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Losing weight begins with what you eat

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Photograph: Dennise Barajas

What comes to mind when you hear the word diet?

People struggle with the idea of changing their eating habits everyday.  The simple thought of putting down something fried and picking up something grilled can scare someone.

The decision to pursue a diet or to lose weight can be made from a combination of factors. One of them, widely considered, is health. Weight is a major contributor to one’s well being.

“ What made me decide to lose weight was when the dietitian told me that I was obesity type one and if I kept gaining weight I had the chance of becoming diabetic,’’ Andrea Aguirre, 21, said.  “It scared me to death to hear that, so I decided to change my eating habits, plus I wanted to feel good about myself.”

 Before making any decision, it’s highly recommended to talk to a doctor.

“Consult with a doctor to create a weight loss and eating plan that will work for your body,” said Lauren Outlaw, Life Time Group Fitness department head.

It’s recommended to start making changes on an early age before your body becomes a priority.

“As you get older, your metabolism slows down and makes it harder to lose weight,” said Outlaw.

Motivation is a major asset to losing weight. Reaching goals can help build your confidence and assist you in moving closer to more results. Incentives can strive one to accomplish a better lifestyle.

“What kept me motivated was whenever I started to see the results,” Aguirre said. “ I wanted to keep losing weight. It felt good to know that I was doing something right for my benefit. I have lost over 51 pounds in the past three years.’’

Studies show that eating habits are 80 percent of the weight loss formula, while exercise is only 20 percent.

People tend to want to lose weight the fastest way possible. This can lead to many people becoming discouraged when not seeing immediate results. One must commit to change their life completely and instead of seeing it as a quick fix see it as a long-term solution.

To keep the metabolism going throughout the day, snacks are extremely beneficial. Granola bars are often seen as a good snack with lots of grains, however they are not always the best option.

“Granola bars are packed with lots of calories and sugars. For snacks, I recommend to eat almonds instead,” said Outlaw.

Exercising is important when eyeing a new lifestyle. Some exercises can be done without even having a gym membership. Walking is one of them.

Workout training doesn’t matter how long an exercise is for; it’s how much effort is put into the exercise and apply the proper technique.

After losing weight, keeping balance is the hardest thing to accomplish.

“I make sure I don’t eat too much unhealthy food.’’ Aguirre said. “Since I cook, I can control what I put in my food. I also keep exercising.’’

Tips to lose weight:

–       Exercise 3-4 times per week at least 30 minutes.

–       Substitute water for soda.

–       Stay away from fried food

–       Eat vegetables

–       Eat food with a high protein source

–       Walk/Run

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