Every time of year is a good time to start losing weight. In the summer you want to be ready for beach weather, and in the winter it's time to keep those New Year's resolutions. But with our modern sedentary lifestyles and fast food on every street corner, it's easy to wake up one morning and realize that you're suddenly carrying an extra 10, 15, 20 pounds, or even more. To help you get your weight-loss goals back on track, here are the Top 10 Ways to Lose Weight.
1. Set a Goal With a Date.
A lot of people try to start losing weight by simply saying, "I want to lose 15 pounds." That's great, but without a set date, it's easy to veer off course. By giving yourself a time limit you'll be more focused and disciplined. Dates make things concrete, and when things are concrete, your progress will be measurable. Remember, A goal without a date is just a dream.
2. Tell your friends about your goal.
This means EVERYONE - your neighbors, your coworkers, even everyone on Facebook. By publicly announcing your goal you'll be making yourself accountable to everyone you know. I know, it may seem a little embarrassing at first, but this is one of the best ways to encourage yourself to stick to your goal.
3. Go for a walk each morning.
Before eating breakfast, spend some time walking. This doesn't mean you have to go crazy, a mere 20-30 minutes three times per week is a great way to start. Not only does this burn extra calories, it will also increase your metabolism, meaning that you'll burn more calories throughout the day. As an added benefit, you'll feel more alert and energetic.
4. Stop drinking extra calories!
The easiest way to over-consume each day is by drinking high calorie sodas, coffees, and alcoholic beverages. What's worse is that these drinks often contain the worst types of calories - simple sugars that spike your insulin levels. By limiting yourself to water (and black coffee), you can eliminate a substantial portion of your daily caloric intake.
5. Eat nutrient dense foods
Fruits and vegetables are nutrient dense, meaning they contain lots of vitamins and minerals. Once your body becomes accustomed to having all the micronutrients that it needs, you'll feel less hungry, and have more energy. You can also supplement your micronutrient needs by taking a high quality multi-vitamin.
6. Drink water before your meals
By drinking a glass of water before your meals, you can cut down your appetite and eat less.
7. Avoid starchy foods for 5 hours before bed
One of the easiest ways to gain weight is by eating junk food while watching TV and then going straight to bed, yet it seems to be an American tradition. Popcorn, potato chips, pretzels... all of these foods are a terrific way to gain weight, but if you're serious about slimming down then these will have to go. If you find that you have to have a TV snack, then switch to something low in sugar, like a small handful of sunflower seeds or almonds, but eventually you should try to cut down on these as well. (Refer to number one and set a date!)
8. Stop eating 3 hours before bed
No more snacks! By stopping your eating three hours before bed, you'll give your body a chance to burn off your dinner while you're awake, instead of your body turning it into fat while you sleep.
9. Eat at the same time every day
By eating at the same time every day, your body will get into a natural metabolic rhythm, which is ideal for weight loss. Eventually your late night cravings will go away and you'll only be hungry at designated meal times.
10. Pack your lunch
When you find yourself starving at the office, it's easy to rush out to the nearest fast food restaurant and get a calorie dense lunch, but if you pack your lunch in the morning then you won't have any need to do that. Not only will this help you lose weight, you'll also save more money each month since you won't be making impulse food purchases.