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What's for dinner?.jpg Salmon, asparagus and brown rice will fuel your body.

Years ago, scientists discovered that one pound of fat contains 3,500 calories of energy. Does that mean you need to consume 3,500 less calories or burn 3,500 more calories to lose one pound of fat? Not necessarily. A person’s body composition plays a large role in weight loss. If you want to lose 20-pounds, you probably have more fat and will lose weight more rapidly than someone trying to lose 5-pounds.

If you are committed to losing weight, implement these five components and see if you can achieve your weight loss goal. 

Consume fewer calories.

Calories are made up of protein, carbohydrates and fat. Each of these three components has a different caloric value per gram. One gram of protein and one gram of carbohydrates has 4 calories; whereas one gram of fat has 9 calories and alcohol has 7 calories. 

Here is an example of how calories add up:

6-oz. grilled chicken breast=208 calories
1-cup steamed broccoli=24 calories
1-cup roasted sweet potatoes=108 calories
One glass of wine=120 calories

To kick-start your weight loss journey, calculate your caloric intake and try to consume 300-500 less calories per day. 

Avoid processed and packaged foods.

Due to additives and preservatives, processed and packaged foods have less nutritional value and fewer nutrients. These foods taste good, but they are not as healthy or effective at fueling your body. As a general rule of thumb, try and avoid (or minimize consumption of) anything that comes out of a box or is processed. Foods that contain: refined (enriched) grains, trans fat (partially or fully hydrogenated), salt or high fructose corn syrup should be avoided altogether. 

Eat protein and complex carbohydrates.

Keep your refrigerator stocked with lean protein and complex carbohydrates. The majority of the food you consume should be made fresh from the refrigerator. Give this dinner and sweet treat a try. It’s full of protein, fiber and nutrients that will leave you feeling satisfied!

6 oz. salmon
1-cup asparagus
½-cup brown rice
1-cup raspberries
1.5 oz. of dark chocolate 

Focus on foods with high levels of minerals and vitamins.

Fueling your mind and body requires good nutrition. Minerals and vitamins help digestion, regulate blood sugar levels, makes energy, cell growth and much more. Start by incorporating salmon, garlic, broccoli, legumes, dark leafy greens, blueberries, coconut, egg yolks and dark chocolate into your diet. 

Drink water.

Water has zero calories, hydrates your body, brain, and helps with weight loss. Try and drink eight 8-oz. glasses of water every day. If you are more active, you might need to consume more. If you feel thirsty, that is an early sign of dehydration. Water gives you a sensation of feeling full, with no additional calories, so before your next meal, drink 8-oz. of water!

Weight loss is a lifelong journey. In a culture that instant gratification is becoming the new “norm”, this is a hard pill to swallow. But, have hope! If you eat less, avoid packaged/processed foods, choose good proteins and carbohydrates, you can achieve your weight loss goal.

Niccole Maurici, University Park mom of four and former certified personal trainer, is the co-founder and creator of the StrongestMom.com? website and fitness videos, which promote values important to moms: encouragement, support, positive thinking, and dedication.  To learn more visit our website strongestmom.com. 

StrongestMom.com™ is about making moms the strongest they can be, both mentally and physically. Our 30-minute workouts, be+positive™ messages and website information offer the tools every mom needs to become the strongest she can be. Visit our website to learn more about our vision. Why are StrongestMom.com™ fitness videos the best exercise program for moms? 30-minutes. We understand moms are busy and we want you to succeed. Authentic. Created by a mom of four and former certified personal trainer. Convenient. At home: no childcare, no driving, and no membership fees. Encouraging. Every workout ends with a 30-second be+positive™ message. Flexible. Choose from a 3, 4, 5 or 6-day week workout plan that’s right for you. Instructional. Emphasizes great form: great form gives you great results. - Contact Niccole at  
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