Weight loss is something that many people struggle with every day. Finding the right combination of eating and exercise can be overwhelming with all the choices on the market.
One of the best things that you can do to lose weight is to stop “dieting”. It might shock you to hear that, but what is necessary for weight loss that lasts is not dieting but a long lasting eating and activity makeover.
The internet and television are blanketed with diet plans and diet pills that promise miraculous results but constant dieting can actually be counterproductive to weight loss; especially weight loss that lasts.
Below we have provided you with 5 very important weight loss tips that work to help you shed those excess pounds. These tips will provide you with a super strong foundation that will support all the other changes you may want to make in your lifestyle.
Following these tips will help you not only lose excess pounds and change the way your body looks, but they will help you keep that weight off for the long term improve your health in significant ways.
1. Drink, Drink and Drink Some More
One of the best things that you can do for weight loss and for your body’s health in general is to drink plenty of water. This is not a new tip by any means, but it is one that bears repeating as many times as it takes to get you to apply it to your day to day life.
There are many different ways to incorporate drinking into your daily routine that will make it much easier to follow through on, especially if you don’t like water all that much.
If you prefer flavored water, try adding pure lemon juice and a bit of natural sweetener to make homemade “lemonade”. It tastes delicious and gives some flavor to regular, plain water without adding ingredients that can have a negative effect on your weight loss.
Another water related tip is to start the morning with hot lemon water. (No sweetener this time) Starting the day with lemon water will give a boost to your metabolism and has some great benefits to your digestion.
The old rule of eight 8 ounce glasses of water every day has been replaced with a few different theories. The one that seems to be the most consistent is to drink ½ an ounce to 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight that you weigh. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, your daily water intake should be 100 ounces. If you don’t like the taste of tap water, consider getting a good water filter for your faucet or a convenient water cooler for your kitchen. These things will encourage your water intake each day.
Whatever helps you get your daily intake of water in each day is what you should do. Different things work for different people. What is more important than how you drink the water is that you drink it each day.
Many people choose a water bottle they like and keep that filled with water that they can drink and refill all day long.
This is good for encouraging water drinking, especially if the bottle is designed to keep the water cold for long periods of time.
2. The Well Stocked Kitchen
One of the best ways to change your eating habits for good is to change what you keep in your kitchen. If all you have in your kitchen is junk food and unhealthy choices, you will have a very difficult time losing any weight. On the other hand, having a well stocked kitchen doesn’t mean filling it with food you know you don’t like and won’t eat.
Even people who proclaim to be junk food junkies have foods they like that are healthy. If your kitchen needs a food makeover, start by adding in several healthy foods that you enjoy the taste of.
Clearing out your kitchen of every tiny thing that is unhealthy can be truly traumatic for some that struggle with weight loss and can even cause binges.
Take it one step at a time and replace ONE unhealthy food for one healthy food every few days. Before you know it, your kitchen will be stocked with healthy foods that you enjoy.
Another benefit to having a well stocked kitchen is that you will be prepared for last minute meals and unexpected hunger cravings. Being prepared is one of the best ways to be successful. Having quick foods that you can grab and go with will help you stick to your new eating plan even when you are too tired to cook. You may want to invest in a kitchen scale to weigh meat if monitoring portion sizes is something that helps keep you focused and on track.
Some great foods to have in your kitchen at all times include fresh vegetables like cucumbers, green peppers, celery, carrots, different types of lettuces, onions, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower and others. You can even make your own yogurt, which is a very healthy snack. Add in lots of fresh or frozen fruit, healthy grains like steamed brown rice, sweet potatoes and whole grains, and lean proteins including fish, poultry and lean beef and you will be all set.
3. Once a Week Cooking
The next tip we have for you that will help ensure the best possible success when it comes to losing weight is to do some pre-cooking for the week.
Having things like quiche, healthy meatballs, grilled chicken cut up into strips, and salad fixings on hand will make it very easy to grab something healthy to eat when time is of the essence.
Pre-cooking and pre-preparing for the week isn’t difficult if you plan for it and then you won’t have to struggle with what to eat when it’s mealtime or hunger hits.
You can do this with foods for all three meals; salad fixings can be prepared and stored in appropriate storage containers, ingredients for omelets can be prepared and kept in storage containers, and other, similar preparations. Food processors, food steamers and a good set of cookware make bulk food preparation much easier to do and even more enjoyable as well.
The best way to get the foods you need for the week is to sit down and create a menu for the week. If you do better not having set meals each day, create 7 dinners, 7 breakfasts and 7 lunches and package them so they are easy to choose and prepare even when you are in a rush. Weight loss is much easier to achieve when you’re prepared.
Even if you are busy it is not impossible to plan your meals for the week. Plan your meals according to your own preferences and don’t skip meals even if you feel like it. Skipping meals is the number one cause of your metabolism slowing down which can stall weight loss progress.
4. Start Exercising Right Away
Many people that are seeking weight loss make the mistake of not adding in exercise until after they lose weight. Your skin and body shape in general will look a lot better and respond to the changes in your eating habits faster if you incorporate exercise into your daily routine from the very beginning.
If you have led a very sedentary life up the time you start working on weight loss and eating changes, you will need to add in exercise gradually.
One of the best ways you can add exercise into a daily routine when you haven’t been very active is to start walking. You can even add ankle weights after you’ve gotten used to the extra activity. This doesn’t have to be power walking; just increasing the number of steps you take each day can make a big difference. If you don’t like walking outdoors, consider getting a treadmill for walking at home any time of the day or night that suits your schedule.
A very simple way to increase these numbers is to park farther away from any stores you go to. The habit most people have when going to the store is to look for the closest parking space that they can find. If you take this opportunity to park farther away, you will automatically increase without any real effort.
Exercise can also be participating in various sports you enjoy such as swimming, racquetball, tennis, weight lifting, cycling, aerobics and many more. Anything that gets you moving each day will be a benefit to your health and the weight loss you want to achieve. If you want to outfit a home gym, your choices are endless and can include elliptical machines, exercise bikes, dumbbells and other equipment like an exercise ball.
Weight lifting is an excellent activity to add to your weekly schedule, but don’t start off with too much or you can injure yourself. Most gyms and fitness centers offer newcomers a free session with their trainer. Take advantage of this offering to have a routine set up for you that allows for your activity and skill level.
5. The Importance of the Right Mindset
One of the most important and most overlooked aspects of successfully losing weight is your mindset.
There are many things that you can do each day to keep yourself in the right place mentally to ensure the greatest success in reaching your goals.
One very popular way of centering yourself mentally and staying focused is doing Yoga. There are a lot of people that think that yoga is not for them, but almost everyone who tries it, ends up continuing and getting into it more deeply.
There are many yoga DVDs and books on the market that can help you get started, even if you have never done yoga before. There are also many classes available if you want to try a class environment with an experienced instructor. Don’t forget a good gym towel, y our own yoga mat and be sure to wear the right clothing. If it is your first class ever, you may find this article helpful.
Don’t let weight stop you. Even if you have a lot of weight to lose, just do modified versions of the positions, and focus on the mental aspect that yoga is famous for providing. Soon enough you’ll be doing all those positions that you thought were too hard.
You want to keep yourself motivated to continue doing all the things you have added to your daily life such as eating healthy and exercising. One terrific and fun way to accomplish this is to give yourself milestone rewards along the journey. (No, NOT food rewards!)
These milestones can be beautiful new nail polish or eye shadows or a great new gadget or tool if you’re a man who is working to lose weight. Set incremental goals and every time you reach one, you get the corresponding reward.
You can increase the size of the rewards as you get closer to your goal for even more motivation. Start off with 10 pound increments and then make them 25 pound increments once you get going. A good bathroom scale can help you keep track of your progress so you know exactly when you hit those milestones. It can be very motivating to make out a chart with your weight goals and the reward you get for each milestone. Keep it where you can see it for a boost when you need it.
A Strong Foundation is Key
There are many other things that you can do on a regular basis to have the greatest chance of successful and long lasting weight loss.
These 5 important tips that we have provided for you make a great foundation for significant change in your eating habits, your activity level and your weight. You simply can’t follow these tips and fail at losing weight.
A very important thing to remember is to avoid trying to crash diet and lose weight quickly. There are many reasons that this is not good, even though it may feel good to see a large drop. Fast weight loss is rarely ever fat loss. You are losing water and muscle which will result in lower weights, but your body will not look good, you’ll just be a thinner but flabby person.
Losing weight slowly through eating the right amount of meals per day, consisting of the right foods and integrating a good and sustainable exercise plan that consists of both aerobic and weight lifting activities. The aerobic portion will aide in burning off excess fat and the weight lifting portion will aide in building lean muscle mass so your body looks better and better the more weight you lose.
Weight loss is not easy. Some people say it is the hardest journey they have ever embarked on. But the health rewards and the emotional satisfaction are unbeatable. Decide your goals, map out your plan, write it all down and get started with the knowledge that you will be successful. You won’t always be perfect, but if you do ever fall off the healthy eating wagon, get right back on track with the very next meal, don’t wait until the next day.
Even if it takes you months to lose all the weight you want to, that time will pass anyway. Why not make it count and have something at the end that you will truly be proud of? These tips above are not magic pills and it will take determination and effort on your part. But if you stick to them, they will work.