Thursday, January 12, 2012

Easy Diet Considerations for a 20 Pound Weight Loss Plan

Reducing calories is half of a healthy weight loss plan -- the other half is regular exercise. It is possible to lose 20 pounds through diet alone, but a combination of diet and exercise is faster, safer and easier. To lose weight steadily and keep it off, aim to lose about 1 pound per week, notes the American Dietetic Association. By burning 500 more calories each day than you consume, you'll lose 20 pounds in 20 weeks.
Step 1
Cut empty calories from your diet. Reduce the amount of processed foods you eat, because they often contain added sugar and fat that increase your daily calories dramatically. Stop drinking soda, or only drink calorie-free varieties. Limit your alcohol consumption to a few drinks per week at most.
Step 2
Cook lean meats, such as chicken, turkey and lean beef. Opt for beans, tofu or brown rice as your protein source at some meals. Replace whole eggs with egg whites. Limit the amount of red meat you eat, as it contains high levels of fat and cholesterol.
Step 3
Eat plenty of vegetables. Vegetables are nutritious and filling, and they add very few calories to your count. Steam them or eat them raw rather than cooking them in oil or sauce.
Step 4
Replace high-calorie ingredients in main dishes with extra vegetables. Make vegetable omelets instead of using meat; add an extra layer or two of squash to lasagne to replace some pasta or cheese; chop tomatoes, cucumber, asparagus or carrots into salads instead of adding croutons or nuts.
Step 5
Drink a full glass of water 15 minutes before each meal. You'll be less hungry and less likely to eat more than you need.
Step 6
Use salad plates instead of dinner plates. A full salad plate contains much less food than a full dinner plate, so you can control your portions easily. Eat slowly, and pay attention to how you feel. Stop when you are satisfied rather than when you are full.
Step 7
Bake apples or pears for dessert, or serve yourself sliced strawberries with cinnamon and light whipped cream. Don't deprive yourself of sweets, because that can backfire and cause you to binge later. Instead, use healthy, natural sources of sugar to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Step 8
Exercise for at least 30 minutes per day to lose weight more easily. You won't have to cut nearly as many calories to get results. Jog, swim, cycle or take a dance class for cardio, and lift weights or do yoga twice each week to build lean muscle.

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