We all know how to lose weight. Eat healthy, be active — basically burn more calories than we take in. Knowing how to lose weight is the easy part. It’s the motivation, self-control and daily habits that keep us from reaching our weight loss goals. We live in a world filled with temptation, and that makes weight loss more of a mental challenge than a physical one.
Anything that is gimmicky, promises quick weight loss, or leads you to believe it’s easy is a bunch of crap. The only way to take weight off and keep it off is through consistency in your eating habits, activity level and mental well-being. You do NOT need to be perfect, but your lifestyle should consist of 80% or more of healthy habits.
Here, we step away from the gym and into your kitchen to present a practical list for cleaning up your eating habits and, as a result, your physique.
1. CHANGE YOUR LIFESTYLE.
When you go on a “program” to lose body fat, you may set yourself up for failure. A program implies an endpoint, which is when most people return to their previous habits. If you want to lose fat and keep it off, make changes that you can live with indefinitely. Don’t over-restrict calories, and find an exercise program that adequately challenges you, provides progression and offers sufficient variety so that you can maintain it for years to come.
2. DRINK MORE WATER.
Water is the medium in which most cellular activities take place, including the transport and burning of fat. In addition, drinking plenty of calorie-free water makes you feel full and eat less. Drink at least 1 ounce of water per 2 pounds of bodyweight a day (that’s 50 ounces for a 100-pound person). Keep a 20-ounce water bottle at your desk, fill it five times a day, and you’re set.
3. CONSUME FEWER CALORIES THAN YOU BURN.
To figure out how many calories you burn a day, calculate your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR)—the number of calories you burn daily doing routine activities, not including formal exercise—using this formula: RMR = bodyweight (in pounds) x 13. Next, determine how many calories you burn through exercise—a half-hour of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise burns around 350 calories in the average man, and a half-hour of lifting burns around 200. Add your RMR to the calories you burn in the gym, and keep your daily calorie consumption below that total.
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