One goal many of us have after the festive holidays is to lose weight. However, some of us approach weight loss the wrong way and either don’t lose or don’t lose the amount we want. Use these 5 tips to ensure you are successful:
Eat the right foods
During the festive holidays, different foods than what you normally stock were in your house. Hopefully those foods are gone and you have restocked with your normal fare. Most holiday foods are high in calories, saturated fat and sugar – all which can sabotage your weight loss attempts if kept in the house. Restock your pantry and frig with fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, lean meats and fatty fish (like mackerel, halibut, salmon and tuna).
Don’t skip breakfast
One common mistake people make trying to lose weight make is skipping breakfast thinking that by not consuming those calories, it will help with their weight loss. Wrong! By not eating breakfast in the morning, your body goes into starvation mode which slows down your metabolism – the process that burns calories, so you end up burning fewer calories than if you had eaten breakfast. Your Mom was right – breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
Eat smaller meals more often
By eating smaller meals more often, your body always has calories to burn so it keeps your metabolism working harder than it would if you only ate three meals per day. Just make sure all of calories from your smaller meals don’t add up to more calories than you should be eating in a day. By eating the right foods in small portions, you should stay within the calorie range right for your based on age, gender weight and activity level.
Taking in the right amount and type of calories is only half the battle. Burning them off is the other half. To lose weight you have to burn more calories than you eat. While cardio training, like running, walking, swimming, etc. burn the most calories, however you should also include strength training at least twice a week (but not two days in a row). By building muscle, your body will burn more calories, even while at rest, than it did before.
Get enough sleep
Studies have shown that not getting an adequate amount of sleep can increase your appetite, disrupt your metabolism – both which can slow down weight loss. And because you are exercising, your body needs sleep so it can repair the small muscle tears that happen from strength training.
Losing weight is not easy, but by following these 5 tips, it at least gives you a process to follow so you can be successful.
Andrea Stewart Roa, M.S.
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