We know by now there is no magic wand to make body fat disappear. Still, there are some simple lifestyle changes you can use to make a difference. Here are a few keys to get you on the path to success.
Believe it or not, exercise does not have to be torturous. Choose something you enjoy, that gets your heart rate up, and just do it. Regular exercise, especially HIIT (high-intensity interval training) burns fat and calories, so you slim down. Mix it up. Maybe you’ll speed walk and walk a day or two, dance the night away on another day and work in your garden or go for a swim or bike ride the next day.
Choose foods wisely
You’ve heard the adage about enjoying everything in moderation. That is especially true with food. You don’t have to give up everything you love. You just have to give up the idea of overindulging in what you love. Think of your plate in quarters. As you transition to more food choices in support of your goal to lose body fat, adjust your ratios. Maybe to start you will have at least one quarter with whole grains and vegetables. Over time that can grow to ¾ of the plate with the high calorie and high-fat foods occupying only one-quarter of the plate. Be sure to use a 6-inch plate. Dinner plates have gotten larger over the years, making it easier to overeat without realizing it.
Swap out sodas
Swap out some or all of your sugary beverages (soda, fruit juice, chocolate milk, and alcohol) for water. Staying hydrated makes it less likely that you will eat when you aren’t hungry, and water is calorie-free. Also, you may not know that alcohol dehydrates. When you are dehydrated you have less energy which means you will probably cruise the couch instead of exercise.
Get enough sleep
When we don’t sleep well we are more likely to skip exercise, feel stressed and make poor food choices. Skipping sleep may make you feel more productive but ultimately you will find that your performance and health will suffer.
Chart your progress
Keep a log of your food and fitness activities. Track patterns that lead to success as well as those that get in the way of your goals. Adjust accordingly and keep doing your best. Better health isn’t just about how you want to look, it is also about how you feel. If making changes gives you more energy, a better feeling of wellbeing and improved health outcomes – it is totally worth it. You are worth it.