It’s a familiar story: You pledge to honor a daily elliptical routine and count every last calorie. But soon, you’re eating cupcakes at the office and grabbing happy hour mojitos, thinking, Oops, diet over. There is a better way: Swap the all-or-nothing approach of dieting to healthy switch-ups in your daily routine. “Doing this can lead to more weight loss than you ever imagined,” says Marissa Lippert, RD, author of The Cheater’s Diet.
10. Drink Mainly Water.
A sports or energy drink, fruit smoothie, or light beer — each serving contains about 100 calories. Yet these beverages don’t satisfy you much. Water, on the other hand, has zero calories and carbs and little to no sodium, making it the perfect slim-down drink. And strangely, it actually helps flush out excess water weight as well as jump-starts your metabolism. If it’s just too boring, add lemon wedges or mint leaves. Because Hydration Helps — Really! Secondly, down some water before a meal and you won’t feel so famished, says David Anthony, an information technology consultant from Atlanta. “Drinking a glass of water before a meal helps me watch what I eat. … I don’t just hog everything, since I’m not so hungry.” Finally, keeping your body refreshed with plenty of water may also help your workout, says Anthony. Staying hydrated means “I can exercise more, and longer.”
9. Ban White Bread and Pasta.
The most important part is to remove sugars and starches (carbs) from your diet. These are the foods that stimulate secretion of insulin the most. If you didn’t know already, insulin is the main fat storage hormone in the body. Cutting out all white grain products — such as white rice, spaghetti, sandwich rolls — will instantly slim you down because the simple carbs in these foods cause bloating, especially around your belly. “Simple carbohydrates wreak havoc on your weight because they’re digested very quickly, leaving you hungry and more likely to overeat later,” says Jana Klauer, MD, author of The Park Avenue Nutritionist’s Plan. To go a step further, substitute vegetables for the week. This way, a chicken sandwich becomes chicken salad, and chips and dip turn into carrots and dip. The complex carbs from vegetables are digested more slowly, so you remain full longer. And because veggies are mostly water, they also help flush out excess water weight.
8. Do Cardio 30 Minutes a Day.
Any workout that gets your heart rate up will burn calories. But you’ll use more calories if you pick a cardio routine that engages multiple muscles simultaneously, says Wendy Larkin, personal-training manager at Crunch’s Polk Street gym, in San Francisco. Three to consider: spinning, cardio kickboxing, and boot-camp workouts. Half an hour of each torches 200 to 300 calories while toning up your arms, legs, and core so everything appears sleeker and tighter. You’ll burn even more calories per session if your workout incorporates interval training: alternating short bursts of intense cardio with slower activity. Experts aren’t sure why it works, but trainers swear by it.
7. Make One Food Sacrifice.
Cutting out one indulgence — such as the chips you have with lunch or the chocolate dessert you eat after dinner — can subtract a few hundred calories from your diet, which translates into less flab, says Blum. You don’t have to eliminate all the high calorie food from your diet. But leaving one habit of eating that one food can really make a difference in your body. You can leave your habit of eating sweet every time after a meal or can avoid drinking cold drinks with your food. The best part of doing this is that you will realize- “Your body won’t even notice their absence.”
6. Do Squats and Sit-Ups.
If you want to look slim for the party which is few hours from now, then do sit-ups. Your loose muscle which makes you look fat will be toned in minutes and will give shape to your body. Bodybuilders use this technique before competitions because it adds definition to muscle. Do three sets of 12 of each exercise to tighten your abs, butt, and legs temporarily.
5. Tune In, Tone Up.
We love television and know that we need to get more exercise too. So why not combine the two? Try dancing to the music when you tune into your favorite music show, or practice some stress-relieving cardio boxing when your least favorite reality contestant is on camera. During commercials pedal your stationery bike, walk the treadmill, or slip in a little strength training doing bicep curls with cans of your favorite fizzy beverage as weights. Or get inspired to really focus: Put in a high-energy exercise DVD and get motivated by the pros onscreen. It doesn’t matter exactly what you do, so long as you’re up and active. Aim for at least 15 minutes, says the AHA. But who knows? If you get really engrossed, you just might outlast the last survivor.
Jennifer Aniston does it. Reports are that Liv Tyler, Halle Berry, Madonna, David Duchovny and supermodel Christy Turlington do it, too. Many professional athletes are said to be doing it in an effort to improve their games. The “it” is yoga, a sophisticated mind-body exercise many believe can do everything from tighten your buns to change your outlook on life. But can this no-strain, work-at-your-own-level exercise really help you lose weight? It’s true most types of yoga don’t have anything near the calorie-burning power of aerobic exercise. A 150-pound person will burn 150 calories in an hour of doing regular yoga, compared to 311 calories for an hour of walking at 3 mph. But it is exercise, after all, and many practitioners believe yoga can indeed help people take off extra pounds.
3. Don’t super-size it.
“When going out for fast food, I used to get the large-size value meal. Now, I satisfy a craving by ordering just one item: a small order of fries or a six-piece box of chicken nuggets. So far, I’ve shaved off 16 pounds in seven weeks, and I’m on track to being thinner than my high school self for my 10-year reunion later this year.” —Miranda Jarrell. The simple step towards losing weight is this. Eat everything but in minimal quantity.
2. Walk with Spot.
You and your dog can go for a walk every day, even if it’s for just 10 minutes around the block. When the weather is horrible, dog’s enthusiasm will give you the incentive to get out when you wouldn’t dare lace up your sneakers otherwise. Even when you get a call from an old friend or any call where you talk for hours, you can talk and walk at the same time. This way you won’t even realize you walked meters talking on your phone. And these simple gestures will help you burn few calories.
1. Think practically.
Think some practical ways to lose weight like using the stairs instead of the elevator. Park your car in the far corner of the parking lot and walk the distance. Reduce Stress: Being stressed can elevate the stress hormone cortisol, which can cause fat accumulation in the belly. Try saying no to food offers given to you. Try to reduce the number of times you go out in a restaurant for dinner. It’s a fact; you eat more in a restaurant than in your home. So try to avoid it.