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Tips and Tricks                                         
"Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely."     
— Karen Kaiser Clark        

I've gotten some wonderful tips from others who have been generous enough to share things that have been of help to them. I've also discovered some of my own. So it's my hope that maybe I can pass on some tips to help you on your journey. Remember, much of it is my personal observations and opinions. Do you have a great tip you'd like to share? Let us know!  In time, we all find what's right for us...



The Fitness Factor The Fitness Factor

The choice of how and when to exercise is a personal decision, but there are benefits not to be denied. If you want to make a fitness plan a part of your daily life, read on...


       Water, Water, Water...
Bottled WaterOn average, the quantity of water in an adult body could fill 12 one-gallon cartons. Why so much water? Because water is absolutely critical to life. In fact, most cells in the human body are composed of more than 75% water. Without it, none of them would be able to function.

A good rule of thumb for how much water is — nine  8 oz. glasses plus one extra for every 25 lbs overweight you are. If you're finding yourself stuck on a diet plateau, look at your water intake. If you haven't been drinking enough, this could be your problem. Beginning the proper water intake can yield amazing results. (One note: You need even more water if it's hot or if you're exercising vigorously.)

Water has several vital functions in the body. It:
  • Delivers to each cell the nutrients needed to carry on the processes of life.
  • Dissolves vitamins, minerals, amino acids, glucose and other nutrients.
  • Provides a medium for chemical reactions.
  • Is involved in the production of energy.
  • Lubricates joints.
  • Acts as a shock absorber inside eyes, spinal cord and joints.
  • Helps the body flush out waste materials.
  • Helps maintain the body’s temperature.
In the small Ohio suburb where I live, the tap water is simply abysmal, so I drink bottled water almost Bottled Water exclusively. I find that it's easier to drink those large quantities of water when you really enjoy it, so if bottled water is for you, spend the extra few dollars for a brand you learn to love. My personal favorites are evian, Mountain Valley Spring, Sanfaustino, Metro Mint (yes, mint in the water!), and Tưnant. It may also be worthwhile to look into a bottled water service if it's available in your area.


Relax! Relaxation
Find some time for just you. No kids, no spouses, no worries. Just a time for self-reflection and relaxation. If it doesn't seem possible to find the time in your hectic schedule, just FORCE the issue each day for a week. Give yourself at least 1/2 hour out of every 24 for just that. Don't include time you're alone doing routine matters — from your morning shower to sitting down and paying bills. This may be alone time, but it's not relaxation time.
Take a leisurely bath. Curl up with a favorite book in an out-of-the-way room. Paint a picture. Listen to music. Just make sure it feels calming. After a week, you'll find this to be so renewing, you'll make sure you always have time for you.


       Clean Surroundings...
Cleaning Supplies It may seem odd to include a tip like this on a diet-related site, but in my experience and that of many others I've spoken to — it's easier to stay upbeat and positive about your new "way of life" when your surroundings are neat and orderly. Surrounded by clutter, dust or mess is not only distracting, it actually seems to breed depression and even hopelessness. You probably already know how important a pleasant outlook is upon your dieting success. And don't stop with your house... If you work out of the home, it's just as important that your office-space be uncluttered and comfortable. You feel like a well-ordered person; more worth the effort of the new way of eating! Just try it and see if you don't agree!

For some of the most innovative ideas I've ever read about streamlining your home and therefore your life for the "new you", we strongly recommend It's Here... Somewhere, by Alice Fulton and Pauline Hatch.


       Keep a Diary
It doesn't work for everyone, and if for you, it seems a chore, then a diary is not for you. Diary But many dieters find that taking the time to note their progress in a daily journal (traditional book, or computer-based one) helps keep them ontrack. Many of us have chosen to create something online as well, now that we are in an era of website sharing. The creation of this site has been of tremendous value to me.


       Get outta the house!
Scenic shot You need a change of scenery often. Take some walks. Take a drive. Get out of that old element where you were "fat and comfortable." It's amazing the new perspective it affords you. I find it to be very renewing. It cements my new purpose and washes away any feelings of doubt or depression I might be feeling. Find out what parks or places of beauty are near you. Find something that suits your taste. You might be more of a "feed-the-ducks" person than an art museum person. By the way — feeding the ducks (or any birds) is a great use for that bread you no longer have any need of!)   : ^ )


       You need a good scale!
No doubt about it. One of the most important things for you to own — preferably before you start the diet — is a good, reliable scale! A few years ago I bought a Health-O-Meter® . It was a digital lithium powered scale that weighed to the nearest ½ pound. I was very happy with it and had no problems. Then it was accidentally damaged in a move and I bought a new one to replace it. This time I got the next model up (around $70 to $80 retail.) It gave wildly erratic results — sometimes from minute to minute so I returned it. Got another of the same. The exact same thing happened - no matter who tried it or when. So that one went back too. This time, I re-purchased the same model I'd had before. Once again, it was a poor, inaccurate scale. This is purely my experience and opinion, but I believe their product quality has fallen Scales to unacceptable levels.

After doing a little research and trying many brands and models, I feel comfortable in recommending two different scale makers. If you want and need a scale to measure body fat, you really should select a TANITA®. If you are more comfortable with a "traditional" scale, you cannot get a better product than a Soehnle® (from Germany — the world's leading scale manufacturer.) The Siltec PS500L Scales later weighs to the nearest 1/5 of a pound. The TANITA® weighs to the nearest 1/2 pound. You might be able to find these locally, or purchase them online. The Tanita® catalog is at their website, but you'll have to shop around a bit to find the Soehnle (ask for it at finer home stores.)

If you have need of a scale that reads up to 500lb capacity (and to 1/2 pound accuracy!), we can find no better deal than the Siltec PS500L scale for under $200 from Precision Weighing Balances.


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