Losing weight can be an uphill struggle if you don’t equip yourself with as much knowledge on what to eat and how to exercise as you possibly can. You might be doing something already that you think is harmless to your weight loss efforts, but in fact it is doing a lot of damage. If you want to know some of the more recent considerations that people have been making to battle their weight problems then read on:
Drink Water and Other Low Calorie Drinks
In recent years there has been a massive increase in the amount of sugary drinks that people drink. And this isn’t just limited to soft drinks. Drinks such as smoothies actually contain more sugar per serving than a soft drink. You need to be very careful about the drinks that you choose, and a lot of the time you might as well focus on drinking water in order to avoid taking in a lot of unwanted calories through your beverages. An expert from Web MD suggests what you can add to water if you want to give it a bit of taste:
If you don’t like plain water, try adding citrus or a splash of juice, or brew infused teas like mango or peach, which have lots of flavor but no calories,” says Cynthia Sass, RD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.
Prepare Your Snacks
Snacking, especially at night is something that is mostly unplanned and a spur of the moment thing. Therefore, when you feel like snacking you grab anything that you can get your hands on in order to fill that void.
What you can do to combat the snacking problem to a certain extent is to buy and prepare snacks in advance that are low in calories. For instance, prepare a fruit salad that you keep in the refrigerator, so whenever you want to snack you can take it out and eat it as opposed to heading for a pack of chocolate biscuits in the cupboard. Whatever snacking alternative you choose it must be something that you actually like to eat, because otherwise you will find the snack bland and before you know it you are snacking on junk food again.
Go For An 80/20 Approach
Instead of trying to eat healthy low fat food all the time you should allow for 20% of your diet to be anything that you want. This flexibility needs to be controlled, and the point of this is to allow you to keep the amount of junk food that you eat under control. For example, if you have eaten nothing but great food for eight days straight then for the next two allow yourself to eat whatever you want. The alternative that you don’t want is eating healthy food only, and then getting to a point where the blandness has become too much. At that point you might end up having a junk food binge that lasts for weeks or even a month, and in terms of your weight loss efforts you are right back where you started. A contributor for Health.com explains why such an approach is beneficial:
Make 80 percent of the food you eat healthy and take 20 percent of your daily calories and make them fun.” Otherwise, Jillian says, you’ll feel deprived-and more tempted to go off the deep end.
Short Workout Sessions Are Worth It
Some dieters are under the illusion that they must spend hours and hours exercising in order to make any progress when in fact you only need about three 30 minute sessions per week in order to lose a lot of weight. However, if you want to exercise for a short period of time and get the benefits then you need to make sure that those exercise sessions are intense. Intense exercise basically means anaerobic exercise, which is any type of exercise that uses the energy stores in the muscles because the muscles aren’t getting enough oxygen to be able to cope with the energy loads placed upon them. Anaerobic exercise is said to kick start the metabolism which is the fat burning engine for the human body.
Great forms of anaerobic exercise are lifting weights, sprinting and doing high intensity sports such as basketball or tennis. Anything that is pushing your body near the max is going to work wonders for your weight loss efforts. And for those of you that don’t like to exercise think of it this way: the more exercise that you do, the more relaxed your eating habits need to be.
Online Weight Loss Buddies
One of the more recent forms of holding yourself accountable for your efforts is getting an online weight loss buddy. The idea here is to communicate with your buddy in order to show what progress you have made. So it kind of works like an interactive weight loss diary.
You don’t have to meet the person face to face, and it will probably be impractical anyway as your buddy could be living at the other side of the country. The buddy would act as a source of motivation to stay on track and if you ever need someone to voice your problems to then he or she will have the time to listen to you. A contributor for Readers Digest suggests that online buddies are even better than support groups:
The researchers followed volunteers for 18 months. Those assigned to an Internet-based weight maintenance program sustained their weight loss better than those who met face-to-face in a support group.
The weight loss strategies in this article are just some ideas to get you going. Your journey to weight loss success will be a unique one that will most likely include a lot more strategies than any one article can offer you. Just keep in mind that the more you educate yourself on what has worked for other people the better prepared you will be for the challenges ahead, and possibly in 2014 you will finally reach the weight you have always wanted.