Weight loss is a subject that many of us have poured over, worked from every angle, and, in some cases, still come up wanting. For many of us, there seems to be a constant struggle with our weight management, and we wait around, hoping to catch a whisper of the “miracle” weight loss plan that will end our struggle once and for all. The LNF on that is: it’s not gonna happen!
The fastest ways to lose weight is not a pill, or a crash diet, or any other weight loss fad. The true key to losing weight is not to focus so much on a number on the scale, but to examine your lifestyle. Make changes in favor of healthier habits, and the weight loss will follow.
It is true, the more weight you have to lose, the more focused you must be on your new habits and lifestyle. If you are severely overweight, it is probably the case that you have developed a number of habits that have gotten you to that state, so therefore, the changes may feel more extreme. In the following paragraphs we will outline some of the most tried and proven changes you can make to your lifestyle, which quickly translate into the fastest ways to lose weight.
Examine Your Relationship with Food
Our relationship with food has so much to do with our body weight. Often the first step in a weight loss journey is to start a food diary. This helps you to accurately see how much you eat, when you eat and why you eat. Keep a food journal for a week or two before you actually make your new lifestyle plan. The data from your food diary will help you determine what kind of changes you need to make.
Ask yourself these questions: Am I an emotional eater? Do I eat when I am bored, sad or happy? If the answer is “yes,” don’t’ be too worried. Just knowing and understanding how you work will empower you to begin changing your responses to your emotions.
If you are not an emotional eater, do you just over eat? It is possible that you are simply in the habit of eating much more than you need. Learn about portion size, and see if that is one of the areas you need to change.
What do you eat? If most of the food you consume looks far from its original state (banana chips instead of banana, frozen dinners, etc.), it means you are eating a lot of processed foods. These foods are known for being high in calories, and low in nutrition. Many of us eat this way out of convenience, or because it seems more affordable.
When do you eat? Are you eating all throughout the day? Do you eat only when hungry? Word on the street is that your body’s metabolism is increased by eating smaller meals more regularly. Research shows 5 mini meals works better for shedding pounds than 3 larger ones.
Now that you have evaluated your relationship with food, it’s time to rediscover food. Food is not the enemy. In fact, you deserve wonderful, flavorful, healthy food every day. It is one of life’s purest pleasures!
Learn how to shop, and to truly expedite the fastest ways to lose weight, learn how to cook.
Start with vegetables. Nature has blessed us with vegetables in nearly every color, texture and flavor. If veggies have become boring and unattractive to you, you simply need to acquaint yourself with a few more of them. Do beware of veggies imposters: i.e. a salad consisting of a bed of iceberg lettuce, bacon bits, shredded cheese and bleu cheese dressing.
Brush your choice veggies with a little olive oil and broil them, or steam them with some broth. Roast them with fresh herbs. Have them raw or lightly steamed with a yogurt dill dip. Any of these choices are high in flavor and fiber, and low in calories and fat.
If veggies prepared similarly to the suggestions above make up half of your diet, or close, you are on track with one of the fastest ways to lose weight. To go along with that, choose lean proteins as often as possible. Up the beans and the whole grains. Avoid sugary, refined and processed foods. Yup, it’s all stuff you’ve heard before. Some health and nutrition experts say that 80% of the way we look comes from our diet. So there you have it.
Naturally, there are some foods you love, and life just won’t be the same if you are constantly deprived of them. This is where you pick your truest loves, and enjoy the very best quality version of them in moderation. If ice cream is your thing, don’t go for cheap store brand varieties, go straight for the Haagen Dazs, on occasion, and enjoy without guilt. You can do that because you are making enough healthy choices to compensate for the occasional treat.
Say “no” to the less healthy foods that you don’t absolutely love. Limit your splurges to a few things that truly bring you pleasure. If you can live without potato chips, but have to have a cream cheese bagel one in a while, refuse potato chips, but indulge in the bagel.
Don’t overlook your beverages either. They may need a revamping as well. Many people consume hundreds, or even thousands, of calories each day, without even realizing it because they pay no attention to what they are sipping. The beverage of choice for overall health and weight loss is water. The benefits of increasing your water intake go far beyond helping to slim you down.
Green tea has also been shown to be very beneficial in helping your body shed pounds. Other beverages should be consumed moderately, especially those high in sugar and fat. Think of frappuchinos, flavored ice teas and the like as “sometimes” treats.
Exercise, another thing we all have a love/hate relationship with. There is nothing quite as exhilarating as that feeling of euphoria after you kicked your own butt in a good work out. But, one of the most difficult things to psyche yourself up for is a work out. You’re tired, you ache, you’re too busy, and on and on the excuses go.
We don’t need to tell you that a good exercise program is at the top of the list of the fastest ways to lose weight. In fact, any exercise is a step in the right direction. The key is to find something you like, that way you are more apt to stick with it. For some people it’s walking, for others running. Some love to take a work out class, some choose to take dancing lessons. Anything is better than nothing.
Another approach to exercise is to hire a personal trainer for a few months, or as long as you can afford to. This is extremely effective for weight loss, changing the look of your body, and improving flexibility, core strength and lean muscle mass. The reason this is so effective is because you have someone there to lend some extra motivation and disciple to your routine.
You can also be your own trainer by setting a goal for yourself, working to beat your own record times, and continually challenging yourself. You may start out feeling that a 2 mile walk is sufficient for you, but you will be impressed with how quickly your body progresses to a higher level of fitness when challenged even a little bit. In time you might find yourself signing up for a half marathon.
Exercise is an essential ingredient to a healthy lifestyle, and any choice you make to increase your fitness level will go a long way in improve your quality of life.
Because the fastest ways to lose weight are all about healthy choices, look just a little bit beyond your exercise and diet to find all sorts of ways you can turbo boost your efforts. When you start looking, you will find opportunities for increased health and fitness everywhere!
Create an active lifestyle, one new habit at a time. Begin to park your car at the farther end of the parking lot so you get to walk a little more. Choose the stairs over the elevator. Take up a hobby that involves physical activity, like gardening, dancing or horseback riding.
Don’t turn on the TV by default. Sure watch your favorite shows, but don’t just plop down in front of the TV for no good reason. Not when you could do something more profitable like walk your dog, mow your lawn, or vacuum your floor.
Do you often eat out, either for convenience or for the socialness of it? Restaurant food can tend to be much higher in calories than home cooked food. Opt to eat at home more often and enjoy food that is catered to your body’s needs, and will cost you a whole lot less. Invite friends to come over for dinner, and create your own fun at home with great, healthy food, good company and conversation.
You may have started searching for the fastest ways to lose weight to help you break out of a frustrating weight gaining cycle, but as you work at making these changes in your life, you will see much more than a simple shedding of pounds taking place.
A tremendous confidence grows from seeing your choices pay off. You feel much better about yourself when you know you are fit, healthy and productive. Many a weight loss journey has led to exciting life changes far beyond the realm of weight loss, such as a new career in fitness, sports, nutrition or some other related field. You have learned so much in your journey, and are ready to share it with other. Or, perhaps your new found confidence convinces you to reach for a dream you have always felt was out of reach.
Find a new reward system
You’re going to be working hard to make the fastest ways to lose weight work for you. It takes discipline and perseverance to reach your goals. One of the best ways to reach a long term goal is to set mini goals along the way. Celebrate each achievement with a meaningful reward. Find things that you can look forward to, and that motivate you to keep going.
For example, you could take cooking classes. This would help you learn a new skill, and enhances your efforts to slim down. You could tell yourself that after you lose your first 10lbs you will get a new hair style, something that will make you feel stylish and beautiful. Perhaps at your 20lb mark you would need to get a new wardrobe, even if you still have a ways to go till you hit your ideal weight, you need at least a few outfits that fit your well at each stage of the journey.
If you have been an emotional eater, you need something new to reach for when the “happy” or “sad” munchies come a’ knockin’. You can try a manicure, going for a walk or a run outdoors, gardening, a good chat with a friend, or anything that takes your mind off food.
Sometimes finding an activity that is completely altruistic can work wonders in controlling unhealthy urges. Volunteering at a food pantry, your local YMCA, church, library, pet shelter, or any other place you feel could use your services, can help distract you from emotional impulses that used to control you.
Don’t look over this article and think “I could never do all that!” Remember, it’s a journey. It takes time. But, nothing succeeds like success. Each pound you shed, each healthy choice, each new habit, brings you one step closer to being what you want to be. The fastest ways to lose weight are to work within the natural parameters of your body, and increase your health and fitness.