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How to Lose Weight
by Justin Leonard
UPDATED May 14, 2006
Written on December 25, 2004

What is the best way to lose weight? Extreme dieting has always proven to be an effective technique, but is it really the best solution for weight loss? The following article will provide useful tips for successful weight management.

Nutrition Tips

You do not have to diet to lose weight. Instead, simply use what I call "diet modification." Diet modification involves eating the foods you love, but in a way that allows you to successfully manage body weight. "Dieting" requires too many inconvenient nutritional sacrifices. Although effective, adherence rates among those who diet are generally low. Thus, it is not preferred.

Listed below are three nutritional programs designed for safe and effective weight loss. Each plan is meant to suit the needs of each individual. For example, if you only have time to eat four or five times per day, then consider using system one or two. If you have time to eat six meals per day, consider system number three. Or you can start with system one, then ultimately graduate to system three.

System One (1 shake, 2 meals, 1 snack)

Meal 1: Light breakfast

Meal 2: Small meal

Meal 3: Snack

Meal 4: Meal replacement drink/protein shake

System Two (2 shakes, 1 meal, 2 snacks)

Meal 1: Meal replacement drink/protein shake

Meal 2: Snack

Meal 3: Small meal

Meal 4: Meal replacement drink/protein shake

Meal 5: Snack

System Three (2 shakes, 2 meals, 2 snacks)

Meal 1: Light breakfast

Meal 2: Snack

Meal 3: Meal replacement drink/protein shake

Meal 4: Snack

Meal 5: Small meal

Meal 6: Meal replacement drink/protein shake

Next, with two examples I'll show you how to apply the proper nutrients to the meals for best results. The indicated foods are just a few of the possibilities you can use.

Sample Plan (based on system 3)

Meal 1: Breakfast bar or oatmeal, water or water-based beverage of choice

Meal 2: Cottage cheese, cinnamon [or pineapple], water or water-based beverage of choice

Meal 3: Grilled chicken breast, Greek salad, water or water-based beverage of choice

Meal 4: Meal replacement shake or protein shake with fruit

Meal 5: Tuna salad with light mayonnaise, celery, olives, etc., water or water-based beverage

Meal 6: Seasoned chicken strips with spinach, water or water-based beverage of choice

Caloric intake should reflect physical activity levels. For example, if you are more physically active in the early hours of the day, your caloric intake can be slightly higher. When activity levels are lower, caloric intake should be reduced.

This strategy literally forces your body to burn fat. The amount of energy or calories that you put into your body must not exceed the amount that you expend during physical activity. If you ever feel the need to binge, try to eat high calorie or fattening foods when energy and physical activity levels are highest.

Try to drink water or water-based beverages low in sugar as much as you can. You don't need 12 full glasses per day or anything like that. Just try to drink plenty. Also, it is not necessary to restrict yourself to only water. That would be an example of "dieting" which we are trying to avoid.

Supplement Considerations

Dietary supplements are not a required part of this system, but they may help with additional weight loss. How? Well, supplementation allows you to get the proper macro and micro nutrients you need without excessive, fat-producing calories. The following supplements might be of benefit: Protein, Thermogenic Formulas, Meal Replacements, Multivitamins

Exercise Considerations

Nutritional weight loss programs work extremely well when combined with exercise. Exercise is preferred because it produces the greatest reduction in weight, and it helps to retain lean body mass. Cardiovascular and strength training are preferred for best results.

If you are not experienced with weight training, consider training the entire body using only exercise machines (circuit training) and light dumbbells for safety and convenience. If you absolutely hate the gym environment, consider purchasing a home workout system.

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