5 Easy Weight Loss Tips: Keep it Simple
When you decide to lose weight, it can be overwhelming when you think about all of the conflicting advice out there Should you cut calories? Fat? Carbohydrates? Exercise for 30 minutes each day? An hour? What kind of exercise is best?
Many of these choices depend on your personal preferences, because they aren’t really “wrong” as long as you aren’t putting your health in danger with extreme methods. However, sometimes you just need a little guidance on getting started, and eventually you’ll discover which choices are best for you.
Below are 5 easy weight loss tips to help get you started:
1) Eat Less
Duh - everyone knows you need to eat less to lose weight, but it can be confusing! How much less? How many calories do you really need each day? A good rule of thumb is to multiply your current weight by 10, and that will give you the number of calories you need to maintain your current weight. Reduce that by approximately 500 calories each day, and you should lose an average of 1-2 pounds per week. (Example: If you weigh 200 lbs., you would need 2,000 calories daily to maintain your weight. Eating 1,500 calories daily should create a moderate weekly weight loss.)
Or you can use FitWatch’s Calorie Deficit Calculator to give you six different calorie deficit estimates.
However, not everyone wants to count every calorie that goes into their mouth. If you feel the same way, know that you don’t have to count every calorie. Instead, you can start by reducing your portion sizes by half. If you normally fill up your plate with food, take only half of what you normally would. You may also want to start gravitating toward healthier food options and eating more vegetables and fruit, lean protein, healthy fats, and reducing and eventually eliminating unhealthier options.
2) Drink More
If you don’t already drink an adequate amount of water each day, you may want to start as soon as possible. The recommended amount is 64 ounces a day, but you can safely drink more than that if you want to. If you find it difficult to get that much water in each day, start smaller by adding an extra 2-3 glasses of water to what you currently drink each day. Carry around a bottle of spring water when you leave the house. Buy a filtered pitcher to keep in the refrigerator, or a filter attachment for your kitchen faucet. Even if you have to work up to drinking enough water, you’re still making progress and doing something good for your body.
3) Move More
Another “duh” - exercise is important for weight loss and general health, but how much exercise do you really need? Believe it or not, probably not as much as you think. Most experts recommend 30 minutes 3 times per week, but probably a bit more than that is best for weight loss. Could you commit to 30 minutes 5 or 6 days a week? That’s not overwhelming even for most beginners, and you can always increase it as you lose weight and get stronger. For best results, you may want to include both cardio workouts (walking, aerobics, cycling) and resistance training (weights, pilates). That way you’ll be strengthening your heart and lungs as well as your overall muscular endurance.
4) Manage Stress
Stress plays a large role in weight gain, and managing it better is crucial in losing weight and keeping it off. The problem is that most of us lead very stressful lives! How can you better manage stress without having to dramatically change your life? It’s as easy as learning some new ways to cope with frustrating situations and pressure.
Daily meditation, deep breathing, working out to release tension, progressive relaxation, positive visualization - there are endless ways to do it. The most important thing to keep in mind is that a relaxed, well-rested body is a stress-free body (or as stress free as it’s possible to get these days). When you consistently perform activities that relax and center you, and do your best to let go of negative thoughts and feelings like anger, irritation and resentment, you’ll find it much easier to manage stress and avoid the chemical chain-reaction that results in weight gain.
5) Small, Simple Changes
The easiest of all easy weight loss tips is to take your time and focus on making small, simple, manageable changes first. Resist the temptation to overhaul your entire eating and exercise habits at once or you’ll end up feeling frustrated and overwhelmed. Take it a day at a time and do what you can to make better choices and follow through with those choices. Everything else will fall into place easily.