Monday, March 22, 2010

Winning the Battle of the Bulge

Let’s be honest. If you’re wrestling with weight, you’ve just read a lot of bad news, very bad news, and abjectly bad news. Basically, the problem is that your body doesn’t want you to lose large amounts of weight. It stubbornly clings to this point of view, even though science tells us slimming down would help it work better. Unfortunately, in battles like these, the body usually wins. But don’t give up just yet. If your weight is high or creeping up, you can’t afford to walk away from this battle. Here are some useful techniques:

• Copy successful losers. Surveys tell us that successful dieters—that rare breed of individuals who lose weight and keep it off—have a few characteristics in common. They look at their weight loss as a longterm lifestyle change, not as a quick fix. They exercise regularly, and their exercise combines calorie-burning aerobic exercise (like running, swimming, or dancing), with muscle-building weight training. But don’t be alarmed—there’s no need to haul out back-straining barbells or climb into expensive gym equipment. A few light weights can do wonders for your muscle tone and bone strength, boost your metabolism, and help fend off the ravages of age.

• Pretend to be skinny. Naturally thin people behave differently at the dinner table. They’re more likely to eat before they’re head-throbbingly hungry, and so they’re less likely to overeat. They eat slower and with less embarrassment. They’re picky, and they don’t clean their plates if the meal includes food they don’t really like or want. They also get up, move around, and fidget away dozens of extra calories a day.

• Become aware. Overeating is easy, if you don’t think about it. Unfortunately, a great number of people spend a great deal of time devising ways to encourage your automatic eating habits. (To learn about them, check out the eye-opening book, Mindless Eating). To put the thinking parts of your brain back in control, avoid eating while engaged in other activities (watching reality television, working on your taxes, and so on). Some dieters find that a food journal—a daily log of all the food they eat—forces them to face up to what’s on their plate. And one innovative study found that dieters who used a camera to take pictures of their every meal and snack were more likely to stick to their diets.

• Get a good night’s sleep. Skimping on sleep causes your body to release the stress hormone cortisol, which promotes fat accumulation. To be in fine form, insist on eight hours a night.

If you struggle with weight, none of these tactics will completely conquer excess pounds. But they will help you wrest a bit more control away from your body’s calorie-hoarding autopilot, and give you better odds in the never-ending battle against obesity.

Source of Information : Oreilly - Your Body Missing Manual

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