I Need to Lose 100 Pounds! 16 Ways to Reshape Your Body

If you are very overweight or obese, your body is crying out for help. It’s systems are overtaxed by the extra weight, and every part of your body is suffering, from the circulatory system to your brain and everything in between. Thus, losing that weight, even if you lost only a decent sized chunk of it, would do wonders for your health. You’d reduce your health risks and feel much better about yourself, inside and out. However, losing this much weight is a great challenge, one that you can meet as long as you have the three Ps – a plan, practices, and persistance. To help get you started on your quest, here are sixteen ways to reshape your body and, as a result, reshape your life:

  1. First, you need to be clear on how many pounds you have to lose. You should then write down your goal in a book; let’s say, for the sake of this article, that you’re looking to drop 100 pounds. Then, write down on paper, “I need to lose 100 pounds.” Do this every day when you wake up in the morning; this will get you focused on your goal throughout the day.
  2. Next, you need to set your time frame. How long do you have to lose the weight? For instance, if you have a wedding in a year to attend, you can set a reasonable goal to that point. In general, longer is better; if you want to know how to lose 100 pounds in 6 months, you’ll have to go to more extremes than if you have a year. Losing 100 pounds in a week, futher, is impossible. In general, it’s better to set longer term goals, goals that you can maintain over your lifetime.
  3. Next, figure out the first P – the plan. You’ll need to be as specific as possible with your diet and exercise regime. If you settle on vague goals, you will almost definitely not succeed.
  4. For your diet, for example, figure out how many calories you’re going to shoot for in a day. Figure out how many meals you’re going to eat (the more, the better, say around 5 to 6) and then schedule in when you will eat them. For instance, you can eat a sound breakfast when you wake up, a midmorning snack, lunch, an afternoon snack, dinner, and then an evening snack. This would be the perfect balance to get you through your day.
  5. Next, figure out the foods you’ll be eating. Though you are eating 6 meals, they’re more like 6 snacks. You’re going to have to get used to smaller portions, ones that leave you satisfied, not “full.” You should never get too hungry or too full; both are signs that something has gone wrong.
  6. The next step in how to lose 100 pounds is to plan out your exercise regime. Make sure you schedule out the EXACT times and days that you work out, and the particular workouts that you do. These workouts don’t have to be long and intense at first – break yourself in, especially if you’ve been sedentary for a while. As you get going, you can then increase the intensity and the duration. In general, however, more intense, shorter workouts are more effective than long, rambling ones any day.
  7. Cardio should be the base of your workouts – treadmills, bikes, skating, sports, etc. You should also include plenty of weight training to keep your muscles strong, and add flexibility to help prevent injury. You may also like Yoga, Pilates, or any other class. Whatever you enjoy and whatever keeps you motivated is what you should do.
  8. After planning, your next P is “practices.” What this means, simply, is building habits, routines, and ‘rituals’ into your daily life to keep you going. We all have limited willpower, so you’ll need to make things automatic, like habits, if you ever want to make them stick. Make sure to do the same things day in, day out, in order to get this habit entrenched in your brain.
  9. The third P is persistence. You’ll have bad days, days where you want to quit, and days where the cravings and laziness are overwhelming. Even if you slip one day or even one week, don’t give up! Keep moving forward, one day at at time.
  10. Keep records of your progress so that you can see how well you’re doing through the program. The more you monitor your progress, the more you’ll be motivated to keep going. Plus, you’ll also know if your weight loss program is working. Don’t get too obssessed with stats, of course.
  11. Don’t make your life about deprivation – have your favorite treats every once in a while, making sure to keep the serving sizes modest, of course.
  12. A cheat day every once in a while isn’t bad either – it can restart your metabolism which may be slowing down if you aren’t eating enough.
  13. To that end, don’t starve yourself! This will only set you back and make you miserable. Make sure you eat plenty of food, but enough so that you’re satisifed but below your caloric requirements for the day.
  14. Don’t neglect eating healthy. Make sure to eat a balanced diet with the nutrients your body needs to flourish.
  15. Get plenty of rest – you’ll lose weight while you’re sleeping, and you’ll rest up from your exercise program.
  16. Don’t lose weight too fast. During the first two weeks you will lose a ton of water weight, so don’t be alarmed to see huge weight losses. However, in later weeks you don’t want to lose weight too fast. What ‘too fast’ means will depend on each person and on your starting weight. For this reason, it’s good to have a doctor monitor your progress, especially when you have to lose a huge amount of weight like this.

Any more ways? Leave them in the comments!

17 Health Benefits of Drinking Water

The human body is made up of mostly water – aynwhere from 55% to 78% by weight – so the health benefits of drinking water should be obvious. Your brain consists of 90% water, your blood 83%, and your muscles 75%, so what do you think will happen if you are dehydrated? Your body will work less optimally than it can, putting you at a disadvantage in every sphere of your life – living, breathing, working, and playing.

Despite this knowledge, however, many of us do not drink enough water throughout the day. We drink plenty of coffee and sodas that contain caffeine, a compound that can help dehydrate us, but we drink very little fruit juice and almost no water. This is especially important if we are at all active throughout the day – the more your body does, the more calories it burns, and the more water you need to fuel working muscles.

If the importance of water is not clear to you from the above description, here are seventeen benefits of drinking water daily. Hopefully these facts will encourage you to add more water to your routine. Overall, you’ll want to shoot for 6 to 8 glasses of water a day. You can drink them both in and between meals. Add more water to your diet if you are very active, especially if you are doing intense cardio, sports, and strength training. Here are only a fraction of the many benefits you’ll experience by adding a lot of water to your daily diet:

  1. On the most basic level, water helps transport oxygen and nutrients throughtout your body; it also helps the organs absorb these nutrients. Having plenty of water will help give you the energy you’ll need to work, play, and get through the day.
  2. Water helps aid digestion and metabolism. If you are having any digestive issues, or problem with a slow or faulty metabolism, drinking enough pure water can help smooth out some of the difficulties. It is thus a key component of any nutrition plan.
  3. Water is also important for helping your body detoxify – in other words, rid itself of toxins and pollutants. This is one reason why it’s important to drink purified water that you know will be safe to drink and not continue to add toxins to your system.
  4. If you have joint problems, water may help, as it lubricates those areas. Water can also help your body repair and recover after an injury or illness.
  5. If you are trying to lose weight, you’ll need to drink. In fact, drinking water to lose weight is a viable strategy! Drinking water will help you control your hunger and appetite, and it will also help flush away fat. Drinking water will also help you lose water weight, as your body will not hold on to its water stores so tightly as it does when you are eating lots of salt with little water.
  6. If you are having headaches, drinking water may relieve the problem.
  7. Water helps reduce the risks and effects of diseases like cancer, heart disease, obesity, kidney and liver problems, and more. It also gives a boost to your immune system to help protect you against germs and viruses.
  8. Water increases your energy and focus levels so that you can get more done and enjoy your life with less stress.
  9. If you are dehydrated, your physical performance in sports and exercise will suffer. To play and work at your highest potential, you’ll need to drink all the water you can.
  10. Drinking water can also help protect your teeth against plaque and cavities. Tap water contains fluoride, a compound that is added to the water to help preserve your teeth.
  11. If you have cramps, water can reduce them. In fact, many cramps are caused by dehydration in the first place!
  12. Having plenty of water will make your skin look smooth, youthful, and healthy.
  13. Some waters are fortified with other vitamins and minerals, so drinking these can be a good way to bolster your body’s functions.
  14. The symptoms of dehydration can be annoying to severe. You’ll obviously feel both hungry and thirsty when you’re without water. Your urine will turn a dark color, your skin and throat will dry out, and you could get headaches, constipation, and fatigue. The problems inside could be worse – kidney issues, irregular blood pressure, and more. If you go without water for a few days, you can get very ill, and even die. This just further underscores the drinking water benefits discussed above!
  15. Note: the source of the water, and how you drink it, ultimately don’t matter that much. It really doesn’t matter whether your drink hot, warm, or cold matter – except for how pleasurable it may be – or whether you get it from a spring, nature, company or in bottled, tap, or dispenser form.
  16. One good habit to build is starting your day by imbibing lots of water. Drinking twenty ounces of water right when you wake up the morning will help freshen you up and supply your cells with much needed H2O – they’ve been thirsty for hours while you’ve been asleep!
  17. If you are having trouble drinking plain water, there are many things you can do to help make it go down easier. First, experiment with different kinds of water until you find the best drinking water for you. Try distilled water if you want to go with the purest kind you can get – though drinking distilled water benefits may be a little lower due to the absensce of important minerals like fluoride. You can drink the water with lemon or other flavors added. If worse comes to worse, you can drink sweetened beverages (without caffeine), but don’t forget that you’ll also be taking in empty calories, so don’t make this a habit. You’ll still enjoy the benefits of drinking water regardless of the form you take it in.

What Are the Health Benefits of Cranberry Juice?

We all know that we need to eat plenty of servings of fruits and vegetables throughout the day, but who has the time and ability to consistently do this? One way to increase your intake of fruits is to drink juice, and one of the best juices to drink to improve your health is cranberry juice.

The Cranberry is a “Superfruit”

Cranberries are well known to be one of the ‘superfruits’ that provide amazing health benefits to those who consume them regularly. In fact, nearly any ‘berry’ will offer benefits to those who consume them beyond the caloric and nutritive aspects.

What makes cranberry juice so healthy is the mixture of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other healthy chemicals that it contains. The vitamins and minerals ensure the proper functioning of the body. Antioxidants provide numerous health benefits throughout the body. They combat ‘free radicals’ that are the main cause of inflammation and cancers. Antioxidants thus have a strong anti-inflammatory, anti-bacteria, and anti-cancer effect.

Aside from these compounds, cranberry juice also contains “phytochemicals,” compounds that help the body in a myriad of ways. For example, some of the phytochemicals in this drink attack breast cancer cells and reduce the progress of aging throughout the body.

The basic chemistry of cranberry juice also contributes to its health power. Cranberry juice is very acidic – this creates an inhospitable environment for nasty bugs and germs to grow, helping to keep your body clear of infection and illnes. In addition, cranberry juice contains plenty of water, keeping your body hydrated and operating at its peak.

So What’s the Payoff?

All of this adds up to numerous health benefits of cranberry juice for the regular drinker. The antioxidants, fiber, and phytochemicals can help protect your heart against heart disease and can guard your body against cancer. For men and for women, this drink can help clear infections in the urinary tract, bladder, and kidney, as well as in other places throughout the body.

The vitamins and minerals in the beverage also help. The vitamin C in the beverage helps keep your immune system strong, and the acidic and antioxidant components help break down and prevent the formation of kidney stones. Some manufacturers add calcium to the beverage, a mineral that is crucial for keeping your bones and teeth strong.

Older individuals, and those who are under a lot of stress, can also get relief from peptic and stomach ulcers by drinking this juice.

Cranberry juice can also give you benefits for your teeth! Drinking this beverage regularly can help reduce the formation of plaque and gum disease in your mouth. The acidity of the beverage, along with its other components, also helps kill and prevent the growth of harmful bacteria in your mouth.

Some Warnings

One of the reasons people don’t drink cranberry and other juices regularly is the taste. Pure juice can be tart and bitter, so many will mix it with other juices to moderate the flavor a bit. In fact, some brands of cranberry juice are already cut with other juices – as long as the juice contains 30% cranberries compared to 70% other fruits, you’ll still enjoy all the health benefits of the drink.

Others get these juices with added sugars – this is not a good idea. Note that, like all juices, a sweetened and an unsweetened version of this beverage exists. The unsweeted version is 100% pure cranberry juice, while the sweetened version of the beverage contains added sugars. While this may make the beverage taste better, it actually hurts its nutrional profile in two ways. First, you take in empty and unnecessary calories by drinking that added sugar, increasing your weight and expanding your fat stores, leading to further health problems down the line. Second, you get less of the 100% juice that you need, as it has been ‘diluted’ to an extent, and thus don’t get the concentrated benefits of cranberry juice. Of course, if the choice is between sweetened cranberry juice and soda, go with the juice, as it still contains some of the healthy compounds and antioxidants that will keep your body strong.

Getting Cranberry Juice

Drink one to three 8 oz. glasses of this beverage a day to enjoy the maximum benefits. You can purchase regular brands of cranberry juice, like Ocean Spray, or you can buy organic varieties. Indeed, many people try to go on a cranberry juice diet to help them lose weight. While this may be effective, those trying this diet should be careful, as the beverage does contain sugar. As with any beverage, drink it in moderation – drinking two gallons a day will just make you sick and fat!