Every year when people come up with what they want to change about their lives when the new year starts, losing weight will probably be somewhere at the top of the list. Here are five tips to get you on track:
Control Your Energy Intake
You can hop on that treadmill or stationary bike you got for Christmas as much as you want: if you don’t control how much you eat in all likeliness you will eat more than you burn on there. 30 minutes of moderate to high intensity exercise on a stationary bike burn about 200 calories, while the average cheeseburger has 300 kcal. And it takes you perhaps three minutes to eat it. Some more fruits and vegetables on your plate can help filling you up without breaking the calorie bank.
Yes, you are the one that would scream at the thought of a treadmill under the tree; you dread the thought of physical exercise. Jogging or moving weights seems as pleasurable to you as getting a tooth pulled out. Without anesthetization. Yet, while doing planned fitness activities would do you a lot of good, you can still get more physically active by just changing some of your daily habits. Taking the stairs instead of escalators, riding a bike to work etc. – all these can add up to make a difference.
It is much easier to get rid of four extra lbs than of 14. Letting control of your weight slip was what got you into this misery in the first place – some people can intuitively eat as much as is good for them, others can’t. You probably are one those that need to weigh themselves regularly to keep their weight within its boundaries.
Keep in mind that for this to work you always have to do it under the same conditions. When you started a diet last Saturday morning and right after getting up weighed yourself, then control your progress next Saturday evening after dinner, don’t wonder when the scale shows more than it did before. It’s not your diet not working, it’s you probably wearing more clothes and having a full stomach.
Set Realistic Goals
This time next month thirty pounds lighter? Heah, might work if for thirty days you define “food” as a carrot and a glass of water each day. But how long will you be able to keep this up? Forever? Not likely. You’ll be one of the people constantly swinging back and forth between gaining and losing weight, as their nutrition is only defined by extremes: way too much and way too little.
Aim for a weight loss of 1-2 lbs per week – a bit more if you are very obese – and get to know your body and your nutritional choices better. You need to find the foods that satisfy you and keep your body in the healthy weight range.
Cherish Bad Days
So you did it all by the book for the last five weeks and then Linda’s birthday came up? And you had that pizza? I mean, the two pizzas? And the pitcher of beer? And the double chocolate icecream with the four toppings? So what? It may have set you back a couple of days, but it sure felt satisfying, didn’t it? And as long as you don’t overdo the pig-out days you will still be on track.
In fact, it may even be advisable that every 4-6 weeks you actually plan in one of these days, as they will stop your cravings, let you keep your sanity and in the long run allow you to reach your goals, depite being small setbacks. And better arriving a little later on the finish line than not reaching it at all.
For further help with the concept of calories in / calories out, please have a look at the videos on this playlist, where I explain it in detail.
Picture courtesy of “.craig“.