Making the decision to lose weight and get fit is a big first step, but it is often rather difficult to actually make it happen in a healthy and sustainable way. Oftentimes, people end up falling prey to fad diets that are either unhealthy, unsupportable in the long run, or simply do not work. Before you start surfing the internet for quick tips and tricks to lose weight, read the following do’s and don’ts to help ensure you do not make any unnecessary mistakes on your path toward a better, healthier body:
- Don’t starve yourself: Unfortunately, one of the first things many people do when they want to shed pounds is starve. However, a substantial amount of research has shown that this is the wrong way to go about losing weight. Given that 50% of that weight loss comes from muscle tissue rather than fat, starving yourself would basically set you up for a disaster. Remember, muscle burns fat and, if you starve yourself, you will end up losing some of that fat-burning muscle. Additionally, your metabolism would also slow down, making your body significantly less efficient.
- Keep the “fast” in breakfast: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it does not have to eat up all of your time. Save time and energy every morning by keeping your breakfast simple. A high-fiber cereal, whole-grain toast, oatmeal, or fresh fruit can all be thrown together in a matter of minutes, so take the time to put together a balanced breakfast to start your morning. If you are always in a rush in the morning, prepare your breakfast ahead of time.
- Don’t skimp on drinking water: Too many of us never get enough water and, unfortunately, this has consequences for numerous parts of your body, including your waistline. When you are dehydrated, your metabolism slows by 3% and, while that might not seem like an alarming number, in the long run, if you are consistently dehydrated, it will have an effect on your weight loss goals. Keep in mind that if you are thirsty, this means you are already dehydrated. To develop good water-drinking habits, keep a large bottle at your desk and drink a tall glass before and after a workout, at lunch, and before dinner.
- Fight fat at night: What does this mean? You need to get at least eight hours of sleep. Your body repairs itself and rebuilds muscles while you snooze, so this is actually very crucial for one’s weight loss goals. However, if you eat too close to bedtime, your body will spend all of its energy trying to digest the food in your stomach rather than on rebuilding your muscles. Moreover, since your metabolism is slower in the evening, if you eat too many calories late at night, many of them will be stored in your body as fat, so try to refrain from any late night eating.
- Don’t eat if you are not hungry: Oftentimes, eating becomes a habit, which leads to overeating. To combat the habit of eating when you are not hungry, try to avoid having “family style” meals with extra platters of food on the table in front of everyone. Instead, pour a reasonable portion on your plate and do not bring extra food to the table to indulge in additional servings. If you do buy treats like chips or sweets, do not leave them in the packaging you purchased them in. Control your portions and pour some into smaller baggies for storage. This will stop you from consuming an entire bag of chips in front of the television.
- Make some healthy swaps: Having to give up favorite foods is difficult. To make the task less daunting and far less unpleasant, try to think up some satisfying substitutes to avoid feeling deprived. For example, instead of using butter, switch to a healthier fat. Fill up a small plastic container with olive oil and place it in the refrigerator. The oil will harden and its consistency will resemble butter.
- Don’t let one mistake ruin your diet: It is not uncommon for people to make a few mistakes along the way toward a healthier, leaner body. This does not mean you should lose control and give up. If you overeat one day, start over the next and stick to your diet. One mistake is not worth throwing away all of your other weight loss efforts.
Weight Loss Programs in Louisiana
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