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How To Lose Weight - Step 1: Changing Your Lifestyle

13 November 2017 | MJ Mendoza

Whether for health or aesthetics, losing weight has always been a life goal for many. However, no matter how much we try, procrastination and laziness have always got the better of us. If you want to lose weight more than anything, then what you need is to change your lifestyle - every aspect of it.

Losing weight is not just about planning your meals, counting calories, and how much of it you have burned, it's about dedication and discipline. Without this attitude, losing weight is nothing but wishful thinking. The first step to weight loss is to change your lifestyle from the food you eat to your daily activities.

Exercise

Whether at the gym, at home, or engaging in physical activity and sports, exercise is a must for losing weight. In addition, it also has various benefits such as lowering your risk of a heart disease and as well as a way to control your stress levels. In order to shed those pounds, you must burn more calories than what you consume.

Strength Training

Perhaps the best ways to burn fat, build muscle, and increase your metabolism is through strength training. Regardless of your body goals, this exercise will help you get there. Strength training is a great way to feel good and look good at the same time.

For beginners who want to workout at home, body weight training would be the best option. Body weight training uses your own weight to create resistance to gravity. Push-ups, pull-ups, and sit-ups are some of the most popular forms of body weight training. However, you would need to modify its difficulty to make sure that you are progressing.

Cardio

Another exercise that you should look into and perhaps alternate with body weight training is cardio. Cardio is a great way to enhance your cardiovascular strength, decrease the risk of heart ailments, and increase your stamina. There are two types of cardio workout:

  • High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) - is an explosive cardio workout that involves short periods of burst movement and longer periods of low-intensity movement.
  • Low-Intensity Interval Training (LIIT) - this is the type cardio that you do on a treadmill or on ellipticals.

Regardless of which one you prefer, you can burn the same amount of calories for both techniques. According to the founder of Precision Sports Performance, Andrew Borselino, the only difference between the two workouts is the total time needed to burn the same amount of calories. For example, a 185lb-guy can burn 350-450 calories within 30 minutes of a HIIT workout. However, he can also burn the same amount of calories within 60 or 70 minutes of LIIT. Regardless of what type of cardio you choose, make sure that you keep track of your progress!

Pick-up a Sport

Perhaps one of the best ways to exercise without being too bummed out is playing sports. It's a great way to move around and incorporate play within your weight loss plan. There are tons of different sports that you can pick up depending on your preference. Basketball, badminton, and swimming, are just some of the many ways you can get a good workout. Self-defense classes like Judo, Jiujitsu, Karate, and Taekwondo are also a great way to get your blood pumping.

You don't need a pricey gym membership to exercise. There are tons of workout routines and activities that you can do to help you sweat your fat out -even walking for a few minutes and doing household chores is considered an exercise!

Diet

The next thing on your list of things to do to is pretty obvious and that's dieting. You can do all the workout in the world but without a proper diet, you wouldn't be able to achieve your ideal weight or your ideal body. Throughout the years, there have been many diet fads that had captured the public's attention, but none works better than eating the right amount of healthy food necessary to fuel you throughout your day and your workouts.

The answer to weight loss is not about eating less and starving yourself, it's about having a strict and balanced diet. In addition, you would need a rigid low-calorie intake but it doesn't mean you need to eat less; what you need is a high-protein low-carb diet that would fuel your days and workouts without depriving you too much. This way, you would increase your muscle mass and metabolism, therefore, helping you burn more fat with protein while keeping your carb intake low and controlled. Of course, your fruits and veggies should always be a part of your diet.

What Food to Avoid

Here's the sad part: you won't be able to eat the food that you want if you're going to diet. This is where all the effort is going to go: stopping yourself from giving in to your cravings. You are going to give up any food that has sugar or has sugar as a byproduct of digestion. So, you would need to avoid your sweet cravings such as ice cream, candy, cakes, sodas, and even juices. Bread, potatoes, pasta, and rice also need to be avoided because these foods are composed of carbohydrates which are made up of glucose - a kind of sugar. Basically, you need to avoid everything that is awesome about food but dieting is not as bad as it sounds.

However, it doesn't mean that you should avoid carbs completely. Carbs are a source of energy, and you need energy to get through the day and for your workouts. It's not about completely saying goodbye to carbs but keeping its consumption under control.

What Food Do You Need?

Now that we have established what you need to avoid, let's deal with the foods that should be part of your diet. For starters, you would need foods that are high in fiber, rich in vitamins and minerals like fruits and vegetables. Broccoli, spinach, carrots, tomatoes, and garlic are veggies that could help you lose weight, plus, it has fiber, folic acid, and Vitamins A, E, and C. Vegetables are also great for maintaining low-calorie intake. Meanwhile, watermelon, guavas, apples, avocados, bananas, and grapefruits are great fruits for weight loss.

Aside from fruits and veggies, what you need in your diet is protein. Protein helps you build muscle and burn fat which is vital to weight loss. It also aids in muscle recovery which makes you stronger and leaner. Eggs, fish, chicken breast, and lean beef, and soya are natural sources of protein that you should incorporate into your diet.

A bonus tip if you are dieting is to drink plenty of water. Water helps with your metabolism, cleanses your body, and is a great appetite suppressant. Many dieticians use the "8x8" rule when it comes to drinking water. Make sure that you are drinking 8 8-ounce glass of water everyday. To know if you've had enough water in your system, check your toilet after taking a piss. The darker your pee, the more water you need.

Meal Plans

The best way to control what you eat is through a meal plan or a meal prep. Basically, you plan and prepare what you're going to eat for the whole week. This way, you would have your food prepared no matter how busy your schedule is or how lazy you are when cooking. For starters, you can opt to plan one meal per day then move on to a more complex meal strategy. There are tons of recipes online regardless of your kitchen skills. Don't forget to dedicate a cheat day on so that you don't feel deprived, plus, you get to look forward to it every week!

Achieving your Body Goals

Weight loss needs goals to help motivate you as well as guide you on your progress. Every month or two, you should set an ideal weight to achieve. Make it more like a guideline on where you’re going instead of a strict black and white rule to follow.

Finally, keep track of your progress. This would help you know what you have achieved and would further motivate you throughout your whole weight loss journey. There are fitness trackers available on the market that would help you keep track of your progress.

Weight loss is not just jumping on the diet bandwagon or signing up for an expensive gym membership, it's all about dedication and hard work. It's a complete lifestyle change starting from your daily activities down to the food that you eat and sticking with it.

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