Try to keep these health tips in mind as you look to achieve your weight loss goal. Don’t stress out if you forget or don’t meet them all. Try to do as many as possible. Good luck!
- Cut back alcohol as much as possible. It’s easy to fill up on beer and wine after a long day at work. However, we should name it “fat juice.” A typical 12oz beer is approximately 150 calories. A typical 5 oz glass of wine contains 100 calories. Let’s be honest, we don’t have just one drink. Before you know it, you’re up to approximately 750 calories with five glasses of beer. The American Heart Association recommends males ages 19-30 who lead a sedentary lifestyle (light physical activity) should consume 2,400 calories daily. (For men 31-50 reduce your minimum daily caloric intake to 2,200 calories.) Those 5 beers end up being approximately 1/3 of your caloric intake for the day!
- “Eat like a king for breakfast, like a prince for lunch and a pauper for dinner.” You’ve heard it before: a hearty, big breakfast will keep you going longer throughout the day and is healthier for you. Well, it’s true. Definitely don’t skip breakfast. Try eating some foods that are filled with fiber and protein to keep you full longer, like Grape nuts, oatmeal or low-fat Greek yogurt with granola. Peanut butter is another great food to include in your breakfast whether that be on an apple, cracker or in your cereal. Filling, healthy and full of protein.
- Graze. It’s best to eat many small meals throughout the day instead of 3 massive meals. Have a decent size breakfast, a mid-morning snack, a filling lunch, an afternoon snack and then a smaller dinner. It’s best to cap your late night eating habits. Try not to eat anything after 8 p.m.
- Weight loss. If you are trying to shed some pounds, the Mayoclinic.com recommends slashing 500 calories from your diet per day. One pound of fat = 3,500 calories.
- Ideas for filling foods. Eating foods that are high in fiber is a helpful way to stay full and lose weight. Nuts and legumes are super filling, have tons of protein and fiber. Try to fill up on these as much as possible. Some may be fatty, but it’s a good fat to consume. For example: avocados, almonds, lentils, beans, peanuts, whole grains, bananas, apples, pears, broccoli, spinach and peppers. Go nuts for nuts! Try to avoid juices and dried fruit as the sugar content may be too high.
- Eat slower. When you are eating a meal, don’t shovel it down regardless of how hungry you are or how you are pressed for time. Savor the tastes, enjoy the meal and sit down. Try not to do too many other things while you are eating. If you slow down your eating, you are likely to be filled up faster and not have second or third helpings.
- Eating at your computer will make you fat. Eating at your desk is likely to make you hungrier throughout the day. Distraction during a meal can lead to increased food intake later on in the day.
- Exercise. To burn a significant amount of calories and achieve a basic level of fitness, you need 2.5 hours of aerobic exercise each week or about 30 minutes each day. How many calories you burn in an exercise routine depends on your weight and intensity.
- Juice vs. Water. While juices may be good for you when you are sick (orange juice packed with Vitamin C) they are full of calories. One 12 oz glass of orange juice has approximately 150 calories. Try to cut back on your juice intake and instead reach for a glass of water or low-calorie iced tea. Try to drink more water throughout the day, at least eight 8oz glasses.
- Eating at home vs. going out. When you eat at home, you know exactly what you are putting in your meal. If you are trying to lose weight, try to cut back on eating out because restaurants/fast food joints want to make sure the food is tasty which means saturating it with salts, butter, and other unhealthy things. Try making more meals at home and make sure you cook with olive oil and not butter. It’s a much healthier option.
- Carry snacks. Make sure you have a few snacks on you at all times—nuts and fruits—to help you avoid unhealthy temptations before you eat a regular meal.
- Sleep. There are scores of studies that link sleep deprivation to weight gain. Aim to get that 7-8 hours of sleep.
- Eat liquid-based foods. Smoothies and soups can help you cut back on calories but still keep you full.
- Cut out the sugar. Sugary foods and sugar-sweetened drinks lead to weight gain. Sugar converts into fat and is stored in your body. So instead of that having a slice of the double chocolate gooey cake, try a strawberry or apple.
- Daily Exercise Plan for Weight Loss:
Step 1. Cardiovascular workout 6 days a week.
Step 2. Spend 20-30 minutes each day doing some form of moderately difficult cardio exercise.
Step 3. Avoid extreme, crash dieting. Cut back on some high calorie foods, but continue to eat a balanced diet.
Step 4. Include 20-30 minutes of weight training each day on top of your cardio workout. Increasing muscle mass = weight loss.
Step 5. Vary your weight training. Weight train the lower half of the body on days 1, 3 and 5. Train the upper half of the body on days 2, 4 and 6.