Tomorrow is the start of a new year, so what better time to give you some great weight loss tips? Losing weight can be tough, frustrating and a long journey. But you can do it! We’ve put together a list of some important factors in weight loss to help get you on the path to success in 2013.
Set goals. Your goal shouldn’t simply be to lose weight; instead, be specific and give yourself milestones to hit. For example, how much weight do you want to lose and by when? Maybe your goal is to lose 20 pounds by March, or lower your body fat percentage by 5%. Your goals should be measurable so that you can keep track of your progress. Just keep in mind that your goals need to be realistic and attainable.
Stop Watching the Scale. Don’t weigh yourself everyday, but instead pick one morning per week to hop on the scale and see your progress. Every Monday morning, wake up and step on the scale before eating anything. Track your weight by doing this weekly. If some weeks don’t seem as great as the others, remember that you are burning fat and gaining muscle! Also, take your measurements, because the scale might not move on some weeks, but you’ll have lost an inch.
Water, Water, Water! Skip the soda and fill up your cup with water. You need to avoid dehydration, as that slows down the fat-burning process. Water will help flush out the toxins from your body and also make you feel fuller so that you will eat less. Drinking cold water can give your metabolism a boost since it will work to warm up the liquid, and hydrating before a workout will help release muscle-building hormones in your body to help build up your strength.
Clean Eating. Stop eating processed foods and stick to fresh fruits, vegetables and lean meats. Experiment with vegetables, beans and spices to find new favorite dishes that not only taste delicious but that are healthy, too. One popular substitute is cutting out wheat-flour products from their diets and replacing it with substitutes such as rice or oats. You should buy your own food and cook it yourself so that you know exactly what is going into your body.
Portion Control. Are you eating because you’re hungry or eating just to eat? Try the 20-minute rule: eat a sensible portion, wait 20 minutes and if you’re still hungry then eat a little bit more. Many people eat out of boredom or simply because they aren’t paying attention. Snacking between meals is another great way to keep yourself satisfied without overeating. Enjoy your food by eating slowly and consciously.
Get Moving! It’s no secret that the key to weight loss is burning more calories than you take in. Any kind of exercise is better than sitting on the sofa being a couch potato. Take the stairs at work instead of the elevator or park your car at the back of the parking lot to get some extra steps in. Can’t miss your favorite TV show? Do sit-ups or push-ups during the commercial breaks. Do calf-raises while brushing your teeth. Using a pedometer, try to get in 10,000 steps per day, which roughly equals five miles.
Mix Cardio with Strength Training. Strength training can help you lose fat, increase your metabolism and increase muscle. Cardio helps to melt the fat away that is hiding your muscles. When combining cardio with strength training, you burn the maximum number of calories possible. This way, the body is using more energy than it is consuming. Hit the gym regularly but give yourself a day of rest each week.