What to Watch for When Dieting

A Note on Special Diets

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Watch What You Drink

Many people drink calorie rich drinks when they’re thirsty. Sugary drinks, such as sodas, coffees and teas with milk and sugar, and alcohol, contain lots of calories. This is especially true for alcohol. One of the easiest ways to lower your general calorie intake is to just stick to drinking water.

Advice: Keep water in a plastic bottle in the fridge. Cold water is the best refreshment.

An Interesting Study About Water

The results of a study completed in 2010 showed that a glass of water before every meal helped people lose weight. 48 overweight people aged 55 to 75 participated, split into 2 groups. The first groups was asked to have a diet low in calories, but not to have a glass of water before meals. The second groups was asked to eat the same diet as the first group, but also to take 2 glasses of water (500ml) before every meal. After 12 weeks, the members of the water drinking group lost in average 2kg more than the group that did not drink water. The idea is that the members of the group that drank water felt more full, and therefore during meals they ate less.

This is just a small study and it is difficult to give permanent advice based on it. However, the conclusion does make sense.

Note: Drinking too much water is not beneficial, and in some rare cases, can even be dangerous. There have been several noted cases where people died after drinking huge amounts of water. However, 500ml before every meal does seem like reasonable advice.

Improve Your Physical Activity

The general recommendation is that all adults have at least 30m of moderate physical activity 5 times per week. However, if you are overweight and want to lose weight, if it is possible you should try to have about 60-90 minutes 5 times per week.

Moderate physical activity includes: Fast walking, jogging, dancing, swimming, badminton, tennis and so on. Besides that, try to include more physical activities into your daily routine. For example, use the stairs instead of the elevator, walk to work or to school… and son on. Avoid long sitting sessions in front of the TV or in front of the computer. Make regular breaks while working. The good news is that you don’t necessarily need to do all your daily physical activity in one 90m block – you can split it into 15-20m sessions.

Advice: Try to gradually create your daily exercise block. If you are not used to physical activity, start with 30m of walking per day, and then increase it gradually until you are fit enough for regular workouts at the gym (or outside).