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One of the hardest things in the world to do is lose weight.
If you are overweight and frustrated, just remember that there are millions of people that are experiencing the same issue across America, and you're not alone.
There are lots of fad diets out there, and you've likely had other people that are trying to lose weight provide you with their strong opinion regarding what's “working” for them.
The best way to lose weight isn't to resort to these fad diets, but to change your lifestyle in a way that's conducive to weight loss.
Fad diets often place unnecessary restrictions which make them hard to follow, or worse, just flat out don't work. Many of these diets do help you lose weight, but the way that they influence your body's chemistry will suppress your metabolism, and you will gain the weight back quickly.
Weight Loss -- How Fast is Too Fast?
Most diet specialists agree that losing two to three pounds per week is the ideal rate for losing weight without the help and guidance of a physician.
This may not sound very fast, but at three pounds per week, you're looking at around 25 pounds of weight loss in only two months! That's not too bad.
Weight Loss Basics
There are some more complex calculations that you can make (our bodies process and utilize protein, fat, and carbohydrates differently), but the basics are simple.
If you want to experience faster results, just restrict your intake further and get moving!
Real, safe weight loss is a combination of eating better and working out more. If you exercised for an hour every day and dropped your caloric intake down to about 1,050-1,200 calories, you could boost your weight loss results to three to five pounds each week.
The more that you weigh, the faster you will lose following this strategy. The human body does require a specific daily caloric intake every day, so it's incredibly important not to starve yourself and eat less than 1,050 calories per day because this puts unnecessary stress on your body.
Don't Get Discouraged if Weight Loss Slows after the First Week
You should expect to lose weight the fastest when you first start your diet. This is because starches and sodium contribute to fluid retention.
When you restrict your consumption of these two items, this causes your body to reduce its water retention significantly. You can experience as much as five pounds of weight loss directly attributable to water weight when you begin your diet.
On the other hand, if your diet lapses, you shouldn't get too frustrated at what appears to be significant weight gain, because much of it may be the result of increased water retention. Just get back in the saddle and start again!
How to Maximize Weight Loss with Science and Nutrition
As we mentioned earlier, reducing caloric intake and increasing activity levels are the basic principles of weight loss.
But eliminating specific foods from your diet help a lot too. We recommend careful consumption of dairy and animal fat while significantly reducing your consumption of foods that contain processed carbohydrates and starches.
As you eat less unhealthy food, start eating more lean meat, nonfat dairy products (like yogurt), seafood, chicken breasts, egg whites, vegetables, and fruits. Fruits should be your primary source of sweetness, but don't go overboard with them. Sugar is sugar!
Weight Loss Lifestyle: Steps that You Can Take to Lose Weight Faster
One of the biggest struggles, when you are trying to lose weight, is to resist temptation.
There are some ways that you can curb your desires and eat better:
- Never skip meals.
- Eat structured meals. Never snack mindlessly. Always eat at the kitchen table or some other specific spot.
- Keeping your mind busy keeps it off food.
- Drink lots of water!
- Focus on vegetables to fill your stomach rather than carbohydrates. Most veggies have very low-calorie content.
- Remove tempting foods from your house. Food that you can see is the food that you can eat.
- Keep a meal diary.
A Food Journal -- The Real Key to Staying on a Diet?
Much like keeping a real diary, a Food Journal can keep you honest and help you be more responsible for your decisions.
By keeping track of everything that you consume, you make yourself aware of your daily and weekly meal patterns, and you can really see how many calories you take in without realizing it.
The act of just writing down what you eat each day, even if you toss it in the trash bin immediately afterward, can still vastly improve your food-consciousness.
Emotions also play a role in eating habits, and Food Journaling can help keep track of your emotional attraction to foods and eating as well.
Consider not only writing what you eat but your emotional state when you chose the food. For example, if you're eating because you are bored, your best weight loss option may be picking up a new hobby!
Start Moving to Start Losing -- Enhance Weight Loss with Exercise
Eating less is a principal factor in weight loss, but it's not the only one.
The human body is remarkably adaptive, and your body is more likely to adjust your metabolism if you just eat less.
Research has shown that the most successful diets, and the most sustained weight loss, are accompanied by at least sixty minutes of moderate physical activity each day.
A combination of weight lifting and cardiovascular exercise is the key not only to weight loss but overall health.
Cardiovascular exercise is the key to losing weight quickly. Increasing your heart rate does wonders for calorie burning. We recommend some form of cardiovascular exercise at least five days per week if not seven.
Where cardiovascular exercise is best for losing weight, strength training is best for both keeping the weight off and improving your muscle-to-fat-ratio.
When you have more muscle, your body burns more calories when you are inactive. Also, strength training preserves your muscle mass when you lose weight, so your body doesn't start losing muscle mass to preserve fat stores.
To maximize the benefits of your exercise plan, consider High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).
Avoid Rapid Weight Loss and Fad Diets
There are lots of over the counter supplements and wannabe health gurus out there that are trying to sell you a panacea for rapid, almost magical, weight loss.
Don't buy-in. You shouldn't trust any program that isn't sponsored by a medical clinic that offers more than three pounds of guaranteed weight loss per week.
Laxatives can be dangerous. Detox pills are pretty much a scam. Starving yourself will only lead to disappointment and will only endanger your health.
On the other hand, the problem with fad diets is that they can be an ideal method for weight loss on paper, but they ask too much of the dieter.
Part of losing weight and keeping it off is eating what you like, but learning to avoid overeating and to learn to make healthier choices. If you start a diet you hate, you won't last long, and you'll end up discouraged!
Just take a reasonable and responsible approach, hold yourself accountable, and don't be too hard on yourself. Weight loss doesn't have to be as hard as it seems!
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