So you think losing weight is a matter of spending hours at the gym and religiously counting every calorie? Here are ten shortcuts that savvy slim people use to keep themselves slim.
Weigh yourself daily: This might seem counterintuitive, but weighing yourself daily helps you to spot weight gain early so you’ll only have1-2 pounds to lose not five or more. It is best to weigh yourself in the morning before eating. You may notice that your weight tends to fluctuate daily especially during that time of the month, but if you see a gain 3-4 days in a row and it is no where near your menstrual cycle, you might need to take some action: evaluate what you have been eating and cut back on any grains or other “treats” and make sure you are doing the appropriate amount of exercise.
The next seven tips deal with food – what to eat and how much.
Eat six small meals a day. You should be eating breakfast – snack – lunch – snack – dinner – snack. These meals are smaller than what people normally eat. Depending on what your caloric intake should be, main meals should be between 300-500 calories and snacks should be between 100-300 calories. By eating more often, you help your body to regulate blood sugar and you don’t have that constant roller coaster of highs and lows.
Eat eggs for breakfast: Eggs increase satiety and reduce food intake. In fact, you tend to feel fuller after an egg breakfast and you’ll eat an average of 400 calories less for the rest of that day. Since it takes 3500 calories to equal a pound, just by reducing the 400 calories per day, you can lose nearly a pound a week.
Eat the appropriate portion size for proteins. For red meat and poultry, portion size is the size of your hand without your fingers or about the size of a deck of cards. For fish, you can have the size of your entire hand.
Use smaller plates. We tend to eat what we put on our plate. If you want to lose weight, try using a smaller plate. The ideal plate is 9 inches across. It holds much less food, so you will eat less.
Control your side dishes. Fruits and vegetables should fill 50% of your plate. Minimize or eliminate the intake of grains and dairy. These foods tend to bloat you for days at a time.
Make your snacks healthy. If you’re snacking on a candy bar which is anywhere from 250-350 calories and your girlfriend has a small handful of nuts (150 calories), she’ll weigh about 15 pounds less than you by the end of the year simply by making this change alone. The perfect snack is a handful of nuts (try to avoid peanuts as they are actually a legume and not a nut) or seeds and some dried fruit. Not only are they high in nutrients, the fruit satisfies your sugar cravings and the nuts provide protein that balances blood sugar and energy.
Drink plenty of water. By far, water is the best drink. Our bodies are composed of about 60% water, so it makes sense. Also, studies have shown that water increases the amount of calories you burn by 30%. Avoid alcohol which is a diuretic and caffeine which promotes cellulite.
And the last two tips to that slim you are related to exercise. To be truly slim, you need to exercise as well as have a healthy eating plan. Exercising not only helps tone muscles, but as you build muscle, you burn more calories. Hopefully you are not cringing at the mere mention of the word. To some, exercise tends to conjure up pictures of spending 2-3 hours in the gym day in and day out running on the treadmill and doing 200 or more sit ups to have that slim figure. Well you can just get that picture out of your head, because slim people tend to exercise when and where they can.
Get out their and move. If you don’t like the traditional exercise like the running on the treadmill I mentioned earlier, find something that you do like – walking, ballroom dancing, belly dancing, horseback riding, bicycling, surfing… these are some ideas to get you thinking. You may want to try yoga or Pilates. Still can’t decide? Just start with one and if you don’t like it move on to the next, until you find an exercise that you do enjoy. Ideally you should be exercising for 20-30 minutes per day for 3-4 times per week.
Strengthen your core. Ultimately, you should do two (or three) sets of 12 sit ups 2-3 times per week. While stars like Britney Spears claim to do in excess of 200 a day, they’re wasting time. You shouldn’t be able to do more than three sets of 12 sit ups easily. If you can you’re not working hard enough to get any results. To increase results, power things up by taking 3 seconds to go up, holding at the top and then taking 3 seconds to go down.