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6 Ways to Start Your Weight Loss Challenge

Losing weight can be a challenging undertaking even if you only want to drop a few pounds. However, the good news is that you can take pretty painless steps to get started. Not only will these strategies help you lose weight, but they are simple lifestyle changes that will help you develop a pattern of healthy living.

1- Be mindful of what you eat.

Mindless eating can pile on the pounds. All-you-can-eat buffets, parties with tables loaded with snacks, and pantries loaded with junk food all contribute to mindless eating. Continuing to eat when you are not hungry, not thinking about the amount of unhealthy food you consume, and eating because you are bored are all examples of mindless eating. You can become more mindful of what you eat by taking time to chew your food and savoring each bite. This will allow you to eat more slowly and enjoy your food. Stop when you feel full. Its fine to leave some food on your plate. Another way to overcome mindless eating is to replace chips and cookies in your pantry with healthy alternatives like fruit and nuts.

2- Swap sugary drinks for water.

If you reach for sugary drinks when you are thirsty, its time to “rethink your drink.” It is easy to consume 1300 calories or more by drinking soft drinks, coffee drinks, fruit juice and sports drinks. This is in addition to the calories you eat. You can see why replacing sugary drinks with water or sugar-free drinks could result in dropping a few pounds pretty quickly.

3- Concentrate on healthy carbohydrates and protein.

Carbohydrates are the major source of energy, but some carbohydrates will prevent you from losing weight–even if you decrease the calories you eat. When you eat carbs, the body uses what it needs for energy and stores the rest as fat. By limiting unhealthy carbs and eating more protein, your body will become efficient at burning fat. Choose healthier carbs like whole grains such as brown rice and whole wheat bread.

4- Fill half of your plate with healthy fruits and vegetables.

Fruits and vegetables are low in calories and high in fiber. Fiber helps you feel full which can help you avoid overeating. Additionally, fruits and vegetables have protective benefits such as reducing the risk of some cancers and fighting inflammation. Filling half of your plate with healthy fruits and vegetables is a no-fuss way to eat fewer calories.

5- Go to bed earlier.

Did you know that failing to get enough sleep can prevent weight loss? According to experts, people who fail to get 7-9 hours of sleep each night tend to snack more and eat larger portions when awake. Sleeping longer gives your body time to rest, repair and burn fat. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body metabolism slows down and you won’t burn the calories needed to lose weight.

6- Move more.

If you are a couch potato, you might be surprised at how moving more can help you lose weight. You don’t have to have a gym membership to get moving. Begin by walking in place during television commercials. Walking is one of the best physical activities for toning the body and losing weight because it benefits the entire body. Begin by walking for 5 minutes each day for a week. The following week, increase your walks to 10 minutes. Continue to increase your walking time until you can walk for 30 minutes most days of the week. You will burn calories and develop lean muscle mass that will help you burn calories when you are resting.

These strategies won’t cost you anything except a little effort. You won’t feel deprived, but these small lifestyle changes will jump-start your weight loss effort and help you feel more energetic and healthy.

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