Tuesday, 25 May 2010

11 Things You Can Do To Help Yourself Lose Weight

1. Write everything down that you eat. It will help keep you mindful of what and how much you are actually eating. Be completely honest.

2. If you're counting calories, don't count the calories in most fruit and vegetables, so you can eat as much of them as you want. (I love, love, love strawberries.) It'll help you choose to eat more of these nutritious foods. Remember some fruits are better for weight loss than other fruits. (For example, while bananas are a healthy food to eat, they are not particularly helpful in weight loss, but strawberries are a great weight loss aid.)

3. Make sure you include some fat-free dairy in your diet. Studies have shown that including more non-fat dairy in your diet, such as the dairy found in non-fat yogurts, can aid in weight loss.

4. Limit your breads, pastas, rice and flour products, but when you do have bread or burrito shells, go for wholegrain ones as the extrta fiber in wholegrain breads, rices amd pastas will help with digestion.

5. Do have desserts, but get creative in cooking up healthy desserts, or buying low-cal versions of things you hate doing without. Telling yourself you can't have nay desserts will just make you start craving them more, but by allowing yourself the occasional treat, you avoid making desserts become too much of a temptation.

6. If you're buying low fat products, check the ingredients. Sometimes "low fat" just means "high sugar." Better yet, stick to naturally low in fat, high in protein foods.

7. Eating things like bacon, ham, beef, pork, chicken, turkey, lamb, etc is fine as long as you go with lean versions or extra lean versions. Lean meats are an excellent source of protein, and protein tends to keep you feeling full for longer than carbohydrate-laden foods.

8. As often as possible, cook your food from scratch. This way you know what's in your food. The more processed something is, the less healthy it probably is. Once you start cooking more, it can be fun to experiment with healthier cooking.

9. Don't obsess. There will be times when you eat something bad for you. Do not see yourself as a failure because of it and then go on to eat more junk. See those times as a momentary blip in your healthy eating plan and go right back to eating healthy. Don't let yourself feel out of control.

10. At meals, fill your plate 1/3 full with vegetables/fruit, then add your meat & whatever else to the space that's left. If you are really hungry and need seconds, that's okay, but do the same thing again (filling plate 1/3 with vegetables).

11. Get some exercise. Even if it's just a bit of walking, it will help your heart and aid in upping your metabolism.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

The Courage To Dream

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What does the word mean to you? I’m not asking about anything related to electricity or turning your washing machine on. In regards to you as a person, what does the word empowerment mean to you? Do you feel empowered? Or do you feel weak and helpless?

The reason I am asking this is because so many of my friends seem to be embracing the idea of being powerless about making changes in their lives. They have dreams, but they feel as though everything is against them achieving those dreams and that they have no say in whether or not they can make those dreams a reality.

I hear from them, over and over again, phrases such as, “I wish...”, “I can’t...”, and “If only...” I never hear positive phrases such as “I will...”, “I can...”, and “I am...” But in speaking in the negative tones that they speak in, they are, in fact, ignoring any power they have over their own situation. In not even considering the chance that they can do something to change things, they are making themselves helpless. But they don’t have to be helpless, and neither do you.

What is it you want from life? Is it to lose weight and get fit and healthy? Is it to write the next blockbuster novel? Are you unhappy in your current career and want to change it? Do you want to earn a better income or take a trip across the world? Nothing is out of your reach! What do you dream about doing? Tell yourself that you are going to do it! Wouldn’t it be great to empower yourself? Wouldn’t it be great to feel strong and capable and in control of where your life is heading? Wouldn’t it be great not just to have the courage to dream but to have the courage to grab for those dreams too? The only things that stand in the way of your dreams becoming a reality are the limits you place on yourself. And you can remove those limits with nothing more than a thought!

The first step is to have the courage to dream. Make a list of the things that you really want in life. What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail? Write it down! Have you always wanted to take a vacation in Ireland or Hawaii? Have you always wanted to own your own house? Do you want to lose weight or build up muscle? Are you a banker but always dreamed of being a teacher? Write it down!

The second step is to believe that you are capable of achieving that dream. Sounds simple, right? The good news is that it really is that simple. Believe in yourself. Believe in your abilities. Tell yourself you are strong, capable and even fearless if the need arises. You can do this. You will do this. You will make your dreams come true. Get rid of that negative little voice in your head that whispers to you that you can’t do it, you’re not strong enough, it’s too hard and all of the other negative words. Just ignore it. You know, deep down, that you can achieve your dreams, so follow that deeper inner voice and believe in yourself.

The third and final step is to decide what steps you need to do to achieve your dreams and then take those steps. If you’re dreaming of becoming a novelist, then you need to start writing. You need to set aside time every day to write. Maybe you need to fine tune some of your writing skills so taking a class would help. If you’re dreaming of being a teacher, then you need to get the requisite training and degrees, even if it means taking classes after work while you continue your current job. If you dream of taking a trip to Europe, then you need to find out what it will cost you and start setting aside money from each paycheck. If you dream of owning your own house, then you need to clear your debts, clean up your credit history and save up the deposit. If you want to lose weight, then you need to find out what diet and exercise plan will work for you and you need to start doing it. Fit in exercise every day. Eat less junk and more healthy food. For whatever your dream is, you need to start working in the direction of making that dream a reality. Stop defeating yourself with negative thoughts and empower yourself, not just with positive thinking but with your actions.

You might be asking yourself why I care whether or not you reach for your dreams. I care because I used to feel powerless. I used to feel like all of my dreams were just out of my reach and that there was nothing I could do about it. I used to feel as though I wasn’t strong enough or good enough or capable enough to make my dreams a reality. But all along, I was deceiving myself into inaction. And I don't want anyone else to go through that, to live through feeling helpless when there is no need for them to feel that way.

When I finally started to take charge of my own inner voices, when I started to tell myself that I could achieve my dreams and when I started taking the steps that were necessary to get to my goals, I began to empower myself. And one of those dreams has already come true as a result. And now that I know that anything is possible, that I am capable of making my dreams come true, look out World!