Recent studies say at least two-thirds of Americans are overweight. But weight loss boils down to basic math: just burn more calories than you take in, and you’ll lose weight.
- Step 1: Don’t restrict your diet so much that you get hungry and overcompensate—especially when night falls. Eat a variety of foods or several small healthy snacks throughout the day to avoid gorging on a heavy dinner, grabbing fast food, or splurging on a double helping of dessert.
- Step 2: Keep a journal. Tracking your eating and exercise habits will not only show where you can improve, but it will hold you accountable for your actions. Soon you’ll become motivated by your success.
- FACT: Muscle is metabolic, which means it burns calories—so adding strength training to your fitness routine will help you torch calories without even trying.
- TIP: If you’re strapped for time, studies have shown that even 10 minutes of exercise is beneficial. The bottom line is to raise your heart rate.
- Step 3: Exercise 30 minutes or more of anything heart-pumping at least three times a week—preferably every day. Excellent exercises are rhythmic walking, running, jogging, cycling, or swimming.
- Step 4: Eat smart. Cut out saturated fats, go easy on sugar, and consume a moderate amount of lean protein like egg whites, chicken, or fish. Load up on veggies and fruit.
- TIP: Calculate the number of calories you need to consume each day to maintain your current weight by multiplying your weight by 14 if you’re sedentary, or 17 if you’re active. Then subtract 300 to 500 off the total to find how many calories you should eat to lose a pound or two a week.
- : Always consult a physician before attempting any exercise or diet program.