Research has shown that snacking on healthy items between meals can help manage hunger and reduce binging.

Mayoclinic.org recommends eating no more than a 100 calorie snack that contains lots of water, fiber and nutrients, and has comparatively little fat. The water and fiber will keep you feeling full without excess calories, and so things like fruits and vegetables make ideal snacks.

High protein snacks can, similarly, leave you feeling full, but keep an eye on those calories—they can quickly add up if you’re eating something like meat or nuts.

The key to this is not keeping unhealthy snacks in the house. Get rid of them, and stock up on things like apples, oranges, kiwi, celery, hummus, and cans of tuna. Make your house a safe place to snack between meals.

After you’re done desperately pillaging the cabinets for that one bag of chips you might not have gotten rid of, you should work up enough of an appetite to munch on a kiwi.

Enjoy!

"Thin is Healthy."

This final misconception is for those of you who, on your way home from work, smugly pass the gym in the night, smirking as you wonder at the miraculous metabolism that has allowed you to avoid putting on weight and having to sweat with the YMCA peasantry.

The final truth is: thin does not mean healthy. In fact, it can be quite the opposite.

The strange twist to this weight loss story is that you can be thin on the outside and obese on the inside.

Thanks to MRI technology, doctors have found that people who are sedentary, regardless of whether they are fat or thin, have large deposits of fat between their organs. This type of fat is called visceral fat.

Sounds lovely, doesn’t it?

This fat, which produces various chemicals and hormones, can cause inflammation of the organs, leading to early degradation.

Remember those crash diets we talked about? Yo-yo dieting, combined with an inactive lifestyle, actually causes the body to store this deep fat.

So what’s the cure? Exercise, of course!

Becoming more active can help get rid of all kinds of fat, but visceral fat is especially susceptible to being burned off.

It’s almost like your body doesn’t like having toxic fat stuffed between its organs.

"Read, Think, Act."

If there’s one thing you can take away from this, it’s the importance of thinking and being intentional about your health.

Don’t just rely on internet articles and anecdotal evidence. Do your research and find credible sources of information. Ask the experts. Work with an ACSM certified fitness trainer.

Above all, avoid wishful thinking, which is the bane of all weight-loss efforts. Losing weight and getting in shape is hard work, and it will always be hard work.

But it’s work that will leave you feeling better than you’ve ever felt in your life. It’s work that will extend the years you have left. It’s work that you’ll, in the end, be proud of.

So don’t let yourself be fooled by all the false information out there. Remember how weight loss really works, and you’ll be well on your way to a better you.

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