It is common knowledge that in order to lose unwanted pounds and live a happier life both exercise and diet need to be incorporated into your daily routine. We’ve all been taught in school that to lose that unwanted weight we need to increase our aerobic activity and resistance training. And of course, opt for more fruits and vegetables. To avoid eating fast food and going out in general; to take the time to cook a healthy meal at home, and hit the gym every once in awhile.
And yet, most of us are unhappy with our weight; stuck in this vicious cycle of wanting to lose weight, but also loving the food we’re consuming… and our lazy lifestyle. And we have the best intentions when we join a gym: “I’m going to exercise two hours per day during the week!” Life inevitably gets in the way and before we know it we’re back to our old lifestyles of eating out and letting our gym membership sit idle. Tomorrow will be the day to start the diet again, and I’ll go to the gym, I promise! Yet these self-affirmations are half-hearted, and before we know it our normal routines kick back into place.
So diet and exercise are both important to implement in our lives, but let’s dig deeper into the benefits of each one exclusively.
Dieting: The Taboo Word Everyone’s Talking About
With summer on the horizon, squeezing into that bathing suit is becoming more and more of a reality. It’s the yearly struggle of loving that hamburger and fries, but hating the fact that your belt is getting tighter by the day. When most people think of dieting to lose unwanted pounds they picture strict weight restrictions. You hear the word ‘diet’ and run the other way, or become deterred before the diet has even started. Others may plunge into the diet head first, going from eating multiple heavy meals a day to a salad with some fruit. This is only asking for a quick burnout and even quicker relapse into old eating habits.
The benefits of dieting are proven and measurable. However, a big part of success is understanding that you don’t necessarily have to eat less or even eat less frequently. Diets are most successful when the type of food you consume is changed; it’s all about moderation.
Limit Your ‘McDonalds’ Consumption To lose Unwanted Pounds.
If you are looking to drop in pant size, of course eating out at Outback Steakhouse, or Chilis is not the answer. As delicious, and convenient as these options may be, especially with Dollar Menu’s everywhere we look, if you are really serious in shedding excessive weight you’ll need to have a bit of a diet change. Even limiting the number of times you eat out every week can improve your overall weight.
Also Read: Foods That Make You Sluggish
It’s understandable that people become busy, and life gets in the way of eating a healthy, balanced diet. You are working 40-hour weeks, or maybe in school studying for hours on end and pulling all-nighters. It’s so convenient to simply stop into the closest restaurant or fast food and grab a quick bite. Not only is it convenient, but also it’s cheap. You get your quick fix, fill your stomach and dive back into your busy day without a second thought.
This lifestyle becomes a habit by so many and living in America where there are literally so many options to eat out, and before we know it we’re eating out more than we are at home. It doesn’t take long to get into this routine, and it’s even harder to get out of it without the right tools. And yet as bad as it is, I’m sure we’ve all fallen culprit to this eating habit at least once in our lives.
Preparing Meals At Home: How To Lose Weight While Still Eating To Your Fill
What if, by even eating one less meal out, and preparing a meal at home, or packing a sandwich to take to work, could help you to lose unwanted pounds? It may seem like such a small change in diet, but even one meal can produce results. What if you made this two meals a week, or even three? What if you could limit yourself eating out to only once a week, or even less? The more time you spend preparing meals at home, and the less you spend buying something out will not only be good for your wallet but will also play a big factor in your overall weight loss goals.
So now let’s talk about what’s going on in the kitchen. If your diet at home consists of eating frozen pizzas, or chicken fingers every day you cannot expect to see substantial weight loss! I’m not saying that you can’t ever enjoy that Dominos pizza every now and again, but again it comes down to moderation. Your body needs nutrients; vitamins and minerals. You need to find a balance between eating healthy and indulging.
Next time you go to the store, really have a plan of action: have a list of things you want to buy. Don’t go the store on an empty stomach- this will definitely lead to some unnecessary and post guilty feelings. Find a recipe online, write it down, and head to the store with a game plan. Spend some quality time in the fruit and vegetable sections; pick out some foods you would normally walk right by without a second thought. Buy products that are fresh, not frozen. I personally enjoy walking through the fruit and vegetable sections first; this way I can buy what I know is healthy for me, and then move on to the more unhealthy areas of the supermarket.
Set Yourself Up For Ultimate Dieting Success
Now that you’ve bought the food, set aside time to prepare it. If you know you’ll be too busy in the morning to prepare your lunch, then prepare it the night before and pop it into a Tupperware. This way you’re setting yourself up for success; you won’t be as tempted to go out to grab a bite to eat with your friends if you know you have a delicious, healthy meal already prepared. Not only is food preparation important, but also the type of food you’re preparing. I can’t stress enough the importance of eating vegetables; make this the dominant feature in any meal, with the meat and carbs more of side additions. A good rule of thumb for meat portion is making sure the protein is no larger than the size of your fist.
Even for breakfast, if you enjoy cereal, opt for a healthier option, and then load it up with fruit: strawberries, bananas, whatever strikes your fancy. You can always add as many fresh vegetables and fruit to any meal, and feel completely guilt free. Still feeling hungry after a meal? Cut up a healthy fruit salad, or prepare some yogurt before you delve into the chocolate cake. You will feel better with your new eating habits, have more energy throughout the day, and ultimately start to lose unwanted pounds.
Exercising: You Don’t Have To Join A Gym To Lose Unwanted Pounds
So, as we talked about earlier, it is possible to lose unwanted pounds by dieting alone. But if you’re finding it too difficult to change your eating habits, the least you could do for yourself is to try to exercise every so often. You don’t have to join a gym in order to exercise; this is just a glorified space for people to get their sweat on.
Gyms are great for people who want the options of having a variety of workout tools, along with guided classes and personal trainers. But this is not necessary to lose weight, and there are countless ways to get into shape on a budget. Watch a YouTube video on free weight exercises, or cardio, or really whatever interests you. Get outside and take a walk on the local nature trail, or join an intermural soccer team. Go out of your comfort zone in whatever way possible. As long as you can find some form of exercise that gets you off the couch and raises your heart rate for a time, you’ll be well on your way to losing those extra pounds.
Here are some tips to creating a gym at home.
The Overall Benefits Of Exercise
Exercising is not only beneficial to your health, and losing weight, but it’s extremely good from a mental point of view. When you exercise to the point of breaking into a sweat you are releasing endorphins. Endorphins will increase your happiness, while simultaneously building lean muscle and losing fat. Don’t be deterred if after weeks of exercising you get on the scale and don’t see any drastic changes. Realize that muscle takes up less space than fat, so even though you are losing weight, at the same time you’re gaining muscle.
If you can find an activity, or join a gym, or simply something that gets you moving, and stay committed to that form of exercise, you will see results. Not only will your physical appearance improve, but you will have an increase in energy. Not to mention an improvement in your overall flexibility and strength. Most importantly you will have an increase in self-confidence, which can lead to an improvement in relationships, work success, school success, and ultimately overall happiness.
Diet and Exercise: Two Keys To A Successful Weight Loss Regime
Okay, so we’ve briefly covered the benefits of both dieting and exercise as separate entities. Now, it all comes back to the fact that they are most effective when combined together. If you really are dead set on looking good in that new bathing suit then you need to accept that your current lifestyle needs some tweaking. Refer to the guidelines above about dieting and make amends to your current eating habits.
I’m not saying you have to go on an all-vegetable diet or take carbs completely out of your diet. Not at all. Instead, make modifications to your meals; limit the amount you spend out of the house on food every week. Even have a budget, say for example $20 that can be spent on eating out each week.
Have A Plan To Lose Unwanted Pounds
Have a solid plan of attack when you next go to the supermarket; buy more fruits and vegetables, and less frozen food. Prepare your meals ahead of time. Be aware that a busy schedule may entice you to eat out, and fall back into old routines. And exercise! Exercise not only helps you lose unwanted pounds, but you will start to feel better, and happier with yourself. Instead of spending hours debating on whether you want to go for a jog, just get up and do it; you will never regret the jog you did take. Only the one you didn’t because you were too busy making up excuses.
Set Realistic and Achievable Goals
Most importantly, take your lifestyle change gradually. Don’t immediately cut all the sweets, and fast food out of your diet. You will only burn yourself out, and before you know it you’ll be back to your original diet habits. By gradually cutting out a bad habit, you will have a higher probability of creating new, long-lasting, healthy habits. The same goes for exercise: don’t burn yourself out by trying to work out for two hours every day. Instead gradually incorporate exercise into your lifestyle in a way that will be long lasting. Start with a couple of times a week, and modify it accordingly.
Follow these tips and tricks and expect results! There is no better time to start to lose unwanted pounds than now, so what are you waiting for? Good luck!