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Close to Your Goal Weight? Try These Tips to Shake the Last Few Pounds.

photo © 2008 Nancy ~ | more info (via: Wylio)
You have been dutiful following your regular diet, exercising habitually and still, you can’t shake those last stubborn pounds! Here are a few tips to shake up your routine and help you to get rid of those extra pounds for good.

Loading up on whole grains?

You’ve rid your pantry of snacks made with white flour, replacing them with heart-healthy whole-grain versions. But don’t be fooled by the “whole grain” claim. Read your labels! Many of these snacks can be high in fat, sugar and sodium.  People who eat the greatest number of servings of minimally processed whole-grain foods—not snack foods, like crackers, cookies, and chips—enjoy the biggest weight-control benefits, research shows. Aim to increase your intake of brown and wild rice, bulgur, oatmeal, spelt, and quinoa, plus whole-grain breads and cereals.

Giving yourself too much of a “cheat day?”

You’ve probably learned from experience that denying yourself all treats when you’re dieting can set you up for binge eating. Your solution? Being “good” during the week and allowing yourself to splurge on weekends. While this may seem like a moderate approach to weight loss, it’s still a feast-or-famine mentality that can easily backfire. Dieters who shed a small amount of weight each weekday by eating a balanced healthy diet gained most of it back between Friday night and Monday morning, according to a recent study from the Washington University School of Medicine. When it comes to shedding pounds, consistency is key.

Making your own meals?

There’s little dispute that frequently eating out can wreak havoc on a diet. So, one would think that making healthy meals at home is the way to go. However, if you’re not vigilant, this strategy can easily translate into extra pounds. Habits like picking at food while you cook, adding just a bit of extra butter or oil, using a heavy hand with dressings and sauces, and nibbling leftovers as you’re clearing the table can tack on hundreds of calories to otherwise healthy meals. Pay attention while you cook!

Squeezing in cardio, even though you are exhausted?

No matter how tired you are in the morning or after work, you still push through your cardio workout routines. Better to burn a few calories than none at all, right? Not necessarily. If you are truly exhausted, that extra hour of sleep will go further in helping you than that hour of cardio.   Not only will it reduce your cravings for sweets later in the day (yep, less hours of sleep increases cravings for starches an sweets!) but it also will help you to produce more of those hormones that contribute to weight loss. 

Have a workout buddy? Are they sidetracking you?

Teaming up with a buddy seems more fun than dieting alone, which is why you talked your best friend into joining that weight-loss program with you. Unfortunately, if you had to talk her into it, it probably means that she isn’t ready. And if she is unenthusiastic about it, you will end up being so, too.  So if your pal finds excuses to skip scheduled workouts or indulges in unhealthy snacks that aren’t on your plan, you’re likely to follow suit.

Sit down with your buddy to discuss your eating and exercise goals going forward. If you’re not on the same page, don’t feel bad about gently ending the partnership. You may be better off going it alone or finding someone who can pull her own weight.

Sources: http://www.shape.com

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