It is well known that being overweight can be detrimental to one’s health. Excess weight increases the risk for heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, certain cancers, and other diseases. The extra pounds are also bad news to your appearance.
Being overweight makes you look older, more tired, and less attractive to others. Losing even 5% to 10% of your body weight will make a difference in how you feel and look every day. You will have more energy throughout your days, won’t ache as much when you get out of bed in the morning, and might not need sleep aids at night due to fatigue.
But losing weight can seem like an insurmountable task if you are not familiar with the techniques of weight loss. This article will help you with tips to shed those pounds.
You need to include exercise in your weight-loss program if you hope to see any results at all within a reasonable time frame. Whether you want to lose 20 pounds or 5 pounds, it’ll only be possible if you exercise. It can be difficult to stick with an exercise routine when starting but the benefits are worth the effort involved. Here are the types of exercises you should be doing and why:
Strength training tones muscles, builds strength and boosts your metabolism so that you are burning more calories throughout the day. Lifting weights at least 2 times a week will accomplish this result. Do exercises that work major muscle groups, such as chest presses, leg presses, and squats to tone your body faster than other weight lifting routines.
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If you have never lifted weights before, it might be best to take some classes first so that you learn the proper techniques for lifting correctly without injuring yourself in the process.
Since cardio activities raise your heart rate, they are the most effective exercises for weight loss. They burn more calories than any other type of exercise because you are working large muscle groups at the same time as the cardiovascular system.
A good example is running but you can do virtually any activity that raises your heart rate to get this beneficial effect such as bicycling, swimming, or playing sports. It is best to vary your cardio workouts to keep them interesting and challenging. Doing intervals (alternating between fast and slower paces) allows you to burn more calories even during a single workout session since it takes more effort to move quickly than it does slowly.
Change Your Eating Habits
Changing your eating habits is a crucial step toward weight loss. You can’t expect to lose weight if you are not willing to change your diet and eating habits. To lose weight, you must eat smaller meals more often. This will prevent you from becoming overly hungry and consuming large portions of food in one sitting.
Also, you don’t have to give up all of your favorite foods forever. You should, however, avoid the bad stuff as much as possible. Here is what you should be eating and why:
Eating protein can boost your metabolism. These foods will keep you full for longer. Opt for lean meat, poultry, or fish.
It’s best to stick with whole grain products instead of processed or refined carbs like white bread, pasta, or rice. Processed carbs are more likely to be stored as fat whereas the good kind will provide you with lasting energy.
Fruits & Vegetables
If you are craving something crunchy, filling, and delicious, reach for fruits and vegetables. These foods can help prevent cravings later in the day.
Oils & Fats
Although protein, carbs, and fruits & veggies are good for you, they will not give you energy or keep hunger at bay as fat does. It’s important to include some healthy fats in your diet because your body needs these nutrients to operate properly. Good sources of healthy fats include oils, avocados, and nuts.
Create Food Plan
If you do not have a menu to guide your eating habits, it can be difficult to eat healthily. You may know what foods are good for weight loss but unless you plan your meals accordingly, chances are you will falter at some point and end up consuming too many calories or too much junk food.
If possible, try to prepare most of your meals at home so that you know exactly what ingredients go into them and how much food is being consumed. Don’t forget to mix up your options now and then so that you don’t feel tempted to fall back into old habits or resort to junk food just because it’s easier than preparing good meals.
If you tend to dine out more often than not, pick out 2-3 healthy restaurants that offer menus that fit within your diet profile. For each restaurant, pick out a few dishes beforehand so that it’s easier for you to make a healthy choice.
Set Weightloss Goals
You need to set goals if you want to lose weight. Without them, how will you know where you are going or what it is that you are working towards? You should come up with weight loss goals that are specific so they can be measured more easily. For example, instead of wanting to lose “weight,” decide on a target number of pounds.
By setting both long-term and short-term goals, it will help keep your efforts focused on continuing weight loss so that you don’t give up altogether.
Staying hydrated with water is essential. You may think that water will not help you lose weight but it does. Drinking more water helps your body metabolize stored fat that is then expelled as waste through urine and sweat. Water also prevents cravings by keeping the mouth busy so you don’t give in to temptation and eat junk food instead.
Keep in mind that while it’s best to stay hydrated with water, there are other options.
Tea is another good alternative to water. Green tea in particular has been known to boost metabolism in addition to being packed with antioxidants that fight harmful free radicals.
Not a tea person? That’s okay. Coffee is another great alternative to water that has been shown to have positive effects on metabolism. Just be sure to go easy on sugar and milk since these can pack on the calories.
Milk is a good post-workout drink because it contains calcium, potassium, and magnesium. These nutrients speed up metabolism and can help with muscle cramps which are common after workouts.
Natural Fruit Juice
It’s best to stay away from processed fruit juices because they are high in calories. Instead, opt for 100% natural fruit juice which has the nutritional benefits of whole fruits without the downside of added sugars and other ingredients.
Losing unwanted weight is not an easy task. Fortunately, there are many helpful tips that can be used to jump-start the process and make it more manageable. As long as you keep these weight loss tips in mind, you will find it much easier to achieve your goals and start living a healthier life.