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Weight Management Tips: Practical Advice for Maintaining a Healthy Body Weight

Maintaining an appropriate body weight is one of the most important elements of staying healthy, yet it can be one of the most difficult and frustrating challenges we face. A busy lifestyle, complete with a crowded schedule and a hefty burden of stress, does not always leave room for exercise and healthy menu planning.

The good news is that you do not have to take time out of your already hectic life to join a weight loss program or hit the gym for three hours a day. By following the weight management tips listed here, you will find yourself almost effortlessly trimming off pounds and getting your weight under control.

1. Slim down your recipes.

When you are planning your meals at home, take a good look at the ingredients. Substitute fattening food items like butter, cream, and whole-milk cheeses with heart healthy ingredients such as olive oil, low-fat milk, and reduced fat cheese. Stick to whole grain breads and pasta, and use brown rice instead of white.

When baking, cut down on the amount of sugar whenever possible; substitute apple sauce for oil, use low-fat yogurt in place of sour cream, and use egg whites or egg substitute instead of whole eggs. In most cases, you will not notice much difference in the finished product, and you will cut back drastically on the number of calories, and especially unhealthy fats, that you consume.

2. Practice portion control.

In our super-size society, it has become a matter of habit to fill up our plates with as much food as we can at one time. Restaurant chains compete to offer the largest portions of everything, and it is not unusual to see a person put away a 16-oz steak, a large baked potato with sour cream, and a heap of onion rings all in one meal. But we simply do not need this much food, and our bodies cannot use it.

By practicing healthy and reasonable portion control, you can give your body the nutrients it needs and feel satisfied without packing on unnecessary pounds. An easy way to estimate healthy portion sizes is to divide your plate into four equal sections. Fill up two sections with vegetables, one section with a starch, and one with protein.

Before you reach for seconds, wait a little bit. It can take up to twenty minutes for your brain to get the message that your stomach is full, so don’t automatically refill your plate as soon as you are finished. By listening to your body, you will learn to stop eating when your stomach has had enough.

3. Stay hydrated.

It is impossible to overemphasize the importance of drinking plenty of water to keep your body hydrated. Your metabolism will function much more efficiently when you have sufficient fluid in your system, allowing you to burn more calories. Water will also keep your stomach feeling full and prevent you from overeating.

Keep in mind that drinking soda or juice adds huge amounts of sugar calories to your daily intake; avoid sugary drinks and stick to water as much as possible.

4. Keep moving.

After a long day at work, the first thing you may want to do is collapse on the couch in front of the TV. Instead, resist the urge to veg out for the evening and get outside. Take a relaxing walk with the kids, the dog, or your significant other. Enjoy the outdoors and take a break from your daily routine.

On weekends, make outdoor fun a priority. Plan activities that get you outside and active, whether you spend your Saturdays skiing or weeding the garden.

Whenever possible, walk or cycle instead of driving. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, and don’t waste time jockeying for the parking space closest to the mall.

While these may seem like minor changes, every healthy choice you make adds up. Before you know it, you will be in better shape, and just as importantly, you will feel better, than you have in a long time. The best part is that once you get used to following these healthy tips, they will become second nature, and you won’t even have to think about making the right choices for your body and your well-being

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