FOCUS: A Blueprint for a Happier Life

~Helping you help yourself~

Need to lose weight? Do it the FOCUS way. First, pick an eating and exercising plan you can stick to, such as:

Cut back on portions (try eating half what you normally do, or, if that makes you too hungry, cut back by a third).

Walk: Start small (Can you do five minutes?) and work up to more. If you want to lose weight, half an hour daily (15 minutes twice a day, 10 minutes three times a day, OR 15 minutes once a day in swimming pool water that is neck-deep) will help. Walking at least half an hour every two or three days will work for maintenance.

Lift little handweights 10 minutes a day (Hint: In the evening while you're watching television is the perfect time, especially during commercials.) -- rebuilding muscle helps with weight loss.

If cutting back on portions makes you feel panicky, make some of your portions or snacks from this list of "negative-calorie" foods (they supposedly require burning more calories to digest them than they contain, but this means NO sugar added):

  • Apples
  • Asparagus
  • Beets
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Chili Peppers
  • Cranberries
  • Cucumbers
  • Grapefruit
  • Green Beans
  • Lettuce
  • Onions
  • Oranges
  • Papaya
  • Pineapple
  • Radishes
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries
  • Turnips
  • Zucchini

Allow yourself one "splurge" day a week, such as Saturday or Sunday, the day you're most likely to socialize or eat out.

Follow up with a maintenance plan that includes eating smartly and exercising at least twice a week.

Second, FOCUS mentally on losing a quarter-pound a day and flattening and toning your problem places so you can stay at your ideal weight of [insert target weight here] pounds.

And, of course, check with your doctor before beginning any diet or exercise plan.

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