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I am a 31 year old woman, about 60 pounds overweight (obese) and need to lose weight
badly. But the thing is, I just don't know what to do, where to begin or how to start
losing weight. Please help me out here! I am so tired of hiding my overweight body
behind frumpy clothes and feeling really disgusted with myself. Thank you in advance
for any diet advice. – Annie, Minnesota.
5 Big Rules to Start Losing Weight
If you're really serious about losing weight, then there are many different ways
you can go about it. You can either do it on your own by giving your diet a healthy
makeover coupled with regular exercise, or use a proven diet program (not fad diets)
like Jenny Craig to help you achieve your weight loss goals.
If you decide to lose weight on your own without spending a lot of money or using
weight loss supplements, you'll need to do a couple of things first.
What Should You Do to Lose Weight Safely When You're Overweight or Obese?
1. Purge your pantry, refrigerator and freezer of unhealthy, highly processed foods
that will sabotage your best efforts to shed unwanted pounds.
You want to get rid of all the low-nutrient, high fat junk foods – potato chips,
frozen pizzas, sugary beverages, cookies, candies, ice cream – in your house, and
start stocking up on real, wholesome foods. Foods like non-starchy vegetables, extra
lean meats, oily fish, eggs and whole grains will provide you with good nutrition,
leaving you full and satisfied, and keeping your weight down as well.
Replace unhealthy snacks with healthier ones such as unsalted almonds, low fat yogurt,
air-popped popcorn, and not-so-sweet fruits like apples and tomatoes. Avoid bananas,
pineapples and mangoes as they contain more sugars (and hence more calories) than
most other fruits.
2. If time permits, you should cook your own meals at home rather than dining out
or eating frozen meals. Not only will you save money, making your meals from scratch
allows you to have more control over what goes into your food. Try to consume home-cooked
meals at least 3-4 times per week.
The way you prepare a meal is an equally important component of a healthy weight
loss plan. Instead of breading and deep frying your foods, use healthier cooking
methods such as grilling, baking or steaming. Skinless chicken breast, for example,
is a high protein food that's great for weight loss. But when you deep fry the white
meat, you're adding extra calories and fat. Not good.
If you don't have heaps of time in the kitchen and don't mind spending money to buy
convenience, you can always try Jenny Craig or Nutrisystem. Go to their website,
pick the foods you want, and they'll ship them directly to your door step.
3. Another golden rule of healthy eating and weight reduction is portion control.
This means learning how much is in a serving size so that you can control the amount
of food you eat.
If you tend to eat whatever is on your plate mindlessly in one sitting, my suggestion
is use smaller plates, bowls and cups to help you eat less and save hundreds of calories.
One more thing, never eat out of the container, in front of the TV or your computer.
4. Eating a healthy low fat diet is only one part of a complete weight loss plan.
The other part is a regular exercise routine, which will also pack you with energy
as well as confidence.
A lot of weight watchers I spoke to hate exercise because they think it means spending
hours and hours in the gym, pounding the treadmills. You don't have to do that; there
are so many other physical activities that will get your heart rate up and burn fat
while you're having fun. Depending on your fitness level, you can try swimming, dancing,
or table tennis.
I think the easiest and most enjoyable way for overweight people to lose weight and
get in shape quickly is to ride a bike. You don't have to try very hard; just hop
on a bike and pedal away. If you want to push yourself a bit more, try to do it with
more intensity – faster, more frequent and longer duration .
If you've a difficult time with moderate intensity aerobic exercises, try hula hooping
at home, yoga, taichi, or brisk walking. I'd recommend brisk walking for overweight
or obese people who want minimal effort for optimal weight loss. Walking is easy
to perform and can be done anywhere. Best of all, it doesn't cause injuries as it
involves natural movements of your body.
You should aim for 30 minutes of low to modern intensity exercise, 3-4 times a week.
Then gradually increase the duration and frequency of exercise (50-60 minutes, 5-6
times a week) when your body is ready. You also can break up exercise into smaller
sections (about 15 minutes each) throughout the day.
To help yourself stick to your workout plan, try to vary your exercise to keep things
For example, you can brisk walk on Monday and Thursday, swim a few laps on Tuesday,
do yoga on Wednesday, and go biking on Friday.
5. Last but by no means least, set realistic weight loss goals to keep yourself motivated
and avoid disappointments.
When you're just starting out losing weight, try to set easier-to-achieve goals like
losing 1-2 pounds per week, cutting out 500 calories a day, or exercising for 30
minutes daily. If you set yourself overly ambitious, unrealistic goals that are beyond
your current health and fitness level, you may become frustrated or discouraged and
give up your dieting plans before you reach them.
More importantly, you should check your progress every few days, and re-evaluate
your goals, if necessary.
What food items fall under the negative calorie foods list to burn calories and fat,
and help you lose more weight? Find out how to stay thin while munching away nutrient-packed
negative calorie fruits and vegetables.