To be healthy ≠ to be skinny.
There are healthy ways to lose weight and there are unhealthy ways to lose weight.
Unhealthy ways to lose weight:
- Stop eating completely
- Skip a meal
- Only eat fruits and vegetables
- Cut out entire food groups (i.e. carbohydrates, fats)
- Work out excessively without eating
I can tell you up-front that although you may see some immediate results with these methods, it won’t last. You would have missed out on vital nutrients and your metabolism would have slowed down, causing you to gain weight in the future.
Therefore, it’s important to treat our bodies well while shedding the pounds.
Healthy ways to lose weight:
- Calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI), a measure of body fat based on your height and weight. You can do so here.
- This same site will give you your Daily Caloric Intake (DCI). Here’s where the calorie counting comes in. You want to take in 500 less calories than your DCI. You can do so by skipping out on those calories entirely, but I don’t recommend that. What I would do is consume 250 less calories and burn off the other 250 during your workout.
- Set a realistic goal for yourself. 1-2 pounds a week is a smart plan.
- Eat 3 meals a day to keep your metabolism up, evenly distributing your DCI.
- Never let your caloric intake fall below 1,200. That’s reaching the danger zone and your body will lack the nutrients it needs.
- Drink lots of water. Avoid sugary drinks and say goodbye to soda and alcohol.
- Change your source of carbohydrates. Replace breads, pasta and rice with vegetables, beans and whole grains.
- Have an early dinner so that you are fully digesting by your bedtime. No munching after dinner.
- Resist cravings! When you’re tempted to open your fridge, get down and do some crunches to distract you. Cravings are mental—they’ll go away.
- Cardio, cardio, cardio! Go running, speed walking, or jump rope. (I recommend jumping rope because this engages your entire body—legs, arms, and core if you keep it tight while jumping). Before going out for a run, read about common running mistakes from a fellow blogger, Fitness Republic.
- Strength-train—this includes lifting weights and core exercises. Muscle is the body’s most effective calorie-burner. I would recommend 30 minutes of cardio followed by 30 minutes of strength-training.
- Interval training slashes calories fast. With this intense technique, you’re alternating spurts of intense activity with lighter activity. Alternate speed walking and running every 20 seconds. Or try alternating running and walking up flights of stairs.
- Reward yourself once in a while! Have that brownie you’ve been craving, but burn it off later.
- Grab a buddy to keep you accountable and encourage each other to keep up with your healthy diet plan.
- Don’t expect immediate results. Weight loss is a process—a rewarding one!
- Once you have achieved your goal, maintaining it is a full-time job. Continue eating healthily and doing cardio and strength training exercises.
Shredding pounds and keeping it off isn’t easy. It’s not a one-month plan—it’s a lifestyle change. You must dedicate yourself to eating healthily and exercising regularly in order to achieve and maintain long-term results. Are you willing to make that change?
[If you have any health concerns, please consult your doctor or physician before pursuing any diet plan. Lil’ Fit Birdie is concerned for your health, but is not responsible for you! Happy weight loss!]