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Tips for Losing the Most Stubborn Pounds

By Charles Hopkins Published 04/21/2006 | Fitness
Here are several tips that will help you shed that unwanted weight and create a more healthy and attractive figure.

Increase Protein

When you diet, keep your protein at 55% of your calories. This will help you maintain your muscle mass and keep your metabolism elevated. Eat low-fat protein sources like chicken breasts, egg whites, and fish.

Eat 75%

When you sit down to eat, look at your plate and leave 25%, eating only 75% and thereby cutting as many as 300 calories from every meal.

Lift Some Weights

Do a small 20 minute program of lifting weights twice a week along with cardiovascular exercise to build up muscle strength, replacing fat with muscle.

Move Around More

An obese person spends an average of 2.5 hours more daily in a chair than a thin person. Try walking back and forth while talking on a cell or cordless phone, use the steps rather than the elevator, and park farther away and walk to your destination.

Weigh Yourself Monthly

Don't weigh yourself too often and become discouraged by the up and down variations from day to day. Weigh yourself at the same time every month to better see long term trends in your weight.

Buy A Pedometer

This is a very accurate way to make sure you take at least 10,000 steps a day to help you reach and maintain your weight loss goals as you walk to do your various errands and activities.

Have Your Thyroid Tested

If you are adding weight, have joint and muscle aches, have unusual facial puffiness, or are unusually tired, this could be the sign of a sluggish thyroid slowing down your metabolism, causing weight gain. This can be remedied by taking the right medications.

Reduce Stress

When you are stressed, your adrenal gland generates the cortisol stress hormone, which increases your appetite and triggers release of the insulin fat-storing hormone, causing your body to hold onto fat, even if you are eating less.

But often, stress makes you overeat comfort foods like chocolate, ice cream, potato chips, cookies and donuts. Those high carbohydrate goodies raise your serotonin levels, boosting your mood in a form of self-medication. Salty snacks raise blood pressure, which also raises cortisol levels, contributing to a vicious cycle of overeating.

To break this cycle, you should set a fixed eating schedule and stick to it. Schedule your three meals and three snacks throughout the day so you always have something to eat every three or four hours. Savor every bite instead of gulping down too much before your brain tells you that you are full. Regular exercise and relaxing meditation can also relieve your stress.