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5 Weight Loss Tips and Tricks

Looking to lose that excess weight? If so, this probably isn’t your first attempt. Most people who’ve tried to lose weight and experienced some success tend to put the weight back on—plus a few additional pounds—within a year. So how can you improve your chances of achieving your goal weight and keeping it off for good? Try these techniques.

To get the weight off and keep it off, shoot for no more than one to two pounds of weight loss a week.

1. Allow yourself a cheat day or two. Permanent deprivation is practically a guarantee that you’ll cheat on your diet, and makes it more likely that you’ll abandon that diet completely and go back to your old, unhealthy eating habits. Instead, stay on track by allowing for occasional indulgences. Make it like a reward, something you work towards after successfully sticking with your diet and exercise regimen for several days.

2. Set a realistic goal. If you’ve got a high school reunion in two months and you want to lose thirty pounds, you’re probably setting yourself up for failure. While it is possible, losing too much weight too fast increases the odds that you’ll quickly put the weight back on—and that the next time you try to diet, it will be that much harder because your body will try to hang on to that extra fat when you try to deprive it again.

3. Eat a variety of foods. Remember the cabbage soup diet? The grapefruit diet? Well, one of the major reasons none of those diets work for long is because they’re too repetitive and people quickly get tired of the lack of variety. If you eat sensibly with a variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, lean protein and whole grains, you’ll be much further ahead in shedding extra pounds.

4. Add in exercise. Diet is only part of a successful weight loss strategy. To burn more calories, clear your body of toxins, and keep the weight off in the long run, you’ll need to incorporate regular exercise into your lifestyle. Aim for at least 30 minutes a day, five times a week. Shake up your routine and continue to challenge yourself by trying different classes, lifting weights, learning a new sport, etc.

5. Don’t skip breakfast. New research has shown that a hearty breakfast can help prevent cravings and overeating later in the day. Instead of waiting until lunch, make time for a bowl of whole-grain cereal topped with fresh berries, or scrambled egg whites with a sprinkling of mozzarella cheese, a fruit salad, and wheat toast.

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