Hiking to lose Weight

 

Hiking is an amazing way to get fit and stay fit. If you are over-weight and want to shed some pounds, try my tips. They worked for me. I was 240 pounds and I came down to 170.

Here are my before and after photos…

before and after

I started walking 5 km on flat trails about 3 times a week. I would time myself and try to better my times.

Here are some useful exercise tips I’ve learned…

  • Start Easy – Don’t run. Don’t hike up steep hills
    (Too fast too early will increase the chance of injury and motivation loss)
  • Gradually work your way up to more and more challenging walks/hikes
  • The Energy Trail at Buntzen Lake is a great place .
  • Log your workouts (time, distance and date)
    (I use Endomondo to track my workouts)
  • If you wish, find a partner to help push and motivate you
  • It’s more difficult to lose weight than to eat junk food
  • Lift weights
  • Weigh yourself only once/week and do it in the morning

Here are some useful dieting tips…

  • Drink lots of water
  • Lower the sugar in your diet (see below)
  • ‘Low Fat’ advertising is tricky. Low fat foods often have high sugar
  • Have small meals, with healthy snacks in between, such as trailmix or WASA Light Rye Crispbread, with peanut butter (non-hydrogenated)
  • Nuts are a good snack and they help to make you feel full
  • Too much alcohol is bad. Don’t waste your liver’s time breaking down alcohol, when it could be breaking down sugars. Plus alcohol contains empty calories.
  • Avoid buffets
  • Don’t eat out too much
  • Low fat milk makes you feel less full; consider using 2% or homo unless you have a cholesterol problem
  • Good sugar substitutes are: Stevia; Erythritol; Xylitol
  • Close your kitchen down 2 hours prior to bedtime
  • Have one treat a week (but not a 2 lb sundae !)
  • Use spices, mustard or hot sauce for flavour
  • Substitute Hummus for Mayo
  • Always eat breakfast
  • Have lots of fibre
  • Don’t eat the skin from chicken
  • Have a consultation with a dietitian

Some high sugar foods to avoid or cut back:

  • Soda
  • Fruit juices
  • Frappuccino (Venti Mocha from Starbucks = 76 grams of sugar)
  • Candy
  • Syrup
  • Dried fruit, canned fruit
  • Cookies, cakes, pies and donuts
  • Jams, preserves & spreads
  • Many cereals (try below 6 gr/serving);
    Cheerios, bran flakes and oatmeal are good
  • Sauces, like ketchup and BBQ
  • Ice cream

These tips are all great, but what makes it so hard to stick to a diet plan and lose weight ? Motivation, confidence and mood are key factors.

Things that can motivate you to lose weight and get in shape:

  • Health reasons
  • More energy
  • Enhance your appearance
  • Increase your confidence
  • Save money

Many health plans fail due to lack in confidence.
Confidence will naturally increase once you start exercising, but try this tip that was useful for me:

Challenge yourself – for me it was cutting back on Starbucks Mocha Frappuccinos (Tall is 40 grams of sugar). I challenged myself to not have them for a month. After a month, it turned into 3 months. Once you realize you can beat the demons that lead you to food, your confidence will naturally increase.

The challenge doesn’t have to be a food challenge either – you can challenge yourself to cut back on watching TV or the challenge can be walking 1, 2 or 3 km… every day.

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