If you happen to be overweight and want to lose some poundage, here are 20 tips that can help you on your journey:
1. Have a Plan:
There’s a saying: ‘If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.’ Have a realistic goal and set specific targets. You should have at least two areas of your plan, Nutrition and Fitness. Determine how many calories you should consume daily and also come up with a fitness plan that works with your schedule.
2. Sleep More:
Sleep does more than help your body recover from a long day — it actually helps you fight fat. In fact, researchers at the University of Chicago reported that sleeping less than 7 to 8 hours can increase your appetite (forcing you to overeat), slow your metabolism (causing you to burn fewer calories) and make the body retain more abdominal fat. Need another reason to sleep more? Lack of shut-eye is also associated with bad workouts. Do yourself a favor and get some rest. Your body will thank you.
3. Cut Out Snacks:
Yes, some people benefit from eating four to six meals per day and enjoying snacks. But researchers from Purdue University found that the snacking method could be sabotaging your efforts. That’s because the average snack has increased by 200 calories over the last 30 years to nearly 600 calories. If you have trouble with portion sizes, reduce the number of meals you eat.
4. Create and Use a Daily Food Log:
Part one of the energy equation is to simply restrict your fuel intake. But unfortunately, most people do very badly with this. Research has shown that most people grossly underestimate how much they are eating, sometimes by up to 50 percent! There are a number of ways you can track what you are eating, such as using LoseIt!, but whatever system you use the key is consistency and accuracy.
5. Get Active and Move:
This is, essentially, the second half of the equation – the calories-out side. Unfortunately, most people struggle with this process. In today’s society we are largely sedentary: We travel in cars, we work in front of computers all day and we relax in front of the television. Add incidental exercise (like talking the stairs or tapping your foot) in addition to formal activity (such as playing sports, lifting weights, running) to see the greatest benefits.
6. Remove Liquid Calories:
You want the truth: America has a love affair with drinks! There are different drinks for just about everything. 65 percent of Americans drink beverages that are heavy in calories. Not only are these drinks less likely to keep you full, thus leaving you hungry, they are oftentimes loaded with sugar.
7. Plan a Cheat Day:
Going on a diet is tough on you, both mentally and physically. That’s why a cheat day is a frequent part of many successful diet plans. This splurge can provide you with the break from your restrictive habits that will keep you satisfied while still losing weight.
8. Lift Heavy Weights:
Whether you’re a man or a woman, the fastest way to burn fat faster is by lifting heavy weights. Not only do heavier weights activate more muscle fibers, they also increase your resting metabolism. In other words, when you lift heavy weights, you continue to burn calories at a higher rate, even when you’re doing nothing!
9. Make Yourself Accountable:
Surround yourself with tools to help you with your journey. Tell your friends. Tell your family. Join an online community. Let people know your goals and ask for their support in helping you achieving them. The more supported you are, the better.
10. Add Workout Variety:
For a high-impact workout that will kick up your metabolism in a short amount of time, try alternating cardio and resistance training in a circuit. For example, start with 5 minutes of cardio (treadmill, bike, elliptical) immediately followed by a dumbbell circuit of cleans, cleans and press, lunges, military presses and bent over rows, where each exercise is performed for eight repetitions. This entire circuit can be repeated two to three times.
11. Practice Carb Swapping:
Carb swapping is one of the easiest (and fastest) ways to jump-start weight loss. Replace foods like pasta, rice and bread with fruits and vegetables. The fruits and vegetables have fewer calories and carbohydrates than their processed counterparts. That means you can eat more total food without adding weight.
12. Use Simple Tools:
You don't need to get on one of those fancy elliptical machines or treadmills. A $10 jump rope is highly effective as part of your warm-up, and as a way to get good-quality intensity into your workout. Stay light on your feet and control your breathing as you try to hit 50 jumps, 100 jumps or more without a mess up.
13. Rest Less During Exercise:
There are many essential variables that must be managed when structuring your workout, one of them being rest. The rest periods you take between exercises can be modified to elicit a fat burning effect. By shortening the time you take between exercises to as little as 10 to 30 seconds, you can increase your resting metabolism and the intensity of your workout.
14. Try Combination Exercises:
Linking two to three different exercises together into a chain of movements is a great way to get a lot of work done in a short amount of time. This is the key to improving your workout efficiency and positively impacting your fat loss goals. Combos like linking a pushup and a burpee into a pull-up are an amazing example of this technique.
15. Eat More Fat:
Did you know that the Institute of Medicine recommends that a diet be made up of 25 to 35 percent fat? Turns out, high-fat foods like nuts, avocados and healthy oils can help you lose fat faster than other diet approaches. Just make sure you figure out how much fat you need in your diet to prevent yourself from overeating. And, as always, avoid the trans fats. They’re still not healthy.
16. Eat More Protein:
Protein helps you maintain lean body mass (muscle, not fat), and increase the thermic effect of your diet. That is, protein requires more energy for your body to process than carbohydrates or fat. This can subtly contribute to the calories-out side of the energy equation. As a bonus, eating protein keeps you fuller longer, and researchers have shown that it can reduce how much you eat per day by hundreds of calories.
17. Become a Heavy Drinker:
No I’m not talking about alcohol. While there’s nothing magical about water, the process of consuming lots of liquid can trick you into feeling less hungry. What’s more, when you’re dehydrated you burn 2 percent fewer calories per day, says University of Utah researchers. So if you struggle to control your appetite, drink up before your meal. Then drink some more. You’ll be more likely to fight off fat.
18. Drink Whey Protein:
Your diet should primarily consist of whole-food sources like meats, veggies, fruits and nuts. However, research published in the Journal of Nutrition found those who consume whey-protein shakes lost almost twice as much fat as those who didn’t have the shakes. Magic? Hardly. The protein in shakes isn’t any more effective than protein found in solid meals. However, most people don’t get enough protein in their diets, and the shakes are a convenient way to meet your body’s needs, suggest the researchers. This is especially true in my case, for try as I might, I can never seem to get enough protein. Adding a protein shake is a great way to boost your protein intake! Just be sure to account for the added calories that come with the shakes!
19. Be Patient and Give Yourself Time:
You didn’t gain weight overnight, so you will not take it off overnight either. Give yourself time and know that the weight will come off if you stick to your plan.
20. Weigh Yourself Daily and Use a Trending Average:
Be sure to weigh in daily and store your weight in a log, like The Hackers Diet. Also, be sure to focus on the trending data rather than the day-to-day weight fluctuations. This helps to minimize the frustration so many dieters feel when their daily weight goes up and down randomly. If this sounds confusing, stop over and give The Hackers Diet a read. It explains this approach in great detail!