Be aware of the diet saboteurs such as: * Fat-free yogurt with added fruit. Plain yogurt is better for you as it typically contains 6grams of protein, 6grams of carbohydrates and a few grams of fat.
A fat-free yogurt contains 27 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of protein and no fat. Purchase plainyogurt and add your own fruit. Or, if you really must have the sweetened yogurt, mix halfof it with unsweetened or plain yogurt to decrease the amount of sugar per serving.* Packets of artificial sweeteners and foods containing artificial sweeteners. Thisincludes diet pop! Although sweeteners do not seem to influence blood sugars, they havebeen found to alter insulin, resulting in increased cravings and hunger. Many sweetenershave also been linked to certain types of cancers.* Packaged nuts (almonds, peanuts). Most of these products containhydrogenated oils or vegetable oils. Substitute with raw nuts you can purchase from ahealth food or bulk food store.* Cereals which are marketed as healthy choices. For example, Kelloggs Vectorcereal does contain more vitamins and minerals than other cereals, but it also contains aton of sugar. The only breakfast cereal I would recommend is Kashi GoLEAN or slowcookedoatmeal. Even with both of these options, you still need to add more protein toyour breakfast (such as two or three egg whites) to remain in glycemic balance.* Too much fruit. Fruits contain natural sugars and just like anything else, toomuch is rarely a good thing. Aim for a maximum of three fruits per day and at least oneof these daily servings should be berries. Other fruits you can enjoy include apples, pears,peaches, cherries or grapefruit. Avoid bananas and melons and never eat fruits on theirown. Always enjoy fruits with foods that contain fat and protein such as nuts, yogurt orcheese.* Fizzy water (Perrier, etc.). Although fizzy water has little or no calories, it isvery high in sodium and can cause water retention and bloating. Choose sodium-freeoptions or better yet, drink pure water with lemon instead.* Coffee, lattes, teas. Too much caffeine interferes with fat metabolism. Itinfluences blood sugar and insulin balance and can contribute to more abdominal fat.Although it is beneficial for weight loss to consume caffeine before a workout, highamounts of caffeine consumed throughout the day can be detrimental to your health.Drink green tea instead and limit your coffee intake to once daily. Avoid sugary drinkssuch as caramel or vanilla lattes that are high in calories.* Skipping meals, especially breakfast, and excessive caloric restriction. Weshould eat every three to four hours to make sure our metabolic engines keep running attop speed. Never skip meals and travel with snacks such as pieces of string cheese, rawalmonds and cashews. Skipping meals and caloric restriction messes with blood sugarbalance which may cause us to overeat later in the day. Skipping meals also raises stresshormones which inhibit weight loss and damage metabolism.Tips to keep your health in check:* Measure your waist and hip ratio. Measure your waist and divide it by themeasurement of your hips. If the number is greater than 0.8 (women) or 1.0 (men), youcould be at risk for insulin resistance. With insulin resistance, insulin levels are raisedcausing more abdominal weight gain and problems with weight loss in general. Withinsulin resistance, protein, fiber and healthy fats become crucial components of a dietaryplan. Supplements such as CAL, Alpha Lipoic Acid, biotin, vanadium, zinc, magnesiumand green tea are helpful. It is also beneficial to add cinnamon to your diet.* Check your stress. Elevated cortisol inhibits thyroid gland function and thereforeinterferes with metabolism, increases water retention and causes abdominal fat. If you areunder a lot of stress, take Relora to lower stress, improve sleep and reduce stress-relatedeating.* Sleep well. Pay close attention to your sleep habits as you would to your diet andexercise programs. They all provide the foundation for weight loss. Sleeping in completedarkness and getting to bed before 11 PM ensures optimal release of hormones that affectbody composition. If you are sleep-deprived, it may cause weight gain and a tendency toovereat. Visit the Truestar Sleep section for sleep tips or try using natural sleep aids suchas Melatonin, if necessary.* Exercise enough and dont be afraid to increase your weights or intensity of yourworkout (if you are healthy). Studies show about 150 minutes minimum (optimally, 200minutes) of exercise per week is needed for weight loss. For an extra fat-burning boost,pump up the intensity of your cardio sessions with intervals rather than making themlonger.* Get a thyroid blood test. Thyroid hormone governs our metabolism. Before aweight loss program, TSH, Free T3 and Free T4 should be tested. TSH should be lessthan 2.0 to 2.5, not 5, the previously accepted normal reading. If you are menopausal orjust gave birth, problems of the thyroid gland tend to occur more often.The key to successful weight loss is consistency and persistence. Be kind to yourself andremember, even if your weight is not a health issue, these healthy lifestyle changesbenefit your heart, body, mind and soul for life.