The quickest way to get a jump-start on reducing body fat and encouraging weight loss is to make a commitment to yourself: make a plan, a strong strategy and prepare to get active. When weight loss is the goal, you want to make sure you’re approaching it from the proper path. This will allow maximum fat loss, minimal muscle loss and an increase in strength and energy. Ready? Here we go. The following 6 ways are the quickest means to jump-start fat loss:
Fat loss doesn’t happen just because you want it to; you need to commit to the goal, and long road set before you from the get-go. If you want to reduce body fat and keep it off, make sure you’re in this for yourself. If you want to get healthy and stay that way long-term, it is a lifestyle change more than anything else. Your eating habits, activity and even thinking will change with this decision.
2. Devise a Plan
The first order of business is to clean up your diet. Fat loss takes exercise-no way around that. If you jump into a vigorous exercise program before you change your diet, you will not have enough energy and will likely feel like quitting. So that’s why it’s so important to eat the right foods that will jump start your metabolism, and to fuel your body enough to endure the additional activity required to lose weight.
You’ll want to cut out:
- White sugar,
- Watch your portion sizes,
- Cut out all processed foods and white, starchy foods.
You also need:
- About 2 cups of fresh fruit and a minimum of 2.5 cups of fresh vegetables every day.
- Water is also extremely important. Stay hydrated.
3. What is Your Strategy?
Once a week, sit down and plan every meal and every snack. If you’re not sure what foods you need, look at a food pyramid. From there you can make your grocery list for the week. You’ll have to go shopping more often if you are not used to eating and cooking with fresh produce. Buying it all on Saturdays for example, sets you up for expired produce in less than a weeks time; so make extra shopping trips a part of your strategy. Keep a food journal if all this is new to you. Maintaining an active food log will help tremendously in tracking how many calories you consume every day.
4. Get Active
It doesn’t matter what kind of exercise you choose; just be aware of how many calories each workout burns and compare that with your consumed calories from your food journal. When you jump-start fat loss, a healthy rate of weight loss is about 1-2 pounds per week, depending on how much you have to lose. The more overweight you are at the beginning, the more you can lose each week. It is normal for weight loss to slow down as you get closer to your goal weight.
5. Stay Motivated
If you choose to go through a weight-loss program such as Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig, you will have a consultant assigned to you to track your progress and answer any questions you have. These weight-loss professionals can also provide you with motivation. If you’re not part of a program, start collecting images that inspire you. They can be quotes, photos, drawings, anything that inspires you to keep going. Some people pair up with workout or weight-loss buddies to keep them motivated. Others will hire a personal trainer to aid in guidance, motivation and to have someone constantly pushing them to keep up the hard work. Each person is different – you decide what works for you and go with it.
6. Track Your Progress
Some smartphones have built-in step counters that beep if you remain stationary for too long. This is a great way to remind you to get up and move during the day. Nutritionists now recommend we track our steps, and try to get in at least 10,000 steps daily. Statistically speaking: people who achieve 10,000 steps per day weigh 10-20 pounds less after one year than people with inactive lifestyles. Sitting around for extended periods of time is enemy #1 to weight loss. Other smartphone apps include food and activity trackers, which put your data on a graph for you to see your progress. You input a few stats about yourself in the beginning, then update it daily with your meals, snacks, water and workouts.
Fat loss isn’t easy. If it was, we would all be fitness models. To lose body fat and build muscle, you must fuel your body properly by eating right and staying hydrated. You must also remain dedicated to the promises you made to yourself in the beginning. Staying in that motivated mindset will keep you moving forwards with the going gets rough; just know that if you keep at it, your efforts will pay off!