There’s no doubt that losing weight can be a challenge, but these weight loss tips can help get you started on the right path.
Drink plenty of water:
Staying hydrated is one of the best weight loss tips. However, the big question is always, “how much water do I need to drink?” Studies have produced a variety of recommendations regarding the amount of water we need on a daily basis.
In truth, your water needs will depend on many factors, including your health, how active you are and even where you live. What we can say is that the average, healthy adult living in a temperate climate will generally need about 8-10 (8oz) glasses of water per day.
You may need to modify your water intake depending on your own personal situation. Obviously a 120 lb woman working an office job needs less water than a 200 lb man working outdoors in the heat and sun.
It’s usually not a good idea to use thirst as a guide for when you need to drink more water. By the time you’re thirsty, you are already slightly dehydrated. To prevent dehydration, make water your beverage of choice. Drink a glass of water with each meal and in between meals. Also, be sure to hydrate, before, during and after exercise.
Keep a food journal:
One of the most powerful weight loss tools available may be as close as a pen and paper.
In a recent study by the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, participants who kept food journals lost almost twice as much weight as those who didn’t. It seems that the simple act of writing down what you eat can encourage people to consume fewer calories. This tip definitely ranks among the best weight loss tips for fast success!
Be sure to keep an accurate food journal. Try to include exact portion sizes whenever possible. You also need to remember to write down everything you consume, including samples and those little tastes you grab while cooking; every bite or sip should be recorded. Many of us eat without being conscious of it; keeping a food journal is the only way to get a true idea of your actual caloric intake.
Don’t skip meals – eat your breakfast:
Skipping meals can cause your metabolism to slow down which in turn slows the rate at which your body burns calories. By eating breakfast you can give your metabolism a boost of energy after a night of fasting (break – fast).
People who skip meals think they are cutting calories, but they’re actually setting themselves up for failure. Not only does meal skipping cause your metabolism to nosedive, but you are more apt to become so hungry that you end up overeating.
Learn portion control and size:
Cutting back on sugar, fat, and calories can be as simple as watching your portion sizes, especially on foods that are high in fat and sugar.
Learn to control your portions. We live in a world where portions are over inflated and super sized so often that we no longer know what an appropriate portion looks like.
Many of us tend to underestimate the amount of food we eat and overestimate the recommended portion sizes for many foods. For example, try pouring out your usual portion of pasta and measure it! Then, compare it to the label portion size. Chances are, you’re eating two, three, four or more times the recommended portion size on the label.
Research shows that people unintentionally consume more calories when faced with larger portions. This can mean a significant increase in excess calories.
Enjoy what you eat – don’t eat mindlessly:
When you eat, sit down and enjoy it. This is not the time to multi-task. Many people will sit in front of the computer or television, munching away and not even realize, or enjoy, the foods they’re consuming. If you’re taking in calories, make them count; enjoy them. Take small bites and chew your food slowly, don’t just gulp it down.
Take the time to prepare an attractive serving. When you feel the urge for a snack, don’t just grab a bag of chips; take the time to cut up and arrange some raw vegetables or fresh fruit on a small plate. Give your meals and snacks some visual appeal and make them look delicious and appetizing. This is one of the best weight loss tips that many experts recommend to their clients.
Use a pedometer and increase daily steps:
A pedometer is an excellent tool to help you meet your weight loss goal. You don’t need anything fancy, a simple pedometer that will count your steps is all you really need.
When you first get your pedometer you’ll want to put it on first thing in the morning and wear it all day; at the end of the day log the number of steps you’ve taken. Do this every day for 10 – 14 days. At the end of this time, you’ll be able to calculate the average number of steps you take in a typical day
Recent guidelines suggest we should be taking 10,000 steps per day. A reasonable way for most people to reach this target number is to increase your average daily steps taken each week by 500 steps per day.
For example: If you currently average 3000 steps each day, your goal for week one is 3500 each day. Your week 2 goal is 4000 steps each day. Continue to increase each week and you should be averaging 10,000 steps by the end of 14 weeks.
Do you have family and friends to support your weight loss efforts? A support system can be one of the best weight loss tips. It will help keep you motivated to reach your weight loss goals.
Surrounding yourself with positive, supportive people during your weight loss journey is critical. Losing weight can be an emotional roller coaster. Going it alone is often difficult, if not impossible. Everyone needs someone in their corner cheering for them and maintaining the support of your closest friends and loved ones is certainly one of the best weight loss tips for success.
The main reason to enlist the help of family and friends in your weight loss journey is to find accountability. It’s often helpful to have someone you’re accountable to. Someone you need to answer to regarding the foods you’re eating, if you’re sticking to your exercise program and if your weight loss is on the right track.
If you don’t have someone you can rely on, consider joining a weight loss support group. A weight loss support group can also provide some of the best weight loss tips to help you stay motivated and working towards your weight loss goals.
Exercise – this includes strength training:
Exercise is an important weight loss tool, but how much you need varies from person to person. The American College of Sports Medicine’s (ACSM’s) weight loss guideline suggest at least 250 minutes per week, which comes out to about 50 minutes, 5 days a week. If you’re a beginner, start small (3 days a week for 20 to 30 minutes) to give your body time to adapt. Don’t forget, things like walking, taking the stairs and household chores which all increase the number of calories you burn in a day.
The best form of exercise is the one that will keep you coming back for more. I personally love the Richard Simmons Sweatin’ to the Oldies DVD set. These exercise videos are so much fun, I actually look forward to my workout. It’s also a fun workout that the kids can also enjoy; in fact, my daughter loves to workout with me! That’s definitely added motivation.
In addition to aerobic exercise, you need to incorporate some strength training into your workout routine. Strength training is any exercise that challenges your muscles through resistance. You can use exercise equipment or the weight of your own body working against gravity to create the needed resistance. Resistance bands are an excellent weight loss tool and they are inexpensive, easy to use, and highly effective.
Strength training not only tones the underlying muscle, but that muscle you’re toning will help you lose weight even while you’re sleeping. Muscle burns more calories than fat, even at rest, and it also increases your metabolism. Don’t worry ladies; we’re not talking about bulking up. Strength training does not require hours of lifting weights, simple muscle resistance exercise is all you need to tone and benefit from resistance training.
Go to bed – get your sleep:
Exercise, eat right, and get a good night’s rest. According to recent data on the relationship between weight loss and sleep, if you want to lose weight you really need to do all three.
Lack of sleep increases overeating. Researchers from several separate studies have found a link between sleep and the hormones that influence our eating behavior. The hormone our body uses to control the body’s proportion of muscle to fat is greatly reduced in individuals who are lacking appropriate sleep. This hormone is extremely important in controlling body weight. When the body produces less of this hormone, there is a tendency for the body to store fat.
Another hormone that is affected by the amount of sleep we get is leptin. This hormone plays a big part in our ability to control how much we eat. Leptin is the hormone that gives our body the signal that we’ve eaten enough. When the body is sleep deprived, leptin levels are reduced. This causes our bodies to crave carbohydrates even though we’ve consumed enough calories.
Sleep deprivation makes the job of controlling our weight even more difficult because we begin our day fatigued. So, get a good night’s sleep and give your weight loss program a boost!