You no doubt have heard from your friends and family dish out plenty of advice on how to lose weight – some are weird and some are just down right dangerous.
From eating 10 times a day to living off of cabbage soup, these diet advice do more harm than good. If you haven’t already figured it out, real weight loss (meaning losing weight for good and putting it back on) is about making small, permanent changes you can maintain over long periods of time.
It shouldn’t be restrictive and it shouldn’t involve starvation. A healthy eating and exercise regimen allows for occasional treats and weekly rest days.
So, ignore all the bad advice from your friends and family. The following 5 weight loss tricks actually Work and will help you lead a healthier lifestyle and maintain a healthy, stable weight.
1. Combine cardio and weight lifting.
Many people aiming for weight loss prioritize cardio because it burns more calories and gives faster results. However, recent research shows that weight lifting is just as important as cardio, if not more. More trainers subscribe to this philosophy every day. Muscle burns more calories than fat. When you build muscle by weight lifting you’re actually increasing the number of calories you burn while at rest.
Muscle is much leaner than fat. Five pounds of muscle occupies less space than five pounds of fat. In order to create a lean, athletic physique, you need to build layers of muscle.
2. Workout with a friend (who doesn’t dish bad weight loss advice).
A weight loss partner can be the difference between reaching your goals and losing your motivation. When you have someone pushing you forward, you’re less likely to skip the gym or make bad food choices. A gym buddy will hold you accountable.
Partner with someone who is just as motivated as you, if not more. You want someone who won’t skip the gym. You can even choose a gym buddy who’s at a different level than you. If you have a friend who’s been going to the gym regularly for years, don’t be afraid to ask them if you can join.
3. Always start your day with breakfast.
A lot of people think of weight loss as eating as little as possible. Since most of us don’t have time to prepare a nice breakfast, it’s often the first meal to go. But skipping breakfast is detrimental to your weight loss goals. When you skip breakfast, your body starts the day without available calories. It will send signals to the brain that make you hungrier, cause cravings, and make you less likely to resist junk food. Research shows that people who skip breakfast end up eating more throughout the day. A balanced breakfast will help rev up your metabolism early in the day.
4. Focus on changes you can make permanently.
Fad diets don’t work. When people give up junk food for a short period of time, they often resume their unhealthy diet with added vigor. They eat more of the high-fat, sugary treats they love, regaining their original weight and packing on additional pounds.
In order to make permanent changes to your body, you have to make permanent changes to your lifestyle. While eating only organic, clean raw foods for the rest of your life is an admirable goal, it’s not realistic. Start with giving up foods you can live without, whether that’s bacon, soda, or vending machine snacks. Slowly work up to other changes, like only allowing dessert once a week, or vowing to bring homemade food for lunch three or four times a week. Before long, these changes will start to show. As long as you keep them up, the pounds will stay off.
5. Keep hydrated.
Your body can confuse thirst for hunger. To help keep cravings away, make sure to drink the recommended amount of water every day. Water is the only truly zero calorie drink in the world. You can drink it to keep your stomach full and mitigate hunger. If you stay properly hydrated, you might find that you have more energy for workouts and feel less tired throughout the day.