Change your lifestyle and lose weight now
Two of the scariest words that send many people running for the door are “diet” and exercise”. We all want to be thin and toned like the stars we see in movies in magazines, but there are a few realities we must face first. The first one is that we too often set unrealistic goals for ourselves, which ends with us getting discouraged when we don’t meet these goals or we don’t meet them as soon as we’d like. The second is that we try unrealistic diets that are nearly impossible to stick to and so we end up cheating, and ultimately, giving up and then splurging on everything we deprived ourselves from. This usually results in actually gaining weight. Then we are right back to where we started and we lose all motivation to change our lifestyle because it’s too “difficult”. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. There are a few small things you can change that will overall improve your health and will lead to losing weight.
First of all, replace the junk food in your house with healthier snacks, such as fruits or almonds. Instead of chips, buy some grapes. Junk food is a go-to often because it is convenient. If it is not in the house, chances are when you are hungry, you aren’t going to go out and buy just potato chips. You will find something else around the house to snack on. If you keep healthier options handy, you will end up grabbing those or probably nothing at all and waiting until your next meal. Eliminating junk food from your house will go a long way. If you are a junk food junkie, you will be surprised how fast the pounds fall off when you take this first step. Not only that, but it will save you money on groceries as well. Bonus!
Secondly, replace all soda and sugary beverages with water. This is something that most people struggle with, myself included. We are supposed to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day and most people in America do not meet that quota. Force yourself to get that water down. Not only will it cleanse your body, but there are so many other benefits from water. It keeps you hydrated and energized and it’s great for your skin. Not only are the sugary beverages causing you to gain weight, but they are terrible for your teeth. It might be difficult to give up at first, but you will feel so much better when you do. You won’t ever want to go back and if you do, you will find that one can of Pepsi will have you feeling bloated and crappy.
The next thing to focus on is exercising portion control. This is a biggie! Most of us aren’t even aware that the portion sizes served up in homes and restaurants all over America are way too much. If you travel anywhere else outside of the US you will realize how ridiculous it actually is. Try cutting your portions back. It’s easiest if you do this before you cook, because chances are if you cook it, you will eat it. You might be thinking “well what if I’m still hungry?” You will be surprised to find that cutting your portions back really will not deprive you. Eat what’s in front of you and you will likely be satisfied. Wait 10 minutes and if you are still hungry, then have a little more. Most likely, you will realize you don’t need any more. The best part is you won’t be completely stuffed and miserable like many people are after eating which is how it should be. We are supposed to eat to satisfy our hunger – not to be so full we don’t want to move from the couch for an hour! This is a sure-fire way to start dropping some weight. This doesn’t just go for cooking. Next time you hit up Subway, order a 6 inch and not a foot long. The 6-inch will fill you up and keep you going for the rest of the day, I promise! And, if you are craving something sweet, go buy a fun size candy bar at the convenient store rather than a king size. It’s a quarter of the calories and fat, but will quench that craving you have. Once you get used to eating like this, your stomach will actually shrink and you will find that you don’t need much food to fill up after all.
Lastly, add some activity into your daily routine. This doesn’t mean you have to start waking up at 4 am to sweat your butt off for an hour before work. That just sounds horrible and you will probably be pushing that snooze button. Eventually you might want to get to that point, but for now you can start small. Start by making small changes. Rather than letting your dog in the backyard to play, take him for a walk. Instead of driving a half mile down the road, walk. If you have a desk job, force yourself to take a stroll through the office a few times a day just to get on your feet. Try using your lunch hour to walk around the parking lot, especially if you find it difficult to fit in before or after work. Rather than asking for someone to grab you a drink, get up and get your own. Otherwise, find an activity that you actually like so that working out is not work. If you enjoy it and you don’t dread it, you won’t look for excuses to skip it. My go-to workout is rebounding on my kids’ trampoline. 30-45 minutes jumping on a trampoline is not only a great cardio workout, but it works out many parts of your body. If you don’t have a trampoline, some of the best trampolines are very budget-friendly. Another option is if you have a swimming pool, this is a great way to work in some exercise into your daily routine.