With the holidays over, you may be looking down at the bulging evidence of too much merriment around your waistline and everywhere else. If you’ve resolved to lose weight this year, you might be considering signing up for a commercial diet plan, a stricter resolve and a good emphasis on diet control.
Follow these simple, uncomplicated steps to get to the goal post sooner if not later and definitely not heavier!
Strategy No 1: Control what is on your plate
Fill up on vegetables. Eat 2-3 salads each day, using plenty of lettuce or spinach leaves. Leafy greens are very low in calories, yet high in fiber so they fill you up. Add other low-calorie vegetables like cucumbers, water chestnuts, peppers, onions, tomatoes, and even a few carrot slices. If you get bored eating salad by itself, incorporate it into your meals by filling half of your plate with leafy greens and adding smaller portions of other foods to the other side of the plate. This has to be the first and foremost tip for on how to lose weight fast for a reason. Fresh fruit is much better for you than dried or processed fruit. If fresh fruit isn’t easily accessible to you, opt for frozen fruit, or canned fruit without added sugar. Fill up on fiber. Whole grains can also be a great source of fiber. Good options: brown rice, whole grain bread (light varieties have fewer calories), oatmeal and other whole grain cereals, and beans.
Strategy No 2: Eat Intelligently
Reduce your intake of sodium. Excess sodium contributes to water weight gain and high blood pressure, which increases your risk of heart disease. Instead of adding salt to your food, add flavor with garlic, onions, vinegar, spices, and hot peppers. Educate yourself on lean meat. Did you know that beef has more calories and fat than poultry and pork? Did you know that salmon has even more calories and fat than a porterhouse steak? If you want to keep your calorie and fat intake under control, your best choices for lean protein would be (in this order): shellfish like scallops and shrimp (steamed or boiled, no fat added during cooking); lean pork chops (fat trimmed off); lean chicken and turkey (no skin); lean cuts of beef (fat trimmed off); and fish like salmon and mackerel.
Strategy No 3: Keep a Food Journal handy
So you are busy executive and do not remember what you had for b/f or lunch, then keep a journal, voice record or simply type it on your I-Phone or Blackberry. Count your calories. Most people have no idea how many calories they are eating in a day. If they finally do start counting, they realize that they were far exceeding the amount of calories their bodies needed. No wonder they kept gaining weight! You don’t have to count calories constantly all day, but at least keep a food journal and jot down everything you eat and drink, then later calculate how many calories you ate.
Strategy No 4: Avoid Alcohol
Avoid drinking alcohol when you are trying to lose weight. Not only are some alcoholic beverages high in calories and carbohydrates, the alcohol itself may lower your inhibitions and make you more likely to indulge in fattening foods.
Strategy No 5: Do not skip breakfast
Breakfast is the first, most important meal of the day. Be sure not to put off eating breakfast until you’ve been up for several hours. Your body needs fuel after a long night time fast (hence the name, “break-fast”). Try to eat breakfast no later than one hour after you wake up. Stick with lean protein (like egg whites), vegetables, whole grains, fruit, and low-fat dairy foods to give your body the energy it needs to start the day. Don’t forget water too; at least 8 ounces helps hydrate your body. Do you like an omlette- sunny side up, try poaching or steaming for a change- Eating grilled, broiled, baked, steamed, and boiled foods will save you a lot of calories in the long run.
Strategy No 6: Cheating and other things:
Allow yourself a “cheat” now and then. Better yet, don’t make any foods forbidden – just have some foods that you reserve for special occasions. When you do indulge in them, enjoy a small portion and savor every bite. Take your time eating and you will feel much more satisfied than if you gobbled it down without tasting it. raving chocolate? Try a 1-ounce square of dark chocolate (60% cocoa or more). Eat it slowly, letting the chocolate melt in your mouth. Another good chocolate treat is to make your own cup of hot cocoa.
Strategy no 7: Weekend Conscience trip
If you tend to eat more calories during the weekend, compensate by reducing your caloric intake during the week. Cutting out 100 calories a day for 5 days allows you 500 more calories for the weekend, but still keeps your overall calories in line for the week. Do an extra 10-15 minutes of cardio exercise each day to burn more calories. If you normally work out for 30 minutes each day, extend it to 45 minutes.
Strategy No 8: Eating Regime
Chew your food completely. One of the causes of digestive upset is gulping food down without chewing it properly. Get into the habit of chewing each bite 7-10 times before swallowing. This also forces you to eat slower so you eat less. Pause between bites. Take at least 20 minutes to eat a meal or snack. This gives your stomach time to send the signal to your brain that you have eaten enough.
Strategy no 9: Workouts and Exercising
When you first start a workout routine, be sure to start small and work your way up to higher intensity gradually. A good workout for most beginners is 30 minutes long – but if that’s too much for you, start with 10 or 15 minutes and gradually increase the time and intensity as you go along. Know the difference between normal exertion and pushing too hard. When working out, you want to feel like you are challenging yourself, but you don’t want to hurt yourself. Calculate your target heart rate and check it frequently during a workout to be sure you aren’t exceeding it. Pay attention to your arms, legs and back as you work out and be sure you aren’t straining or pulling anything too severely.
Strategy No 10: Reward yourself often and find yourself a workout buddy
As you lose weight, be sure to give yourself plenty of incentives to keep going. Buy little gifts and treats for yourself, like a new article of clothing, books, new running shoes or other workout gear. I-pods, MP3 and X-box also qualify! When you do buy these things, be sure to emphasize that you deserve them because you are doing great on sticking to your weight loss plan. Go ahead – cheer yourself on; you deserve it! Find an exercise buddy. If a lack of motivation is a problem for you when exercising each day, pair up with a friend, family member, or co-worker who also wants to get in better shape. Push each other to keep your commitments by working out together. You will be less likely to skip a workout if you know that someone is relying on you to show up.