Tips, tricks and techniques for losing weight as fast as possible.
//Losing weight is 90% diet, 10% exercise.// You can't cardio your way through a bad diet.
Water water water. It kick-starts your metabolism. Stop drinking soda.
I always tell people if you can make it 2 months without quitting it's all gravy from there.
Make one change at a time. Don’t cut everything out at once. For example, cut out fried foods. When you’re used to that, cut out soda, etc.
Eat according to the Glycemic Index, sticking with low and medium index foods.
Count your calories (MyFitnessPal is great).
Ditch junk food and takeaways.
Eat lots of fiber, it’s surprisingly filling compared to that cupcake.
Cut soft drink from your diet altogether. A can of coke has 50% of your daily sugar requirements; you don't need that. I'd also suggest letting yourself have a cheat day once a week or fortnight so you don't go insane. Obviously don't eat 2 dozen pizzas or anything ridiculous, but allow yourself to break the diet a bit. It will help in the long term.
//Don't fall for adverts claiming ridiculous results.//
Make it a habit. If you can do exercise at the same time, every single day for a month, you are more likely to make it a habit. Consistency makes habits more ingrained. Once it’s a habit (and start easy in the beginning!), then you can step up the intensity a bit.
A little and often. You don’t need to work out long, and you certainly don’t need to be a weekend warrior. Just 20-30 minutes every day. Who doesn’t have 20 minutes on their schedule. You? Well, scratch “Walker Texas Ranger rerun” off the schedule and make room for this instead.
Join a race. Signing up for a 5K or a triathlon are my favorite motivators. It really gets me to do my workouts because if I don’t, I will look like a dork by collapsing 5 minutes after the starting gun goes off. But don’t worry about how you look — just go and have fun at these races — everyone else is worrying about themselves too much to notice you.
Why does everything here sound like a bostonese health instructor?
Be patient, and stick with it. You won't see results overnight. This is very important. A lot people are in the old mindset of thinking diet means temporary. It is not. A diet means a lifestyle change that you make adjustments to as you go along.
Lay off the rubbish food, apart from one day a week where you can eat what you like – it’ll help you stick to it and you won’t have the temptation to eat rubbish all the time.
Be mindful of what you are eating. Keep a food journal or diary. Seeing it in writing always gives it weight and helps reveal patterns or triggers.
Stop the evening eating. You don’t want to eat and then go to sleep. All those calories just sit there unused while you sleep.
Seriously look into lifting weights. Yes, even if you are female. You won't get bulky, and muscle Burns calories. A book that really helped me was "The New Rules of Lifting for Women". Get it. Building muscle will make you look tones AND increase your metabolism - which means you burn more calories while sitting around.
Eat mostly raw fruits, veggies and nuts.
Brush your teeth early in the evening rather than just before bed. It keeps you from snacking if you’re not really hungry.
Cut wheat-flour based products out of your diet. Wheat is surprisingly easy to replace when you start thinking about it – rice, oats (still some gluten there, but a lot less), more vegetables.
Portion control used with a 20 minute wait time — wait 20 minutes after eating the sensible portions, and then see if you still feel hungry. Nine times out of ten, you won’t. If you do, get a little more.
If you don't already know how to cook, invest in a couple of beginners guide type books and start learning. Not only is it a lot more satisfying to cook your own meals, its cheaper and a lot healthier than prepackaged meals.
Find exercises that you like to do. Some people like to run, or swim, or lift weights or do martial arts, or dance, or go hiking. Really, anything that you actually enjoy - this will make it so, so much easier to keep the exercise consistent.
Set goals, use the SMART method (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely). For example, say you want to lose 50lbs (plucking this off the top of my head) by March. This means you have about 6 months. So now you can aim, for ease of round numbers, for 10lbs loss per month. Which is 2.5lbs per week.
Commit to one diet — and stick to it for life. Start by making a list of low-calorie foods that you love, that you find satisfying; and when you’re hungry make sure you eat lots of those foods.
If you’re a parent, don’t absorb “invisible” calories by eating your kids’ food.
Snack between meals – starving yourself for 6 or 7 hours at a time between lunch and dinner means you will overeat at dinner.
Eat slow and you will only eat as much as you need to be full.
Whenever you eat, think about how much food you would waste by overeating. Your body doesn’t need all the food that’s on your plate, why waste it? You could eat the leftovers for lunch the next day and save yourself some money, or you could split it with your loved one and have company while you eat. You could give it to the homeless guy down the block who REALLY needs it. Any reason you find not to waste that food is a good one.
Slow and steady wins the race. DO NOT believe the results on shows like The Biggest Loser, where people lose 10-20 lbs each week. That sort of loss can be dangerous, and usually unsustainable. Losing 1-2 lbs per week is perfectly respectable, and even if it takes you a year (or longer), remember that it probably took you a while to gain the weight as well.
Eat right. It's all about slowly increasing your self discipline.
Use MyfitnessPal's app to track your calories. You can set goals for calories and macros and track your exercise.
Everything in moderation. If you really want French fries and a hamburger, or ice cream, or a cookie
it’s OK to indulge a little occasionally. Key word is occasionally. Better to indulge a little, than to binge later.
Learn to cook, from scratch. That way, you control what you are eating.
Observe your hunger patterns. Choose a bedtime that’s early enough to keep you from after-dinner snacking. Stick to that bed-time. If you must snack before bed, have a something small and healthful. Maybe a tiny portion of whole grain cereal with milk.
Eat as soon after you get up as possible. This gets your metabolism working at a higher rate sooner in the day.
Cut out alcohol or reduce your intake to one or two glasses a week.
If you are hungry between meals, try eating a small portion of food that is high in protein. It can be more effective to eat one piece of cheese or some yoghurt or nuts than to eat bread or crackers or other snack foods.
Weight loss starts in the kitchen.
Go to bed early and get up early. If you stay up late, you will overeat, guaranteed. It doesn’t matter if you are a night person; change into a morning person. When you go to bed early, you don’t think about food all night.
Instead of counting calories, concentrate on reducing your fat intake. Fat that you eat converts more readily into body fat than does protein or carbohydrate.
Try to enjoy your food, eat it slowly and consciously.
Only diet on weekdays. Don’t binge on weekends, but save two days a week to eat the yummy things. Also, because many people really can’t break that chocolate addiction, calculate one treat every day into your calories.
Positive change is easier than negative change. Instead of thinking of foods that are “bad” and that you feel like you need to cut out, think about all the new recipes and foods you will get to try if you start experimenting with more vegetables, more beans, more spices, etc.
Don’t count calories after you each them, count before.
Find an online weight-loss buddy. A University of Vermont study found that online weight-loss buddies help you keep the weight off. 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.
Create a routine for what you eat – for a month, do not think of food as something to be enjoyed, think of it as fuel.
Take one of the three meals a day, and make it healthier (veggies, fruits, whole grains, etc.). Combine this with drinking ONLY water when at work, and it’s quite the effective method to lose a few pounds.
Eat a varied diet. Only, half your usual portions.
Eat nothing that you have not bought yourself, cooked yourself, and cleaned up after. This way laziness works in your favor. If you don’t feel like going to the store, or if you have stuff but don’t feel like cooking it or cleaning up afterwards, you are less likely to eat.
If you’re a stress eater, try sunflower or pumpkin seeds. Lots of chewing, not many calories. Just don’t spit the seeds on the floor.
Exercise: any kind any time. Sure there are better times and better exercises for fat burning, but they all beat sitting on the couch.
Cardiovascular training in the morning before you eat breakfast. This forces your body to utilize stored body fat for energy rather than carbohydrates, since you are in a carb-depleted state after having not eaten for 8-10 hours.
After breakfast, make water your primary drink. At breakfast, go ahead and drink orange juice. But throughout the rest of the day, focus on water instead of juice or soda. The average American consumes an extra 245 calories a day from soft drinks. That’s nearly 90,000 calories a year — or 25 pounds! And research shows that despite the calories, sugary drinks don’t trigger a sense of fullness the way that food does.
Stick to it, get a routine going and don't drop it, even of you feel like you're not making any progress. It won't happen straight away, but when it finally does, you'll be much happier.
Regular aerobic exercise helps, for a period of at least 40 minutes.
Alcohol is the devil if you want to lose weight. TRY to cut back on your alcohol intake if you can.
If you can’t run, start slow by walking for 9 minutes and jog for 1 minute. Do that a couple of times and then slowly exchange the minutes walking for minutes running.
Buy a pedometer and try to get 10,000 steps per day in. That’s about 5 miles +/- depending on your stride length.
Walk everywhere (carrying a baby while you walk also helps a lot).
You want to lose weight and keep it off? Take a hard look at your nutrition. You need to switch the staple of your nutrition from terrible carbs and sugar based crap to vegetables, fruit, nuts, lean protein. Carbs are not bad and neither is fat, just make sure it is the right kind. I assure you, the weight will fall off if you seriously change your diet to get the proper nutrition. And you will feel better.
Find fun exercise. Join a softball team, commute to work on a bike, whatever. Your strategy should be time-sensitive – only make choices you can see yourself committing to for years, be it gym, dieting, whatever – temporary won’t work.
If you are resistant to exercising, consider volunteer labor. Walk dogs at the animal shelter. (Find a shelter at Petfiinder.com. Do beach or riverside clean-ups with a local environmental group. Volunteer on building and repair projects.)
Make friends (if you haven’t already) with very physically active people. If you have very active friends, you will be exercising without even noticing it because you will be having fun with friends.
Do squats while brushing the back sides of your teeth and calf rises while brushing the fronts. Then you get in at lease some exercise and also brush long enough.)
Take the stairs. Walk or bike ride that short distance instead of driving.
Use those multi-colored stars on the calendar for each day you’ve achieved your goal — exercise, diet, whatever it is. Gives you something, small as it may be, to look forward to.
Start walking outside to get fresh air, which translates into better mood. If rains, use treadmill. But walk fast, no sissy stuff.
Change one thing in your diet, and get used to it. For example, instead of eating sugar cereal, try oatmeal or whole-grain cereal with low sugar. Or instead of eating a burger, try a healthier sandwich. Once you’re used to that change (give it at least 2 weeks, a month is better), change another food. There’s no need to change your entire diet overnight, and in fact that’s not as sustainable.
Veggie Day. Go vegetarian one day a week. It’ll reduce the fat you take in (and thus the calories) and also increase the fiber and nutrients you get.
Toss the junk. The best way to ensure that you don’t eat a bunch of junk food is to make sure it’s not around. Go through your fridge, your cabinets, and that secret drawer you have at work, and toss all the junk food. Don’t buy any more. Now move on to the next tip.
Stock up on good snacks. Instead of junk food, you need snacks that are good for you — fruits and veggies are my favorites, but whole-wheat crackers, nuts, and the like are also good. Have your home stocked with it, take it on the road, and have it available at work.
Eat five or six small meals or snacks a day instead of three large meals. A 1999 South African study found that when men ate parts of their morning meal at intervals over five hours, they consumed almost 30 percent fewer calories at lunch than when they ate a single breakfast. Other studies show that even if you eat the same number of calories distributed this way, your body releases less insulin, which keeps blood sugar steady and helps control hunger.
Brown bag it. Take a healthy lunch with you to work, instead of eating at a restaurant. More on that here.
Flax it up. Often ignored are essential fatty acids, and ground flaxseeds are an excellent source. I toss ground flaxseed in pancakes, cereal, anything I bake, and especially my oatmeal (with some frozen blueberries – yum!).
Forsake juice. Juice is good fruit, with all the fiber removed. What’s left is mostly sugar. Eat fruit instead.
Water powered. Instead of juice or coffee or soda or tea, drink water. It’s really the best drink there is. I drink water all day long.
Say nay-o to mayo. Mayonnaise is filled with fat. So is butter, and cream cheese and eggs and cream … find healthier replacements. I like Veganaise for mayonnaise, “better than cream cheese”, canola-oil margarine, and I basically nix the eggs.
Olive you. I think olives are magical. But in any case, they’re great additions to salads and home-made pizza and other dishes, and I use olive oil on just about anything. Replace saturated fats with healthy fats. Canola oil is great too.
Nuts to that. Nuts are great sources of good oils and proteins. Add some nuts to your diet for snacks, or on salads. Raw is best — raw almonds are great. Avoid ones that are too high in salt.
Berry good. Berries are another magical food, and easy to add to any diet. Blueberries are best, but any berries are great. Eat them plain as a snack, or add them to cereal, yogurt, smoothies. Mmmmm.
Baked, not fried. Yeah, you know this one. Basically, less fatty, and still tastes great.
Reduce the intake of three white things – white flour (all purpose flour), salt and sugar.** Get rid of white flour completely if possible.
Start slow. The biggest mistake that people make when starting an exercise plan is starting too fast or too hard. Trust me, I’ve done it many times. I’ve learned to take it easy, start as small as possible, and worry about endurance or intensity later. The key in the beginning is to make it enjoyable and accomplishable. That’s probably not a word, but it should be. And it is now. Zen Habits are ones that are accomplishable.
Increase but gradually. After getting used to a certain level of exercise, you’ll want to increase it. Don’t just run two miles or walk 20 minutes three times a week for a year. Your body adjusts to the stress you’re giving it, so you need to increase the level once you’ve adjusted. But do it gradually, and only every two weeks or so.
Crank it up. Once you’ve gotten used to exercise, you’ll want to do some higher intensity ones for better fitness and fat-burning. For example, instead of running slowly and steadily, for a long time, try doing shorter bursts of fast running, with periods of rest in between. You can do this for any exercise. Higher intensity increases the calorie burn, and improves performance. But you can’t do it as long, and you shouldn’t do it every workout. Mix it in with endurance workouts.
Bring the color blue into your life more often. There’s a good reason you won’t see many fast-food restaurants decorated in blue: Believe it or not, the color blue functions as an appetite suppressant. So serve up dinner on blue plates, dress in blue while you eat, and cover your table with a blue tablecloth. Conversely, avoid red, yellow, and orange in your dining areas. Studies find they encourage eating.
Schedule workouts. Make appointments with yourself to workout, at a specific time and place, just as you would with any other appointment. And make it the most important appointment on your calendar — more important than a doctor’s visit or even the manicurist.
Forget the gym. The gym can be horribly convenient, but it can also be intimidating for beginners, and confusing if you don’t know how to use the equipment. Sure, you can get a trainer to teach you, but if the cost or the confusion stops you from exercising … well, skip the gym and do it at home or at the park or somewhere less intimidating. You can do pushups and crunches and dumb bell exercises at home very easily, workout to a DVD, or go walking or jogging in your neighborhood. Cheap and simple is my motto.
Reward yourself. Self-explanatory, but rewards are best if they are frequent in the beginning. Be self-indulgent! Even sweets are good rewards — remember, get into the habit of exercise, and you can worry about weight loss later.
Do a 30-day Challenge. Challenge yourself, and see if you can rise to the occasion. Do it with a group or your significant other. Put in rewards. Tell everyone you’re doing it. Motivate the hell out of yourself.
Join an online group. One of the best motivators is having to report successes and failures to a group of people. Check out some online groups (there are groups for every type of exercise), introduce yourself, see which ones you’re comfortable with. Once you’ve gotten established (after a couple of days) see if you can post your results every day — you won’t go wrong once you start doing that.
Post your results on your blog. There’s nothing more motivating than positive public pressure (short of a gun to your head). Step it up by making a promise to your blog readers that you will commit to this goal for a month, and post your results every day. Even if your mom is your only blog reader, it’ll really help.
Do a journal. If you don’t post your results on your blog, write it in a journal, either online or on paper. However you set it up, make it a habit to post to your journal or log right away, as soon as you’re done with your log. It will motivate you to see your progress over time, and it’s a good way to see what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong.
Make it fun! Exercise doesn’t have to be a chore. I love doing a morning run, with the sun coming up, the world so quiet, my mind left to its own devices. Enjoy yourself and you will actually look forward to your workouts.
Fuel up. If your workout is more than 30 minutes, you really should have some energy in you. You shouldn’t work out on an empty stomach — but you also shouldn’t eat right before you work out. Eat a banana or some peanut butter toast or a ClifBar an hour or two before your workout, and you’re good to go.
Hydrate. Also an hour or two before you workout. Water is best. Use a sports drink during your workout (and after) only if you’re going to go an hour or more. If you’re going to do a tough workout, stay hydrated throughout the day. In fact, go ahead and do this whether you work out or not.
Get a workout buddy. Find someone at your level, and commit to working out a certain number of times a week together, at a certain time. This will make you more likely to keep that workout appointment, and workouts can be a lot of fun if you spend them chatting with your buddy. Just be sure to actually work out, and not just chat, Chatty McChatterson!
Get good clothes. Actually, you don’t need anything fancy to get started. But once you do start working out, it’s nice to get yourself some nice workout clothes, with breathable and comfortable fabrics, ones that look good on you. It’s motivating, and pleasurable. Make it so.
Change it up. Sure, walking or running every day can be a lot of fun. But getting some swimming or biking or strength workouts or aerobics or kickboxing into the mix can be a lot of fun, and can also help you get into better shape. They work out different muscles, and step up the metabolism. Variety is the spice of life and all that.
Do it early in the morning. My favorite time to work out is between 5:30 and 6:00 a.m. Plus, I know that if I work out at this time, nothing will get in the way of the workout later in the day. It’s a beautiful time of day, not too hot, and there’s nothing like showering and going to work knowing that I’ve put in a great exercise (and it allows me to feel superior and look down my nose at those lazy bums I work with).
Squeeze it in during lunch. OK, you’re not a morning person. You’re busy. You don’t have time to work out. Well, suck it up, buster, and sacrifice your lunch hour to the gods of fitness. Bring your workout clothes, do a quickie nooner, and be back at work ready to tackle the afternoon.
First thing after work. None of those options work for you? Not a problem, my friend. Make it a daily appointment to work out as soon as you get off work. This will also motivate you to finish your work on time so you can get out on time for your workout. It’s great to stop somewhere to do your workout before you even get home, because once you get home you’ll probably want to relax on the couch, fall asleep at the kitchen table, or rush to the computer to read the latest Zen Habits post.
Just lace up. Yeah, you’re dreading the upcoming workout. But don’t even think about it. Just lace up and head out the door. That’s all. After that, let nature take its course. Just relax and do what comes naturally. Which is exercise.
Get good gear. As a reward, get yourself some nice little gadgets — a sports mp3 player, a Polar heart rate monitor, a pedometer, a scale, a bike computer, whatever. Something cool that will make you look forward to your workouts.
Forget about the gear. Having said that, you don’t need any of that to actually work out. Just put on some cheap clothes and get out the door. Don’t let your lack of gear stop you, and for criminy’s sake, don’t go and buy all the gear before you actually start working out.
The 10 percent rule. Don’t increase your workout time or distance by more than 10 percent a week. This is a very conservative rule, and it can be broken by the best of the best, who know what they’re doing, but for the rest of us, stick with this to prevent burnout or injury.
Rest. It’s important. This is a commonly overlooked factor. If you don’t give your body some rest, you will burn out and get injured. Rest is just as important as the workouts in improving performance and fitness. As long as you’re doing the workouts too and not just the rest!
Hard, then easy. If you do a hard workout today, rest or go easy tomorrow. Don’t do two hard workouts in a row. The hard-easy approach can also work within a workout itself — run hard, then run slow, then run hard … you get the idea. This allows you to burn more fat than if you just run medium the whole time.
Strength is good. If you’re a walker or runner or cyclist or swimmer or something like that, you should also fit some strength training into your schedule. Nothing too intense, but just some core-strengthening exercises that will help your main sport as well as make you healthier and yes, more attractive.
Set goals. What are you trying to get out of your exercise? It’s good to know if you’re trying to build muscle or burn fat — because these are two competing goals. There are other goals, of course, but you should be clear what they are. Also, set goals for each week — what do you want to accomplish this week? Write it down, post it up, and see if you can meet them!
Take photos of yourself. Before and after photos. The best way to see your progress over time. But do it once a month, not every hour, you narcissist!
Star chart. Yeah, you know what these are. But they’re very motivating. Do a workout, put up a star. Fun!
Get a coach. You certainly don’t need one, but there’s nothing more motivating than a coach. Almost like a workout buddy, in that you are very likely to make the appointment, but less chatty and more knowledgeable. And if you’re going to learn swimming, a coach is a must. Yes, you can get a coach — there are master’s swimming classes at your local pool. Just sign up — they’re usually not that expensive.
Join the club. In my area, there is a great running club and a great cycling federation and triathlon federation. All of them sponsor races and Sunday rides and things like that where you can workout with a group and talk to more knowledgeable people. Well worth the small membership fee!
Warm up. If you’re going to do any kind of exercise, don’t do it with your muscles cold. Gradually get your heart pumping and blood flowing. You’re less likely to injure yourself, and your workout will be more enjoyable.
On stretching. Sure, flexibility is important. But stretching out cold is a good way to get injured. If you’re going to stretch out before a workout, be sure to do so only after your warmup. Also, do not bounce. That’s another good way to tear your muscles. Do slow stretches and hold them without bouncing. Best of all: stretch after a workout, when your muscles are nice and loose.
Go for the long haul. Most of all, don’t think that you will become fit and healthy and sexy in one month. Think of exercise as a life-long habit, and your goals will come to you eventually. You’ll get there, my friend!
**Drink Diet Soda Instead of Regular Soda
Forget about weight loss. Yeah, many of us would like to lose some weight. But if you’re motivated solely by weight loss, exercise will be a tough proposition. The reason is that you might not lose weight right away. Oh, it’ll come, if you can keep it up over time, but in the beginning you might be disappointed (especially if you haven’t changed your eating habits). Just get into the habit of exercise, and worry about the weight later. First things first.
Put a cover model on your fridge. Not literally, of course, as that may be illegal, but find a good magazine photo of a model with the body you want, and post it up somewhere visible. You may never look like that model (heck, that model probably never really looks like that), but it’s motivating. Don’t pick a model that’s too good looking, or you may question your sexuality.
Workout first, diet later. If you’re just starting a workout plan, it’s best not to start a diet at the same time. Well, I don’t like diets in the first place, but still — one thing at a time. I’d prefer the workout first, and then worry about the diet after about a month of working out. You didn’t get fat overnight and you’re not getting skinny overnight either!