Maybe you feel a little like this. You get winded while walking up a flight of stairs. You catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror while getting out of the shower, and you feel bad. You pass by your exercise equipment every day and, while you really want to use it, somehow it never gets used. You desperately want to do something, anything to lose the weight, but it seems utterly impossible.
First of all, know that you’re not alone. In fact, you’re in the majority, since most Americans grapple with some degree of weight gain during their lives. It might not feel like it sometimes, but you have some degree of control over your body based on what you eat, how you exercise, and how you live your life. Recently, we shared a few tips to help you lose weight, and we’re happy to share a few more.
Weight loss isn’t something that happens over a few weeks. It’s a long-term process, and there will inevitably be times where you feel like you want to give up or you can’t achieve your goals. That’s normal, and one of the best ways to fight back is with external reminders. Buy a smaller sized outfit and hang it up in a place where you can see it prominently, or have posters or pictures of the look you want hung up around your computer or room.
Remember we talked earlier about tracking your caloric intake? Many of us eat based on external cues. If we’re passing a donut shop, we’ll buy something even if we’ve already eaten. If we’re given a serving of food that’s bigger than usual, we’ll try to finish it anyway. Instead of eating when something is in front of you, start basing it around what your caloric needs are for the day or your hunger cues.
Make a plan for what you’re going to eat tomorrow, then stick to that plan. When you make a plan in advance, you’ll know how many calories you’ll be consuming. If you’re going out for a meal, check the menu ahead of time and make sure it has the kind of food you need.
Inevitably, you’re going to slip. That piece of pie looks too tempting, or that second helping is impossible to resist. When that happens, don’t beat yourself up over it. Instead, you’ll just need to adjust by either exercising more the next day or eating a little less.
Speaking of eating, there’s a reason breakfast is called the most important meal of the day, yet many people skip it entirely. This is a mistake because having breakfast jumpstarts your metabolism for the day. When you don’t eat in the AM, your body remains in hibernation mode and it burns fewer calories.
Instead of eating 3 big meals, try to eat multiple small meals spread out during the day. When you eat a large meal, your body stores the excess calories and converts them to fat. But when you have small meals, your body burns the calories more consistently during the course of the day.