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5 Ways to Lose 20 pounds By Christmas

Want to slip into a smaller dress size by Christmas? You can get a jump start on your new years resolution. Don't wait, here's how to get the weight off. Suzanne Andrew's, a healthcare practitioner reveals 5 tips in non medical jargon.

Ready to transform your life with a safe, healthy approach to weight loss? The key word being Healthy. We're not talking about a distorted perception of health by motivating you to be so skinny that it leads to dangerous consequences. If you grew up during the Barbie doll age: listen up. If you were built like Barbie, your back would be so weak that it wouldn't support your upper body, and your waist would be so narrow that it would only contain your liver and a few centimeters of bowel. Doesn't sound too pleasant now does it? A real women built that way would suffer from chronic diarrhea and eventually die from malnutrition. Now that's a diet for you.

Having worked with 100's of celebrity's over the years, I have personally seen how their images are prepped and airbrushed to unrealistic perfection. You don't need to strive for perfection. Just strive to be at a weight where you are functional - I remember being so heavy - I was 60 pounds overweight that I couldn't play with my child or even clean my bath tub without having to stop because I was so out of breath. Actually I couldn't even reach the tub. And touch my toes? Forget about it - I couldn't even see them. I finally got the weight off and have kept it off for 12 years. I'll tell you how you can get great results by losing weight and keeping it for good later. First I'm going to give you some pointers to turn you into a fat burning machine.

1. Muscle Is lighter on Your Joints

Did you know that fat bulges 18% more than muscle, pound for pound. Simply put, lean muscle equals looser clothes. Less weight also equals less pain. Would you voluntarily walk around carrying a 100 pound bag of cement? When you walk, you place a force equal to 3X your body weight on your knees and hips and that force grows to 5X your body weight when going down stairs. So if you're just 20 pounds overweight, your joints can feel like they are carrying around an extra 100 pounds." If you really want to give your joints a break, start losing weight, no pun intended.

2. Why Muscle Burns More Fat

Have you ever gone on a diet with your husband and noticed they lose weight much faster, even though you're eating sticks and grass and they are munching away on steak! Men have more muscle and more muscle equals a faster metabolism. Pound for pound, muscle burns fat at a faster pace than fat. A person with more muscle burns more fat even in his sleep! So pick up the weights, incorporate 2 days a week of strength training into your routine and rev up your fat burning engine.

3. Watch Your Portion Size.

To lose weight, you need to burn off more than you take in. A simple way to check your portion size is to fill your plate with vegetables, (steamed, baked or microwave without butter) fill of your plate with a starch and the other with a lean baked, grilled, or broiled meat. If this is hard to imagine, get yourself a paper plate that is already divided and your measuring work is done!

4. Turn Stress into a Small Size Dress

We all face those moments that feel almost insurmountable, day in and day out, at home, at work, in our car and in social situations. So what do you do about it? Think about how you handle stress. Do you eat? You're not alone. 80% of the people who take my class along with people who email me tell me that this one tip I'm about to share with you, helped them not only get the weight off, but keep it off. The first thing you do when stressed is stay away from foods that begin with the letter 'C' - Cake, cookies, chocolate, chips, candy.

5. Breath away Stress

A yoga client of mine, (who is also a working mom living with diabetes) Kelly, lost 4 dress sizes, incorporating this technique into her daily weight loss routine. You can practice this anywhere, in your office, even in the bathroom. First recognize that you are in a stressful situation and take a moment for yourself.

Yoga is so much more than just exercise. When yoga movements are incorporated with meditation, yoga becomes a healthy lifestyle, reaping positive rewards for your mind, body, and spirit. This meditation is simple and yet has far reaching effects in allowing you to become aware of your inner strength to handle outer stress. Begin seated on a chair with your feet firmly planted on the ground or on the floor - whatever is most comfortable for you.

A.) Inhale through your nose as if you're smelling flowers and expand your belly followed by expanding your chest. B.) Exhale as if you're blowing out your birthday candles. Make sure you take twice as long to exhale. Do one set of 3 and not only will you decrease stress; you will also increase oxygen and speed up your metabolism. You may have heard this technique being touted as an independent weight loss tool and that is nonsense. This is one very important tool, but, as a health care practitioner I feel obliged to inform you that you can't just breathe this way and lose weight. You must practice this with regular yoga exercise, cardioFind Article, and 2 days of strength training to quickly say goodbye to your pounds and hello to the healthiest body you ever will have!

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Suzanne Andrews, PBS Healthy Lifestyles Expert, specializes in helping plus size and people over 40 regain their health. She lost over 60 pounds herself using the techniques in her latest DVD's. To purchase her specially designed DVD for people who have not exercised in 6 months or more and are more than 20 pounds overweight, click

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