10 things you can start today to help shed some pounds

1.

Accept the fact that there is room for improvement and reduce stress

Many persons are in denial or in conflict about their weight and body image so they avoid the scale or even mirrors at all costs. They ignore the fact that their clothes are fitting tighter or differently.  They purchase a size higher on every other trip to the clothing store. A lot of times, when reality hits it is sometimes too late or they encounter health problems. Instead of beating up yourself over the changes that you may or may not be able to ulter,  face the facts head on and get a reality check. By realizing where you truly are, you are better able to determine where you need or want to be. Find ways to reduce or eliminate the daily [and otherwise] stressors of life. And believe me, life will throw you some hard and low blows. When it happens, (Maslow Law), take a step back, regroup, rethink your strategy, seek help or support if you need to and tackle the issue(s) head on. If you feel overwhelmed, overly stressed or as if you are not coping very well, confide in a confidential and responsible person who will be able to assist you.

2.

Make a weight loss goal and write it down:

When goals are made, it is easier to visualize where you want to go. This goes for any goal or journey and weight loss is no different. Create your personal goal(s) and put them on paper. Paste it in your bedroom in clear view as a daily reminder of what you want to achieve. If possible, get pictures of persons whose weights are similar to your target weight and place them next to your written goals. Look at your notes and pictures everyday and visualize yourself at that weight. This should give you the extra motivation and encouragement you need to obtain that goal.

3.

Take baby steps:

Many people start off with a bang when they take on a weight loss journey but seem to lose their way or that initial vigour at some point before arriving at their goal. It is not a race. Take small steps, making small gradual changes. Eventually you can accomplish all the things you are aiming for once you are focused on exactly what you intend to achieve. At times you may need encouragement from a friend or relative. Reach out to someone who is supportive in your journey to help you get back on track.

4.

Reduce your soda intake:

Soda can be addictive, especially those with caffeine such as coke. The truth of the matter is that soda is nothing short of carbonated water, sugar and artificial colour. It has no nutritional benefits and can be used as an energy booster in high performance athletes. It is never advisable to go cold turkey because you will still have cravings. If you are used to drinking seven bottle of soda a week, try cutting it down by one or two gradually over a few weeks and over time you will notice that your desire for it will start to decrease.

5.

Drink more water:

Water has many benefits for the body including keeping the skin well hydrated, helping to rid the body of potential harmful toxins and, when substituted for soda and other drinks full of sugar, can help promote weight loss. Persons who drink a lot of water usually have clearer skin, less acne and have an overall glow. It is recommended that we drink 8-12 glasses of water daily to help keep our skin supple and soft. If you have an underlying medical condition that restricts your fluid intake, please contact your doctor or health care provider for further instructions.

6.

Reduce carbohydrate intake and Increase fruit and vegetable portions:

There is a misconception that meat causes weight gain. This is a myth. Meat, especially white lean meats like chicken breast and turkey, are full of protein which is essential particularly for persons who lift weights and those who play high intensity sports. The actual culprits of weight gain are carbohydrate rich foods like white bread, rice, pasta and white potatoes. These are called complex carbohydrates. Sweets, jams and jellies, which are known as simple carbohydrates, are also to blame. Why are these at fault? The reason is that carbohydrates are sugars which will eventually be converted to energy. The problem with this is if the energy is not being properly used up, it will be stored in the body. If you are not an active person or do not exercise regularly, you will gain weight. This is why these are the types of food that should be drastically reduced, as a result of which you will see the weight changes. Peas, beans and eggs are also good sources of protein and can be substituted for meat.

7.

Make healthier food choices:

Food full of trans fat and salt are bad for your body in more ways than one. Staying clear of fried, processed and tin foods can make a big difference to your health. They foods mentioned are usually loaded with fat, cholesterol and salt and can contribute to serious health problems such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart attack and stroke. Making healthier choices such as eating more raw foods like carrots and lettuce, unsalted snacks like nuts and fresh fruits will significantly help you to not only lose weight but also get a healthier body.

8.

Read the labels:

This is one thing we can all do that most people neglect. Just because the front label says “all natural” that doesn’t mean it is. You must read the fine print on the back label for sugar, salt, fat and cholesterol levels. For an adult based on a 2000 caloric intake you should use the following as a guide:

Total Fat grams (g) 65
Sugar grams (g) 40
Cholesterol milligrams (mg) 300
Sodium milligrams (mg) 2400

9.

Take the stairs:

Stair climbing is an easy but an effective form of exercise that can assist you in loosing a few extra pounds and almost anybody can do. Research has shown that stair climbing can be just as effective as jogging thus burning just as much calories in the same time period. Try using the stairs instead of the elevator where and when ever possible to get the heart pumping, burning calories every time.

10.

Ten minute exercises can make a difference:

There is no specific time of day that you should exercise. This will be determined by the individual’s lifestyle and personal preference. It has been proven, however, that as little at ten minutes of exercise each day can make a big difference in the pounds you shed. Of course, if you are heavier than you ought to be, you will need to step it up a notch, exercising at least 30 minutes everyday. Exercises can include playing a sport, cardio or aerobic work outs, weight lifting, bike riding, swimming and the list goes on. The trick is to find an activity that you will enjoy so that it doesn’t become a chore. If you are excited about the exercise you are going to do, you will be more willing to take the time out to get it done, having fun while getting fit.

Remember, losing weight is not just about getting rid of the extra pounds. It is a lifestyle change, a mind and body shift that is a healthier root to take. It will not always be easy, especially at the beginning but I urge you to stick with it and in time it will become routine for you.

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7 thoughts on “10 things you can start today to help shed some pounds

  1. All excellent tips. I had a fairly successful run of weight loss and improved health until I fell off the wagon several months ago. I’m back to working a plan now, though it’s still slow going to get back in gear. But I will say that one thing that really helped me was replacing my soda with water. I was an absolute Coke fanatic, taking in probably close to 1000 calories a day just in soda. Thankfully, that’s one habit I have managed to kick for good, and even when I moved back to worse eating and less activity, I did not go back to soda as my primary drink. It’s amazing how many calories we can drop just by making that one simple change.

    • Thank you, yes you are so right, just one change at a time can make a big difference. Don’t lose site of your goal even if you are not doing everything right. All the best on your journey.

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