This is where a lot of people fail from the get go. When setting your target weight, you have to be realistic. You need to have both long-term and short-term goals—basically, the longer one will be the accumulation of all the shorter ones combined. Be realistic about the time frame, too. You won't lose 50 pounds in one month. But if you space it out in six months, it will be doable. Remember that the healthy rate for weight-loss is between 1 to 2 pounds a week. Once you have your target, plan what type of workouts you'll do and meals you'll eat to achieve it.
When you want to lose weight, it's important to know the reasons why you're doing it. Start with these as a daily reminder of why you have to do an extra set of exercises or why you should pass on that tempting slice of cake. Also, find motivation from your favorite athlete or anyone whose life and fitness inspires you. If they can do it, you can, too!
You may prefer running or swimming over resistance training but keep this in mind: When you lift, you burn more fat. According to research from Penn State University in Philadelphia, the group of lifters who also did aerobic exercise lost 21 pounds—the same as those who did aerobic exercise only. But those who hoisted iron lost 75 percent of their weight from fat and not from muscle. The more muscle you keep, the more your body becomes efficient in torching fat. A great bonus: More muscle tone makes you look leaner and fitter.
High intensity interval training (HIIT) is an efficient type of workout because even though they're short, you torch more calories. Because of the intensity, your body's repair cycle goes into hyper drive, which means you'll keep burning calories for up to 24 hours after you're done. The best part: Most programs combine resistance and cardio exercises, resulting in you building more muscle, too.
Yes, doing leg workouts can feel like torture, especially the day after and you just can't seem to walk. But before you throw in the towel, think about this: Your legs are the body's biggest muscle group. When you work on this area, you stand to burn more calories because of the number of muscles involved. In fact, if you want to get six-pack abs, one of the best ways to get there is making sure you work out your legs, too.
When you're motivated to look good for an event like say, your class reunion, it's easy to keep pushing at the gym. But the thing is, your body needs to recover from your grueling workouts, too. It needs time to adapt to all the movements you do, especially if you’re a workout newbie. Listen to your body and rest when needed. Then when you've recovered, you can push yourself more during your next session.
No, water doesn't have magical fat burning properties but in general, making sure you drink enough fluids can benefit weight-management, too. Sometimes, you can confuse thirst as hunger, which leads you to overeat. By making sure you’re adequately hydrated, you prevent overeating. Also, when you're drinking water, you're not drinking sugary stuff like sodas and iced teas—both sneaky calorie culprits that add to your weight.
A study published in The FASEB Journal found that dieters who doubled their protein intake maintain more muscle mass and boost fat loss. According to study researchers, eating protein can increase the rate at which your body repairs and builds new muscle after your grueling workouts. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn. Just make sure you get your protein from a variety of lean sources like chicken, fish, and nuts.
When you're trying to lose weight, you want your metabolism revving. By eating small meals every 3 to 4 hours, you prevent yourself from being ravenous, while at the same time, making your metabolism work. Coupled with workouts, your body will become efficient in burning calories, making you see less digits on the scale.
While a beverage or two is good, it's best to keep at that. When you drink more, you start to lose your inhibitions, making you consume more alcohol and food. Also, according to a Canadian study, consuming alcohol before a meal makes you eat more than you would if you didn't have any. Remember this simple equation: The more extra calories you pile on, the harder it is to lose weight. So if you want to stay in shape, ease up on the booze.