It is not unusual for people to put on a few pounds over the winter. We tend to be not nearly as active as we are in the summer time, there is a whole lot of holiday candy and baked goods to eat, and we aren’t wearing clothes that are nearly as revealing. So, if you have found yourself getting ready for the beach or just getting in last year’s spring clothes and you find that your body isn’t nearly what it used to be, then it may be time for you to consider losing a few pounds.
Setting a Goal
There is an old saying that goes, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail,” and that is very much true when it comes to weight loss. If your sole goal is to “get fit”, then you can rest assured that you will never get there. “Getting fit” needs to have a defined, measurable goal that you can keep yourself to. Although you may have a lot of pounds to lose, setting a reasonable goal, such as ten pounds, is a way to get started and will give you confidence to keep on toward a larger goal if necessary.
Cutting Calories Fast
While you may think that cutting your calories by 600 a day would be a big deal, it really isn’t when you stop to think about all the things you eat and drink during the day. For instance, if you are stopping at the coffee shop for a latte on the way in to work in the morning, you could easily be knocking back 300-400 calories in that one beverage.
The average can of soda has between 150 and 200 calories, so if you are drinking three of those a day, simply switching to sugar-free soda will eliminate all 600 of those calories for you. By simply switching to non-fat and sugar-free items, while also looking at the calorie count, you should have no problem eliminating 600 calories from your diet each day.
Burning more calories each day is something that takes a little more effort since there is time and sweat involved. But, there are ways that you can do things a little differently that will make your exercise more like play and less like work.
Yes, you can spend an hour jogging on the treadmill or a little more than that on the bike to burn the 600 calories, but you could also go for an hour and a half walk in the park and accomplish the same thing. If you like the water, than a water aerobics class will burn almost that many calories, as can swimming for an hour.
But, if you aren’t the kind of person for organized fitness or sports, then try to add in more walking to your daily life. This might mean hitting the mall in the evening for a few laps or going for a quick walk during your lunch break. Every little bit of activity that you add to your day helps and if you don’t think that you are getting enough activity, you can never overestimate the importance of using a pedometer. A quality pedometer will help you to always know how active you have been during any day and will provide you with motivation to keep on going.
The Balance Between Extreme & Sustainable
Once you get started, you might be surprised to find out just how easy it is to lose ten pounds in one month, but that doesn’t mean that you should accelerate your goals. Remember that the faster you lose weight, the more the potential is for you gaining it all back (and then some!), so take your time to do it the right way.
Some people advocate the use of colon or digestive cleansing products to help you lose weight, but you should know that the weight you lose is almost always mostly water along with undigested food items from your stomach. While there may be reasons to go on a short-term cleansing diet and it may help you lose those ten pounds, the weight will return as soon as you start eating again. Your goal should be to lose body fat and not water or muscle mass.
There is no getting around the fact that being on any kind of a diet is miserable business and you tend to feel like you are being cheated out of enjoying life when it is happening. That is one reason why you should make sure that you provide yourself with rewards as you hit your various milestones. For every two to three pounds you lose, you could do something nice for yourself, but remember that the reward cannot involve food! Go get a pedicure or a manicure, enjoy a night out at the movies (without the candy), or just spend time reading your favorite book. By setting goals and rewarding yourself along the way, you will have a much better time of keeping yourself motivated and eventually getting rid of those ten pounds in just one month.
Putting It Together: The Step By Step Guide
Most of us know what a pound of butter looks like, so imagine ten of those distributed throughout your body. That is actually quite a lot of fat that you will need to lose, but don’t let that scare you. Just remember how great you are going to look when it is gone.
First of all, in order to create just one pound of fat, somewhere along the line you ate 3,500 calories more than you burned off. For most folks, this is something that occurs over a long period of time, but it could be that you just had a great time at the buffet and put them all on in one setting. When it comes to ten pounds, the equation is even more daunting – 35,000 calories.
In order to get rid of ten pounds or 35,000 calories, you will need to eat 35,000 fewer calories than you burn during the month – OR – you can burn 35,000 more calories than you eat. So, in order to lose ten pounds in a month, here are the five steps that you should follow:
Step 1 – Truly evaluate what you are currently eating and try to remove all highly processed or high fat foods from your home. By eliminating them from your pantry and your refrigerator, you will be more likely to opt for healthier, low calorie foods.
Step 2 – Be aware of everything that you are eating all the time and never eat either on the run or while standing up. By taking your time with your meal, never finishing everything that is on your place, and never, ever eating while driving, you will notice that you eat less and start losing weight right away.
Step 3 – Increase your activity level so that you are doing at least half an hour of aerobic exercise per day, but preferably more. Remember that all of the exercise doesn’t have to be done in one session – you can literally exercise five minutes at a time throughout the day and accomplish the same goals. Whether you run, jog, shop, vacuum, or go for a swim, it all counts toward burning calories.
Step 4 – Drink as much water as you can. Although you might feel a little bloated, remember that the water is displacing what would normally be food in your stomach and it is serving to make you full. If you can drink an entire glass of water before each meal, you will find that you eat significantly less and still feel satisfied.
Step 5 – Do not weigh yourself every day! This is a surefire way to sabotage your diet because your body can easily change anywhere from two to five pounds during a given day. Weigh yourself once a week, at the same time of the day, in the same clothes (or preferably naked). Only then you will see your progress and appreciate it when you reach your goal.