You didn't get to your current weight overnight, and you probably won't arrive at your goal weight by tomorrow. Instead of going on a crazy fad diet, slip these simple tips into your routine throughout the day and you'll drop pounds in no time. Here are 34 tips for different times of the day to take a bit of the pain out of weight loss.
#1 Start your day with some cardio
When you wake up, you have the chance to set yourself up for the rest of your day. This is an opportunity to fit in workout that will burn calories and increase your metabolism. Not for everyone, but if you can wake up a bit early, do it. Alternatively, if you can walk to work, that's a great way to get in some light cardio as well.
There are different theories on what to eat for breakfast, but all diets seem to agree: you should eat something for breakfast.
#2 Eat breakfast, don’t skip it
Start the day with a 300 calorie breakfast. Protein keeps down the hunger pangs for the rest of the day.
#3 Eat grapefruit slices with breakfast
Vitamin C inhibits the production of cortisol, a hormone that tells your body to store fat.
The afternoon is a tempting time to go off your diet. You get frustrated and get out a candy bar. A bit of planning ahead can save you from this situation.
Afternoon begins with lunch. Time to continue good habits and eat a strategic lunch for fat burning followed by a short walk or workout if you can fit it in.
#4 Make a go-to short list of healthy lunch options
If you work, you should scout out your area for restaurants that serve healthy lunch options. Make a collection so that you always have options on hand in case you need to go out for lunch. Decide what you're going to order ahead of time and stick to it.
#5 Enjoy the seasons
Wherever you are, take advantage of any opportunities to go for a walk outside and enjoy the scenery. This will help to burn off some calories and improve your mood.
#6 Run 20 minutes a day at lunch
If you want to lose weight really fast, fit in a twenty minute run every day or every other day at lunch time. You can lose 20 pounds in two months with that alone.
Snacks are inevitable. Otherwise, you'll binge at your next meal. The key is to go for healthy options.
#7 Don’t stock up on “bad” snacks
Don't plan for failure by buying potato chips, chocolate, or ice cream and storing it in a convenient place for you to be tempted. Don't buy it or get rid of it.
#8 Have healthy snack options on hand
You need to stock up on light, healthy snack options such as apples, raw almonds, carrots, and low calorie energy bars.
After work is the next hurdle to losing weight. Your friends might tempt you to go out for drinks, or you might indulge on your commute home with a drink or snack. Again, planning ahead is the key.
#9 Healthy Hour instead of Happy Hour
Get your friends together to go for a walk instead of drinks after work.
#10 G0 to the gym
Going to the gym after work is a great option for avoiding dangerous eating situations and burning calories and fat. After you work out, you're also feel less hungry to overeat at dinner.
Dinnertime is of course a huge opportunity to binge and go off your diet. Here are a few options for reducing the sting without starving yourself.
#11 Swap in low calorie alternatives in meals; add fiber
Use low fat cheese in pizza, for example. Eat a salad instead of a second slice. Have a whole wheat pizza. Add vegetables like red bell peppers.
#12 Serve on a small plate
You’ll signal your body you’re getting enough to eat.
#13 Break the dinner + TV habit
Part of the cause of overeating at dinner is boredom. Sit at the table and have some conversation, or do an activity instead. Distract yourself from food.
#14 Add vegetables
Don't focus on removing options but instead try to add a lot of vegetables. Eat those first. Sides of vegetables such as brocolli, brussel sprouts and cauliflower will add fiber to your diet and fill you up.
Going out to restaurants is a guaranteed way to go off your diet. Look at the restaurant before you go and know what you're up against.
#15 Order without looking at the menu
Before you arrive at the restaurant, decide what it is you want to eat. Ask the server for that, they can usually figure out what matches that on the menu.
#16 Cut back on eating out
If you tend to go out to eat a lot, cut back to only one or two times a week. When you do go out, substitute salmon for beef and salad for bread.
#17 Go Dutch
Restaurants serve oversized portions. If you go out with friends, get in the habit of sharing your entres. If you go alone, see if you can order a half portion. You won't miss the extra and you'll feel less stuffed when you leave.
#18 Eat healthy before you go out
If you're going to go out to a place and definitely plan on eating the steak, try eating a lot of vegetables before you leave. Get out of starvation mode so you will have more willpower when you arrive.
You've gone all day and done a good job of reigning in the calories. Maybe you went for a jog at lunch time. Late evening is when we're most vulnerable to temptation.
If you're too busy to workout during the day, here is the time to add a workout.
#19 Workout multiple muscles
Try elliptical, step aerobics, swimming - anything that uses your entire body. It will burn more calories and raise your metabolism.
#20 Crank up your music player
If you feel unmotivated, put on your headphones and turn up your favorite tunes. Music is great for workout motivation and will increase your effort.
#21 If you hate “working out” – stop doing it
Some people just don't like working out. Period. If you're like that, don't fight it. Decide what activities you like to do and do those instead - riding your bike, going for a walk, playing basketball, walking the dog.
#22 Try five minute workouts
If you don't have time to workout, try fitting in short bursts of working out during the day. Do pushups against the counter when you're waiting for the microwave to finish. Get in a few lunges before you grab something to drink.
#23 Move to the music on TV
If you like to watch television shows that feature dancing or music, get up and move to the music. Alternatively, put on a video based on activities like working out, running, hiking, etc. It will get you motivated to move.
At some point, you need to ramp down your day and relax. Turn off the gadgets, pick up your favorite book, or sit outside if the weather's nice. Start to slow down your brain for getting some rest.
#24 Get enough sleep
Building muscle requires rest. Try to add 30 more minutes to your sleep schedule. If you can't do that, try to get in a power nap during the day.
If you go on a trip for business or holiday, that's the time when good habits die because you're distracted and thrown off your game. Again, use planning to your advantage to ensure you stay on track while on the road.
#25 Find workout and healthy food opportunities
When you go on your trip, stock up on a supply of healthy snacks to eat while you're deciding what to do for dinner. Throw portable workout gear in your luggage like elastic bands and learn some exercises you can do in your hotel room. See if they have a gym, and then use it.
ALL THE TIME
Try to be constantly on the lookout for opportunities to shave calories and throw in a mini-exercise. Do a couple of knee bends in the supermarket. Have half a slice of cake instead of the whole thing. Here are some additional tips you can use at any time.
#26 Patience is a virtue
This takes time. Stick with it. You'll be amazed how quickly the pounds drop when you apply just a few of these strategies.
#27 Take shortcuts
Switch out ice cream for strawberries. Take baby steps. Making just a few simple lifestyle changes can pack a big weight loss punch over time.
#28 Add, don’t subtract
Focus on adding healthy and delicious food in abundance, rather than on not eating your favorite food. Give instead of taking away.
#29 No fad diets
Avoid fad diets. You'll lose weight, then gain it back, plus a couple of pounds.
#30 Use the 80/20 rule
When eating, go for 80% healthy, 20% fun. It keeps you motivated.
#31 Never force yourself
Think in terms of “want to” rather than “have to.” No one likes to be forced to do something.
#32 Drink water!
If you can down one or two 8 ounce glasses of water before eating, you'll be amazed at how much this decreases your appetite. Alternatively, eat an apple. Few calories and lots of fiber.
#33 Smoke and drink less
This is a no-brainer, but if you want to lose weight, do it.
#34 Purge your kitchen of unhealthy foods
It's easy to throw a bag of chips into your cart when shopping. Instead, focus on adding a lot of healthy snacks like vegetables.