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A few interesting tips...

Posted Aug 26 2008 4:25pm

Don't go to extremes:

Lowering your calories may not be the best idea. Taking in too few calories keeps you from getting the nutrients you need. On the other hand, trying to exercise for a few hours a day is an unrealistic goal - one that most people can't maintain. It also sets you up for injury.



Increase your activity...gradually:

Choose any type of activity you like. It can be skating, dancing, gardening or walking. What you choose doesn't matter as long as you're moving. Aim for 30 minutes of exercise a day, then slowly increase your time. Also increase the intensity of your workout.



Strength training:

Another way to break away from the plateau is by strength training. Adding muscle balances out the slowed metabolism caused by weight loss. The more muscle you can add, the higher your metabolism will be.



Get back on track:

The following tips can help you jump-start a sluggish weight loss program:



Don't weigh yourself more than once a week:

Fluctuations in your weight are normal. What you think is a plateau may be fluid retention or premenstrual bloating. To get the most accurate weigh-in, step on the scale just once a week.



Have reasonable expectations:

Realize that people lose weight at different rates. In general, the more weight you have to lose, the faster it will come off. This is due mostly to your reduction in calories. Expect to lose about 1 percent of your body weight each week. If you weigh 200 pounds, you'll lose about two pounds. If you weigh 150, you'll lose about one to one-and-a-half pounds.



Exercise moderately:

Your metabolism slows down when you take in fewer calories - and exercise speeds it back up. If you don't get enough calories - or if you exercise too much - your body stores fat to keep you from starving. Don't exercise for more than an hour a day, including warming up and cooling down. Women should get no less than 1,200 calories per day and men should get at least 1,500.



Flush excess water from your body:

You can hit a plateau when you retain fluids. To prevent this, limit your salt intake. Do this by drinking more water and exercising a little more. Eat more fruit- especially cantaloupe, oranges, bananas and honeydew. These fruits give you potassium, which helps to eliminate water. Don't overdo it, though. Remember - fruit still has calories.





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