So you've decided that you're tired of the love handles. You're tired of not being able to fit into those stylish jeans from 3 years ago. Or maybe you want to cut weight for a sporting event. Maybe you're doing it for health reasons – you have diabetes, or heart disease, or any number of conditions that improve with weight loss. Or, maybe you just want there to be less of you hanging around.
Regardless of the reason, Weight Loss is no easy task. There's a reason why there's tons of paid literature and videos on the subject. It requires consistent work and discipline. Not to worry though! Here are some simple tips to get you started on your journey.
Understand the Basics
The basic principle used to lose weight is called Calories In, Calories out. This principle is focused on calorie consumption. According to Calories In, Calories Out, or CICO for short, you want to consume less calories than you would burn in a day. For example, let's just say you burn 3000 calories. If you were to consume only 2500 calories in a day, consistently throughout the week, you would lose weight. Is your head spinning? Do you not want to deal with calorie counting right now? Well, good news – chances are you can make an easy change to consume less calories. But before we talk about that, we need to address …
One of the major issues with maintaining a healthy weight is the types of food we eat on an everyday basis. You're in a rush to work, so you do not have time to cook. What do you do? Go to the drive-thu for an Egg McMuffin. Did not pack a lunch? Time to go get a Cheeseburger. Do not feel like cooking dinner? Well, you do have those TV dinners in the freezer …
But you want to lose weight, right? And without even mentioning calories, the choices listed above are psychiatric death traps. They're high in fat, while lacking in nutritional content. They have sodium levels that are far beyond the recommed dietary allowance. These fast options are not only high in calories, but they typically leave you unsatisfied. Do you know the joke about Chinese food? The one where you're hungry 30 minutes later? Yeah, that applies to all fast food. One of the steps you can take to combat this is …
Who knows? Maybe you do not have the time to cook. I would highly recommend preparing your own meals. This puts you in control of your nutrition and allows you to monitor your intake easier. But if you're not able to do that, you can make healthier choices. Instead of that morning Egg McMuffin, why not grab some Oatmeal? Or a nutritious, delicious wrap. Instead of the Cheeseburger, why not a tasty salad with fruit on the side? Or a burrito with healthy fillings – like grilled chicken and black beans. Instead of a TV dinner, why not a lean cut of meat with some veggies? All of the alternatives listed can either be prepared at home or bought at a grocery store. Some of them can be bought at restaurants! Nowadays, it's easy to find alternatives for typically unhealthy options. All you need to do is look!
Now, if you just can not give up that Quesarito … there's another option
Due to our busy lifestyles, we often go for fast and easy solutions for food, as stated before. The consequence of these choices is we often choose calorie den foods. In order to lose weight, we need to consume less calories. While substituting for healthier options will typically mean less calories as well, sometimes you just gotta have a bit of junk food.
Fear not! If done right you can still have a bit of junk food. The secret? Eating less of it. And I do not mean eating only a bite of that Baconator either. Though if you can pull that off – hats off to you! I know I can not.
But really, a good way to start your weight loss journey is to simply eat a little less than what you would in a day. Get a small fry instead of a large fry. Eat one or two less bites out of that Baconator. Eat one TV dinner instead of two. Small changes like this will add up to weight loss over time. Although keep in mind, these options may not fill you up. You may be hungry sooner than you'd expect. Which is why you should also …
Drink More Water
Not only is water calorie free, but because it's calorie free, you can drink a ton of it without ruining your calorie goals. Water's also free in most cases (except you really like spending 3 bucks on a bottle from the gas station) so you can chug away! The extra fluid in your stomach will help satiate you for longer.
Also, did you know that sometimes when you feel hungry, you're actually dehydrated? Our bodies need fluids – water in particular – to function. When we're dehydrated, we get tired and sluggish. Our bodies and minds confuse this feeling with hunger. Your stomach reacts – it starts churning and gnawing at you, begging for more food. Next time this happens, drink a glass of water and wait 15 minutes. You've been surprised to find that most of the time, this is enough to fight hunger.
Not to mention, as you consume more water, you'll feel better. More energetic. More focused. More alert. Why? Because you're giving your body the difference it needs to move all those wonderful nutrients through your body. You're making your body more efficient when you drink more water, so just chug away! The general rule of thumb is 8 glasses of water a day.
Tying it all together
Weight loss does not have to be a daunting task. Yes, it requires discipline and some potential lifestyle changes. But they do not have to be drastic. Follow these simple tips and you may find yourself pleasantly surprised. And who knows? Maybe it'll be the catalyst that drives you to more change. Results often inspire greater change!