Now that the new year is upon us many of you would have made the decision to lose a little weight, perhaps for medical reason or perhaps just to boost your body confidence.
Whatever the reason you must be prepared to put in a little effort. You should also try to remain dedicated to reaching your goal, and willing to make the necessary sacrifices too.
The following are some tips that will give you a good head-start to your weight loss journey. If you follow these tips then there is no reason why you cannot lose up to 15 pounds in just a month.
#1: Keep track of those calories
Cutting calories is one of the best ways to lose weight, but how do you know how many calories you need to cut?
First you will need to track the number of calories you would usually consume daily. You should write down everything you consume, both food and drink.
Try to be as accurate as possible, as you will tend to under-estimate otherwise, leading to many calories not being added to your intake.
You will also need to work out you BMR or Basal Metabolic Rate, which looks at how many calories you need daily to maintain your weight.
There are calculators online that can work this out for you, looking at various factors including your age, and activity levels.
Once you know your BMR you should try and cut this amount by 300-500 calories. You should never go below 1,200 calories per day though.
Again keep track of your food and calorie intake, so a food diary is recommended.
#2: Take your mind off those food cravings
Despite your best efforts you are likely to experience food cravings between meals from time to time.
If you give into these then your chances of achieving your weight loss goals will be greatly reduced.
While your food choices can reduce the chances of suffering food cravings if you do encounter them there are things that you can do.
Simply, you can take your mind off the cravings by doing something else.
Perhaps go for a walk, or play a game.
If you really can’t resist those food cravings then opt for fresh fruit or a handful of nuts.
#3: Cut back on sugar
In the past it was fat and carbs that were claimed to be the primary cause of weight gain, however the truth is that your body needs both of these things.
Nowadays it is your sugar intake that is a major cause of weight gain, so you should try to take steps to reduce your intake.
You should obviously try to avoid added sugars, but you should also be aware of those hidden sugars found in food.
I would personally recommend reading the product labels before you buy your usual foods, you would be surprised at just how much sugar content there is.
Processed carbs like white bread are full of sugar, with even seemingly healthy foods like low fat yoghurt also a big culprit.
#4: Watch those liquid calories
While your food intake is likely to be the biggest problem when it comes to calorie consumption, you cannot discount what you drink either.
Soft drinks are full of calories, and those hot beverages full of creams and sugars are not much better either.
You maybe tempted by those diet alternatives but research has found that even those should be avoided if weight loss is your goal. The reason for this is that they cause cravings for sugary foods.
It may not be exciting but the best option is water, as it contains zero calories and can help curb your appetite. To add interest I would recommend adding a slice of lemon or other citrus fruit.
#5: Make sure to add vegetables to every meal
Vegetables are the perfect accompaniment to any meal as they are low in calories but full of fibre and other nutrients your body needs.
The fibre helps to fill you up, so you can bulk up on vegetables without it harming your calorie intake too much.