Small, manageable changes can make a weight loss plan easier to stick with.
Trying to completely overhaul your eating habits and start a new fitness program can take your weight loss goals and turn them into a failed, frustrating endeavor very quickly. Making small and realistic steps toward a healthier life will improve your body composition by promoting muscle growth and fat loss. Start with small dietary changes and some form of activity to create a long-term, lasting foundation to win at losing weight.
Don't Drink Your Calories
Making smart beverage choices can really impact your weight loss success and doesn't take much effort. Replace more of your beverages with water. Soda, juice, alcoholic beverages and flavored coffee drinks lack nutrients but contain plenty of calories and sugar that will only pack on the pounds. Make it a daily goal to drink at least 64 oz. of water.
Eliminate any temptations at home and avoid buying junk food like chips, cookies and candy. Stock your kitchen with more fresh fruits and vegetables so you have options when you get hungry in between meals. Fruit and vegetables are nutrient-dense, meaning they are loaded with vitamins and minerals with a minimal amount of calories.
Use smaller plates and eat smaller portions of food. It's easy to consume too many calories if you serve yourself large portions of food that you feel like you have to finish. Fill your plate with non-fried protein and vegetables first before adding side dishes, like potatoes or pastas. When you are done eating, wait at least 20 minutes and give yourself a chance to feel full before going for a second helping.
Find at least a few minutes each day to do something active that you enjoy. This could be a family game of basketball, riding your bike, walking or swimming. Start with as few as five to 10 minutes and make it a goal to move each day with a variety of activities. As you find an activity becomes very easy, try to work at a faster pace, increase the time you're active or alternate what exercises you perform.
Having muscle mass goes a long way for losing weight. The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism is and the faster you can shed excess weight. If you are unfamiliar with weightlifting or strength training, try body weight exercises first. Pushups, lunges, squats and crunches help tone muscles and require no additional equipment. Once you have established some strength add in some dumbbells and try bicep curls, overhead presses and weighted squats. Don't focus on hitting a specific number of repetitions and sets, instead focus on using exercises and weights that tire your muscles out within 90 seconds.