With the high rate of obesity over the world, more and more people want and need to lose weight. In their search for the best way to lose weight, they usually stumble upon some medications, workout routines, or diet plans that promise to “help you lose weight fast”. The success and efficacy of rapid weight loss is yet to be proven, typically, rapid weight loss is not healthy. The healthy rate for weight loss should be around one to two pounds per week. That may not seem like a lot, but it has been proven that people who lose weight at a slow but steady pace, keep the weight off. In this post, we are going to get deeper into the topic and hopefully, you will find out the best way to lose weight.
First, why did you gain weight?
There are different reasons for weight gain and hence different strategies and plans to lose weight. For example, the cause of your weight gain could perhaps be medical, in terms of hormonal imbalance or an endocrinal disorder. More likely, your weight gain is caused by unbalanced diet that lacks certain essential nutrients and a lack of exercise. Another rule to keep in mind is the fact that each individual wants to lose a different amount of weight. The best way to lose a lot of weight isn’t necessarily the most suitable way to lose just a couple of pounds. Bottom line, the first step in choosing the right method for weight loss is to understand the reason for your weight gain and set out your goals. Figure out how many pounds you want to shed and define your time frame. It is of extreme importance to have reasonable goals. If you want to lose 20 pounds don’t aim to lose it all in one month, this is unreasonable and can also be detrimental to your health. I personally know many people who set out such goals because they have an event coming soon that they want to attend and be in their best shape. Remember, keep it reasonable and real. It is beneficial to set a small goal first, and then once you reach that goal, set the next. By doing this you won’t set yourself up for failure.
What are you putting in your mouth?
You certainly have heard of the “burn more calories than you eat” rule. It simply means to calculate how many calories you eat each day and make sure that you are burning more. There are many tools out there to help you count your calories, from iphone apps and free websites like fitday.com. An average woman should eat between 1000 – 2000 calories a day, and men from 1300 – 2300 calories, all depending on your size, age and lifestyle. Read my article on ‘How many calories should I eat’ for more info. Once you learn how many calories you are actually eating a day, it is easy to see where you can make some changes. Even a small change like using one piece of cheese, instead of two on your sandwich and opting for only mustard and no mayonaise can reduce your caloric intake by over 200 calories. Small changes like this could greatly effect your success. You will learn to make the right choices.
Often when changing your diet to lose weight, you may think that you have to suffer. That you will be hungry, or that “healthy” food doesn’t taste good. This is simply not true. You will still be able to eat a lot of your favorite foods, you just have to learn how to make them healthier, without sacrificing flavor. When baking you can replace butter with apple butter, you will be shocked how moist and delicious your baked goods will be, and you are saving your body thousands of calories! Fresh herbs and spices are going to be your best friend in the kitchen. Simple changes like replacing butter with healthy olive oil, and cooking with more vegetable and chicken broth. Grill instead of fry, use lowfat dairy instead of full fat. Even better, swap out cream and milk altogether with unsweetened almond or coconut milk, they are low calorie, creamy and delicious. Small changes like this can create huge results in your success. On my site I have a plethora of tasty recipes that you can try, I guarantee you will love them. They are flavorful, easy to make and absolutely healthy, nutrient dense and low calorie.
Stop eating out!
One of the very successful strategies to drop pounds fast is to start making your own food. Knowing exactly what’s on your plate means you can truly control the amount of calories, empty carbohydrates and unhealthy fats that end up on your plate. You would be shocked to see what restaurants actually put in their food to make them taste the way they do. You also have no control of the cleanliness of your food handling. How do you know that the chef actually washed his or her hands after using the bathroom? You can’t! You don’t know that the chips and salsa you’re eating were just left over from the last table that didn’t finish them. Let’s not even get into the fast food industry with the amount of fillers, pink slime, chemicals and other nasty crap they put in your food. Bottom line, eating out can be your biggest enemy to weight loss. Cooking doesn’t have to be a chore, you can make it very easy on yourself, plus if you are busy, you can make a large batch of your favorite dish and eat it for lunch all week.
Watch your portion sizes.
Most experts and dieticians recommend having 5-6 smaller meals distributed throughout the day, instead of having 1-3 loaded ones. By eating small meals throughout the day, you never let your blood sugar dip too low or spike too high, so your body stays at healthy levels. By eating smaller meals, you also speed up your metabolism, so your body burns more calories. And of course the most important meal of them all is breakfast. Studies show that people who eat breakfast gain less weight then those who skip it. Breakfast is like the fuel that keeps your engine running throughout the day. In fact, having a good and healthy breakfast, like Power Oatmeal, will make you less hungry through the day and boost both your energy and metabolism. Unhealthy snacks should be avoided and replaced by wholesome fruits or vegetables. High fiber and protein content in your diet is very important, as fiber is essential for a healthy digestive system, plus fiber and protein really help keep you full.
Finally, drinking plenty of water is one more thing to keep in mind. It is recommended that you drink around 6-8 glasses of water each day. But here is the trick: drink water before and after meals, as this helps your digestion and makes you eat less, but never within a meal, which might cause indigestion. You can also get your water intake by drinking herbal teas, just skip the sugar!
Do you exercise?
Exercise is just as important as having a balanced diet. There are a lot of different activities and exercises out there to try. What you need is to find out an exercise that you actually enjoy, so that you can commit to it and make it a habit. Treat your daily exercise like you treat an important meeting. Put it on your calendar and stick to it! If you need support, ask a friend to join you, or fork out some cash and get a personal trainer. It is recommended to divide your workout into 3-4 times a week of cardio (jogging, running…) and strength training (with weights). Now, something that I’ve come across is the fact that many women think that using weights will enlarge their muscles and make them look masculine. This is totally wrong. Weight training actually helps your body burn calories. For example, weightlifting for an hour burns around 200-300 calories. It is very difficult to “bulk up” unless you are using very very heavy weights, and training to get bigger. Bodybuilders have an entirely different regimen than the average person to get as big as they do, and sadly a lot of steroids are often used. Feel free to take a look at the fitness section of the website; there are many useful tips there.
There are a lot of easy ways to sneak exercise into your daily routine. For example, don’t look for the parking spot closest to the store, park far away and walk. Always take the stairs rather than the elevator. These might be small things, but small things add up in the end to make you lose the extra pounds. To maintain good health, it is recommended that we take an average of 10,000 steps per day. Did you know that the average American takes less than 6,000 steps a day? Almost half of the daily average recommended. Other countries beat us by thousands of steps per day, we need to get walkin!
If you are short on time, there are some great programs out there that you can do at home in as little as 10 – 20 minutes a day. Check out the 10 minute Trainer with the creator of P90x, or Turbofire has some great workouts, using H.I.T. (High Intensity Interval Training). You can get an awesome workout in very little time!
In the end, it will take time, dedication and perseverance to gt to your goal weight. There isn’t quick fix that will actually last for long term weight loss. It is a lifestyle change you have to make for yourself. Make small steps everyday, create “mini” goals and stick to them. Ask for support from your friends and family to keep you committed to your journey. Just keep in mind that the key to success is your commitment. Follow a diet and workout routine that you can actually stick to and you’re on your way to reach that body you’ve dreamed of.