It really is possible to achieve your correct healthy weight this New Year. Just give yourself the best chance of success. Whether you've failed with diets or resolutions in the past, there’s nothing stopping you from achieving your goals this time around.
It's going to work, provided you follow these tried and tested weight loss tips:
1. No crash diets
There is no complex science behind losing weight. It's linked to what, and how much you eat, and what you're doing with that energy you're consuming. Put simply, if you eat 3000 calories, and only 'burn' 2000, your body stores the surplus in the form of fat.
So the simple way is just to shrink those calories with a quick diet, right? Wrong. A crash diet will lose some fast pounds - but those pounds will come straight back on again when you stop. Often, crash dieting also means you're not receiving the nutrients and vitamins your body needs.
Many restaurants also highlight healthy options, and don't be afraid to ask how things are cooked if you’re not sure. More and more restaurants are also listing the calories of individual dishes and drinks. This is useful so you can keep track of your intake (which as a guide should be around 2,000 a day for women and 2,500 for men, depending on how active you are).
2. Get real
Getting your weight down and your fitness up takes time. So set yourself some realistic goals, long-term goals. In January, aiming for a healthy weight and size in time for beach in August is a good plan in a sensible time.
Obsessing about a drinks party in three weeks isn't. As we all know from experience, dramatic sudden dieting is the quickest way to put yourself off the whole idea. So is pounding on a treadmill for hours on your first day in the gym.
3. Eat carefully and regularly
In choosing a better regime, make sure you're eating from all the main food groups to give yourself the vitamins and nutrients you need. At the same time, there are lots of ways to nail down those calories to sensible levels.
Choose water instead of fizzy drinks; buy semi-skimmed milk; make your own sandwiches rather than buy more calorific ones in store; cut out sugar in tea and coffee; put a little less on your plate. Also, stick to proper mealtimes, and that includes breakfast. Your body's metabolism is built around it, and if you skip meals you're also more likely to snack and graze.
4. Get moving
Everything you do burns calories and fat. And you don’t have to be an Olympic athlete: even a light daily 20-minute walk will be a positive move. The key is to do it briskly, so you get a bit warmer and your heart beats a little more quickly.
Do something you enjoy - swimming, cycling, team sports, running - but whatever you do, just build on it gradually. Again, also get into good daily habits and you’ll find they become routine. Walk a short trip rather than reaching for the car keys; build a walk into outings; take stairs instead of lifts.
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