Losing weight can seem like a daunting task to those of us unfamiliar with proper diet and workout techniques. It seems like some people so easily lose weight or gain muscle and “eat whatever they want” or “barely work out” with little second-thought. Or it seems some people so easily get into the “gym-rat” mindset where they absolutely love going to the gym and counting calories and tailoring their diet. For the rest of us, however, working out and dieting can come at a challenge to adjust to and incorporate into our lives. With these 10 easy tips, you can jump-start your diet and fitness routine driving you to lose weight!
1. Drinking More Water
Drinking more water is an essential part of helping to lose weight. It’s typically recommended that humans should drink about half a gallon of water per day! Many have used the excuse that they “always forget” to drink water or “don’t feel like it.” But once you start getting into a routine of drinking water throughout the day you will notice a difference in how you feel and will generally start noticing when it’s been a while since drinking some. It’s great to keep a big water bottle on you while you’re working or in school, so you can drink some water whenever you need or want to!
2. Cutting Out Sugar
This may be a given but cutting out sugar is an essential part of working towards your goal to lose weight. Resisting the temptations of sugary candies and chocolate desserts will be a tough obstacle to overcome for some people. But you’ll truly notice a difference once you can gather the willpower to say “no thank you” to dessert. Not only will it help in your mission to lose weight but eating fewer sugars will also generally help you have healthier skin and help you sleep better!
3. Cardio, Cardio, Cardio!
One of the most important tips to help you lose weight is to focus on cardio workouts! This can take many forms including elliptical, Stairmaster and of course walking & running. Getting your blood pumping and a good sweat really helps burn fat! You also get to strengthen your leg muscles and even help relieve tension in your lower back by walking or running. Of course, it’s essential to have good fuel for your body when you workout which is why dieting is such an important part of losing weight. However, going on a short walk or run right when you wake up, before eating breakfast, can be a great way to burn fat and start your day off great! For longer cardio workouts though it’s important to have a good meal a few hours before to help fuel your body and give you the energy to have a great workout.
4. Workout Buddies
A good way to ensure you stick to a good workout routine can be by finding a like-minded workout buddy! Someone who you can rely on to motivate you to get to the gym on those days you’re just not feeling up to it. Which also means they’ll be relying on you to do the same for them! You can motivate and push each other to workout harder, more often and share the journey of losing weight together.
5. Getting Enough Sleep
Sleep is a vital part of maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine to lose weight. The ideal range of sleep is around seven to nine hours per night. Striving for eight or nine hours per night would make a big difference in allowing your body plenty of time to rest and recover from the previous day’s workouts as well as enough time to properly digest.
6. Coffee (or Caffeine in general)
Many people typically start their day with a cup of coffee to wake them up and get energized before heading to work or school. In small doses, caffeine (found in coffee and other sources) can prove to be a great tool to lose weight. Caffeine has shown to increase metabolic rate which means you’ll be burning fat at a higher rate! So incorporating coffee, or a caffeine supplement, into your diet can have a positive impact on your mission to lose weight. Unfortunately, research has also shown this effect from caffeine to increase your metabolic rate does diminish over time as you become tolerant to the effects. (1)
Another given, but eating more greens (vegetables) is essential in your mission to lose weight. Swapping out sweets for salads can be very difficult at first but your eventual results will speak for themselves! Finding a combination of veggies that you can incorporate into your daily diet can take some trial and error but eventually having some vegetables in all your meals will make a difference in helping you lose weight. An easy way to get a daily fill of vegetables can also be through smoothies! Put some kale and spinach in with some frozen berries, Greek yogurt, and fruit juices, like orange juice, for a delicious and healthy smoothie!
8. Smaller, Spread Out Meals
Everyone has different metabolic rates at which they digest and burn fat so it can be very beneficial to adjust your meals and meal schedule while working to lose weight. Instead of the typical breakfast/lunch/dinner, which usually includes bigger-portioned meals, try to spread out your consumption into more like five or six meals per day. Also, make these meals smaller portioned so your body doesn’t have to work as long or hard to digest it. This can leave you still feeling hungry after finishing a meal but that’s okay! Incorporate snacks between your meals such as yogurt and granola or a veggie smoothie that will tide you over until your next meal and provide you with great nutrition throughout the day!
9. Avoid Eating Close to Bedtime
Although a midnight snack usually seems like a great idea it should be avoided while you’re working to lose weight. When you sleep your metabolism slows down and isn’t working as well as when you’re awake, moving around and consuming energy. Thus, when you eat and then go straight to bed your body has to slowly digest that food and because it can’t be used for quick energy it has to be stored for later use- which means it becomes fat.
10. Consistent Workout Routine
As you strive to lose weight it’s very important to maintain a consistent workout routine! It doesn’t mean you have to put aside all these other activities and plans to dedicate hours and hours to working out per day. It means whatever you can do whether it be to walk two miles, run 10 miles or hit the elliptical for two hours- create a routine that you can maintain. If you don’t have the time to exercise every single day that’s okay! Two or three days per week can be a great starting point and finding the energy and motivation to do more over time is great progress! Your body will adjust to your routine and then you can push harder running an extra mile or an extra hour as you get stronger and healthier. Work hard, eat smart and sleep well and you’ll be well on your way to lose weight and look and feel how you want to!