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Six Secrets to Having and Keeping Your Ideal Weight

WholeLife Matrix: Health and WellBeing – Nutrition and Weight – Weight Management
“The key to keeping weight off after a diet is incorporating habits of sound nutrition, regular exercise, and reasonable expectations that you can stick to for a lifetime.” – Joan Salge Blake, MS, RD, clinical associate professor at Boston University
 
It is important to manage your weight to live a healthy and happy lifestyle.   Here are some tips for looking and feeling your best!
 
1. Enjoy Daily Exercise
Exercising regularly will boost your mood and concentration, reduce stress, and help keep your mind and body healthy.  Pick types of exercise that you enjoy doing and can continue to do on a regular basis.  There are many options such as running, biking, swimming, and tennis.  You do not need to do strenuous exercise to lose weight or to maintain your weight.  Just walking for twenty minutes a day can help you to lose weight or to maintain your weight. Regular exercise will help you to burn fat, feel less hungry, and stay fit. It is also important to get sufficient sleep to regulate our body.
 
2. Drink Plenty of Water
Drinking 6 to 8 glasses of fluids every day will help keep you from overeating and will keep you hydrated.  Try to avoid sugary drinks. Drinking tea can also help. It has been shown to prevent dental decay, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and arthritis. There are a variety of teas that are recommended for weight loss.
 
3. Fill Up on Fiber
The recommended daily intake for fiber is 25-30 grams. High fiber foods include whole grain breads and cereals, whole wheat pasta and rice, dried beans, fruits and vegetables.  Four to five cups of fruits or vegetables are recommended for each day.  They are a good source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber and naturally low in calories and fat. Fiber helps you to eat less and curbs hunger by filling you up faster.  Eating a salad before your meal or a cup or bowl of vegetable soup can reduce calories by ten percent.  Also, soluble fiber can lower your cholesterol.  
 
4. Low Carb Diet
It is good to have a low carbohydrate diet because carbohydrates can raise your blood sugar level, increasing your insulin, which causes your body to store fat.  With a low carb diet, you won’t be hungry between meals because you will be burning fat.
 
5. Including Dairy

Including three servings of milk, yogurt, or cheese a day can help your burn fat and lose weight.  Dairy products are a good source of vitamin D and calcium.

6. Control Your Portions

Portion your meals in a calorie-conscious way thinking of both the quality and the quantity of the calories you will be consuming. Carefully counting calories may help you to lose weight, but for the long run, you need to learn to manage your portions to control your calorie intake. To control your portions, try to use smaller to medium sized plates. One quarter of your plate should include a palm-sized portion of lean protein such as fish or chicken (about 3 ounces).  Another quarter of your plate should contain unrefined grain such as brown rice (about the size of your fist).  Half of your plate should be filled with various colorful vegetables.  Eat your food slowly to enjoy your meal and to allow time for your body to signal that it has had enough.  If you still feel hungry after you have finished eating your portions, wait 20 minutes.  If you are still hungry, eat a piece of fruit, some more vegetables, or a tossed salad.
 
In the WholeLife Matrix, we have four aspects for developing and accessing weight management: 
 
1.  Weight Monitoring
2.  Exercise
3.  Body Mass Index
4.  Stability Over Time
 
7. Managing Your Calories
Do not skip meals.  Eat three meals a day and snacks to fuel your body so that it will work efficiently throughout the day.  Eat breakfast to jump start your metabolism and consume most of your calories in the first half of the day.  You will need less calories during the evenings when you are less active.  Check your weight on a scale if this encourages you and helps you to make sure that your weight is not going back up.  Weight fluctuates daily and hourly so it is recommended that you weigh yourself once a week. You can also tell if you are gaining or losing weight by how well your clothes fit.  Keeping a food log of what you are eating each day and the approximate number of calories for each food can help you keep track of how much you are eating and how healthy the foods are.  You can also include your exercise plan and weight goals.
 

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