5 tips to reduce weight that work

If you’ve been leading a sedentary lifestyle, your mind is full of guilt for not having the time to exercise. You feel bad for all those times you knew you shouldn’t but dug into a sumptuous burger or that sumptuous cheese pizza and slurped all those fizzy drinks that were beyond temptation. But now when you see yourself, you know it’s time you do something about it, and fast!

Overweight is something that I’ve struggled with for several years now. Every now and then, I constantly keep asking myself this question – realistically, how much weight can I lose in a week? I ask this to myself so I can make a projection and see how much I would lose in a month or in a quarter or in a year. You visualize yourself to be a lean, fit person who can then flaunt all those trendy garments that you never touched all these years. Did you also see people turning back and throwing glances? Well, you’ve reached too far then!

Begin with a week’s plan for best results. If you’ve been overweight all your life, it gets difficult to shed weight quickly. But if you know it’s been a recent addition, changes in lifestyle are also easy to incorporate. Experts warn of trying too hard to lose weight too fast. Not only does it affect your metabolism and your heart, it also shows up as loose skin you would never want in the bargain. It’s very important to understand your body type before trying to lose weight. The standards set in by the media are mostly unrealistic for all. Some people have more muscle mass and hence weigh heavy but look thin. Some bodies store water in excess and hence they weigh light but look heavy. Get yourself tested for your Body Mass Index (BMI) which is an accurate measure of how much you should ideally weigh for your height and age. Calorie intake is different for both men and women. Ideally, women must consume around 1200 calories while men need about 1600 per day. When you consume that much and shed as much, it results in a weight loss of about a kilo per week. That’s a good 4 kilos a month. Anything higher than this could have drastic impact on your health.

Start small, stay steady

That is the key to achieve your weekly goals of losing weight. Many people make the mistake of lofty goals like a few kilos per week which is an unrealistic target. Our body not being accustomed to all the turmoil, goes into defensive mode and starts storing fat in full gusto. Then when you see no significant difference, you’re left crestfallen and you tend to give up as quickly as you started.  It’s always advisable to have a buddy to begin with. Get your friend(s) to start with you so you know you’re not alone.

 

Small tips for big results

  1. Don’t deny your body anything
    Our body is like a child with big tantrums. When the mind decides it will not eat a particular food, the body craves for it all the more. So the key here is to provide all the foods but in small portions. It is not denying anything, but controlling how much you eat. Keep a cheat day when you can eat a little bit extra. Many people complain that it’s impossible to eat everything and yet lose weight. The solution here is to try and cook yourself with due attention to what you put in that wok. Be strict about your intake of sugar, rice, oil, butter, all purpose flour (refined flour), salt, dairy products and anything that has been processed. When you cook for yourself, you tend to be extra cautious.

 

  1. Keep a calorie journal
    Track your daily calorie intake. Mark it against your daily need and check if you’ve exceeded. Take efforts to shed more calories than you consume. That way, the body starts burning stored fat. A journal entry must also account for that candy, the bubble gum, the occasional handful of peanuts you popped in or the sip of coffee you had at the office. You tend to forget these things when you sit down to note your food but they add up to more calories. In the beginning, you may not lose much weight. Check for inches on your waist, hips and arms. At times, the body gets in shape before it loses actual fat.

 

  1. Feel full at every meal
    Not denying the senses their due feeling of fullness results in both the body and the mind being happy. If you can’t cook for yourself, feed on munchies like vegetables, fruits, sprouts just before meals so that you end up having little of the main course and yet feel full. All natural foods make you feel full quickly, get digested with ease and contain fewer calories.

 

  1. Be active
    Staying active requires calories being burnt. Take the steps, skip during free time, pace up and down as you take lengthy phone calls, run, walk or do yoga. Do anything that makes movement. Brisk walking, swimming, running burn more calories faster. You will be surprised how little calories are burnt with every hour’s exercise. So the next time you pop that cone of ice cream, count the hours you will need to shed it all. Find time for exercise. Only diet rarely helps and takes longer.

 

  1. Stay motivated
    You will be tempted at every step- from not waking up to exercise, to not resisting the temptation to eat the sweets made at home or offered to you and also when your body resists initially with all the muscular pain. Don’t give up. Keep yourself motivated but don’t keep standing on the weighing scale every hour. As they say, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a small step. Take that step. Put up pictures of thin role models, of the clothes you’ve always coveted but could never wear due to weight issues, in your room. That should motivate you even further. Ask your near and dear ones to cooperate so that they don’t tempt you by eating forbidden foods while you resist temptation. Take help of gadgets and technology that tracks your food and water intake, exercise and sleep schedules, calories and also vital body parameters.

Being fit and lean is every person’s dream. It can all start by making small changes, one week at a time.

What are some of the things that you have done to see the change in the scale? Take a moment and comment below your tips and tricks.


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