8 Week Weight Loss Plan
Once you’ve cleaned up your eating behavior over the eight weeks, you should be ready to kick your weight-loss plan into high gear. Aim for a safe, permanent weight loss of 1-2 pounds a week through a combination of calorie restriction and exercise.
- Cut your food intake about 250 calories a day below your maintenance level. A weight-loss calorie level for most active women would be about 11 calories per pound of bodyweight daily (10 calories per pound for a woman with a slow metabolism; 12 for a woman with a fast metabolism or who exercises extensively). Cut back, especially on any high-fat or processed foods you might still be eating. Choose leaner versions of your current foods.
- Exercise daily, doing aerobics about five times a week and resistance training about three times a week. You need to exercise to preserve your muscle mass as well as burn calories. Pump up the volume or intensity if you’ve been coasting in your exercise regimen.
Weight Loss 01 – 8 Weeks to Changing Your Habits
Week 1 – Keeping a Journal
Writing down your eating and exercise patterns can tell you a lot about yourself.
While many of us might think our diets are well rounded, that we drink enough fluids and that we exercise 5-6 times per week, we’re sometimes surprised when we see in black and white that that really isn’t the case. Nutritionists who work with clients on weight loss understand that those who keep food records are more likely to see their short and long-term success than those who don’t keep track.
Your task for Week l is to keep a detailed food record for at least three consecutive days, including one weekend day (for example, Thursday-Friday-Saturday or Sunday-Monday-Tuesday). Choose three days that you feel would be typical of your usual intake – you want to obtain the most accurate picture possible. lf you can keep your list for a whole week, it might paint an even more accurate picture.
Everything you during those days, including water, any added salt, candies, gum, condiment, vitamin mineral supplements, sports drink medications and alcoholic beverages, Use a separate sheet of paper for each day and create seven columns with the following titles:
Meal/snack – Time – Description – Amount – Location – Hunger Level – Mood
Adopting Week 1 Healthy Habits toward Weight Loss Week 1 Goal: Keep a food record. The key to being successful is by being honest with yourself. Don’t bend the truth with your food record
WEIGHT LOSS WEEK 2 – CRITICAL INFORMATION FOR LOSING WEIGHT – NOTICING TRENDS AND CHANGING BEHAVIORS
1) Eat three meals and two snacks at regular intervals daily. Schedule a typical eating day: 7-8 am. breakfast, 10:30 am. snack, noon-1 p.m. lunch, 4:30 p.m. snack and 6-8 p.m. dinnerLook back on your three or more days of food intake and try to decipher trends and/or patterns.
Are you affected by certain foods and situations? Do you eat more while in front of the TV? Do you skip meats? These and other behavior may be preventing you from reaching your goals. Review the following positive behaviors and choose two areas to address this week.
2) Eat slowly. Take at least 20 minutes for meals and 10 minutes for snacks so that you’ll feel more satisfied with smaller food quantities and will therefore eat less than those who eat fast. It takes 20 minutes for the brain to receive the signal from the stomach saying, ”I’m full ”
3) Choose one specific location to eat and make eating a singular activity. Beware of unconscious eating in front of the TV, at the movies, while reading or studying, driving, cooking or standing. When you’re involved in an activity while eating, you can be distracted from really tasting or enjoying your food, which makes it easy to overeat.
4) Learn to control both the type and quantity of food you choose. For example, instead of snacking on a bag of chips, have 2 cups of light popcorn.
Week 2 Goals: Eat slower at dinner and wait 20 minutes before reaching for a second helping.
My Week 2 Goals: Fat Fighter – Week 2 Eat breakfast! People who skip this critical meal end up eating more calories through- out the day.
WEIGHT LOSS Week 3 – You Are What You Drink
The beverages you choose clearly affect your nutritional intake, your health, your performance and your overall energy levels Above all else, water is the most important nutrient your body needs.
While most active adults require 10-12 8-ounce servings of water, most Americans don’t meet their hydration needs.
What should you drink? Hydrating beverages foster proper retention and use of water in normal, healthy body processes.
Bottled water, tap water, 100% juice, milk, sports drinks, seltzers and herbal teas are all hydrating beverages. Of these, water is the only one that contains no calories and should therefore be the most widely consumed. On the other hand, fat-free milk can help meet the requirements for calcium and protein (1 cup contains 300 mg calcium and 9 grams of protein), while juice contains considerable calories per serving (1 cup contains l 15-165 calories).
The most common dehydrating beverages are coffee, hot tea, iced tea, carbonated soda with caffeine, beer, wine and other alcoholic drinks. They’re diuretics, meaning they foster fluid output, in the form of increased urine production. Of course, if dehydration progresses, increasingly serious adverse effects could occur. Remember too, that soda, beer, wine and other alcoholic drinks can contribute lots of calories.
Tips for staying hydrated: Thirst is not always a good indicator of fluid loss Drink before you’re thirsty! Carry a water bottle with you throughout the day and know where you can fill it up regularly. Measure a bottle of water and determine how many you need to drink throughout the day to meet your fluid needs. Jazz up plain water with quarter of a lemon or a splash other juice.
Adopting this week’s healthy weight loss habit
Week 3 sample goal: I will drink 8 ounces of water at each meal to increase my fluid intake.
WEIGHT LOSS Week 4 – Fruits and Veggies
Choose darker salad greens such as red leaf and green leaf, which have more nutrients than lighter greens such as iceberg. Review your food record from Week l and count the average number of fruits and vegetable servings you ate each day. Strive for 3-5 servings of vegetables and 2-4 servings of fruit. To get the needed 5-9 servings combined, try these helpful hints:
- Add extra tomato sauce, tomatoes (chopped or whole) and corn to vegetarian chili, bean dishes and turkey meatloaf.
- Add potatoes, corn and beans (kidney white and black) to soups.
- Stuff a baked potato with: spinach – fat-free cheese – fat-free yogurt – mushrooms – skim ricotta – mix and match these to suit your taste.
- Make stir-fried vegetable dishes. Stir fry with broth or cooking spray, or cook mushrooms first and use their moisture for stir-frying.
- Make a vegetarian pizza with lots of bell peppers, onion, tomato, zucchini mushroom, carrots, broccoli and spinach.
For week 4 in learning some new weight loss habits a sample goal would be:
I will eat one piece of fruit as a snack between meals.
WEIGHT LOSS WEEK 5 – QUALITY GRAINS
Natural grains are a great source of fiber, which may help prevent heart disease; lower cholesterol reduce risk of various forms of cancer; control diabetes; prevent constipation, diarrhea and diverticulitis; as well as aid in weight control.
Most of us don’t get the recommended 25 grams daily. To count your fiber grams, read food labels whenever possible. Foods with at least 3 grams of fiber per serving are good sources; high sources are foods that contain 5 grams or more per searing.
Or count all of the following as 3 grams of fiber each: half-cup vegetable, one slice whole-wheat bread, half-cup whole-wheat pasta, half-cup or one piece of most fruit, Increase the amount you eat by gradually replacing low-fiber foods with high-fiber sources such as whole grains, cereals, dried beans, legumes, fruits and vegetables.
Be sure to drink plenty of water, too! Starting your day with whole-grain cereal and fruit is a great way to get a head start on meeting your daily fiber needs.
Choose cereals and breads that contain at least 3 grams of fiber per serving. In addition, try to eat foods in their whole, unprocessed forms as often as possible to meet your dietary fiber requirements, obtain more nutrients and avoid questionable additives. Good sources of quality grains include brown rice, steel-cut oatmeal and quinoa.
Sample Week 5 Goal: I will find a cereal with 3 grams of fiber and eat it with fat free milk and a a piece of fruit, every other morning.
Grains are a great source of long-lasting energy and fiber that aids in weight management. Read labels to make sure you’re getting whole grains and some fiber, instead of oval-processed, fibreless fluff.
WEIGHT LOSS WEEK 6 – FACE THE FAT
Diets high in total fat have been linked to health problems as well as excess bodyfat. While our bodies do require a certain amount of fat to function normally, most of us eat more than we need.
Recommendations from the American Heart Association, the American Dietetic Association and the American Cancer Society outlines a diet with less than 30% of our total daily calories from fat. An ideal range for females participating in moderate intensity activity at least three times a week is 20%-25% of total calories from fat.
In other words: Since you have started this 8 week weight loss program, you’re probably already trying to eat lighter leaner foods. But if you want to slim down, consider some additional ways to reduce your fat intake. You needn’t go below the 20%-25% calorie level, but if you can cut a mere table spoon worth of fat from your intake, you’ll save 14 grams of fat and about 126 calories.
Try these strategies to lose weight:
- Use nonstick sprays and fat-free butter flavored substitutes.
- Use less butter and margarine, lard and oils, creamy and oily salad dressings.
- Cut away all visible fat from meat and poultry and remove the skin from poultry before cooking.
- Drink fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk, eat fat-free/low-fat cheese, cream cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream, yogurt and frozen dairy desserts.
- Broil, bake, braise, steam, stir-fry poaches, grill, sauté (with minimal oils), boil, roast on racks.
- Cut back on foods that may not seem likely to contain fat but are actually high in fat, such as olives, avocado, nuts, coconut and movie popcorn.
- Substitute creamy salad dressings for fat-free variations or vinegars such as red wine or rice. Or instead of pouring dressing over the salad, keep it on the side and dip your fork with eat bite.
Sample goal for week 6:
I will eat tuna in water and use 1-2 teaspoons of mayonnaise instead of 1-2 tablespoons.
WEEK 7 – PROPER PROTEIN
One of the most misunderstood concepts of nutrition is the role that protein plays in weight loss and maintenance, and muscle metabolism. Protein functions in the body as part of enzymes, hormones, antibodies (in the immune system) and components of tissue, especially muscle.
Yet consuming protein beyond what’s considered adequate won’t help you develop more muscle or enhance your ability to lose weight or perform better in the gym.
Scientific studies suggest that the protein intake for those who engage in regular, intense strength-building exercise should be 0.7-0.8 gram per pound of bodyweight ( 212%-225% of the current RDA, or Recommended Dietary Allowances).
To determine protein your needs, multiply your bodyweight in pounds by a conversion factor of 0.5 to l .0, depending on your exercise level (see table above right) . This will give you the grams of protein you need per day. Compare that number to the amount of protein you typically consume each day.
Make the changes that need to be made – if any. Finally protein can be found in non- animal sources like beans and soy-products.
Week 7 Goals:
A dieter needs a higher percentage of calories from protein just like an athlete does.
Make sure you’re gearing enough, but not too much. Choose lean protein sources.
Weight Loss Week 8 – Your Environment
Remember in Week 1, when you kept a food record and listed the moods you were in and the location of your meals? You’ve probably realized by now that eating is a complex pattern of behavior that goes well beyond just making healthy choices. Understanding what constitutes healthy choices is very important, but so is understanding the factors that affect your eating patterns. These strategies can help:
1) Be aware of the social influences that affect your eating behavior. Avoid or be conscious of situations that encourage overeating. Choose low-calorie foods. Don’t stand next to the food table or linger in the kitchen when at a party, etc.
2) Control emotional eating. Don’t reach for food to make you feel content or more relaxed. Food is not the answer. For a quick, surer means of mood resolution, try one of the following activities:
- Take a walk to clear your head, or choose another form of exercise.
- Telephone a friend, particularly one you haven’t talked to in a while.
- Buy a good book or magazine and carry it with you.
- Go to the movies.
- Pamper yourself with a bubble bath, manicure, facial, pedicure or massage.
- Enjoy a hobby, such as painting, knitting, carpentry, decorating or jewelry making..
3) Add pleasure to your life with something other than food. Reward yourself by sleeping late, going dancing, buying new clothes or CDs, attending sporting events or concerts, playing recreational sports, camping, hiking, traveling and gardening — anything you enjoy.
4) Put yourself in situations that support your efforts at controlled eating. Don’t let others weaken you! Be ready to respond to negative influences. Stock your kitchen with healthy food, keep fruit at work, plan what you’ll eat before you go out to a restaurant with others, or suggest new restaurants to eat in (do some research and find those that serve healthy food).
o You Think You Are So(da) Smart?
Have you considered that when it comes to losing weight reaching for a diet soda may not be such a smart move?
Research from the University of Texas Health Science Center show that study participants who routinely drank diet soft drinks had a higher obesity than those who drank regular soda. In fact, for each can of diet soft drink that participants drank each day, their risk of being extremely over-weight increased by 41%.
Are you overweight and suffering from heartburn?
It is true that people who need to lose some weight do suffer from heartburn more than those skinny people! Here is some information to help you avoid heartburn:
Being overweight and eating spicy foods are notorious heartburn risk factors. Another culprit? Soda. In a study of more than 15.000 people, drinking one or more carbonated beverages a day was linked to a 31 percent higher risk of nighttime heartburn. Can’t live without diet soda? Break the habit in three steps:
Halve it: If you’ve been downing four cans a day, limit yourself to two cans early in the day. Institute a no-soda-after-3-p.m. rule.
Dilute it: Reduce bubbles, caffeine, and acidity by mixing half a glass of soda with half a glass of water. It won’t taste as good-but that might make giving it up easier.
Replace it: Water won’t aggravate heartburn, but if you find it too bland, add a drink mix (like Crystal Light) or try herbal tea (avoid peppermint – it’s a heartburn trigger).