Use the meal as a reward for a week’s worth of hard work, or the completion of a project you’ve been dreading. “It’s OK for people to blow one meal a week without feeling guilty,” says James W. Anderson, M.D., director of the Metabolic Research Group at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. “If you follow a healthy diet 95% of the time, you can relax and enjoy yourself the other 5% of the time without gaining weight.”
You're busy. No question. But are you as busy as you think? It's time to take a good look at how you're spending your time—you may be able to reorganize activities or eliminate them altogether (you'll be amazed at how free you evenings suddenly become just by clicking off the TV). You've probably heard the following advice before, but have you really tried them? Now's your chance.
Do high intensity interval training (HIIT). HIIT is an exercise program that alternates intense exercises with short intervals of recovery or rest. This type of exercise will help you burn fat fast. High intensity exercises force your body to use the sugars in your body and allows you to burn fat faster than low intensity workouts. You will also use stored body fat during the recovery phase, which will reduce your stored body fat. You can perform HIIT exercises with gym equipment, or an exercise mat and a few free weights. There are several popular HIIT programs, including:
While many people turn to artificial sweeteners in a misguided attempt to whittle their waistlines, those fake sugars are likely to have the opposite effect. According to Yale researchers, artificial sweeteners are actually linked with an increased risk of abdominal obesity and weight gain, possibly because they can trigger cravings for the real stuff and spike insulin levels in a similar fashion to real sugar.
The most basic approach to weight loss is burning more calories than you consume. For instance, since 3,500 calories equals 1 pound of fat, a weight loss app—or even just a pen and paper—can help you decide how many calories you need to cut from your diet or burn at the gym in order to meet your goals. “If you were to burn 500 more calories per day 7 days a week, that would lead to 3,500 calories in a week and 1 pound of weight loss,” says Gagliardi.
As a result of all your planning and preparation, all you have to do is toss your meals together when you’re ready to eat! Do you know what else I absolutely love about this 30-day weight loss meal plan? All of the recipes are completely delicious! Every single day is packed full of flavor and you get to enjoy foods like pizza and creamy sauces in addition to an optional snack and dessert each day.
Some people think that not eating at all will help them lose weight, but that is not true. The opposite can be true. When you starve your body, it, in turn, goes into a sort of starvation mode, retaining all of the good and bad nutrients. This is because your body does not know when it will get food again. If you want to lose weight, just eat healthy foods with fresh produce and protein.
The Countdown Jump Rope Workout: To do this interval workout, all you need is a stopwatch and a jump rope. Start by trying to jump for two straight minutes, then rest for two minutes, and jump rope again for 1.5 minutes. Then, rest for one and a half minutes and then jump rope again for one minute, and rest for one minutes. Finish with jumping rope for 30 seconds. Rest for three minutes and then repeat the intervals one to two more times.
The Beach Body Workout: This twelve week HIIT program only takes 21 minutes, three days a week, and is designed to help strengthen and sculpt your body, while also shedding weight. The program targets specific areas of your body, such as your arms and abs, and integrates cardio and stretching. After week one of the program, you will start to notice a leaner look and stronger muscles.
Cut back on calories. The most important part of losing weight is not working out until you collapse — it's your diet. If you burn 500 to 750 more calories than what you eat every day, you will lose 1–2 pounds every week (any more than that is considered unsafe weight loss). There are tons of little changes you can make to cut calories from your diet, from replacing high-calorie dressings with vinaigrette and asking for all dressings/sauces served on the side, eating at the table instead of in front of the tv, skipping cheese and other fatty additions to your salads and meals, using smaller plates, leave off the whipped cream on your coffee drink, and on and on.
Based on my experience in nutrition counseling, most of us tend to snack on foods that aren’t nutrient-dense, but are high in calories. For example, skipping sugary beverages is often the easiest way to lose weight faster. You don’t feel full from drinks — even the ones that do contain calories — so swapping those out for sparkling water or unsweetened tea and coffee is the best place to start. Other major culprits often come in refined grains like cereals, chips, crackers, and cookies.