Losing weight can be a daunting task. But it does not have to be that way. Small, everyday actions can be taken to help you reach your goal. Here are 6 of them.
1. A Little Bit Everyday
One of the main reasons why people fail when they try to lose weight (whether it is by exercising or dieting) is trying too hard, too quickly. You need to ease up into your new healthier lifestyle. This change is going to be done one step at a time. Think of it this way; you didn’t gain weight overnight. It is most likely the result of unhealthy eating habits coupled with a progressively more and more sedentary lifestyle. All you need to do is reverse that unhealthy pattern at a pace that fits you.
- Take a walk on your lunchtime
- Cut down on the snacks
- Cut your juice in half with water
- Drink water instead of soda
- Do a minimum amount of a specific exercise every day (as little as it may be)
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator
- If walking is the answer, get yourself a pedometer to count your steps
As you can see, it doesn’t mean that you need to start working out 3-5 days a week and follow a strict diet plan on your first day. It might never even be necessary. Just pick your battles and do a little bit more every day.
2. Portion Control
At first, it might be hard to change your eating habits completely. What is possible, though, is practicing a little bit of portion control. Start by merely reducing what you would usually eat by 1/3. Look at that plate you just served yourself and leave or put back about 30% of it. The difference it’s going to make is enormous, and your hunger won’t be affected much.
Give it a try before going all out on a particular diet. If you’d like to go in detail, here is a quick breakdown of what your plate should look like for the three main meals of the day (breakfast, lunch, dinner).
3. Sports And Working Out At Home
For a large number of people, the idea of going to a gym gives them chills. In that case, practicing a sport or working out at home might just be the answer.
We often associate sports with school, but there are many different ways to do sports well past our “prime”. You just need to find the one that fits you. As an example, you could join a local league (soccer, hockey, etc.). Or maybe individual sports are more your thing; there is cycling, jogging, or even martial arts!
All of those are great for losing weight while practicing skills and having fun doing it. That’s often the big difference when it comes to sports vs. working out. The fact that you are trying to get better at different skills makes the whole ordeal go by a lot faster.
While we’re going through the subject of going through your workout more quickly, circuit training is a great way to reduce the length of your training sessions. By decreasing the rest time in between exercises and wisely pairing them together, you can strengthen your body and burn a lot of calories.
4. Water intake
Surprisingly, drinking a lot of water won’t make you lose weight by itself but consider that it might help replace other calories filled beverages. Not only that, but if you drink more water during meals, you will feel full faster and most likely end up eating less during that meal.
Last but not least, being well hydrated through the day ensures that you don’t end up suffering from the effects of dehydration. As harmless as dehydration sounds, it can cause fatigue, increase the risks of injuries, and even alter your mood.
Remember always to drink water! If you feel thirsty, then you are already dehydrated. Even being dehydrated by 1% can negatively affect your mood, attention, memory, and motor coordination.
5. Motivation, consistency, setting objectives
Remember when I said to try doing a little bit every day?
Well, that’s only true if you’re consistent. Even if you go for a run once a month, that’s not what’s going to make a difference in your journey to lose weight (and you might injure yourself if you’re not ready for it!). The same goes for people that do extreme workouts and diet plans and quit after a while. They either had enough, reached their goals, or lost the motivation it takes to keep going. Your first step to staying motivated should be to set yourself some realistic short term goals. Rome wasn’t built in one day for a reason.
If you intend to lose weight, start with the smallest steps possible, and try to keep doing those steps consistently. Only then can you add more.
Keep in mind that for most people losing between 1 to 2 pounds of fat per week should be the maximum to stay in a healthy range. On a side note, the more weight you have to lose, the more weight you could safely burn per week. Your second step should be to write down your goal. It will help remind you of the objective that you set, keeping you motivated and, most importantly, accountable for your actions.
Try to write what you did to achieve that goal daily. Later on, you can look back and see whether you could have done a little bit more or what it took to succeed.
If that’s not enough, pair up with a friend to stay on track. You could keep each other going by reminding the other not to give up, that their goal is within reach. Anything, and everything that can help you stay motivated is essential.
6. Regular workouts do not work.
It’s a little secret that is not known by a lot of people.
Standard workouts are pretty much ineffective.
Aerobic classes are a waste of time.
Do you know why? There is no scientific application of knowledge behind them. They are just exercises put together with no real purpose. Do you think a high-level athlete would do these to get in shape? Never. They do specific workouts that work for their field. The same thing applies to a weight loss program. It must be built a certain way to work.
Here’s what you should be looking for when choosing a program to lose weight.
1. High-intensity interval training (HIIT)
HIIT workouts are short, but very, very effective. They are made of intervals of intense exercises with short breaks in between. Over time, HIIT workouts have been proven to burn a LOT more calories than other types of workouts.
2. Circuit training
Along with HIIT, circuit training is excellent because you maximize your training in the shortest amount of time by combining the right exercises. HIIT and circuit training are fat busters.
3. Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC)
Excess… What? EPOC is what happens to your body when you combine HIIT, and circuit training, in a program specifically made to lose weight. EPOC or the afterburn effect will BOOST up your metabolism. That means you will burn a LOT more calories for as long as 48 hours following your workout as your body tries to get back to its “neutral” state.
Along with these three key elements, a weight loss program HAS to have some thinking behind it.
Like with everything in life, if you do something without preparation or the proper knowledge, chances are you won’t reach your goals. Keep that in mind.