Raise your hand if you want to lose 25 pounds now? Sure, everyone does. It is not an easy endeavor, but if you follow these 10 steps, it doesn’t have to be impossible.
Good news is that you can drop weight quickly, depending on the amount you have to lose and how dedicated you are to the cause. A small change in certain habits can net some results fairly quickly. However, patience is vitally important in any successful weight-loss pounds. This is a marathon, not a sprint. We don’t put on the weight overnight, it happens over time. That is the same way pounds fall off. Prepare to be in it for the long haul and you will be pleasantly surprised.
1.The Scale is Not the Only Measure of Success. A rule of thumb to keep in mind, muscle weighs more than fat. So you may not see results on the scale. There area lot of things that impact the read out on the scale including the time of day you step on the scale, hydration, hormones, and other factors. Gauge your success with things like, How do you feel? Can you finally fit into that old business suit? Are people complimenting you? Do you feel like you have more energy?
2. Personal Inventory. In order to improve the outside appearance you need to look inside. You know yourself better than anyone else. Take some time to identify the personal triggers of your unwanted weight. Are sugary foods too tempting to resist? Do you find yourself snacking late at night? Do you feel to busy to cook healthy meals? Maybe it’s emotional. Do you munch more when you’re bored, anxious, depressed, or happy? For many of us, it’s variety of factors leads us to put on the poundage. If your emotions are driving you to eat, figure out some alternatives that will satisfy that emotion without food. A good distraction or diversion can help keep the pounds off. When you think about reaching for a Twinkie, do a couple push ups. If it seems like you can’t resist that last piece of cheesecake, take a walk to the end of the street and back. Breaking the thought triggers with an alternative outcome can help change behavior.
3. MOVE IT! Sorry to yell, but I had to get this point across. It’s difficult to lose weight by just cutting calories. Research has shown that reducing calorie intake through diet AND exercise is the most effective way to drop serious pounds and keep them off. First step, MOVE IT, your chubby butt that is. Begin to develop a regular exercise regimen three to four times a week. Try my Chubby Training Plan. It’s a whole mindset change. Instead of looking for shortcuts, find ways to take the long way to the restroom, park further away from the store, take the stairs rather than the elevator, stand at your desk, or anything to get your moving.
4. Plan Ahead. “If you fail to plan you plan to fail.” When it comes to diet this is especially true. We all have our diet weaknesses—those situations where we find it near impossible to make a healthy decision. Plan ahead and write down a list of those instances and settings where your diet tends to take a go off the rails. Is it late at night? At the office? When you go out with friends? Arm yourself with a healthy snack when these situations come up. My difficult time was the “nightly after my kids were in bed, Netflix binge.” For some reason I felt the need to munch on something and the easiest munchables were not good for me. The solution, I went to bed earlier. Which was better all around. The bottom line, identify the situation and replace the behavior with an alternative. Try a cold shower, jumping jacks, a call to a friend, a hot bath, or simply, go to bed earlier.
5. Crash Diets Don’t Work. We all want to get thin and we want it now. As with anything, it takes time. There’s a lot of fads out there with huge promises to help you lose a lot of weight quickly. The problem with these “lose weight fast diets,” is that even if you lose weight fast, you’ll most likely regain the weight and probably more. If your goal is to lose weight and keep it off, don’t do anything crazy or drastic. For weight loss to last for life, you need to make changes in your diet and exercise that you can continue for the rest of your life.
6. Calorie Goals. Like me, you were probably raised on the idea of three balanced meals is the key to a healthy diet. Turns out that is not necessarily true. To keep your metabolism revved at a rate that, keeps you burning calories, you’ll need to eat smaller healthy meals more often. Five to six small meals should be a goal. If you restrict your meals to less than three per day, you’ll go into a starvation mode in which case you are more likely to go binge as soon as anything edible is within arm’s reach.
To determine your daily caloric intake to maintain your current weight or to lose weight, use this Calorie calculator.
7. Drinking Calories is Naughty. Well it’s not naughty, but it does make it much harder to lose weight. Drink water, a lot of water. It’s good for you. A can of regular soda has 240 calories and 65 grams of sugar. When you go to grab one of your favorite coffees or other specialty drinks, choose a smaller size with fat-free or low-fat milk and cut out the syrups and creams. Those calories can add up quickly, drink water instead. When you do it, reward yourself at the end of the week and splurge on that frappuccino for being good.
8. Eat plenty of fruits and veggies. These delicious plants are great, you can eat huge portions without a ton of calories. Compared with other foods, fruits and veggies
are low in calories and high on nutrients, fiber, and water, all of which will help in your weight loss goals without feeling hungry. If you sit down for any meal, fill half your plate with produce. On the other half load it up with whole grains and lean proteins—lean cuts of pork, chicken, fish or beef, beans, or low-fat dairy. This will help you feel full and less apt to reach for a candy bar at 11 pm.
9. Track Results. Studies show that people who track the calories they consume lose more weight and keep it off longer than those who don’t. The psychology behind it is that when you track your calories, you clearly see the sources of empty calories that are nutrient deficient. To track calories accurately, you may have to measure out your portions of food. There are some great apps for your phone that can help in your tracking efforts.
10. Nobody’s Perfect. Trying to lose weight is tough. We are changing a lifetime of bad habits, eating new foods and turning up the dial on our willpower meter. We all lack willpower in some area. If you go on a Cheetos binge late one night, calm down, breathe… it’s gonna be okay. It is okay to indulge on occasion. One extra slice of pizza will not derail all your efforts in the long run. We all go overboard every once and a while. The important thing to remember is that when, not if, you do, try not beat yourself up about it. Try not to wallow in guilt or anxiety about it. What’s done is done, all you can control are the choices you can make moving forward. This lifestyle change is a marathon, not a sprint. We are going for long term results. You can do it.
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