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Sneaky Weight Gain Solutions

August 24, 2010

Well, maybe just one…. A pound here, a pound there, and suddenly we suspect our blue jeans stayed too long in the dryer. Alas, in our hearts we know the fault does not lay with the laundry process. If life were fair we could eat cream doughnuts every hour and never gain an ounce, but you know life is not fair. Most of us have to exercise vigilance and fight the good fight of hand to mouth combat on a daily basis. The good news is that there are a few painless habits that can prevent some of those insidious calories from taking up permanent residence on your hips. •GET SOME SLEEP. Columbia University (New York) scientists found that those who logged five hours or less of sleep were 50% more likely to be obese than those who routinely slept for seven to nine hours a night. Four hours a night sleepers were 73% (yes, 73%!) more likely to be seriously overweight, and six hours a night sleepers were 23% more likely to be overweight. •EAT AN EARLY BREAKFAST. UK scientists found that women who ate breakfast around 7:30 a.m. consumed fewer calories per day than when they ate their first meal mid-morning (around 10:30 a.m.). Early breakfast translated into a loss of one pound per month. Doesn't sound like much? That's a painless 12 pounds a year! •EXERCISE BEFORE EATING. Reduce the effects of that triple banana split by exercising BEFORE, rather than after, indulging yourself. University of Glasgow researchers report that people who walked for 90 minutes before a food binge, experienced 25% lower blood fat levels compared to subjects who did not exercise, or exercised after eating. Okay, ninety minutes of walking is a lot, but intersperse exercise within your day. Take the stairs, park at the end of the lot, do a few stretches throughout the day, walk during your lunch hour, touch your toes after sitting for long stretches. Doesn't matter. Move! •DRINK GREEN TEA. University of Geneva scientists discovered that subjects who drank three cups of green tea per day burned almost 2000 more calories per week. Two thousand calories could be equivalent to one day of not eating. That's almost 3 pounds per month, 36 pounds a year that you don't gain! Now, there is a host of other health benefits derived from drinking green tea and this is just one more great incentive to make green tea an integral part of your day. •EAT DAIRY PRODUCTS. Yoplait Yogurt advertises that consuming its yogurt helps burn much more fat than just cutting calories. While Yoplait has some delicious flavors, the key is not Yoplait per se, but the calcium. (Personally, Greek yogurt is my choice.) A University of Tennessee professor of nutrition and medicine found that when combined with calorie control, a dairy-rich diet can nearly double body-fat reduction and weight loss and help prevent weight gain. Three servings of low or nonfat dairy a day is the government's latest dietary recommendation. Good advice. A cup of milk or yogurt, or 1.5 oz of cheese equals one serving. •PRACTICE AFFIRMATIONS. Affirmations are more than just happy self-talk. Practiced routinely, they can change your mindset and your attitude towards many aspects of your life. Affirmations are simple words or phrases that you repeat to yourself. They focus your attention in a positive way on a current goal. Affirmations are always present tense. Focus on the end game, not the current deprivation. Do not say "I am not hungry," say "I love feeling thinner." Whenever you feel an urge to eat or avoid exercise or an opportunity to move, take a deep breath and silently or verbally express reasonable and believable concepts that your mind can accept. Develop your own and repeat them constantly. Here are a few to get you started. • I am in control of my life and my health. • I am confident and happy when I feel good about myself. • I am on my way to looking and feeling better. • I enjoy feeling lighter and more beautiful (handsome). • I am fully nourished and healthy today. • I deserve to pursue healthy habits just for my own well being. • I release all anger/bitterness/depression (whatever is appropriate) in my life. • I am feeling thinner right now and that makes me happy. • I love being able to turn down food that is not good for me. • I love it when my clothes fit with room to spare. • I am worthy of being my best. • I am at peace with myself.

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