It is vital to not lose strength when you are trying to shed those extra pounds. The worst thing you could do would be to go on a crash diet. You might lose some weight swiftly, but the damage it does to your body will linger for a long time. This includes among others anxiety, depression, eating disorders, loss of energy caused by muscular loss, and weakened bones. In some cases, there could be reduced ability to work might be caused by a slowed metabolism, compromised immunity, and slowed cell and organ function. Further, when you are on a crash diet, it would be dangerous to exercise vigorously, especially cardio or strength training, which essentially puts your fitness program on the backburner.
Set long term goals, and several short-term goals as to how much weight you are going to lose in a year beginning with weekly, monthly, and quarterly goals. You need to burn fat, not lose muscular mass to achieve the figure you want. You are going to need discipline aplenty to draw up a weight loss plan, and stick to it.
Quite often, it isn’t losing weight, but keeping it off which becomes the real challenge. If you are moderately overweight, losing weight might simply involve making lifestyle changes, doing some light exercises, and moderating your diet. Sometimes, taking a brisk morning walk, or jogging is all that is needed to get you on the path of using up any excess nourishment you might have packed in, or to counteract the ill effects of a sedentary life. It could also mean walking, or cycling wherever possible instead of taking a car, or a bus. If you can’t go for a morning walk due to the pressure of sending people to school, college, office, and your own hectic schedule; take a walk after dinner every night.
Therefore, whatever weight loss program you follow, you should plan your day in advance to ensure you have adequate time to exercise, work, play games on the field or court, and to eat regular meals. Ideally, plan even the kind of food you will eat that day to get optimal nutrition without getting bored with your diet, which should have fewer calories than you need during the day to burn fat. Even if your diet plan suggests intermittent fasting; you must keep drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
If you are the kind of person who reaches for a soft drink or an energy drink when thirsty; set up reminders to drink plain water, and eliminate, or cut down on the cold drinks. Moreover, water temporarily enhances your metabolism rate to start burning calories. Your other options include unsweetened black coffee (which acts as an appetite suppressant), and green tea. If you have high blood pressure, or tachycardia, you want to go easy on coffee, and simply stick to water. Since alcohol makes you gain weight, stay off it when you are trying to lose weight. The compensatory workout you need to counteract drinking a glass or two of alcohol will be pretty stiff. Substitute it with freshly crushed fruit juice.
You must also have a regular schedule mapped out for exercising; including planning what kind of exercises you intend to do on a particular day. Vary your workout schedule by type to ensure that all the muscles of your body get toned, and burn the fat. You must also ensure that you give yourself days of rest periodically, since you don’t want muscle injury.
If you are 20 kilos overweight, don’t expect to lose it all in a week or two, or even in a month. However, losing 12 kilos in three months is feasible if you are young, healthy, sensible, and tenacious. If you have been steadily gaining weight; the first thing to achieve is status quo. You can reverse it only if you have stopped gaining weight. You will begin losing weight with patience, and by setting realistic, achievable goals. If you plan to lose two to five kilos in the first month, you are likelier to achieve your goal. What can often be misleading is that when you go on a liquid diet, you seem to lose inches without any major reduction of weight. However, you won’t go from a plus size to size zero in a great hurry, even if you are young enough; highly unlikely, if you are over forty.
If you have a desk job, or have to remain standing or seated for very long hours; you won’t be able to (rather, shouldn’t) plunge into vigorous weight training, or cardio straightaway. Just get up and walk around a little, and stretch, if seated. If you have been standing for a long time, do a bit of spot jogging to activate circulation. Much also depends on your current state of health, weight, and your age. An overweight teen is unlikely to find doing vigorous exercises as challenging as an obese, middle aged person with arthritis would. However, both need to lose weight for different reasons. Yoga, simple floor exercises, skipping, and walking are a good place to begin before moving on to the harder workouts like rowing, running long distances, aerobics, weight training, Pilates, and boxing.
It also means that you eat mindfully, chewing every morsel carefully, rather than bolting your food. It makes you feel fuller after eating less food. What you eat will also impact how much you lose, and at what speed. If you savor your food instead of watching the TV or reading when eating, you enjoy satiety earlier, and avoid absentminded eating.
The biggest mistake people make is to try and live off salads, and/or liquids when they are in a hurry to lose weight. It only makes you feel hungry all the time, and irritable. Instead, you should eat three larger meals, with a snack between breakfast and lunch; and again between lunch and dinner. However, if you prefer to dine by six or seven in the evening, but go to bed around ten or eleven; you might have a supper of frozen yogurt, or a smoothie in summer, or a bowl of hot homemade soup in winter. You must have it at least an hour and a half before going to bed. You could also have some fiber rich fresh fruit to allay hunger pangs, and burn fat while you sleep.
Punch a Pack With Proteins, Low Carbs, and Healthy Fats
You don’t have to sacrifice taste. Eating wisely means you eat plenty of proteins like those found in paneer, tofu, fish, poultry, eggs, sprouts, lentils, legumes, and nuts like almonds, cashews, soy, walnuts, even peanuts. Use healthy fats to cook. Cut out fast foods, processed foods, anything high on sugar, refined flours, lard, margarine, hydrogenated oils, and alcohol. Instead, go for fiber rich foods like oats, bran, whole wheat flour, flax or chia seeds, and quinoa. Load up on fruits and vegetables like melons, apples, oranges, papaya, pomegranate seeds, avocados, bananas, pineapples, sweet potatoes, broccoli, spinach, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, lettuce, bell peppers, cabbage, and low carb vegetables like gourds. What you need is portion control, and well thought out menus.
Most importantly, get adequate sleep with a regular schedule for retiring for the night, and for waking up. Late nights make you gain weight faster which is more difficult to shed.