How to Lose Weight and Get More Energy in 15 Days
How to Lose Weight for Good
People who struggle with their weight know that it can be quite difficult to find a diet and exercise plan that helps them lose weight for good. With all of the information overload and fad diet and exercise plans available, it can be overwhelming to find good options for long term weight loss. Fortunately, the basic approach to losing weight and maintaining the loss is relatively easy to understand.
Getting Started with Your Way of Life
Change your perception.Don't think about it as a diet and exercise plan. If you are constantly thinking about your new way of eating as a diet plan, it can be more difficult for you to stay dedicated to the nutrition and the weight won't stay away for good. Try to shift the way you see your new routine from a diet and exercise routine you have to do to an active lifestyle with healthy nutrition that is just your new way of life.
- Instead of thinking about all the food you can't have, find and incorporate some healthier versions of your favorite foods into your routine. This way, you will feel like you are treating yourself and you won't be tempted to cheat.
Purge your pantry.One of the first things you need to do when starting a weight loss plan is get rid of all the bad food in your house. Go through your fridge, freezer, pantry, and cabinets to get rid of all the temptation foods such as ice cream, candy, breaded and fried foods, chips, snack cakes, and other similar items. Replace them with healthy options such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains that still have some of your favorite flavors but that aren't so bad for you.
- If you have a family, try to get rid of these foods for them as well. They don't have to stick to the same routine as you, but eating healthier is a great option for anyone.
Shift your routine.If you have found it hard in the past to commit wholeheartedly to a diet and exercise plan, try doing it a step at a time. Sometimes the all or nothing approach can be overwhelming and frustrating and can cause you to give up before you really gave weight loss a chance. Try to make changes gradually, such as switching dishes in each meal for healthier options and adding in one or two days of exercise at first. Once your body gets used to the routine, you can add more and more steps until you are living an overall healthy lifestyle.
Be patient.Weight loss doesn't happen overnight. The healthiest weight loss that will stay off in the long run is about 1-2 pounds per week. This may seem slow, but if you work at it and make your overall lifestyle and routine healthy, you won't think of it as a weight loss plan anymore. It will just become how you live.
- Don't get discouraged. The worst thing you can do is give up too early. Even if you eat badly for a day or so or if you skip working out for a few days, don't just throw in the towel. Just get back on to your nutrition and exercise plan and you will see results.
- Yo-yo dieting can be stressful for your heart and slow your metabolism. Strive for steady weight loss to preserve your health.
Pay attention to what you eat.Don't just blindly eat your meals each day. Pay attention to the food you eat, enjoying every bite. If you are mindful of each bite you take, you will enjoy your food more and will also be more aware of the amount of calories that you intake each day. If you pay attention to everything that you eat, you will make smarter choices and not overeat as much, which will help you lose weight and keep it off.
- Using a calorie counting app, such as MyFitnessPal, can help you better understand how many calories and nutrients you get in a typical day. Spend a week logging your eating habits so you can strategize about how to make some small, meaningful changes to your diet.
- Smaller portions can reduce your overall calorie intake while still allowing you to eat the foods you love.
Seek out support.Undertaking a lifestyle change with the support of a friend or family member can be the difference between losing weight and not. Create a support network of people who will be there for you as you tackle tough nutrition and exercise challenges. Having someone you can turn to when you are feeling discouraged or trying to battle a craving can help keep you on the right track.
Exercising to Stay Fit
Focus on strength training.One of the best ways to burn fat and stay fit is through strength training. For every pound of muscle you gain, you burn more calories per day. After a good strength training exercise, you continue to burn calories for days after you are done while your body works to replenish the energy it burned and repair the muscles it worked. It also makes you healthier overall by helping bone density, blood pressure, heart health, blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels, and blood flow. Your improved body functions will help you keep the weight off.
- The best way to see the most results in weight training is to do circuit training. To do this, choose 5 exercises and repeat them 8-12 times or 20-30 seconds each. Do the whole circuit 3 to 4 times. You can mix and match the exercises, choosing between stationary lunges, walking lunges, body weight squats, push ups, sit ups, planks, plank ups, jumping jacks, dumbbell rows, deadlifts, pull ups, and bicycles, just to name a few. Any strength building exercise would work in this routine.
- Don't rush through these exercises. You want to make sure that your form is solid and that you are engaging your muscles as you do them. Don't let momentum help you to do the exercises. Also remember to breathe as you do the reps.
- You should do strength training three times a week, with a rest day in between each day of training. This gives you maximum results and your body time to heal. On the off days, do cardio exercises.
Incorporate cardio.Although strength training does get your heart rate up, you still need to incorporate a few days of cardio workouts into your weekly routine. It helps you burn calories and increases endurance, heart health, and overall fitness. This will help you feel better and burn more calories on a daily basis.
- One of the best cardio exercises is running. It is really tough for some people, though others are natural runners. If you can't run for a long time at first, work up to it through intervals with programs such as Couch to 5K. You can go at your own pace and work up to running for longer periods of time. Over time, this will help you keep your weight off.
- If you hate to run or have bad knees or other injuries, try lower impact cardio such as elliptical or spin machines. Elliptical machines work much like running on a treadmill, but it decreases the impact by making it a continual motion with no impact involved. Spin, which is intense stationary cycling, also decreases the stress put on your legs by running. Try to find a spin class at the local gym. These workouts are intense but fun, incorporating music with high intensity cardio.
- One of the best cardio motivators is good music. If you find yourself struggling to keep going, put some songs on your phone or music player that make you feel happy, energetic, and strong. Listening to them will make you want to work out longer and harder. Eventually, cardio will become part of your weekly routine, which will help you keep your weight off.
Try HIIT.If you want something a little more advanced for both cardio and strength training, try high intensity interval training (HIIT), which is the alternation of intervals of high intensity with moderate to low intensity, usually done in a 1-2 ratio. It burns more fat. It also keeps burning fat after you work out because the intervals jumpstart your metabolism and you burn calories for up to 24 hours after you work out.
- For cardio, start with a 3-5 minute warm up. Then, sprint as fast as you can for 30 seconds and then walk or slow jog for 60 seconds. Do 5-10 cycles of this, then cool down for 3-5 minutes. You want to get your heart rate way up with the sprints and then get it lower with your moderate to low intensity interval. You can also go up in your time as you get better, to 60 seconds sprinting and 120 seconds walking or jogging.
- For strength training, the ratios are flipped because the intensity is not as extreme. Start with a 3-5 minute warm up. Then, do eight rounds each of 20 seconds intense, 10 seconds rest intervals of the exercises such as squats, jumping jacks, lunges, planks, plank ups, push ups, sit ups, bicycles, skaters, and high knees. Since you want to hit around 30 minutes of intense routine time, choose 8 exercises to run through the intervals. You can change up these exercises and do whichever you think will help the areas you are trying to strengthen.
- There are many HIIT channels for free on YouTube, such as Fitness Blender and Body Rocker.
Start going to classes.It can be really difficult to motivate yourself to workout if you have to work out alone. Check into your local gym and see if they have classes that fit into your schedule. Many gyms offer weight training classes, cardio classes, as well as classes that mix the two. Find the kind of class that works for you so you will be excited about going to it. Try to fit two or three into your schedule each week to help you lose and keep your weight off.
- If you like weight training, find a class like power, body combat, or other strength training focused classes. They make up routines for you and make it fun by putting them to music.
- If you like dancing, try a class like zumba. It is a great mixture of cardio and muscle toning that is also really fun to do.
Do it when you can.If you find that you have a really tough schedule that doesn't leave much room for a ton of exercise, try to incorporate as much as you can at intervals throughout the day. Take a fifteen minute walk around the block, do a few sets of push ups, squats, lunges, or sit ups when you have a few minutes free. If you slowly start integrating it into your routine, it will help you burn more calories.
- Only do this on really busy days. You should still try to work out on a regular basis, but this method works on those days that are just too busy to fit a 45 minute routine into your day.
- Make it a group endeavor to help you stick to it. Instead of going out for food or drinks with your friends or colleagues after work, go work out at the gym or for a walk or run at the local track. This will allow you to keep your time with your friends but will help all of you be healthier and lose weight.
Eat a sensible breakfast.One of the worst things you can do for weight loss is skip breakfast. If you eat early in the morning when you wake up, your metabolism will start working as soon as you get up. If you skip breakfast, your body goes into starvation mode and will stop burning fat as you expend calories during the morning. Plus, you will be less likely to give in to the temptation to snack throughout the day. Eat a sensible breakfast with protein, fruits, and whole grains to decrease your appetite throughout the day and help your metabolism work better.
- Have a piece of whole wheat or whole grain bread with some peanut or almond butter and a piece of fruit. You can also make it into a peanut butter and banana or apple sandwich. This meal has plenty of protein and whole grains to keep you full throughout the morning.
- Try half a cup of old fashioned oatmeal with a tablespoon of nuts and a half a cup of fruit. Microwave the fruit to warm it and mix it and the nuts into the oatmeal once you've cooked it. Use combinations like strawberries and almonds or bananas and walnuts.This gives you a hearty breakfast that will keep you full longer. It also has just the right amount of sweetness to satiate your sweet tooth.
- If you don't like oatmeal, try an egg white omelette with spinach, tomato, and avocado. Mix 1/4 cup spinach into the omelette and have some cherry tomatoes and fourth of an avocado on the side. This has plenty of protein, fiber, and other essential nutrients that will sustain you throughout the day.
Have balanced lunches and dinners.If you have balanced lunches and dinners, you are less likely to overeat throughout the day, which will help you keep your weight off. Combine protein rich foods such as fish, chicken, other lean meats, beans, nuts, and tofu with fiber rich foods such as whole grains and vegetables to fill yourself up with every meal. The two components work together to keep you satisfied and fuller for longer periods of time.
- For lunch, try a salmon salad with sauteed salmon, spinach, pecans, tomatoes, and feta cheese. You can also try chicken salad made with Greek yogurt, nuts, and grapes in half of a whole-wheat pita.
- For dinner, try a fillet of tilapia sauteed with tomatoes and dill with a side of roasted broccoli, a portion of great northern beans, and sauteed green beans. You can also try baked tofu with chickpeas, kale chips, and roasted brussel sprouts.
- Avoid foods with a lot of carbohydrates and sugars. Pasta, rice, and other starchy carbs will keep the pounds on you or pack them back on. Eat grains such as brown rice or quinoa if you want these foods in your diet.
- Also focus on portions. You don't want your plate overrun with too much food or too many calories. Make sure half your plate is full of vegetables and avoid large helpings.
Make healthy snacks.Eating a small snack between meals will help you eat less during your meals and keep you from overeating. Snacks are typically eaten between each meal and between dinner and bed. Try to aim for two snacks a day during the times that you find yourself getting the most hungry. For example, if you find yourself getting hungry between lunch and dinner and between dinner and bed, have your snacks then. If you are hungry between breakfast and lunch and between dinner and bed, eat then. Just make sure they are small and healthy snacks, not full meals.
- Try eating a tablespoon or two of almond butter with an apple or carrot sticks or a small wrap or half sandwich with a fourth a cup of chicken salad made with Greek yogurt and grapes. The protein will fight off hunger and the sweetness will help keep you satisfied.
Eat more vegetables.Vegetables are essential to any healthy lifestyle and will help you keep the weight off. Vegetables like kale, spinach, squash, avocado, beets, turnips, and carrots are full of fiber, potassium, and essential vitamins and nutrients that will help you stay healthy and lose weight. This will also help you eat less meat and carbohydrates such as pasta, which are full of fat and calories. Incorporate them into two to three of your meals as well as your snacks. The added fiber and other nutrients will help you get full faster, which will help you eat less and lose weight. Plus, you will be healthier overall.
- In meals that you love such as pizza, instead of adding tons of cheese or pepperoni, try adding more veggies such as spinach, peppers, artichokes, tomatoes, or broccoli. Also switch to whole wheat crust. The veggies and crust taste great on the pizza and will actually fill you up faster, which will help you eat less and lose more weight.
- For a snack, have carrots with a tablespoon of hummus or peanut butter. The carrots are great for dipping and they taste great with both of these spreads. Plus, the fiber and protein in the snack will cut your cravings fast.
- Instead of french fries, try some veggie fries instead. Try roasting other root veggies such as beets, squash, and turnips for dinner. Cut them into strips, sprinkle them with extra virgin olive oil and sea salt, and cook them in the oven. They are a much healthier option than potatoes and will fill you up faster.
- Opt for dark leafy greens such as kale, mustard greens or spinach instead of lettuce. These dark green leaves are rich in antioxidants as well as vitamins A, C, E and K. They also have tons of fiber to keep your feeling full and satisfied longer.
- If you love pasta, substitute zucchini or spaghetti squash for your noodles. They have a similar texture and consistency as pasta but with much fewer calories and carbohydrates and many more hunger and fat fighting nutrients. Simply cut your zucchini into thin strips either by hand or with a vegetable cutter. The spaghetti squash comes out of the rind in tendrils that look like spaghetti, which is where it got its name. Sauté the vegetables in a pan with a little bit of water until they are cooked. Then add the rest of your ingredients like you normally would for a great and healthy Italian dinner.
Avoid fat-free options.While eating meat and oils that are lower in fat is good for you, avoid buying fat-free products, particularly dairy-derived products other than milk. The natural fats that appear in foods actually help you stay fuller longer. Plus, when the fat is removed from products like yogurt, manufacturers typically incorporate additives, such as excess sugar, that are less nutritious. In the long run, the extra fat will actually help you eat less and keep your weight off.
- Try to buy lite options of dairy products instead. The only difference is that these are typically made with 2% milk instead of whole. These products don't have additives and still have hunger fighting fats, but they have less fat overall.
Cut out calorie heavy drinks.Drinks can be a hidden source of extra calories in your everyday life. If you drink sugary sodas, you add a few hundred calories to your diet per can. Instead, substitute water for soda and regular coffee or hot tea for your latte. Even natural choices such as fruit juices pack tons of sugar. Opt for a piece of whole fruit instead, which provides valuable fiber.
- If you want to add something to your coffee, add some 2% or skim milk instead of cream. If you like sweetener, substitute all natural, no calorie sweeteners such as stevia or monk fruit.
- If you like the carbonation of sodas, try seltzer water. You get the carbonation of soda without the sugar and artificial ingredients.
Stop eating out.One of the worst things for weight loss is eating out. The ingredients and calorie content are hard to control, so you can end up eating way too many calories without realizing. Try to cook at home as much as possible. This way, you can control what kinds of foods you are eating and keep the nutrition balance.
- If you have to eat out, try grilled meat options with vegetables or salads with minimal or no dressing. Also pay attention to portion sizes. Split a portion if it seems like it is larger than necessary for one person.
- Steer clear of pasta, fatty meats, and fried foods. These are full of calories and lack nutrients that will help you stay fuller longer.
Ditch junk food.When you are at the grocery store, avoid picking up any junk food such as chips, candy, or heavy desserts. If you don't have them in your house, you won't be tempted to splurge on them in a moment of weakness. Instead, buy healthy options for snacking, such as nuts, peanut or almond butter, fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, raisins, or dark chocolate.
- Try making a trail mix with unsalted almonds, raisins or dried apricots, dark chocolate morsels, and all natural granola. The mixture has sweet and savory elements and is packed with hunger fighting nutrients.
Eat foods you love in moderation.There are certain foods that all of us love that aren't the most healthy. Instead of cutting out these foods forever, allow yourself to have them every once in a while to maintain a sense of balance. Try not to use food to reward yourself for hitting a certain weight or dieting goal, but go ahead and have a slice of cake on your birthday.
- Achieving good health is all about making conscious choices for better fitness but still enjoying life
QuestionWhat is the best food to give up to lose weight?
Registered DietitianRegistered DietitianExpert AnswerGive up sweetened drinks such as soda, fruit juice, lemonade, and sweet tea. These cause weight gain and put you at risk for diabetes.Thanks!
QuestionHow do you lose weight permanently?
Registered DietitianRegistered DietitianExpert AnswerOnce you lose the weight, do not change your lifestyle back to your old habits. Continue with good nutrition and exercise even after the weight is off.Thanks!
QuestionWhat is the healthiest way to lose weight?
Registered DietitianRegistered DietitianExpert AnswerAvoid fad diets and focus on eating smaller portions and healthier foods to lose weight. Including vegetables and fruit into every meal is a healthy choice.Thanks!
QuestionWhat is the very best way to lose weight?
Registered DietitianRegistered DietitianExpert AnswerIf you can include diet and exercise into your life, you will be successful with weight loss.Thanks!
QuestionI have tried dieting for 9 months, but I still haven't lost anything. I have boiled eggs for breakfast, a healthy lunch, and also a healthy dinner. I haven't been rewarding myself that much and I exercise everyday for at least 2 hours! What can I do?
Registered DietitianRegistered DietitianExpert AnswerIt sounds like you have the right idea! Start a food journal on paper or using an app such as MyFitnessPal. Take 2 weeks of information to your doctor and ask for a referral to see a Registered Dietitian.Thanks!
QuestionWhat kind of vegetables and fruits should I eat while trying to lose weight?
Registered DietitianRegistered DietitianExpert AnswerVegetables and fruit are great options for those of us losing weight or maintaining weight. Aim to make half of your plate vegetables and fruit. Dark, leafy greens have a lot of benefits, as do brightly colored vegetables like peppers, carrots, and eggplant.Thanks!
QuestionCan I eat out once a week?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, you should allow your self one cheat day per week. Don't overdo it, though!Thanks!
QuestionIs the gym not good for teenagers?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThe gym is just fine for teenagers. Teens just shouldn't do extreme workouts as their bodies are still growing.Thanks!
- Take your time when exercising. Listen to your body because you don't want to injure yourself. If the exercises are too much for you, pull back until you build up your endurance and muscles. Any exercise is good as long as you safely push yourself to get better.
- Eating healthier can improve your physical strength and self esteem. Good nutrition doesn’t have to be a struggle. Strive for small, achievable lifestyle changes to make steady progress toward your goals.
- Keeping weight off or losing regained weight is not impossible but it takes work. Keep at it and you'll see results.
- Do not skip meals.
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