Hiking to lose Weight

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    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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