1. Just Get Started
Many times, you may hear conflicting information from different sources about how you should go about accomplishing your goals; confused with information, you attempt to analyze the best route of action…but then you realize that it conflicts with someone else’s advice. You end up freezing like a deer stuck in headlights. The best course of action is to just get started and do something! Believe it or not, that is the hardest part anyway!
2. Set Goals
You won’t get anywhere if you don’t know where you’re going. This is why it is important to set goals because they will help to show you the correct path to take and will also add further motivation.
3. Focus on Body Fat, Not Body Weight
Obviously, this article is entitled “17 Surefire Strategies to Lose Weight,” but this isn’t what you really want to focus on. An increase in muscle mass and fluctuating water weight can provide you with skewed results. The solution is to measure your progress by several measures of circumference of your different body parts or just buy some calipers.
4. Create a Caloric Deficit
Each person burns a certain (changing) numbers of calories per day; this is known as TDEE. In order to cut down on your body fat, you must create a caloric deficit. To do this, simply eat a lower amount of calories than your TDEE. However, you must not reduce your calories by too much, otherwise you will slow down your metabolism; it is best to reduce your calorie consumption by about 750 calories or 20% of your TDEE.
5. Keep Track of Your Caloric Intake
Creating a caloric deficit requires a bit of planning. You need to know how many calories are in the foods you eat, and then tally them up to get a total. Doing this may seem like a hassle, but as you become better at this skill and memorize certain foods you can get a better “guess” of how many calories you have consumed.
6. Higher Satiety, Lower Calories
A stomach full of Jello and a stomach full of peanut butter feel the same, but they are worth much different amounts in the world of calories. One strategy that you can use to create a caloric deficit is to eat foods that are more filling, but contain a lower amount of calories.
7. Drink Water
In addition to the numerous amount of health benefits that water provides, you can also use it as a drink that provides no calories, but fills you up. Got a craving for that candy bar? Drink some water.
8. Cut Back on Soft Drinks
Although drinks like water can make you feel full and provide no calories, they have a low satiety rate because they are easy to digest. A low satiety rate combined with several calories makes soft drinks a hazard to the dieter. Even though many diet soft drinks now contain a low number of calories, the sweeteners can spike insulin levels and also (opinions differ on this) may contain to some health related side effects.
9. Avoid Alcohol
Alcohol has a low satiety rate, a relatively high caloric rate (alcohol contains 7 calories per gram), and can also cause you to become thirstier or hungrier…ever wonder why the bars always have snacks likes peanuts?
10. Avoid Fad Diets
Fad diets many times stress a specific part of nutrition without bothering to go over fundamentals like caloric deficits. In addition, most of these diets cause a person to go far below the safety zone in regards to the degree of caloric deficit. This causes the body to think it is starving; therefore, it lowers its TDEE. The cycle then repeats and the person becomes a yo-yo dieter.
11. Eat Complex Carbohydrates
Eating complex carbohydrates or carbohydrates with a low glycemic index will help to keep your blood sugar levels stable. When blood sugar levels are not stable, the body begins to store fat. However, eating the type of carbohydrates comes second to creating a caloric deficit.
12. Eat Healthy Fats
Not all fats are bad and, even, necessarily fattening. You should strive to avoid fats such as the trans fats or saturated fats. However, fats such as polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats provide numerous health benefits, can help regulate cholesterol, and can even help to further build muscle since they are needed in the synthesis of hormones. However, even with the healthy fats, one should watch the consumption of this nutrient because it does have a high amount of calories (9 calories per gram of fat).
13. Don’t Buy Junk Food
One easy way to avoid eating unhealthy, caloric dense snacks that would otherwise put you over your set number of calories for a health calorie deficit is to simply not buy them – therefore it takes away the convenience you have at your house of eating these foods.
14. Have a “Cheat Day” Every Once in a While
Having a cheat day every now and then (about once a week or less) can help to remind you of the habits you are trying to break and it can also give you a needed break from your regime (not all health foods taste bad though). Cheat days are usually on a person by person basis; not everyone does them. It is your decision as to whether or not you need one.
15. Eat More Frequently
An easy way to boost your metabolism and help to keep more of your muscle is to eat more frequently. It is usually recommended to eat roughly 6-8 meals per day instead of the usual three.
16. Aerobic Workouts
One way to create a caloric deficit is to reduce the amount of food you eat. The other way is to increase your TDEE; you do this by working out or eating more frequently as stated above. Creating the caloric deficit only through eating initiates a primitive response in the body to think that it is starving; therefore, it is best to create half of your caloric deficit through working out and the other half through a reduction in calorie consumption. The most basic and used form of this is the aerobic workout.
17. Lift Weights
In addition to aerobic workouts, one can lift weights to raise the TDEE. The actual process of lifting weights burns extra calories as does the muscle that it builds. Also, muscle will give a healthier, more attractive, and more toned look compared to aerobic training alone. It is best to use both aerobic training and weight lifting in your workout regime.
That’s 17 of em’. Remember that following just one of these methods will not produce results. You must either follow all or very close to all of them to get the results that you (hopefully) are looking for. A big thing always results from many little things added together. You can find more information and get a free weight loss course at http://www.weight-loss-resources.com.
Johnny Lavot is an avid weight-loss and fitness researcher. You can find tons more information on these topics at http://www.weight-loss-resources.com.