A lot of people jump on the fad diet bandwagon in order to lose weight and ignore all the basic weight loss tips. They think that by eating nothing but cabbage soup for 2 weeks that they’ll lose the weight and keep it off. It’s not realistic and it doesn’t work because as soon as you go back to eating “normally” you pile it all back on again.
The key to steady and healthy weight loss is to make simple changes to your diet and lifestyle that will turn into lifelong
So let’s have a look at out top weight loss tips that will help you lose weight, and more importantly, keep it off.
1) Look at how much you want to lose and set yourself a realistic goal of when you want to lose it by. If you want to lose
30lbs in a month you might as well give up already as unless you’re willing to chop off a limb or resort to unhealthy tactics, you’re not going to do it. Set yourself a target weight and plan on losing a healthy amount of 1-2lbs a week. It may take longer to get to your ideal weight but you’ll get there and not risk your health in the process.
2) Create an exercise regime for yourself. Dieting alone isn’t enough. This is where a lot of people fail as they assume
that by just cutting down on the calories that the weight will drop off. You need to get your body moving. A healthy weight loss programme isn’t complete if you don’t have a good exercise routine. The best sort of routine includes Weight training and cardio. This gets your muscles moving and increases your heart rate. It will improve your general health and fitness levels as well as burn calories. It doesn’t matter if you’re male or female, you need to incorporate weights into your workouts. Despite what a lot of women think, weight training won’t make you bulk up. It sculpts lean muscle, will boost your metabolism and burn off body fat. You should be aiming for at least 3 workouts a week (even if it’s just a 30 minute walk followed by some light weight training).
3) Keep your kitchen stocked up with healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, meats, grains and cereals. It will mean that you can make healthy home cooked meals so that you know exactly what goes into your food. Avoid stocking your freezer with microwave and low-fat meals as these are never as healthy as you’d think. Cooking meals yourself will mean you get less oil, salt, and fat in your meals and you’ll start to see the results quicker.
4) Change your snacking habits. This goes hand in hand with the above tip. If you don’t keep snack and junk foods in the house you can’t be tempted by that chocolate bar staring at you from the back of the cupboard or that ice cream in the freezer. If you feel like you need a snack, reach for that orange or apple you have in the bowl or a handful of carrot sticks.
Remember that snacking isn’t banned, just make sure you snack on the right kinds of foods.
5) Don’t cut out your comfort foods altogether. Everyone likes to have a pizza, burger or chocolate bar every now and then. Although you shouldn’t be eating these on a regular basis if you’re wanting to lose weight, it’s all about moderation.
If you are ridiculously strict with your diet and eat nothing but fruits and veggies you’re going to give up very quickly or
end up having a binge day. Think of your comfort foods as a treat. If you’ve exercised hard all week and followed your diet, allow yourself to have a treat once a week or so. If you want some chocolate after a good week, have half a bar or if you want that burger, have it with a salad instead of fries. It’s all about moderation and by allowing yourself to occasionally have your comfort foods your far more likely to stick to your diet and have it become more of a lifelong habit.
6) Watch what you drink. As well as being more careful with what you eat you also need to keep an eye on what you’re drinking. It’s no good making sure you eat healthily if you’re still drinking those sugar laden energy drinks and sodas. You can still have your cup of tea or coffee in the morning but make sure to cut back on the the milk/cream and sugar. Alcohol is also a very grey area that you need to be wary of. If you’ve got a celebration, holiday or party coming up, don’t worry about it too much. You can still have a drink, just be careful which ones you go for. Avoid beers, lagers and ciders at all costs as these are very high in sugars and will hinder your weight loss. Sweet wines also contain a lot of sugar so if you have a glass of wine make sure it’s dry. If you’re drinking spirits stick to vodkas, whisky or gin and if you’re having it with a mixer make sure it’s a diet soda or preferably tonic water/fruit juice.
7) Drink plenty of water. We’ve all had this drilled into us for a long time regardless of whether you are dieting or not.
You need to make sure you’re drinking at least 1.5l of water a day (roughly 6 glasses of water). If you’re going to be starting an exercise regime you may need to up this amount a bit to make sure that you don’t get dehydrated. As well as keeping your body hydrated, water is great for weight loss. Drink a glass of water before meal times as this will make you feel fuller (we can also mistake thirst for hunger). Having small drinks throughout your meal will also make you feel fuller and less inclined to keep eating.
8) Get an active hobby. This can link in with tip no.2. In order to burn off those calories you need to keep moving. It isn’t sufficient to rely on just 30 to 60 minutes of exercise a few times a week. Especially so if you work in an office of have a job that requires a lot of sitting down. If you’re used to sitting down on the sofa all weekend, you need to change that. Find something that you’d be interested in such as a salsa class, cycling or running. Enjoy social games with friends and family, plan hiking trips or try playing a new sport. Find something that’s fun and that you’ll enjoy and you’ll look forward to exercising.
9) Reward yourself. If your serious about losing weight you’ll have set yourself some little weight loss goals. Let’s say that
you’ve worked hard all month and have lost that 1-2lbs a week you were aiming for. Treat yourself. Maybe its that coat you saw a week ago, a new bag, new clothes or some jewellery. Once you’ve hit one of your mini goals, go get it as it will make you push for that next goal and keep you motivated over the long term.
10) Don’t weigh yourself too often. When you’re dieting it can be so tempting to jump on the scales every day and see how you’re doing. DON’T. Track your progress once a week at most but ideally every two weeks. Our weight fluctuates from day to day so you won’t get an accurate read out of how much you’ve lost if you’re on the scales all the time and it can be discouraging if you’re not showing as having lost weight every day.
By keeping all these basics in mind you’ll be well on your way to reaching your weight loss goal.