Losing weight can be a tough battle, and it definitely takes patience and time. If you've tried the many different diets out there, you know how frustrating it can be to wait and see real results. Losing weight is even harder during the holiday months, since this is when the cookies, ham, and other fattening foods tend to be plentiful.
On the other hand, it's also a time for parties, socializing, and seeing family members you haven't seen in a while, so you obviously want to look your best. Fortunately, there are some ways to help you lose weight quickly and just in time for Christmas.
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Part 1: The Diet You Should Follow for Rapid Weight Loss Before December 25th
One of the key reasons that people have a difficult time losing weight is because their digestive system is not functioning properly. If your digestive system is not performing at its optimum capacity, weight loss can be slow or even halted completely. You can diet and eat healthy as much as you want, but essentially the body cannot shed the pounds, since the stomach is not digesting food properly.
There are scientific studies to show, however, that citrus that is found in natural lemons and limes can aid the digestive system, speeding up the weight loss process. This may seem surprising, yet it's true: lemons are nature's tool to helping you lose weight!
Lemons also contain pectin, and in a recent study, scientists found that pectin can help eliminate cravings. In some cases, the pectin can actually curb these cravings for up to four hours, which is a great help when you're trying to lose weight and diet correctly.
There are ways you can proactively add more lemon or other citrus into your diet so that you can boost your metabolism and resist the urge to overeat. Perhaps the most obvious and commonly used way to integrate more lemon into your diet is to simply squeeze fresh lemon juice into your water. Water alone is already a great way to keep your system clean and perk up the metabolism rate.
By adding lemon juice to water, you're adding a delicious twist to everyday water while ingesting more citrus into your diet. A great way to create a daily regimen for yourself is to make sure you drink some lemon juice in warm water first thing in the morning. This gives your metabolism a great kick-start for the day.
Of course, you can also integrate lemon peel into your deserts or other foods (which is the part of the lemon that includes pectin), and sprinkle the lemon juice over your food. Incorporate this new habit with a healthier diet and you'll see results.
Speaking of beverages, alcoholic drinks should be kept to a minimum when trying to lose weight. Avoid too much caffeine as well, since it has been known to slow down weight loss. Try not to drink sugar laden sodas or bottle fruit juices that are packed with sugar and chemicals.
Tea is a good alternative, especially the sugar and caffeine free versions, but water is absolutely the best beverage you can ingest that will help your body function at optimal levels.
You can also include lemons in every day dishes such as chicken or fish. Sprinkle the peel shavings into soups and on top of fresh salads. This will give you the pectin in your diet you will need to help stimulate the body's natural metabolism.
The lemon also adds a flavorful twist to boring dishes. It is also interesting to note that lemons are a great source of fiber as well which helps to keep the body's digestive system regular. Incorporating lemons is easier than you might think. In addition, they are a fairly inexpensive way to give your diet a boost.
It has been shown that by simply adding more fresh lemon to your diet, you can actually regulate blood sugar levels by as much as thirty percent. Our bodies' glucose and blood sugar levels are extremely important parts of how we process food and how we can maintain a healthy weight. Proper levels of glucose are essential to maintain weight loss and keep your body lean.
Citrus is also great for losing weight because it increases the acid levels in the digestive system. In turn, the body is then able to absorb calcium better, which is also a known weight loss promoting vitamin.
Of course, eating lemons or drinking warm water with lemon juice is not the only way to get those pounds off before Christmas. Eating foods that are low in fat and high in protein will help your body produce more muscle, which burns fat.
Avoid sugar if possible, since this can throw off your body's ability to burn fat properly. Sugar also "tricks" the body into a false sense of energy, followed by a crash which can cause fatigue and more sugar cravings later. Another important element to speeding up weight loss is incorporating more whole grains and fiber into the diet. Try to avoid foods rich in too much starch and empty calories. This includes things like white bread and pasta. Choose healthier options such as whole-wheat pasta and breads made with grain. Be sure to read the labels on the food you buy and check their sugar, carbohydrate, and fiber content.
You'd be surprised at what is really in the foods we tend to eat on a daily basis. Changing the way you view food can have a positive effect on your weight loss goals.
Saturated fats are dangerous for your heart, cholesterol, and they can get in the way of your weight loss. Be sure to include foods rich in omega 3 oils such as fish and nuts. These foods can help to curb cravings, speed up metabolism, and help protect your vital organs including the liver and heart. Extra virgin olive oil is another wonderful addition to any diet. It is rich in essential oils that will promote a healthy diet. Olive oil also tastes great and can be used in countless different recipes.
Moderate exercise combined with eating healthy will definitely get those pounds off faster. Be sure you are also getting enough sleep each night. Several recent studies have shown that people who do not get enough sleep nightly run the risk of overeating the next day, so be sure you get at least seven to eight hours of sleep per night if possible.
Combine these healthy lifestyle habits with a glass of water and lemon juice daily, and you can be well on your way to shedding those unwanted pounds so you can fit into that party dress just in time for the holiday season.
Part 2: How to Fight Those Awful Christmas Cravings
The holidays are definitely the most tempting time for dieters to overeat. The peer pressure we feel by gathering together with family and friends who bring cookies, cakes, ham, eggnog, and other fattening foods can be overwhelming. It's an American tradition for us to gorge ourselves on sugary sweets, breads, and other foods that are bad for us during the Christmas season.
The temptation is all around us, too. From work parties to friends sharing time together, there is enough unhealthy food at this time of year to last us a lifetime.
The good news is that there is a difference between real hunger and simple cravings. The secret is learning how to tell the difference between the two so you can fight off the urge to overeat. Sometimes the best thing to do is simply take a step back and think about what you're eating before you grab something off the deli platter. Take a deep breath and ask yourself if you truly need to eat that cookie right now.
You might surprise yourself when you allow a moment to just look over your food choices, and then make a decision not to eat the foods that will cause you to gain weight.
Distractions can really help fight off the holiday cravings. If you're sitting on the couch thinking about Aunt Susie's cherry pie, the odds are you will end up eating a slice (or two). However, by distracting ourselves with other things, often you'll find that the cravings will soon disappear.
Instead of simply imagining you're eating tons of unhealthy food, concentrate on something else like decorating the house, reading a book, or taking a walk. Turn your attention to something else so that you are not focusing solely on the food.
Be realistic in your goals this season. Think about how much weight you want to lose, and then decide whether or not that goal is something you can achieve. Better yet, many people decide they just simply want to maintain their weight over the holidays versus actually trying to diet.
Let's face it: it can seem almost impossible to lose weight during this time of year; so just staying within your current range is an achievement. By setting goals that are more up to par with your lifestyle, you're not setting yourself up for disappointment. Instead, you'll be pleased once the holidays are over.
There are many different ways you can maintain your weight and keep those cravings at bay. First and foremost, try to cut down on your portion sizes, but don't restrict yourself so much that you can't enjoy a tasty snack and good company. Instead of a huge slice of pie, simply cut it in half. Rather than piling your plate up with items from the deli tray, grab a slice of turkey and cheese and then choose healthier options like fresh fruit to fill in that blank plate space.
It may surprise you to know that by eating more, smaller snacks, you can actually fight off serious cravings AND lose weight at the same time! Eat small snacks four to five times per day (just be sure they are healthy snacks). When you do this, the body is keeping your metabolism in check and you avoid going into "starvation mode." This can happen when you don't eat for long periods of time.
The body goes into a metabolic panic, and we tend to overeat. Snack regularly on carrot sticks, apples, or other healthy foods, and you'll see some pounds come off.
Another good tool for helping you curb cravings and lose a few pounds is to keep a food diary. Simply write down every single thing you eat for each snack and meal (include all beverages), and tally up the calorie count. This can really help you remain accountable for the things you're eating, and it just might discourage you from gorging on those Christmas foods than can cause weight gain
As you track the foods you eat, correlate that with your weight loss and see if you can find a pattern that will encourage you to stay on track.
Finding a friend is essential to both losing and maintaining your weight, especially during the holidays. Recruit the help of a good friend who can support you as well as be a spot checker for your dieting habits. Together, you can hold each other accountable, open up a dialogue, and have fun while watching what you eat.
Studies have shown that people who have dieting and workout partners tend to stick with their healthy plans better and also get less discouraged.
Of course, don't forget water. Water is essential for a healthy body, and is absolutely the best thing you can consume while on a diet or trying to lose weight. Christmas brings us lots of beverage relate temptations, from sugar and fattening eggnog to liquor or flavored coffees. Choose water and you'll boost your metabolism, clear your body of toxins, and see your energy levels increase.
If you do decide to partake in the celebratory glass of wine or mixed drink, be sure to do so in moderation. Once you're done drinking for the night, follow it up with water to help flush it out of your system.
Incorporate healthier cooking options into your daily and holiday regimen. Use applesauce instead of eggs when you bake cookies or brownies. Come up with sugar free treats to make this season, or opt for homemade crafts instead of food. Think of new ways to cook old favorites that will make them healthier for your body and for your waistline.
You might just discover some new cooking tips that you can use all year round and not just during the Christmas season.
Positive thinking is definitely a great way to help fight the Christmas cravings. By maintaining a positive attitude, you can help stay in the spirit of the season while preventing a weight loss tragedy. Think ahead and think positive, and you will see some pounds come off.
If you can stay in a good frame of mind, you will definitely do much better when it comes to resisting some of the food related temptations of the holidays. If you do happen to fall or eat too much on any one occasion, simply pick back up where you left off the next day.
Eliminate stress as much as possible. Take a hot bath. Read a favorite book or listen to a calm and soothing CD. Many people who are stressed out tend to overeat, so by keeping a cool and clear head, you will be able to make better decisions. Stress is not helpful to your body or your mind, so try to implement some stress-busting techniques. A day at the spa or just a nice long walk can really help to get rid of some of the stress we feel during the holidays.
Try not to reward yourself with food. This can be extremely counterproductive, particularly when you're trying to lose or maintain weight. Instead, buy yourself a sweater you've been eyeing or treat the family to a night at the movies. If you accomplish a goal whether it is big or small, never tell yourself it's ok to eat that piece of cake today since you did so well the day before.
If you do, you're undoing the positive things you already accomplished. Instead, reward successes with other things like a new haircut or put some money in your savings.
Simple steps like these can really help you to eat healthier not only at Christmas, but they can also help you to change your eating habits for a lifetime. You can resist unhealthy temptations with a little bit of practice, and soon you will
find yourself actually wanting to choose the healthier options.
The task may feel a little daunting at first, but once it's made into a habit, you will start to feel better and see more results. Using all of the tips here, you should be able to enjoy the upcoming holiday without worrying about weight gain.
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