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7 Tips for Dieting Success

Copyright 2005 Richard Keir

There are lots of dieters, trying every sort of plan to lose weight and get healthier. But, rather than examine diet plans or the details of how and why low-carb diets work, here are some useful tips that can be used in any diet plan -- and, really, in any sensible approach to eating.

Tip 1: Drink 8 to 10 Glasses of Water Every Day

You've heard this one over and over. But, it isn't easy and too few people actually do it. Your body needs water to keep your system clean, to process food, to keep your skin in good shape and more. Sure, it'll use any liquid, but pure water works best. But 'there's no taste, at least with pure water. This can be difficult since we're conditioned to want sweetness and flavors. But, it gets easier the more you do it. It's a matter of re-conditioning your taste buds, and yourself. Once started, you'll begin to crave water.

Drink a glass, or even two, as soon as you wake up. Especially in the beginning, those are the easy two. And they'll help you remember.

If you can't stand the taste of water, try a purifying pitcher or filter, or add a few drops of lemon or lime to your water 'but no sugar or sweetener. Check out the flavored waters, too. Just keep an eye out for additives.

Tip 2: Eat Breakfast

Don't skip breakfast. If you need to go to bed earlier so that you can get up 20 minutes earlier each morning 'do it! Breakfast is vitally important to good health and weight control. According to Dr. Barbara Rolls a professor of nutrition at Penn State University, "Your metabolism slows while you sleep, and it doesn't rev back up until you eat again."

Eating breakfast is good for overall weight loss and it helps you stay on track with your diet the rest of the day. Skip breakfast and you're more likely to binge.

Short on time? Keep hard-boiled eggs and high-fiber, low starch fruit in the fridge. If you plan to eat fruit during the day, breakfast is a perfect time to do it.

Tip 3: Eat 3 Meals and 2 Snacks Every Day

This could be a hard adjustment to make. Hey, you're busy! You already have a "full-plate". When are you going to eat more?

But, exactly like eating breakfast will increase your metabolism, so will eating more often. This also helps you curb bad-carb intake by making sure that your snacks are planned and occur regularly throughout the day.

Tips 4: Avoid White Foods

This is an easy way to remember what not to eat. If it's made from sugar, flour, potatoes, rice or corn 'just say no. Yes, those rice cakes are actually an unhealthy high-carb snack.

Look for color. Buy broccoli, lettuce, bell peppers, green beans and peas, brown rice (in moderation), leafy greens like kale and spinach, apples, melons, oranges and grapes.

Not only colorful, they're also high in fiber, nutrients and important antioxidants. Eating colorful fruits and vegetables will give your diet variety as well as give you added health benefits. Eat your veggies.

Tip 5: Prepare Your Own Food

While more restaurants offer so-called low-carb menu items, many of them are not ideal low-carb fare. There are many recipes for quick and easy meals that you can prepare yourself at home. Do this as often as possible.

Cooking your own foods, you know exactly what the contents are and you'll be able to better control hidden sugar and other processed junk.

This tip saves you money too. Even if you end up going to the grocery store more often, you'll save versus eating out.

Tip 6: Eat Some Protein At Every Meal And With The Snacks

In addition to everything that's been discussed before, eating protein helps you burn more calories. Jeff Hample, Ph.D., R.D., a spokesman for the American Dietetic Association says that, "Protein is made up mainly of amino acids, which are harder for your body to breakdown, so you burn more calories getting rid of them."

Beautiful 'eat a protein rich snack and lose weight. How about a few slices of turkey or ham or some string cheese?

Eating protein also helps you feel full so you're less likely to crave unhealthy snacks.

Tip 7: Invest In Good Cookbooks

Can't figure out what to eat? Need variety? Get a cookbook. Granted, not all recipes in a cookbook are low-carb, but you'll be surprised at the number of low-carb and low-carb friendly recipes you can find in your standard Betty Crocker Cookbook.

Cookbooks are great reference tools that contain handy tips on purchasing cuts of meat and preparing meats, fruits and vegetables in new and exciting ways.

Plus, new low-carb cookbooks are hitting the shelves all the time. So be sure to take advantage of these resources to try something new, different and delicious.

So that's the seven tips, but here's an extra. Stay out of the center of the supermarket. It'll be easier to stick with your low-carb lifestyle if you learn this common thread in most grocery store designs: the healthy foods are on the perimeter aisles.

Think about it, when you go into the grocery all the healthy stuff, fruits, vegetables, meats, and dairy products, tend to be around the stores walls. You only rarely need to enter the center aisle areas if it's a store that keeps butter and cheese in the center near the frozen foods. Usually all of the foods that you need for your low carb diet can be found on the perimeter of the grocery store.

Train yourself to start on one end of the outer aisle and work your way around. It will be much easier to avoid carb cravings and fill your basket with healthy items if you do so.

Just these few tips can make a significant difference in how successful you can be with your diet. Use them as part of your approach to dieting and a healthier lifestyle. You'll love your new self.


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