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Ten Tips on Losing Weight Now

by Dr. Elson Hass

The ultimate process for weight loss is the long, slow one that involves you changing your diet for life (rather than going on a diet) to create the body, health and the appropriate weight for you.

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Many of us tend to eat or overeat at stressful or transition times, particularly in adolescence or in mid-life. When we add to our fat cells and the areas around our belly and hips, this is more "dangerous" weight gain and more difficult to lose. The key is to prevent added weight by replacing highly sweet and starchy foods with foods that won't cause weight gain and those lower on the Glycemic Index. Here are ten tips to help you lose weight naturally.

   1. Eat a balanced diet of wholesome foods, focusing on high-nutrient and low-calorie foods-vegetables and whole grains, legumes, and some fresh fruits.
   2. Avoid overeating and don't eat much after nightfall.
   3. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper (ie. consume most of your fuel early in the day so that you will utilize it in your daily activities.)
   4. Drink plenty of filtered or spring water (8-12 glasses
daily), particularly first thing in the morning and then
30-60 minutes before meals to satiate your body and
minimize your appetite. Remember, hydration is essential to eating less. Also, adding liquid trace minerals to our water can help with getting water to our cells and tissues.
   5. Exercise regularly-at least one hour daily. This includes stretching and strengthening exercises along with 30-45 minutes of aerobic activity at least 4 times a week.
   6. Avoid high-fat, processed, and high-calorie foods, such as candy, cookies and cakes, sodas, chips, cheese,
and meats, especially lunchmeats.
   7. Take time to eat. Eat and chew slowly and thoroughly, satisfying yourself with each mouthful; pay attention to eating when you're consuming food.
   8. Be loving and forgiving with yourself both for any weight problems and for whenever you vary from your diet plan. Get back on track quickly and focus on low-fat, low-calorie, wholesome foods.
   9. Realize that your weight has many genetic and emotional factors and triggers involved, and you may need support to help you change your bad habits. Psychotherapy and hypnotherapy can be helpful for long-term success.
  10. The ultimate process for weight loss is the long, slow one that involves you changing your diet for life (rather than going on a diet) to create the body, health and the appropriate weight for you.

Any food below 55 on the Glycemic Index tends to conserve insulin and hormones. When your body puts out less insulin, this creates less stress on your pancreas and other glands, and may decrease your risk of diabetes and obesity later in life. Overeating usually isn't as much of a problem when you eat low on the Index. It's the blast of insulin from high glycemic foods that drives hunger cravings. With a diet of whole foods, appetite seems to drop quite naturally.   

If you were raised on meat and potatoes (and desserts), or if you feel that a meal without bread isn't a meal, there are some favorite starches that are still relatively low on the Glycemic Index such as brown rice, wild rice, whole wheat pita bread, sweet potatoes and yams, oatmeal, popcorn, seeds, nuts, and nut butters, as well as most peas and beans including black beans, pintos, limas and kidney beans.

Elson M. Haas, MD (www.HaasHealthOnline.com) is an integrative, family medicine physician for nearly 40 years and is Founder/Director of Preventive Medical Center of Marin in San Rafael (www.pmcmarin.com) Dr. Haas is also the author of many books and articles in the areas of health, nutrition and detoxification, including Staying Healthy with Nutrition. Dr. Haas speaks nationally, and has also created new multimedia educational entertainment products (books, musical CD, and Apps) for young children and families (see www.seasonsstudios.com). For more information call 415-472-2343 or see the ad on page 34.

Related Info:
Full: A Life Without Dieting
More Vegetables, Please!
Carrots: Not Your Average Vegetable
The Health Benefits of Green Foods
Eating Well on a Gluten-Free Diet 
Dr. Andrew Weil on Eating for Optimal Health
Eating For Health

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