If you’re looking for ways to lose weight or get back in shape (or get in shape, period), you’re not alone. No matter what time of the year it is, all of us (at least most of us) have some self-improvement goals, and getting healthier and fitter seems to be on the top of the list but always ignored.
So, if you’re looking to do just that—be fitter, leaner and skinnier—then try incorporating a few of the following tips to your daily routine. You’ll see yourself lose a good chunk of weight fast—and they’re gone for good. Good luck, and don’t get frustrated if things move slowly; just trust the process.
1. Switch Up Your Workout
If you haven’t seen results from your cardio regimen, switch to interval training. For instance, sprint for 30 seconds, and then recover by walking or jogging for a following 30 seconds and repeat for the duration of your workout.
2. Follow the 80/20 Rule
Eat clean 80 percent of the time, while allowing a bit of indulgence for the remaining 20 percent. By clean, we mean whole foods with no processed flour, sugar, or additives.
3. Keep a Food Journal
This will help you keep an eye on absent-minded eating. A recent study found that tracking your eating habits can actually double your weight loss!
4. Break Out Your Blender
Blend fiber-rich greens like spinach or kale, avocado, and berries for a delicious and healthy breakfast smoothie to keep you feeling fuller longer.
5. Cut Down on Carbs
Limit your starch intake by choosing protein and vegetables over bread, rice, pasta, and other grains. Evidence suggests that cutting down starchy foods and carbs can help you lose weight quickly, and can also reduce your risk of heart disease.
6. Take the Stairs
Seems simple, but do it whenever possible instead of using an elevator. You’ve heard it before, but little changes like this are a great way to get incidental exercise, and burn calories without planning a workout.
7. Pack Your Own Lunch and Snacks
This can help you avoid unhealthy takeout temptation. Sure, sometimes it’s hard enough to find time to eat lunch, let alone pre-prepare it—an easy way of doing this is to cook in large batches over the weekend for all 5 days.
8. Use Smaller Dishes
Serving meals on smaller, salad-sized plates or in small bowls really can help control your portion size.
9. Keep Hydrated At All Times
Drink a glass of water before each meal to feel fuller and to avoid overeating. While water doesn’t have a magical fat-burning property, nutrition experts say keeping hydrated can stop overeating, as many people confuse thirst with hunger.
10. Chew Slowly and Thoroughly
Slice crunchy vegetables and fruit into large chunks—this will force you to spend longer chewing, slow down your eating, and allow your brain to recognize when your body is full.
11. Minimize Munching
Keep snacks to around 100 calories to avoid over eating. A reason why French women are skinny is because snacking isn’t in their culture—they stick to their 3 meals a day.
12. Eat an Apple
It’s not just to keep the doctor away. It will help curb your appetite and keep your feeling full for up to two hours. The soluble fiber found in apples (pectin) actually reduces the amount of sugar and calories you absorb after a meal, making apples one of the best snacks for dieters. Pectin also stops blood sugar from spiking, which helps to avoid that “crash” that can often leave you desperately craving sugary food.
13. Use Veggies Instead
Swap pasta for shredded zucchini, squash, carrot to decrease the starchy food in your diet.
14. Brush Your Teeth Between Meals
Doing this every time you finish a meal can discourage snacking. Nothing tastes good mixed with toothpaste.
15. Fill Up on Protein
Tons of studies show that missing out on high protein foods can cause overeating and lead to weight gain. Plus, if you’re exercising to lose weight (which you should be!), protein is important for your muscles to repair after a big workout.
16. Avoid Restaurant Bread
When you eat out, ask the waiter not to bring any bread to your table. One large bread roll with butter could be up to 100 calories, which you probably don’t need to be eating in addition to a full meal.
17. Skip the Sugary Drinks
When you’re thirsty, sip water with lemon or iced greed tea rather than sugary soda drinks or milky coffee concoctions.
18. Never Skip Breakfast
Researchers analyzed 19 studies on weight gain and found a relationship between skipping breakfast and piling on the pounds, so remember to eat within an hour of waking up to kick-start your metabolism.
19. Stand While You Work
Get a standing desk. Even a couple of hours spent standing rather than sitting can boost your metabolism.
20. Make it Spicy
Eat spicy foods, like hot peppers, which increase energy expenditure and fat oxidation by increasing the metabolism.
21. Pick Smart Snacks
Snack on calorie negative foods, like celery, which actually require more energy to digest than they contain.
22. Load Up on Grapefruit
It’s a great metabolism booster and an amazing source of vitamin C and vitamin A, both of which have been proven to help clear up your complexion and reduce the dark circles around tired eyes. Eat up!
23. Drink Green Tea
Ditch empty energizing drinks like those found in milky lattes that don’t fill you up. If you miss your morning coffee, try a strong green tea instead—it’ll perk you up without the caffeine crash later.
24. Eat Right in the Morning
Eat a breakfast that’s between 300 to 400 calories and full or protein to keep you feeling full (and not reaching for snacks) all morning.
25. Go For Sweet Potatoes
Replace regular potatoes with sweet potatoes to swap starch and carbs for vitamins and nutrients.
26. Get Enough Fiber
Remember that it’s incredibly important for weight loss and nutrient absorption, so make sure you’re getting 30 to 50 grams of the good stuff every single day.
27. Get Some Blueberries
They’ve been shown to help get rid of belly fat, so munch away on the tasty fruit at snack times or breakfast.
28. Get Plenty of Sleep
Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, because nothing induces overeating and skipped workouts than feeling tired!
29. A Short Workout’s Better Than No Workout
When you’re too swamped to exercise properly, at least take a short 10 minute walk, or get up for regular intervals to walk around your office. One study looked at people who sit for hours on end, and found that those who took regular breaks to stand up, stretch, of stroll down corridors, had smaller waists than those who continued to sit all day.
30. Avoid Processed Stuff
Stop eating processed junk food—it may sound obvious, but too many people crush their weight loss progression by snacking on sugary and salty snacks.
31. Go Easy On Yourself
Obsessing over losing weight is counterproductive! Making yourself stressful does crazy things to your body and you will ultimately have a harder time losing weight. So, don’t think too much and over-complicate things—with weight loss, more often than not, simplicity is best.
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