You know the drill when it comes to losing weight: take in fewer calories, burn more calories. You also know that most diets and quick weight-loss plans don’t work as promised. But when you focus on just a couple of small changes at a time, you begin to ingrain some healthy habits that last for a lifetime, rather than trying an all-or-nothing approach that more often than not fail because it’s too hard to follow.
If you’re trying to drop a few pounds today, then these tips will make it simple for you to lose the weight quickly. Good Luck and Enjoy.
1. Keep a food journal
Mindlessly munching on a bag of chips could result in easily polishing off the whole thing; write down how much you’ve eaten and you’re more likely to practice portion control—and see how to lose weight fast. Keeping a food log helps control extra calories in two ways: the combination of plain old reality check and awareness that what you’re putting in your mouth will soon be recorded for posterity.
In a recent study, people who kept a food journal lost twice as much weight as those who didn’t. When they combined it with a moderate diet and exercise plan, they lost an average of 13 pounds in 6 months. Journaling also gives you insight on your eating habits – why you skip meals, what your eat during the weekday compared to the weekend, etc. – just knowing your routine helps you figure out what changes are right for you.
2. Exercise during commercials
Get moving during your favorite TV shows. Skip, dance, go up and down some stairs, run in place—anything that gets your heart rate up so you feel somewhat breathless. Do it for each 2-minute break during a typical 2-hour TV night and you’ll burn an extra 270 calories a day—which can translate to a 28-pound weight loss in a year. Now, doesn’t that sound awesome?
3. Limit high-fat foods
Tag the high-fat/high-calorie foods that are typically your favorites (my top five: cookies, candy, ice cream, potato chips, and fries) and gradually downshift. If you’re eating six of these foods a week, try to go down to five. Each week, drop another until you’re at no more than one or two; at the same time, add in a good- for-you choices like baby carrots, sautéed broccoli, oranges, and other fresh fruits and veggies.
4. Walk 5 minutes more a day
Increasing daily activity levels by just a few minutes at a time will help you lose weight faster. Your goal should be to do at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day (burning off about 120 extra calories daily, or 12½ pounds a year), but it doesn’t have to be all at once.
5. Include basic strength training exercises to your day
Basic body-weight exercises like squats and push-ups are a simple way to build more metabolism-revving muscle in minutes (helping you lose weight faster), and research shows they’re just as effective as hitting the gym. Your muscles don’t know the difference between working against your body’s own resistance and on a fancy piece of equipment. The one rule to follow is that each exercise should fatigue your muscles within 60 to 90 seconds. For extra burn, you can add an exercise band or resistance tubes to basic moves.
Try this mini-workout: Do 10 reps each of knee push-ups, squats, crunches, lunges, and chair dips. Then gradually increase the number of reps it takes for your muscles to feel fully fatigued.
6. Take the stairs
Have a choice between riding and climbing? Including 2 to 3 minutes of stair climbing per day—covering about three to five floors—can burn enough calories to eliminate the average American’s annual weight gain of 1 to 2 pounds a year. Start with just a couple of flights a day; if you’re already a dedicated climber, aim to add three more flights to your daily trek.
7. Keep track of your steps
Just as you wouldn’t leave home without your cell phone, make a pedometer a must-have accessory. Research shows pedometer users take nearly 2,500 more steps a day (over 1 mile, or about 100 calories) than nonusers. Over a year, that’s enough to burn off about 10 pounds.
8. Bring your own lunch
You’ll save thousands of calories (not to mention hundreds of dollars) over the course of a year. Consider this: A premade chicken Caesar wrap from a chain restaurant has 610 calories, more than 40% of which come from fat, as well as 1,440 mg of sodium (more than half the recommended daily amount). Make your own with presliced deli chicken breast on whole wheat bread with light mayo and romaine lettuce for about 230 calories. You’ll cut almost 400 calories and about 520 mg of sodium, which leaves room for a side salad and could still add up to a 28-pound weight loss after a year. When you make and eat your own food, you not only control the quality and portion sizes but also reduce the amount of sugar, salt, and fat that you’re consuming, which can be significantly higher in restaurant fare.
9. Walk it if it’s less than one mile
Americans use their cars for two-thirds of all trips that are less than 1 mile and 89% of all trips that are 1 to 2 miles, yet each additional hour you spend driving is associated with a 6% increase in obesity. Burn calories instead of gas by following this rule: If your errands are less than 1 mile away, vow to walk them at a brisk pace instead of driving. Or park where you can run several errands within a mile instead of moving your car each time. Walk every day and you’ll be 13 to 17 pounds lighter next year.
10. Eat Your Fruits
Skip juice and eat the whole fruit, instead. You’ll not only get more heart-healthy fiber in your diet (3.5 g for a small apple versus .5 g in a glass of juice), you’ll also stay satisfied, longer. Research shows that fiber aside, liquid carbohydrates just aren’t as filling as solids. When you chew a food, you generate more saliva, which in turn carries a message to the brain that your gut needs to get ready for digestion. Drinking doesn’t require such digestion, so the body doesn’t register that it’s full as quickly. Plus there are the extra calories—48% more if you’re drinking that juice rather than eating the whole apple.
11. Get some support
You know exercising with a friend makes you more accountable (nobody wants to leave a pal stranded on a street corner at 6 AM). But your workouts don’t always have to be done face to face. One study found women who had some form of social support, either through in person counselling or an on-line chat group, lost more than 15 pounds over a 9-month period, dropping about 300 calories from their daily diet and walking about a mile more each day than from their starting point.
12. Drink plain coffee
A regular cup with a dash of milk and even a little sugar has hundreds of fewer calories then the blended drinks, which are practically dessert in a cup. One recent study of about 3,000 purchases from 115 coffee shops in New York City found that servings of brewed coffee or tea averaged about 63 calories (including milk and sugar), while the fancier drinks averaged nearly four times more, with 239 calories. A daily habit can translate to an 18-pound gain over a year.
13. Sleep more
Make a point of turning in earlier and you’ll see weight loss within a week. Research from the University of Pennsylvania found even just a few nights of sleep deprivation can lead to almost immediate weight gain. Scientists asked participants to sleep about 10 hours a night for two days, followed by five nights of sleep restriction and four nights of recovery. After the 11 days, the sleep-deprived group gained almost 3 pounds, compared with a well-rested control group.
14. Spend at least 10 minutes savouring your treats
Try this strategy to permanently reduce cravings: Portion out one serving of your favorite treat, taking a minute to smell it, look at it, and think about it. Take one small bite. Chew slowly, moving it around your mouth and focusing on the texture and taste, then swallow. Ask yourself whether you want another bite or if that satisfied you. If you still want more, repeat, this time chewing the food 20 times. Continue this eating exercise for as long as you want or until you finish the serving (it should take about 10 minutes).
When you take the time to slow down and be more mindful of what something really tastes like, you’ll feel more satisfied and stop eating sooner.
15. Try the 2 Week Diet
One of the big mistakes that many women make and thus not lose weight is that they overcomplicate things. With weight loss, often times, simplicity is best.
If you think you’ll find it hard to follow the above tips and require more structure and discipline to losing weight, then consider using The 2 Week Diet plan. The 2 Week Diet plan only has a few smart, easy-to-follow guidelines that are most effective for superior results.