Losing weight isn’t as tricky as it seems, but it does require dedication and consistency. We’ve found the core do’s to propel you forward on your weight loss journey, and the don’ts that will hold you back. Weight loss – here we come…
Tracking your food creates better awareness of what you’re eating by helping you reflect at the end of the day. Certain apps will teach you how many calories you should be eating and can keep track of your progress. You’ll learn about your eating habits, and start to think twice before putting certain foods in your mouth.
Cardio and strength training are essential to effective weight loss. Cardio is all about intensity – crank up the resistance on your cardio machine and stay on it longer. Strength training, however, is one of the most effective ways to burn fat and build muscle. It makes you healthier, feel better, and look good naked. Plus, your life becomes easier when you’re stronger.
Protein is the most important nutrient for a better-looking body and weight loss. High-protein diets boost metabolism, reduce appetite, and changes weight-regulating hormones. High protein intake helps you burn calories around the clock, even while you sleep.
Vegetables & Fruits
Fruits and vegetables are nutritional-powerhouses packed with vitamins, water, and fiber. Consuming them helps keep your digestive system functioning properly by preventing toxin and waste build-up.
SEE ALSO: 11 Steps Towards Clean Eating
Antioxidants called catechins are found in green tea, which might provide an added weight-loss boost. A study found that those who consumed catechins and exercised for 180 minutes per week lost more weight than the control group.
Losing weight requires a consistent commitment to eating healthier, exercising more, getting enough sleep, and drinking a ton of water. Overweight and gym-attending individuals should be consuming more than the average 64-ounces, so you should find a water bottle to keep with you at all times. A study found that people with higher BMIs were the least hydrated. Another study found that overweight adults who drank water half an hour before meals lost more weight.
Life gets busy and maybe you won’t be able to get a healthy meal in. Healthy snacks are your best friend. Fruits and vegetables are a great go-to, but here are a few more alternatives: Mixed nuts (unsalted), guacamole & red bell pepper, apple slices & peanut butter, celery & cream cheese, and salsa & kale chips.
Friends and family can influence your weight for good or bad. People can undermine your weight-loss plan by encouraging unhealthy eating habits or sedentary behavior. Your chances of becoming obese increase by 57% if a close friend is obese, 40% if a sibling is obese, and 37% if a spouse is obese. (1)
It is important to get rid of (or donate) old, ill-fitting clothes on your weight loss journey. Getting rid of your old ‘fat’ clothes removes a safety net to fall back on. Removing these clothes helps move you forward emotionally, and starts to remove a negative internal self-image.
Fast food often becomes an option for just about any meal when you’re in a hurry and it’s not helping you lose weight. Fast food is typically high in calories because of huge portion sizes. The foods are usually loaded with oils containing saturated fat, high sodium content, and the ingredients can spike your blood sugar levels.
A study found that drinking alcohol before or during meals tends to increase the total number of calories consumed during the meal. Additionally, the drinks usually contain calories themselves adding even more calories. Try replacing alcoholic beverages with low or no calorie drinks such as water with lemon, unsweetened tea, or coffee. (1)
SEE ALSO: 52 Unhealthiest Foods On The Planet
Sugar is not the smart choice if you’re actively trying to lose weight. Not only is sugar an inflammatory food, but it can actually make you hungrier. Choosing protein or a healthy-fat over sugar can help you feel satisfied longer and avoid “surprising” food cravings.
Bread isn’t high in calories, but if you’re eating it with every meal, it will add up quickly. White bread can contain sugar or high fructose corn syrup, and it is low in essential nutrients. It’s not the one thing making you fat, but it’s definitely not helping you lose weight.
Watching TV may lead to obesity through calorie intake and decreased calorie expenditure. You may eat more because your hands are free, displace activity and exercise, and ruin your sleep schedule by watching late-night. A study found that 60.7% of frequent TV viewers (three or more hours per day) were obese. Slash your TV time and replace it with something more weight-loss productive.