Having a plan means you’re way more likely to reach your goal. And of course, a goal is where your program starts. Now before you get excited and set your weight loss goal at 10lb per week, take a deep breath and come back to earth. Rapid weight loss is unhealthy and tends to come straight back as soon as you stop eating like a famine victim.
Set your weight loss goal a 1-3lb per week. That’s safe. It can’t kill you (some diets can), and you should be able to do it comfortably with a bit of common sense and a few lifestyle changes.
Most of us don’t need all the fancy diet books and plans you see in bookstores and for sale online. Most of us know why we’re overweight.
We eat too many processed foods, there’s too much sugar in our diets, we eat too many oily or fatty foods, overeat or comfort eat.
If you don’t do any of these things and are still overweight, you may need to see your doctor about your weight loss plan. You may be suffering from a thyroid problem or water retention, in which case your doctor can help.
Follow these simple rules:
- Make your own food from healthy ingredients.
- Fill up with high nutrition, low-calorie veggies.
- Snack on salads instead of hitting the vending machine.
- Eat more lean protein and fewer carbs.
- Roast, boil or steam instead of frying.
- Drink lots of water.
Avoid these foods and drinks:
- Salt (promotes water retention).
- Cut out sugar. Eat fruit instead.
- Cut out bread – it’s easier than you think.
- Don’t eat ‘empty calories’ from refined foods.
- Cut out alcohol.
If you were saying “Yeah, I know – but…” when you read that list, ask yourself why it hasn’t worked for you yet. For many of us, it’s a matter of bad planning. Just knowing something doesn’t help. We have to take action!
- Plan your menus to be healthy and delicious.
- Vary your menus to keep it interesting.
- Stock up with all the right foods.
- Expect to spend more time in the kitchen – turn it into fun time by experimenting with recipes.
- Make your workday lunches and snacks in the morning or do it the night before.
- For some of us, a diet plan isn’t as necessary as a little self-control. Just eating smaller portions can make a huge difference. Many people say that using a smaller plate and eating a little more slowly does the trick.
You don’t have to be hungry:
- Eat small amounts of food four or even five times a day.
- Snack on fruit and raw veg.
- Eat high fiber foods to fill up.
Exercise for Health and Weight Loss
If you have a sedentary lifestyle, that could be the reason why you’re overweight. You may not even need to diet – just get moving. But for optimal weight loss, a combination of diet and exercise boosts your results.
There’s literally no point in trying to run before you can walk. If a brisk walk already has you panting for breath, that’s the place to start. You need to get your heart beating faster and your body burning energy at least three to four times per week.
If you want to get scientific, you can work out how many calories you eat and then plan your exercise to burn more calories than you get. But most of us probably don’t even need to do that. If you decide to do that, there are some great calorie calculators available free online.
Although almost everyone says “no pain, no gain” doing something you really enjoy means you’re way more likely to stick with your exercise program. Think of something you’ll really enjoy, and add it to your routine.
For great cardio you can:
- Ride a bicycle
- Go swimming
- Play a sport like tennis
Strength training is also good for weight loss and helps to contour your body to look great. Body weight training exercises that work well include:
- Tricep dips
- Push ups
- Pelvic lifts
Just be sure that you are doing the exercises correctly because doing them wrong can result in injuries. There are lots of YouTube videos on body weight exercises you can watch. Try your exercises in front of a mirror to see if you are following the instructions correctly.
Have a Plan!
As with diet, exercise also takes planning. Answer these questions and record it along with your menu planning.
- How will you exercise? Tip: choose something you’ll enjoy.
- When will you exercise? Tip: mornings are really the best.
- How will you keep it interesting and fun? Tip: vary your exercise plan.
Extra Tips for Your Weight Loss Plan
Apart from having a plan and more-or-less sticking to it, these tips could help to keep you motivated.
- Have a weight loss buddy.
- Keep a food and exercise diary.
- Track your progress.
- Turn your weight loss diet and exercise plan into a lifestyle.
- Cheat. Just a little bit – and only now and then.
- Exercise more on ‘cheat’ days to burn the calories right away.
When and How to Get Help
It’s worth remembering that your weight loss is an investment in your future – and if it keeps you healthier, it will save you money in the end. So if you’ve tried it all and nothing worked, get help:
- Talk to your doctor.
- See a nutritionist.
- Get help from a personal trainer or wellness coach.
And while we’re talking about getting help – why not help each other? Share your favorite weight loss plan tip here!
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