically be called either a detox or fasting diet, but you’ll still lose weight quickly with it. Again, this isn’t balanced enough to stay on for more than a couple of weeks.
The key to losing a small amount of weight in a short time period, say 15 to 20 pounds, in two weeks is to cut way back, and eliminate anything that even resembles processed sugar or fat.
Diets like those outlined above are going to keep you in the very low range when it comes to calorie consumption, and your body will accordingly lose weight. There are diets that you can find online and in books that you can use, if you like, that will accomplish the same result.
You’ll find that they’re similar to what I’ve described in terms of being quite strict. For example, the Seven Day Diet gives you some variety, but it still strictly limits what you eat as well as your caloric intake. It works like this:
• Monday: All the fruit you want to eat, except you cannot have bananas
• Tuesday: All the veggies you want; and you can use mustard, soy sauce or vinegar with them
• Wednesday: All the fruits and vegetables you like
• Thursday: Five bananas and five glasses of milk
• On Friday: Four 3-ounce servings of lean beef, chicken or fish, with lots of fresh vegetables
• Saturday and Sunday: Four 3-ounce servings of beef steak, with fresh vegetables
The Cabbage Soup Diet is another popular diet that’s aimed at helping you lose between 10 and 15 pounds in one week. There are a few versions of the Cabbage Soup Diet, but they all focus on eating plenty of low-calorie, low-fat cabbage soup, lots of vegetables and fruit, a bit of meat, and not much of anything else.
As you can see, the key to eating when you’re on a mission to lose weight quickly is to severely limit yourself. And that takes will power. But, if you’re determined, you can definitely do it, then returning to a normal and healthy way of eating.
You’re going to have to get a lot of exercise in to help you drop the extra pounds, so make sure you have your doctor’s approval. Strict diets can make you feel a little less energetic.
If your diet is making you feel lethargic, or like you just can’t get your exercise in, try adding a bit more protein and some complex carbohydrates to it. Yes, this will add calories, but not much, if you choose wisely. Go for very lean meats and fish, and some additional fresh fruit and vegetables.
Part of losing weight quickly is increasing your body’s ability to burn fat. How can you do that? It’s simple. You have to do fat-burning cardio exercise for between 30 and 60 minutes at least five times a week.
How do you know the cardio you’re doing is burning fat? That’s really simple, too. If your exercise is getting your heart into its target range, and keeping it there for the majority of your workout, then you’re burning fat stores.
How do you know your heart’s target?
1. Find your resting heart rate. You do this by counting your pulse for 60 seconds. This is best done first thing in the morning before you get out of bed.
2. Subtract your age from 220. This is your maximum heart rate. You don’t want your heart rate to exceed this.
3. Subtract your resting heart rate number from the number of your maximum heart rate. The resulting number is your heart rate reserve.
4. Divide this number by two.
5. Add this number to your resting heart rate to find the low number for your target heart rate range.
6. Take the heart rate reserve number you came up with (see step 3), and multiply it by .85, and add it to your resting heart rate. This is the upper number of your target range for heart rate.
7. If your heart rate is between the low and high numbers when you’re exercising, you’re within you target heart rate range, and you’re burning fat.
What kinds of cardio exercise are going to get your heart into that range for the 30 to 60 minutes you’re exercising?
Well, if it gets you moving and breathing, it will probably qualify. So that means you can walk very briskly, jog, swim, dance, play tag with your kids, vacuum the floor, dig up a new garden bed, put your little one in the stroller and go walking, do a cardio DVD, walk up and down stairs, get on the treadmill, ride a bike, jump on a mini-trampoline, or anything else that gets you going.
Quick weight loss isn’t about building up muscle, so skip the weight lifting and strength training for right now. Concentrate on working out with cardio, and you’ll lift the fires of your metabolism.
You’ve chosen a diet plan that isn’t easy for many. But if you really want to do it, you can! Your mindset during this time is going to have to be one of hopeful determination. Spend plenty of time giving yourself positive reinforcement.
You’re doing well, and you will soon have made it through the diet, and you’ll be slimmer, too! That’s something great to look forward to. It’s all about keeping your will power running high and your confidence in your abilities strong.
You can do this!
Before we go any further, let’s do a reality check. It is possible to drop a fairly good amount of weight in a small timeframe if you’re determined enough. However, it is unrealistic to expect drastic weight loss like 50 pounds in 14 days, and you shouldn’t put too much pressure on yourself.
Approach this type of weight loss with determination and a good attitude. You’ll lose weight if you follow a restricted diet and get in your exercise. Will you lose exactly 20 pounds? Maybe. But it might be 14 pounds. Just do your best.
Keep your attitude throughout the time that you’re working on dropping this smallish amount of weight positive and upbeat. Remember that the rigorous eating plan won’t last forever, and enjoy the cleansing and lightening effects of your diet.
If you don’t lose the amount of weight you’d hoped to lose, don’t label yourself a failure.
If you don’t lose enough to fit in your bikini or your jeans from high school, then you need a plan B to show off the body that you do have. Whether you’re a man or woman, you can still find ways to dress and look awesome. And the bonus is that you’ve no doubt lost some weight, so that’s a perk!
If you can’t get into your jeans, then go get a pair that looks great on you. Don’t try to pour yourself into your skinny jeans. Pair them with a great shirt, and get your hair styled.
If the bikini still doesn’t fit, find a killer one piece or tankini and a fantastic sarong to wrap around your waist for a sexy effect.
Pat yourself on the back and give yourself two thumbs up for your strong effort! If you stuck to a strict diet and exercise plan, you deserve kudos for demonstrating your inner strength!
You can hold your head up and continue to lose weight with a more reasonable diet plan. Keep working out, adding in some strength training, and the pounds will continue to melt away!
It’s like a scene from a horror movie. You’re reading a book late in the evening, or maybe you’re watching TV, or even worse, maybe you’re already snuggled in bed and are traveling through dreamland, when something awful and sinister invades your body, taking it over and turning you into a lunatic.
You jump up and head for the kitchen. Nothing can stop you. You’re going for the fridge and you’re going to eat its contents like a zombie eats brains!
It’s Night of the Fridge Raiders. Coming to a theater near you.
It can be like this! It’s as if you’re possessed. You stand in front of the fridge eating whatever you can find. If the refrigerator doesn’t have anything that looks good, you check through all the cupboards and the pantry. FOOD!
One sure way to mess up an otherwise healthy, balanced and reasonable diet is to be a fridge raider. And the worst thing is, you know you shouldn’t do it, but you seriously have trouble not doing it.
Studies have shown that people who snack late at night (or participate in late night eating binges) eat more calories overall than people who quit eating after dinner. This is because the snacking and binging is in addition to dinner, it’s not as if you’re just eating your normal dinner later in the evening.
Stop beating yourself up over it. Yes, you really do need to change this harmful habit, but if you’re driving yourself crazy with guilt, it won’t help anything. You need to find a sane approach to an unhealthy behavior.
What you need to do is find realistic ways to undo eating late at night.
How to Eat
If you’re maintaining a reasonable diet during the day, meaning that you aren’t consuming too much fat or too many calories, and you’re eating sensible meals and snacks, good for you! You only need to address this one situation of nighttime fridge raiding.
If you’re not eating healthy during the day, then you have multiple situations to address.
The first thing you should consider is breakfast. Are you eating it? If so, that’s great. If not, it’s time to start. Believe it or not, the most common reason people get the munchies at night is that they didn’t eat enough early in the day.
Your body and brain work on a clock that sort of monitors your eating. If you miss out on breakfast, even if you ate lunch and dinner, your brain is going to send out the “I’m hungry” signal about 12 hours after your missed meal.
If you’re not having a good breakfast, somewhere late in the evening, your brain’s going to decide it’s time to eat. What should a healthy breakfast consist of?
• A serving of grains (cereal, toast, half a bagel)
• Some protein (peanut butter, nuts, meat or eggs)
• Fruit or vegetables (orange juice, a small apple, a few tomato slices)
This is the proper way to start your day nutritionally. Skip the sugary cereals and glazed doughnuts. Keep it healthy and watch your portion sizes.
Many people do what’s commonly called “emotional eating” later in the evening. As the day winds down and you begin to relax, all of a sudden you’re thinking about things that bother you – your crappy job, your kid’s bad grade in science class, your huge hips, your rude neighbors, or an overdraft at the bank.
Worry, fear, anger and hurt feelings can lead to eating for the sake of making yourself feel better – if only for the time that you’re eating. Before you start eating at night, ask yourself what’s really going on, and deal with that problem constructively, rather than drowning it in food.
Speaking of drowning, limit your evening cocktails to one or none. Drinking alcohol will lower your inhibitions about eating. Also, alcohol can disturb sleep patterns and cause you to wake up in the middle of the night. If this happens, will you head for the fridge?
If midnight fridge raids are going to happen, and they still may on occasion, make sure you’ve stocked your kitchen with healthy snack foods. Don’t have your kitchen filled with ice cream, potato chips, cookies and doughnuts. Yes, they’re fun to eat, but they also attach themselves firmly to your body in the form of fat very quickly.
Do the right thing and shop wisely. Low-fat cheese and crackers, yogurt, fruit, healthy cereal and skim or 1% milk, or whole wheat toast and natural peanut butter make better choices if you must eat late at night.
And don’t eat in front of the refrigerator or at the kitchen counter. Put your food on a plate, sit down at the table and think about what you’re doing.
Another strategy that might also help is for you to eat your dinners a bit later in the evening. Contrary to popular notion, it won’t make you gain weight to eat a late dinner. It’s the after dinner snacking that will get you because it adds on new calories. If you usually eat at 6 PM, push dinner to 7:30 PM and see if that helps.
Sip water through the evening and keep a glass of water on your nightstand, so if you wake up, you can have a drink. And if you do wake in the middle of the night, instead of heading for the kitchen to eat, read a book or magazine. Or write your feelings in a journal. Or do something creative, like needlework or work on a puzzle.
Fighting the urge to binge at night might be difficult at times, but if you put these ideas to work for you, you’ll notice that the desire for late-night snacking eventually subsides. As the urge starts to go away, so will those extra pounds.
Everyone, whether they’re trying to lose weight or not, needs to get exercise every day. Most experts recommend a minimum of 30 minutes five times a week. This is for basic health, but it will also help you lose weight, especially if you haven’t been exercising regularly for awhile.
So you know you need exercise, preferably by combining strength training and cardio. You can accomplish this in a number of ways. Any activity that gets you moving is going to give your heart a work out, so taking your puppy out for a good walk every day is good cardio exercise, unless you’re just strolling along – you want to make your heart beat faster.
Taking a dance class and riding a stationary bike while you’re watching the news in the morning are also good. And strength training can take place at the gym, with weight machines or in the comfort of your family room, with a set of dumbbells, resistance bands, or a couple of cans of tomato sauce.
If you need ideas on how to get started with exercise, check some workout DVDs out from your local library, or see if your local gym offers a free pass for a week (many offer specials like this to get you interested). Ask a friend or your spouse to walk with you every day.
Exercise can help you with your nighttime fridge raiding. Regular exercise helps you sleep better, so if you’re the type of person who wakes up in the middle of the night and wanders into the kitchen for a midnight meal, exercise can help you sleep through that temptation.
For some, exercising in the evening helps to induce sleep. For others, it’s better to exercise earlier in the day. This is because exercise will initially elevate stress hormones in your bloodstream, with those hormones eventually tapering off, leading to a relaxed feeling later.
If you’re extra sensitive to stress hormones, late exercise might interfere with sleep. But if you aren’t, late exercise will help tire you out and help you stay asleep. If you’re not sure, try exercising later in the day for a couple of weeks and see how you sleep.
Then, exercise early in the day and see if your sleep patterns change. You’ll be able to decide which time is best for you. Regardless, exercise will help you get a better, more restful night’s sleep and will help fend of nightly binges.
Where is your mindset at when you’re trying to quit binging at night? You have to answer that question by first understanding why you’re eating past dinner and into the night. Is it because you’re stressed out?
If stress is causing you to eat late at night before bed or to get up after going to bed and eat, it will help you to use some stress relief methods and to work on developing a nighttime routine that helps you get to sleep and stay asleep.
Stress is a fact of life.
We live in a very fast-past world and there are a thousand and one things that can stress any of us out at any given time. Since stress happens, and is sometimes completely unavoidable, we need ways to handle it so that it doesn’t overwhelm us and cause us to indulge in unhealthy habits for a quick fix.
You may want to work on building your own repertoire of stress relieving methods that you use each day on a regular basis. This can include:
• Writing your thoughts and feelings in a journal
• Practicing yoga, tai chi, or general stretching exercises
• Getting daily exercise
• Practicing deep breathing techniques. These are easy to learn and help you slow down and relax by providing much needed oxygen to your brain.
• Guided imagery
• Massage therapy
• Laughing – laughter releases endorphins in your body, making you feel happier and more relaxed. Watch a funny movie, read the comics, or watch your favorite sitcom reruns to get more laughter in your life.
Another very effective way to relieve stress in the evening and help you ward off feelings of false hunger is to establish an calm evening routine that gets you ready for sleep and helps you relax enough to sleep peacefully through the night.
Your nighttime routine might go something like this:
1. Clear the dinner dishes – clean and close the kitchen
2. Take a pleasant thirty minute walk
3. Prepare for next day – pack lunch, choose clothes, etc
4. Brush teeth (when your teeth are freshly brushed, you’re less likely to eat again)
5. Help kids with homework
6. Tuck kids in to bed
7. Curl up with a good book and cup of herbal (without caffeine) tea
8. Head to bed when sleepy
If you’ve had breakfast, lunch, possibly an afternoon snack and a healthy dinner, you don’t need a nightly snack, and you certainly don’t need to raid the fridge late in the evening or in the middle of the night.
Take some time to explore what’s compelling you to do this, and find better, more productive ways of dealing with the problem of late-night eating.
A mindset of committing to reduce stress in your life and establish healthier daytime eating habits will help you kick the midnight fridge-raiding habit and enhance your weight loss efforts.