13 Fat-Busting Steps
By: Jeff Behar
Step 1. Make Sure You’re Ready For Change:
Your weight-loss success depends on your readiness to take on the challenge. Losing weight will take some time and effort, and it will require you to make some sacrifices. The following questions can help you judge whether now is the best time to start your weight-loss program. If you answer all these questions correctly (or at least most of them) you are ready!
Step 2. Set Goals:
Successful weight loss and healthy weight management depend on sensible goals and expectations. If you set sensible goals for yourself, chances are you’ll be more likely to meet them and have a better chance of keeping the weight off. Include short term, intermediate and long-term goals to increase your chances of success.
Step 3. Track Yourself:
Self-awareness is self-motivation: by keeping track of your behavior, you motivate yourself to change because you become more accountable. Track yourself with a food diary to know what you are eating. Note when you err, and what caused it so you can fix the issue. Tracking your food intake and eating habits is essential for managing your weight.
Step 4. Your Are What You Eat, So Eat Mindfully:
Healthy eating means getting a variety of foods in moderation-not making any food forbidden, but not going overboard on those rich foods that were once special-occasion indulgences. Eat mindfully by knowing the foods that make weight loss easier, and understanding key healthy-eating principles.
Step 5. Exercise To Raise Your Metabolic Rate:
The best way to increase your basal metabolic rate(BMR) is to decrease the amount of FAT you’re carrying and replace it with muscle, which means a combination of heart-pumping aerobic activity and muscle-building weight workouts.
Your Basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the amount of energy expended while at rest. Raising your BMR means burning more calories all day long without doing anything extra!
BMR decreases with age and with the loss of lean body mass. But all is not lost! Increased cardiovascular exercise and muscle mass can increase BMR.
Muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue does, even when you’re at rest. Exercise also helps raise endorphins which makes you feel better, gets you off the couch so you eat less, and studies show that people who move more are more likely to keep the pounds off. No matter what shape you are in, you can become “an exercise person” by starting slowly and sticking to it.
Exercise should include regular physical activity for at least 45 minutes, four to five days a week. Exercise should include resistance training, since resistance training increases lean muscle mass and lean muscle mass burns more calories, even when you are at rest.
Step 6. Out With The Old, In With The New:
Clean out the cupboards with the bad food, and replace the bad food with healthy alternatives. This includes replacing fatty and sugary foods with more healthy substitutions like fruits, vegetables, whole-grains, and other high-fiber foods.
Step 7. Learn About Portion Control:
Monitor portion sizes and hunger — this is important in today’s world of “super-size” restaurant portions.
Step 8. Eat Small And Eat Frequently:
Eat small frequent meals to increase your metabolism, and minimize fat storage. Eat at least three meals a day and even a few snacks in between and do not skip meals.
Step 9. Learn To Manage Stress:
Stress reduction is not just good for your mental health, it’s also good for your waistline. Stress is counterproductive to weight loss goals because stress can actually shut down your digestive system.
In addition to making weight loss nearly impossible, stress can make us susceptible to many different health issues.
Stress also causes many people to eat, and eat poorly. You are more likely to crave fattening foods such as pasta, bread and potatoes when you are under stress. Many starchy foods stimulate the production of serotonin, a chemical that makes you feel good. Instead of reaching for donuts, reach for lean turkey or bananas, other foods that raise serotonin levels. Stress-induced overeating makes it difficult to stick to a weight loss plan.
Stress is a part of modern society. People work long hours, worry about the future, forgo sleep and get too caught up in the rat race to take time for meditation and reflection. Therefore it is extremely important for your weight loss success that you learn to manage (yes, manage) stress in a effective way.
When you feel stress coming on turn to a positive activity, like exercise instead of emotional eating to increase your success at keeping the weight off. Once you learn to reduce the stress in your life, you may begin to experience weight loss success.
Step 10. Get Some Z’s:
Permanent weight loss is difficult for people who are sleep-deprived, and under stress. By getting plenty of sleep and engaging in relaxation activities such as yoga, meditation and prayer, many people have experienced weight loss.
Shoot for a solid eight hours of sleep every night in a relaxed environment to reduce stress and kick start weight loss. If you missed sleep, don’t sleep in late. Which can slow you down and make you lethargic. Instead consider a power nap during the day to rejuvenate yourself.
Many studies have shown that naps can be just as beneficial (if not more) because it gives your mind and body a chance for a reprieve from the daily stresses in your life.
Step 11. Develop New Interests:
Develop passions, interests, and hobbies to help you focus on things other than food.
Step 12. Get Support:
Losing weight is challenging- and a lifestyle change for most people. Many people fail, because they have difficulties going it alone, or have many temptations at work and at home.
To increase your chances at being successful it is helpful to cultivate a network of friends, family, co-workers, professionals and like-minded dieters.
Consider having a family meeting about the guidelines of your diet and your plans for your lifestyle change. Discuss how everyone can help you meet your goals. Ask the friends and family whom you regularly dine with to help keep temptation at bay by not offering you foods off your diet plan. If you don’t have someone you can rely on, consider joining a weight-loss support group.
Step 13. Have A Long-Term Plan:
Maintaining lost weight can often be the most difficult part of the weight loss journey. Many people often look at lifestyle and diet changes as only temporary actions, and fail to continue to apply these healthy habits after they lose the weight.
To keep the weight off it is essential that you stick to your lifestyle changes. There are several studies that show that without a maintenance program, that approximately 75% of those people who lose weight regain it within one year, and 95% within three years.
Studies also show that people who have a long term maintenance plan commit to lifestyle changes do significantly better, with a 60% success rate at three years. From this, we can conclude that having a maintenance program after you lose weight and meet your initial goals is a critical step in permanent weight loss!