I have encountered the question, “How do I begin to shed pounds?” countless times, and it remains a common inquiry.
Although weight loss plans will differ from person to person, there are several foundational strategies that are applicable to everyone.
Don’t be embarrassed if you’re unsure how to commence. Numerous people are in the same boat, and there’s no reason to feel ashamed. Fortunately, this write-up should provide the answers you need so you won’t have to inquire any longer.
Below are seven suggestions to help you get started on your path to weight loss.
This is the #1 most important thing ever.
YOU have to decide that you’re sick of the way you’ve been living and it’s time for a change.
YOU have to hit that point – no one will be able to force you to do it.
YOU have to put in the work every day, so this commitment and decision have to come from YOU!
2. Go for a walk
Walking has incredible benefits and you can do it anytime, anywhere.
Walking is a low-stress, low-impact form of exercise (unlike running and jumping) and is an excellent fat burner. Just lace up your walking shoes, running shoes, training shoes (whatever!) and go!
This is the perfect time to listen to motivational podcasts, your favorite playlist or an audio book.
Don’t think, just walk!
3. Create a vision board
Go through a bunch of magazines and cut out pictures of your dream life, body, mindset, house, etc. Put it all on a cork or poster board and hang it up in a place that you’ll see every day. Look at it, envision what it feels like to reach those goals (yes, you can close your eyes) and DECIDE that you will get there no matter what.
I have a lot of pictures of Oprah Winfrey and Jillian Michaels on my vision board. And I often touch their heart and then touch mine – as if to transfer the heart of these people who inspire me to myself. I don’t care if that sounds weird, I do that and it’s amazing!
4. Drink water only
No juices, no soda, no sports drinks…just water!
Oh and no diet soda. The artificial sweeteners still activate the “reward pathways” that are activated when we eat sweet foods. However, there are no calories in them so there is nothing to turn that switch off – thus resulting in more and more unhealthy food cravings.
Aim for 35-40 ml per kg of body weight. And add 500-1000 ml per hour of exercise.
5. Work on your balance and stability
Start by doing exercises while balancing on one foot or on an unstable surface (running in sand, working out with a BOSU ball, etc.).
This will help your neuromuscular system to work more efficiently, as well as strengthen your core and stabilizer muscles to reduce pain and injury.
6. Track what you eat
How much are you eating? Do you even know?
Many people have no clue how many calories they are eating. According to one study in the New England Journal of Medicine, two groups of individuals (one with a history of diet resistance and one without) that were similar in weight, BMI, body fat percentage, level of education and history of employment were asked to report how many calories they thought they had consumed in a day.
Both groups underreported their calorie intake by roughly 1,000 calories or MORE!
On the other side of the coin, too few calories can prevent your body from losing weight and getting rid of that extra stubborn fat because it’s in starvation mode, literally. You have to eat enough before your body starts burning stored fat.
Now, do you see why tracking your food is so important?
7. Be present when you eat
Are you watching TV, on the computer or on your phone when you eat? Are you even looking at your food when you’re eating it?
It’s time to disconnect while you eat. Did you know that digestion begins with your eyes? Your eyes see the food and then your mouth produces enzymes in your saliva to kick off the digestion process before you swallow.
Oh, and what about chewing? Do you even chew your food before swallowing or are you in such a rush that you just stuff your face? Seriously – be honest with these questions. Aim to chew your food 25 times before swallowing, that’s what teeth are for. You ever feel airy and bloated after you eat? Chewing and actually allowing your food to mix with your saliva instead of scarfing it down in record time can help with that tremendously.