If you are serious about losing weight whether it's 5 or 50 pounds then you need to make some simple lifestyle changes. It takes the body 21 days to form a new habit that you will be able to sustain throughout the rest of your life, and it is important to stick to a diet and fitness plan for at least this amount of time if it is going to be effective and have long-lasting results. The first step to losing weight is to make small changes that won't be so drastic that you won't be able to stick to them. Start with these 5 tips and watch as you not only begin to lose weight but begin to feel healthier and more confident as well.
1. Drink More Water - It is so important to keep the body hydrated throughout the day. Feeling thirsty is the first sign of dehydration and our bodies will often mistake feeling thirsty for feeling hungry. Proper hydration will help maintain the body's homeostasis (balance) and make all of the processes in the body go much more smoothly including burning calories and demolishing fat stores. Much of our initial weight loss is water weight so it is important to keep the body hydrated during all stages of the weight loss process but particularly during this first stage. If we are properly hydrating our bodies we should be drinking our weight in ounces of water; this is several medium sized water bottles per day.
2. Incorporate Protein - As you begin to establish new and healthier eating habits you should begin to incorporate more protein in the body. Many people are under the impression that protein comes only from meat-consumption but the truth is that protein comes in many shapes and forms including eggs, nuts, and leafy green vegetables. Protein is the best source of energy for the body and helps the body stay fuller for longer. Protein is also an important part of exercise. You should consume some form of protein whether it be in a shake, omelet, burrito, etc. no more than 30 minutes after an intense work out in order to keep the body fueled and functioning for the rest of the day, and to aid in muscle soreness and recovery.
3. Don't Skip Breakfast - Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It is important to get the metabolism working early in the morning so health experts suggest waiting no more than 30 minutes from waking up to have breakfast or a small snack that is going to jump start your metabolism and get you burning more calories earlier on in the day. A common weight loss misconception is that if we wait until the afternoon and only eat lunch and dinner then the fewer calories consumed will equal more weight loss. This idea is false. If our metabolisms are not kick-started in the mornings then our body go into starvation mode and hold onto fat stores because it's not sure when it's going to be fed again. Instead of sugary cereals and pastries look for breakfast foods high in protein and rich in fiber. Some examples can be oatmeal, egg whites, fruit, Greek yogurt, or protein shakes.
4. Find a Good Weight Loss Pill - More often than not, a good weight loss pill can really help you get those extra couple of pounds off that you just can't get. Look on Google for weight loss pills, and find the best one for your particular needs. Not only will it help you lose the weight you need to lose, but it can help you keep unwanted weight off long term.
5. Pump More Iron - Start incorporating more weight training into your workout regimen. Lifting weights 3 times a week has proven time and again to improve bone density and increase lean muscle mass. Yes, muscle weighs more than fat but having lean muscle in your body burns more calories and burns more fat as you work out. Those with higher muscle mass concentrations burn more fat as they work out but also continue to burn calories for up to two hours after working out than those who only work on cardio for exercise. You don't have to have a gym membership to start lifting weights. Hand weights are inexpensive or you can even use soup cans or full water bottles. Whatever you do, start light and slowly progress your way up to more reps with heavier weight. Your bones will thank you as you age and you'll burn more calories to lose more overall weight.
These are just several simple ideas that can make a big change in the way your body loses weight and keeps it off. These 5 steps if incorporated into a life-long fitness and nutrition plan will lead to sustainable weight loss and more confidence as you feel better in your clothes and healthier in your skin.