52 Lifestyle Changes for Obesity and Weight Loss In Women Over 40
You know you need to lose weight, but you’ve had it with crash diets and making your muscles burn with exercise.
We’ve pulled together some small things, 52 of them in fact, that you can do today to help yourself fight the battle of the bulge.
1. Eat off blue plates as studies show this color, unlike the red, yellow or orange you’ll see used in the décor of many fast food places, helps us eat less.
2. Eat eggs for breakfast as a 2008 study published in the International Journal of Obesity found that swapping a bagel for eggs could help you drop 65% more weight, plus lose more body fat and inches than you could from eating the same number of calories in bagel form.
3. Use a larger fork to help you eat less as a recent study at the University of Utah found those eating with a fork that held up to 22% more food at an Italian restaurant actually ate 10% less than those who used regular sized cutlery. This appears especially true in a place where portion sizes are large.
4. Turn off the TV, as this is one of the major places people do a lot of their eating. Studies show we eat almost 40% more while watching TV, so you’ll need to tune out, especially during mealtimes, to avoid absently eating more than you want.
5. Fill your plate (but only once) with what you plan on eating, including dessert, rather than going back for second helpings and you’ll eat about 14% less per meal according to “mindless eating” expert Brian Wansink, Ph.D. from the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab.
Lifestyle Changes For Obesity Weight Loss
7. Holding the mayo, ketchup or other special sauce could save you about 100 calories a day, maybe as much as 10 pounds this year alone.
8. More Lifestyle Changes For Obesity Weight Loss and slim down that daily coffee drink – remove just two teaspoons of sugar and you’ll save 32 calories a day, or three extra pounds each year. Or, skip that second trip to the coffee place and you’ll save even more in both money and calories.
9. Add more fruits and veggies to your daily diet as they help you feel fuller for longer, have fewer calories and offer more natural nutrients. Eat at least one serving with every snack, two with every meal.
10. Gradually replacing processed foods with the fresh alternative will help curb the cravings and hungry horrors, without you feeling deprived. Foods that are highly processed don’t have much nutrient value, which prompts the body to look for more food to supply those nutrients.
11. Consider Tabata training, adding quick, 20 second periods of heavy exertion that are followed by 10 seconds of rest and repeating the cycle a total of 8 times to your workout. You can apply this technique to jumping rope, riding a bike or doing another cardio activity.
12. Don’t take weekends off from your diet, thinking that being “good” during the week is a license to ease up on the weekends. This adds up to 12 days off a month… more than enough to undo your good habits during the workweek.
13. Take a time out from stress as too much of it can hamper your weight loss. To decrease levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) as well as levels of fat, try to sit comfortably, close your eyes and repeat a mantra like “relax” or “let go” in your mind as you take slow, deep breaths for the next ten minutes.
14. Eat a lighter lunch as according to a new Cornell University study, those who ate smaller, portion controlled midday meals took in about 250 calories less a day, about two pounds less a month than those who ate whatever they wanted at lunch.
15. Take some clues about what you eat from your own body, paying attention to what foods seem most appealing… and why. Craving sweets is a signal that you need energy. Choosing foods that appeal to you each day helps you tune into your body.
17.Lifestyle Changes For Obesity Weight Loss in focusing on quality not quantity of food when you eat… that is the taste of those first few bites, as these are the most satisfying because your taste buds are on high alert. Stop after the first bite or two and try a different food.
18. Eat in food appropriate areas of your house… the kitchen table or the dining room – shun the car, standing at the counter or eating at your desk – as this keeps your focus on eating, and tune into the visual cues that help you feel full. Research finds that being able to see all you’ve eaten by looking at the remnants of food on the table can help you eat as much as 27% less at each meal.
19. Keeping your serving dishes off the table can help you eat almost 20% less according to a Cornell University study in 2010. Participants in the study ate less when the food wasn’t in easy reach, and what’s more, were more likely to choose a fruit or veggie when they were in sight.
Lifestyle Changes For Obesity Weight Loss
20. Go for a walk right after a meal as this simple, low impact exercise appears to be even more effective for weight loss when it takes place right after you’ve eaten. A 2011 study in Japan found that a brisk 30-minute after a meal was more effective for weight loss than walking an hour afterwards.
21. Eating two ounces of walnuts a day in place of another snack can help you burn fat 62% faster. This is probably due to the high amounts of omega-3s in walnuts that help to enhance heart and brain function, as well as muscle recovery and burning of fat.
22. Stay away from bread or flour that has “enriched” on the label if you want to keep from gaining weight. The term means that the nutrients have been stripped from the product and then added back, making the food virtually empty calories. You’ll want to buy whole grain varieties instead… old-fashioned oats, wheat bread and whole-wheat flour.
23. Start your meals with either a soup or salad as a 2007 study by Penn State University researchers found that when people ate vegetable and broth based soups before a meal they ate about 20% less.
24. Join Weight Watchers. A recent study appearing in the Lancet found that overweight patients who were referred to this program and told by their doctor they needed to lose weight lost two times as much weight after a year as those who didn’t take part in this program. The regular, consistent support and realistic eating strategies are invaluable when it comes to weight loss.
25. Switching to non-dairy milk alternatives could be adding 30 calories (per cup) to your daily total. That could be as much as three pounds a year if you drink just a cup of this beverage every day. Go for lactose free skim milk instead, almond and rice milk are also good alternatives.
26. You don’t have to give up candy altogether, even when trying to lose weight, just make adjustments in the amount you have. Instead of a full candy bar, try a smaller, snack size. Or instead of giving in to your sweet tooth every day, have a piece of good for you dark chocolate on days when a craving strikes hard.
27. Chewing food 40 times, instead of the 15 that is average, can help you eat almost 12% less food according to a study from China appearing in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The work found a direct link between chewing more and lower amounts of the hormone ghrelin, an appetite stimulating hormone as well as higher levels of CCK a substance that’s thought to cut appetite.
28. Gradually up your daily intake of fiber, both soluble and insoluble to 20-30g per day. Insoluble fiber absorbs water so that it helps you feel full and speeds food along your digestive tract. Soluble fiber slows down the absorption of glucose so that cells burn sugar for energy rather than storing it away as fat.
29. Make your reason for weight loss come from inside… not merely to look better, but rather to feel better, healthier, more powerful by accomplishing this goal. So when you’re considering skipping a workout, stop and think how you’ll feel afterward. It’s a great motivator.
30. Get out in the sun as a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has shown that obese subjects had vitamin D levels that were 57% lower than those who were not obese.
A very important health tip is, every day get about 15 minutes out in the sun, without sunscreen, and you’ll enjoy a better mood, more energy and a better chance of staying on track with your weight loss.
31. Shop, as much as possible, in the outer aisles of the market as this is where the produce, meat, fish and other healthy foods are located. The inner aisles are the ones loaded with the processed foods that you’ll want to avoid.
32. Try using vinegar and lemon juice in your cooking, pickling veggies or enjoying some sourdough bread which helps to slow down starch digestion and the speed your stomach empties. This keeps you feeling fuller, longer so your overall calorie intake is lower.
33. Undercook your starches as this helps to slow digestion. The compact granules that naturally store starch are hard and tough on the digestion; it’s the expansion during cooking in water of the starches that makes them easier for the enzymes in our stomach to change into simple sugars. Undercooked pasta still keeps the starch in the shell, and raises blood sugar more slowly than fully cooked pasta.
34. More Lifestyle Changes For Obesity Weight Loss: Eat more brain healthy fats like cold water fish, flax oil or seeds and avocados as these will keep you feeling fuller for hours longer.
35. Avoid fruit or juice in a can as these products are usually canned in syrups that are loaded with sugar. Go fresh or frozen, or if you must use canned, look for ones that are packaged in water. Eating fresh instead of a cup of canned fruit daily could save you up to 13 pounds a year.
36. Try hiding veggies in your favorite foods by pureeing them first. Choices like spinach, kale and peas blend up nice and smooth and can easily become a part of a sauce or smoothie without changing the flavor. Adding veggies to your diet helps ward off cravings for junk food.
37. Skip the sports drink and have a glass of chocolate milk instead as a 2008 study in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism saw that drinking low fat chocolate milk helped exercisers go 50% longer than those who drank sports drinks. The swap might help your body recover faster after exercise.
38. Add a pinch of salt to your dessert as this can enhance the flavor while also helping you to feel satisfied without gobbling the whole thing. When it comes to dessert, you can also share with a friend or decide to eat only half.
39. Drink water before a meal, as this is more effective than diet pills when it comes to losing weight according to a 2008 study appearing in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. Drinking 18 ounces of water a half-hour before a meal helped people eat about 13% less.
40. Write down your meal plan as research shows people are 80% more likely to follow it if they’ve put the plan to paper. Just take five minutes in the morning to write what you’ll eat for the day.
41. Steer clear of “fake fat” foods that contain Olestra, as a Purdue University study found rats fed chips with this fake fat ate more, gained more than those fed regular fat chips. Real fat sends signals to the body to stop eating, while the fake fat confuses the natural signals. Indulge in the full fat chips if you must, but keep the serving size under control.
42. Add beans as a side dish, or into ground meat, casseroles or salads. Regular bean eaters are 22% less likely to be overweight and have smaller waistlines than those of us who don’t eat beans. Beans release energy more slowly which makes them a great weight loss food. They’re also loaded with protein and fiber, adding to that sense of feeling satisfied.
43. Leave those last few bites of a meal and you can cut about 250 calories on average. Do it regularly and this could add up to a drop of 26 pounds in a year.
44. Skip the diet soda and artificial sweeteners as new research shows you could be confusing your body with them. Taking in a sugar substitute that doesn’t deliver in terms of calories may have you eating more. Your body knows real from fake sugar, so when you try to satisfy a craving with an imitation, you end up continuing to crave real sugar.
45. Satisfy your sweet tooth at the end of your meal with fruit, not dessert. If you avoid sugar for a few days, then introduce fruits, you’ll find this healthy, lower calorie alternative tastes just like dessert.
More Lifestyle Changes For Obesity Weight Loss
46. Add more Brussels sprouts to your diet. Not only are they low calorie, free of fat and packed with fiber and other nutrients, but new research shows that they might also improve your body’s products of adiponectine, a hormone that plays a part in burning stored fat as fuel.
47. Stick to the kids’ size servings and you’ll save about 200 calories per meal. You’ll be moderating your intake of familiar favorites… not eliminating them altogether.
48. Choose healthy options at least 80% of the time and eat slowly until you’re 80% full. While finding that place might be a challenge, you’ll do it if you listen closely to your body as you eat. The goal is not to leave a meal feeling uncomfortably stuffed, but rather comfortably satisfied.
49. Go the extra ten in your workout… push yourself a bit more by adding another ten minutes to your workout. This could burn an extra 100 to 200 calories, or fuel a one to two pound weight loss over the course of a year.
50. Start paying attention to your heart rate during workouts and you’ll be able to burn extra calories too. Do this by taking your own pulse for ten seconds and then multiply that number by six. You want to aim for staying within 60% to 80% of your maximum heart rate for most of the workout. Do this and you can burn an extra 200-300 calories an hour.
51. Brushing your tongue can help curb your cravings for salty snacks, as it improves your taste sensitivity so that you’re likely to be satisfied with less. Brushing your teeth between meals also helps curb that snacking habit.
52. Fidget… tap your toes, bounce your knees, thump a pencil as research from the Mayo Clinic shows that people who are leaner have trouble being still, and spend as much as two hours each day fidgeting or pacing about. You might burn as much as 350 extra calories a day, equal to a 3.5 mile run, without the sweat.
Article Written by Kirsten Whittaker [Daily Health Bulletin Editor]