Hike the mall, being sure to hit all the levels. Weight loss with self-help compared with a structured commercial program: Other than orlistat Xenical , which is approved for use in adolescents aged 12 years or older, weight reduction medications have not been proven to be safe and effective for treatment of obesity in children and adolescents. Accessed September 21, Studies developing new empirical prediction equations and studies evaluating the validity of BIA estimations compared with a reference method were included. Weight loss and maintenance is easier when everyone's eating the same thing -- and you're not tempted to taste someone else's calorie-dense food.
1. Add, Don't Subtract
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Walking when the weather's nice is a super-easy way to keep fit, says Diane Virginias, a certified nursing assistant from New York. It all adds up. If you walk twice a day for 10 minutes and try a few of these tips, you may find yourself with a low-impact, minute workout easily tucked under your belt. One of the easiest ways to cut back without feeling denied is to switch to lower-calorie versions of the foods you crave. A pizza tastes just as good with reduced-fat cheese, and when you garnish low-fat ice cream with your favorite toppers, who notices those missing calories?
Fiber helps you feel satisfied longer, so while you lighten family favorites, you can easily amp up the fiber by adding a cup of whole wheat flour to your pizza dough, or toss a handful of red bell peppers on the pie. Don't forget to lighten the drinks going with that meal. Try switching from high-calorie favorites to diet soda or light beer, or maybe add a spritz of seltzer to your wine.
Mix your preferred drinks with a splash of the low-cal option, then increase the ratio as your taste buds adjust. And don't forget to keep pouring that ultimate beverage, says Magee: Down some water before a meal and you won't feel so famished, says David Anthony, an information technology consultant from Atlanta. Magee, who also writes the "Healthy Recipe Doctor" blog for WebMD, adds that for the compulsive snacker it's a great idea to keep no-calorie beverages at hand "as a way to keep your mouth busy and less likely to snack on junk food.
Going to a party? Grab a low-cal drink in one hand and keep it there. Not only does it make it harder to graze the buffet, but you'll also be less tempted to sip endless cocktails, too.
Finally, keeping your body refreshed with plenty of water may also help your workout, says Anthony. Staying hydrated means "I can exercise more, and longer, than if I don't drink water.
With the massive meals served at so many American restaurants, it's easy to go Dutch -- with the dinner plate. That way, we don't feel stuffed, and we save some money. You can share more than just a meal out. Why not double up on a bicycle built for two? Go halves on the cost of a personal trainer? Maybe split a gym membership? The American Heart Association knows what we love: And they also know we need to get more exercise. So why not combine the two, they ask? Try dancing to the music when you tune into your favorite music show, or practice some stress-relieving cardio boxing when your least favorite reality contestant is on camera.
During commercials pedal your stationery bike, walk the treadmill, or slip in a little strength training doing bicep curls with cans of your favorite fizzy beverage as weights. Or get inspired to really focus: Put in a high-energy exercise DVD and get motivated by the pros onscreen. It doesn't matter exactly what you do, so long as you're up and active. Aim for at least 15 minutes, says the AHA. If you get really engrossed, you just might outlast the last survivor. That's because while a small portion served on a large plate can leave you craving more, a smaller plate gives the visual signal that you already have more.
We know we've had enough because we see the bottom of our bowl or plate. And don't forget smaller bowls, cups, and spoons. For example, try savoring a bowl of ice cream with a baby spoon. Not only does the pleasure last longer, but your body has time to register the food you've eaten. When your weight loss efforts lead to boredom or too much self-focus, get occupied with something else. So take a break from the siren-call of the tube, and get occupied with things that have nothing to do with food.
For some, that might mean becoming involved with local politics, discovering yoga, or enjoying painting. Or maybe you want to help a child with a science project, repaint the bedroom, or take a class. Have a life outside of weight loss. Then at least eat your meals at the table. While cultivating that virtue isn't exactly painless, it may help to know that keeping weight off generally gets easier over time.
That's the result of a study published in Obesity Research, where researchers found that for people who had lost at least 30 pounds -- and kept it off for at least two years -- maintaining that weight loss required less effort as time went on. So if you crave the results reported by successful "losers" like these -- improved self-confidence, a boost in mood, and better health -- cultivate patience.