Lose weight FAST with these fall foods & fun activities
Nature has a way of providing us with exactly what we need. As the weather starts to get cold, autumn harvests are full of rich, dense foods to give us extra energy and warmth. Fresh, vitamin rich fruits and vegetables are at their peak, just in time to nourish our immune systems for those winter colds and flus. The outdoors is cool and inviting to get out and rev up our metabolism. In short, it's the perfect time of year to live healthier and lose that extra weight.
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I find that keeping my diet simple helps me stay on track and research backs me up. The most successful losers are unadventurous when it comes to eating. Planning meals, preparing them at home, and eating several small meals throughout the day are all great ways to watch those calories. I also find that keeping a journal helps control what goes in my mouth.
Studies show most of us underestimate how many calories we consume. By writing everything down, we can keep track. Watch the weekends. Another study found most Americans eat about 82 calories more per day on the weekend and most of those calories are high in fat and sugar.
Take advantage of everything autumn has to offer. Fruits and vegetables are naturally low in calories and high in vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants. Protein is also important this time of year. Diets high in protein tend to be more successful because it takes longer to digest and makes us feel full longer. Don't forget about all those good fats that help keep us satiated from one meal to the next. A small slice of avocado, a small handful of nuts, or a teaspoon of olive oil helps keep cravings under control.
Cooler temperatures always make me want to get out and explore. Walking is a great way to get active and enjoy the changing leaves and other colors nature provides this time of year. Research out of the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston shows people who begin with exercise are more likely to be motivated to make healthy, lower-calorie dietary changes.
Your goal should be 30 minutes of exercise at least five times a week, but set even higher goals if you want to achieve this. A study out of the University of Florida finds only about 60 percent of us achieve our weekly fitness goals. So, if we make it our goal to walk every day, chances are better we'll hit the five a week mark.
Adding music to your activities is another way to kick start your metabolism. Researchers in New Jersey discovered that women who listened to music while walking lost twice as much weight as those who didn't. The people who walked to music walked more often and longer.
Be sure to get plenty of sleep. People who get at least eight hours of sleep a night tend to lose weight faster and keep it off. Studies show that lowering stress also speeds the metabolism. Take time to meditate, to stop for a few minutes a day and take slow, deep, breaths. And get a check-in buddy. If you are accountable to someone other than yourself, you're more likely to stay on track. Not to mention, you'll have someone to vent to on those difficult days.
Trust me. I lost 50 pounds and I can guarantee there will be difficult days. But with a few strategies to keep you on track, you can limit those days. I can also tell you that once you get into a groove, it will get easier. We are creatures of habit and changing how you eat and exercise is a big deal. But, once you make it part of your daily routine, it not only gets easier, it becomes enjoyable. I love how I feel now and I look forward to exercise and healthy eating.
Stock up on some healthy farm fresh produce and make your fall a healthy one.
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