Did you know the only thing standing between you and your ideal weight could be a "Fat Habit"? Check out some "Slim Solutions" below that can help you stop some of those common belly bulging behaviors.
More information from The Real Skinny: Appetite for Health's 101 Fat Habits & Slim Solutions available at www.AppforHealth.com.
Diet and meal plans to help drop that dress or pant size in a month are available at: http://www.appforhealth.com/meal-plans/.
1. Fat Habit: Blaming your 'slow' metabolism.
Metabolism has spurred more urban legends than Bigfoot! The truth is, for more than 95 percent of us, our metabolic rate—the rate at which we burn calories—has nothing to do with our weight woes. In fact, numerous studies show that metabolism is inherently linked to body weight, and the more you weigh, the higher your metabolism. Most overweight people automatically believe that they have a "slow" metabolism, while the truth is, their metabolism is actually higher than those of their pin-thin friends.
You can use the easy metabolic rate equation or the gold standard Harris Benedict Equation below. There are also hundreds of metabolic rate calculators on the Internet, so you don't even have to get out your calculator. What's Your Metabolic Rate?
Women: BMR = 655 + (9.6 x your weight in kg) + (1.8 x your height in cm)—(4.7 x your age in years)
Men: BMR = 66 + (13.7 x your weight in kg) + (5 x your height in cm)—(6.8 x your age in years)
[Note: 1 inch = 2.54 cm; 1 kilogram = 2.2 lbs]
Using interval training: Use high-intensity interval-type training to get the most out of your workouts. Interval training, which includes short bouts of high-intensity efforts with periods of active rest, has been shown to raise metabolism longer and higher than lower intensity exercise. If you aren't working up a sweat during your workouts, it's not hard enough.
Dehydration has been found to decrease your metabolic rate by two percent, so staying well hydrated is an easy way to help boost overall metabolic rate. Strive to get at least half of your body weight in fluid ounces of water every day. Pumping up your protein: The amount of energy the body requires to digest and metabolize food makes up only about 10 percent of your total metabolic rate. However, there are big differences in how many calories are burned during the digestion of each of the macronutrients. Fat, for example, has a thermic effect (a fancy term that simply refers to how much energy—aka calories—is expended during digestion and absorption) of 0 to 3 percent, carbohydrate is 5 to 10 percent, and protein is 20 to 30 percent.
2) Fat Habit: Addicted to Sugar
Your sweet tooth is a side effect of being human. We're programmed to like sweets—it's a survival mechanism that stems from our hunter-gatherer days, when we ate berries and other carbohydrate rich plant foods that provided much-needed energy. New brain chemistry research shows that certain foods, like sugar and sugar-rich treats like chocolate, candy, and ice cream, stimulate areas of the brain that A) make us feel good and B) make us want more—a doublet diet whammy! And as with other types of addiction, the body craves more and more of the sugary stuff to get that same feel-good response.
Sodas and other sweetened beverages (including diet) provide about half of all the added sugar in the U.S. diet, so they're the first items you need to nix. They don't contribute to fullness, so you won't miss them—much.
These calorie-free sweeteners may actually trigger sweet cravings. They're hundreds of times sweeter than sugar—once you get accustomed to their intensity, it's hard to be satisfied with the natural sweetness of other foods.
For just one week, read the Nutrition Facts and ingredient list for everything you eat and drink. After seven days of following a sugar-free eating plan, you can start experimenting with adding back limited amounts of sugars. Try to eat added sugars with other foods or at the end of a meal to minimize their effect on blood sugar and insulin levels. More solutions in book...
3. Fat Habit: Pigging Out When Dining Out.
Sure, we all know that restaurant dishes are loaded with calories, saturated fat, and sodium—but it's startling when you actually look at the numbers. Even appetizers and a seemingly healthy salad (when combined with dressing) can really cost you—about as much as an entrée when it comes to calories and fat. As many as one in four appetizers had calorie counts exceeding 1,100, according to a study by the RAND Corporation. The good news is that you can dine out without filling out by using the following strategies.
When you know you're going out for dinner, do you try to save your appetite for that beloved entrée and dessert? Big mistake! The last thing you want is to wind up in a restaurant feeling starved. You'll be much more likely to choose high-fat foods and inhale them at record speeds.
If you're one of those amazing people who can have one slice of bread and stop (you're our hero!), you can skip this rule. For everyone else, you can save calories and fat by simply saying, "No, thank you," when the waitstaff attempts to drop off a basket.
Get a healthy head start by choosing a good-for-you appetizer. A smart selection: salad. As we noted in Chapter 3, salads not only are a stellar nutritional pick but also help fill you up on fewer calories. Just be aware of caloric add-ons: bypass bacon, skip the shredded cheese, say ciao to those croutons. Ask for dressing and/or sauce on the side, and instead of dumping it right on top of the whole dish, dip your fork in before eating each bit. This will impart the flavor of the dressing without adding too many calories.
Order an appetizer or half-size portions instead of a full-entrée portion. Or you can share an entrée and a starter salad. This way you'll save calories and money! If these aren't options, never feel shy about bringing home leftovers. Ask your server to divide the serving in the kitchen, putting half in a doggie bag (ask to keep heated or cold if necessary) and plating the other half.
4. Fat Habit: Can't Lose the Booze!
Alcohol is a true triple threat: It's caloric, it increases appetite, and it lower inhibitions. If your nights and weekends are filled with social or business commitments, like client dinners, happy hour, and Sunday brunch, you may be adding hundreds of empty alcohol calories.
Think about your lifestyle and where potential problem areas might occur. Do you end up sipping more than you planned at happy hour with coworkers? At Sunday brunch with your friends? Keeping a food and alcohol record for a week or two can be very helpful in pinpointing your pitfalls.
Instead of meeting friends for drinks after work, make plans to take a Zumba class or go for a speed walk. You can always grab a healthy dinner afterward, without the alcohol.
No one will even notice you're still on your first drink as they're getting ready for number three or four. It sounds simple, but it works.
5. Fat Habit: "I'm Always Hungry!"
It's biologically impossible to lose weight without feeling some amount of hunger. It all comes down to hunger management—how well you do it can determine how successful you are at losing weight and keeping it off.
Some people who are always "hungry" may be mistaking food for love or support; if you're unable to find the love and support you need through your relationships, you may feel hungry or unsatisfied and turn to food for comfort. In some cases, a diet that is rich in junk foods or treats triggers intense cravings and makes it almost impossible to manage your hunger. Another common cause: skipping meals. If you miss meals or don't eat regularly (every three to four hours), hunger could rear its ugly head.
All of us have the innate ability to control calories—you just have to listen to your body. To get back in touch with your body's hunger and fullness signals, you can try using the hunger scale. See: http://www.appforhealth.com/2012/09/how-to-control-your-cravings/