7 Steps to Successful Summer Dieting

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Previously by Margaret Durst: Health — My View

Reducing or losing weight is a topic I get a lot of questions about. Many of you already know that I don’t believe in diet pills or magic solutions that simply melt off excess weight without proper changes in diet and exercise.

That being said, let’s talk about weight loss. As we age our metabolism begins to slow and it becomes harder to take off that extra weight. What I notice in particular is that our habits become more ingrained and we get busier so that we don’t have the time to do what we know makes us lose weight. Here are some steps that will help.

Step 1. Drink water – lots of it. Start at 2 quarts. You may find that when you start giving your body enough water that you want more. It’s O.K. to drink more and get your system flushed out. Limit other drinks to one cup of coffee or tea per day.

Step 2. Stop consuming sugar. Yes, just stop. Now is a great time because there is plenty of fresh fruit available. Sugar is a major problem food because it is addictive – meaning the more you eat, the more you want. Sugar substitutes aren’t much better. Aspartame and Splenda both have problems associated with them. It is best to get your taste buds retrained so that they do not have to have something sweet.

Step 4. Stop eating bread, crackers, pasta and anything else made out of wheat. Wheat is inflammatory to almost everyone and tends to make you retain fluid and excess weight. I am not recommending a low-carbohydrate diet. There are plenty of good carbohydrates such as beans, brown rice, oatmeal and sweet potatoes that will help satisfy the appetite without adding to inflammation or blood sugar reactions.

Step 3. Eat at least 4 servings of non-starchy vegetables per day. Again, this is a great time to do this since summer vegetables are beginning to come out of the garden. Make sure that at least 2 of these are raw. You can eat more non-starchy vegetables, up to 8 servings per day. For weight loss, raw is better, but there are some things that are just better cooked – for example, green beans.

Step 4. Eat 2 servings of fresh fruit per day. Grapefruit is a good choice since it helps burn fat; however, since it is not in season, you can eat cantaloupe, peaches, plums, apples, cherries, watermelon, apricots, etc. Fruit is best on an empty stomach at least 30 minutes prior to a meal.

Step 5. Start walking at least 30 minutes per day. Walk briskly, but slow enough that you can still talk. A good goal is to walk at least 4 of the 7 days of the week.

Step 6. Remember to eat lean protein at each meal. This can be chicken, fish, turkey, lean cuts of beef, low fat cottage cheese, or plain yogurt. There are some good vegetarian combinations that work such as beans and Ezekial bread or beans and brown rice.

With these steps in place, there are a few supplements that will help speed up weight loss. L-carnitine is one that helps to mobilize fat and turn it into energy. Conjugated linoleic acid or CLA is another supplement that helps turn fat into muscle.

I also recommend Citrimax – a mild weight loss supplement that increases metabolism while decreasing appetite. Green tea and yerba mate tea both give an energy boost and help suppress appetite. One cup of either green tea or yerba mate in the afternoon helps get you through the day with plenty of energy and no cravings. And, it’s much better for you than a soda.

Try these steps and see how you do.

Margaret Durst owns The Green House, a vitamin, herb and health food store in Mason, Texas.

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