The Rapid Route to Shedding Pounds
Let’s face it: losing weight is no piece of cake. Literally. Pounds don’t just fall off by accident. No matter how real the effort, you can’t wish them away. Losing weight requires mind over matter and intention turning into action. But even the best laid plans don’t always yield the results one had hoped for, and certainly most often not as quickly as you wish. There is much truth to the idea that lasting weight loss is most often achieved a little at a time, but there are some ways to get a jumpstart on your battle with those extra poundsthat will yield timely results and encouragement to stay on target.
Nix Nighttime Munching
Say goodbye to that midnight (or 9p.m.) snack! There should be at least a 12 hour fast between your last meal of the day and your first meal the next morning.
Ideally, this fast will start after an early dinner and will begin a few hours before you hit the sack.
The more calories you burn before lying down for the night, the better. A totally reasonable timeframe would be to fast from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. each day.
Prepare Perfect Portions
It’s all about moderation! You don’t have to deprive yourself of your favorite foods all the time. Good food choices are important, but portion sizes are, too. The average person is accustomed to eating portions that are much too large and they eat far too much simply out of habit. Pay attention to how much you put on your plate, and don’t go back for seconds. Many will cut their caloric intake inhalf just by following this perfect portion tip.
Win With Water
Keep your metabolism working like a well-oiled machine by drinking plenty of water each and every day. Water keeps your metabolism moving to burn stored fat, and can even suppress your appetite when consumed before a meal! Additionally, if you’re drinking anything other than water, you’re only adding to your calories for the day. Carbonated sodas, juices, and sweet teas are loaded with sugar (shocking amounts, actually) and can completely sabotage a weight loss goal.
Feel The Burn
Get on the move! Whatever your activity level is now, amp it up. If it’s nothing, zilch, nada… now is the time to begin. Walking each day is a great place to start. Aim for 20+ minutes of physical activity 3-5 days a week. If you’re already there, add time or days to your current routine. Building lean muscle is a surefire way to kick start weight loss. Muscle burns fat just by existing, so grab some weights and feel the burn!
Real Food Only
Cut the crap. All boxed, processed foods (containing ingredients you couldn’t possibly pronounce and sure don’t know what in the world they are) aren’t real food. They serve no purpose for your body, provide no nutrients, and are empty calories that don’t give you energy and only turn into fat. Talk about a losing battle! The best tip to follow at the grocery store is to shop the perimeter of the market. Think fresh fruits and veggies, lean proteins, and quality dairy. If you’re eating real foods you can worry less about calories and fat, because you’re getting only the good stuff anyway.
Call it accountability, call it socializing, or call it simply more fun. Find a walking mate or gym partner. Start a contest at work or with a group of Facebook friends. Up the ante by having everyone put in five bucks and have one winner take the pool of money! Human nature tends toward community and competition. Building relationships and knowing someone is counting on you to be there is a great way to ensure you keep your eyes on the goal.
You Snooze, You Lose (Weight, that Is)
Skimping on slumber has been linked to lower metabolism. Your body takes the signal that since you’re so tired it needs to store energy in the way of hanging on to fat and calories rather than burning them. Don’t get caught in this trap! Get into the habit of going to bed and waking up at the same times each morning and evening, and make sure to get your 8 hours in!
Sip on Green Tea
As strange as it sounds, green tea has actually been found to have antioxidants that boost the metabolism. Sit down and sip on a cup of tea when you’re winding down for the evening, and let the metabolism-booster do its thing!
Sodium is on the sneaky side. Many don’t realize the many foods and drinks that are shockingly high in sodium, and how much they can make you retain water. Who wants to look and feel bloated when they’re trying to lose weight?! Try to make a habit of cutting back. Check nutrition labels and be mindful that you shouldn’t go over 2400 mg of sodium each day.
Mind Over Matter
Remind yourself why you’re working so hard. Develop a “why” that is near and dear to your heart. Why is your health important to you? Who in your life cares about your being healthy? Who are you influencing and who is watching you (your kids, grandkids, etc.)?
How will it feel to reach your weight loss goal? Remember that weight loss is achieved one moment at a time. Good nutrition, health, and weight loss is a journey that is built upon on tiny building blocks that eventually soar sky high. No good choice is small and no misstep is great if you stay on track.