1. Have confidence in yourself. You should know the exact reason that stimulates you to reduce your weight. This will help keep you motivated in your weight loss program.
2. Set an achievable goal for your weight reduction. If the aim is not practical then you will easily get disheartened and stop following your regime. You must set a target that has a time limit. The amount of weight you want to lose and the time within which you would like to lose it should be decided beforehand. If the time and amount of weight is clearly decided primarily, your enthusiasm will keep you on the track until you reach your destination.
3. Determine your daily caloric intake. Losing weight is simply an activity. Lower your calories intake without starving. Remember to calculate your metabolism. The metabolism is a large part of your calories burned in an average day. To win the battle, know how many calories you consume in a day.
o Write down all the things you eat on a typical day. Carry a small notebook with you and write down every snack, every drink, and the contents of every meal. There are also great websites that you can use to keep track of calories, get recipes, and help achieve your goal. Don't forget to include the pats of butter or the spoonful of sugar in your coffee. It's best to do this for at least a couple weekdays and a weekend; it's even better if you can go a full week.
o Do an itemized calorie count. When possible, write down the number of calories in each thing you eat as you eat it. Keep in mind that the recommended serving size is often considerably smaller than the serving you actually eat. Look up the calorie count on the internet for foods that don't have calories listed on the container or for fast food meals. You don't have to be 100% accurate, but you do want a good estimate of the number of calories you're taking in. There is an idea that multiplying your ideal weight by ten will produce a rough estimate of the number of calories you need to eat per day to maintain your weight. This is not true for everyone. You may wind up grossly under or over estimating the number of calories you should be eating. Consult a nutritionist. Use a scientific or health website to determine the number of calories you should eat a day or consult your doctor. Everyone has different metabolisms and there is no blanket rule that covers everyone's recommended calorie intake. Reducing 500 calories per day from the calories you eat to maintain your weight can help you lose a pound of fat per week.
4. Go over the list and decide which foods to cut out or reduce. Cutting calories is usually a lot easier than you might think. For example, that daily tall latte in the morning may pack 500 calories. Since a pound of flab (lost or gained) is roughly equivalent to 3,500 calories, replacing that rich beverage with black coffee can help you lose a pound a week. Other easy cuts include salad, soda pop, candy, and butter. Look at the nutritional information for the foods you eat, pay special attention to your intake of saturated fats and empty calorie, high-sugar foods. You don't need to cut these things out entirely, but if you reduce your intake of high-fat, high-calorie foods you'll lose weight faster.
5. Seek out alternatives to the unhealthy foods you've identified. You can simply reduce the amount of soda you drink or mayonnaise you put on your sandwiches, or you can substitute healthier choices. Drink water instead of soda, for example, or use mustard instead of mayo. Low-fat and low-calorie options are also available for most foods, and many of these are natural, (although some may contain chemicals), and tasty. Start trying to eat healthy in most meals:
o Choose lean meats. Chicken and fish are both very low in fat, and certain fish like salmon, sardines, and fresh tuna are an excellent sources of antioxidants and Omega-3 fatty acids, which are also beneficial to your health, so aim to replace some or all of the beef or pork in your diet with these foods.
o Replace high-calorie side dishes with healthier alternatives. Many people get a ton of calories from side dishes such as macaroni and cheese, French fries, or potato salad. You can eat healthier and lose weight by replacing these with fresh vegetables and salads. Pre-made salads are practically effortless, and when accompanied by a reduced-calorie dressing or no dressing at all, they're weight-loss gold.
o Start your days off right. A fattening breakfast of bacon and eggs or a pastry can be replaced with yogurt, oatmeal, high-fiber, low-sugar cereals; or fresh fruit for fruit smoothies. However, for those on a low carbohydrate diet bacon and eggs are a great combo for breakfast, since neither have carbs. But don't fall into the trap of skipping breakfast. Eating a healthy breakfast increases your rest metabolic rate earlier in the day, and reduces snacking before lunch.
6. Plan your meals. Look for healthy, delicious meals online or in your cookbooks, and create a menu for the week. Make sure that your meal plan reduces your total calorie intake: you're not going to lose weight if you consume the same amount of calories by eating different foods. Make a list of what you'll need for these meals, and -- except for a few snacks, of course -- don't stray from your list when you get to the market. Planning your meals helps ensure you get a balanced diet and reduces the temptation to stop off for fast food or order a pizza. Remember, it's easier to stick to your shopping list if you shop when you aren't hungry - this will help avoid impulse buys which contribute to calorie consumption.
7. Watch your portion sizes. Eating a whole bag of rice cakes in one sitting won't help you lose weight. When eating chips, nuts, or dried fruit, put a portion in a small bowl and then put the bag away. That way you won't mindlessly eat a larger portion than you had intended. Even if you only make minimal changes to your diet choices, reducing portion size will inevitably reduce caloric intake. A great way to watch portion sizes while snacking is to buy one serving 100 calorie packages - and they come in many favorite snack food items! Eat slowly to avoid overeating; you will get satisfied with less calories.
8. Graze on healthy snacks. Just because you're getting healthy doesn't mean you can't snack. In fact, eating small meals and snacks throughout the day, or grazing, has been shown to aid weight loss, compared to eating three large meals a day, by keeping metabolism steadier. Pick snacks that are low in calories and fat and high in fiber dried apricots, nuts, rice cakes, fruits, baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, and so on. Vegetables are generally very low in calories, very high in fiber, and full of flavor and nutrition. Avoid starchy vegetables like potatoes, and try to eat vegetables plain, without fatty dressings or dips. Fruit also makes a good snack. Fruit contains more soluble fiber than vegetables, which slows your body's absorption of carbohydrates, thus releasing energy more slowly preventing sugar highs, and keeping you feeling full longer. Fruit juices are not a replacement for the real thing. You need that fiber, and juices often have more calories than the equivalent serving of fruit and as many calories as soda! Be careful with dried fruits, because without the water, you tend to eat more, and fruits, when dried, are calorie-rich per ounce. With any dry or dried food, be sure to drink plenty of water.
9. Get more fiber. There are many myths about fiber, but there is science to back up its helpful role in the diet. Fiber keeps the right amount of water in your intestines, making your digestive system work more efficiently and helping to keep you regular. Thus, just eating enough fiber may help you feel slimmer in just a day or so. There is also evidence that fiber in the diet can help prevent stroke and heart disease, ease the effects of diabetes, and may even directly help in weight loss.
10. Drink plenty of water. An adequate amount of water is essential for health, and a great many people simply don't get enough. What's more, if you're chronically dehydrated, your body will retain water in unflattering places, so if you make sure to get plenty of fluids you can start visibly trimming down in as little as a day. Remember, the more you exercise, the more water you'll need. See the related wikiHow for more details on how much water you should be getting. Drink one glass of water before your meal; it will help digestion and also to get the sensation of fullness in your stomach that will keep you from overeating; that in combination with eating slowly, will allow you to stop eating when you are satisfied, not when you already ate too much (If you eat too fast you can get full, even bloated but still be hungry) .
11. Write down your targets on sticky note pads and then stick them in most spaces of your home. These stuck notes will always remind you of your goal and will further inspire you to stay on your regime. They would not let you forget your goals at any time.
12. Exercise. Remember, you can lose weight either by decreasing your calorie intake or increasing the number of calories you burn. Any health strategy should include both, but if you want to lose weight fast, exercise is essential. By making time for exercise and other healthy, productive activities, you can also avoid temptation to overeat.
o Perform low impact aerobic activities. Moderate aerobic workouts incorporating brisk walking, cycling, aerobic machines, or swimming not only burn calories they also keep your heart healthy. Swimming is great, especially if you are quite overweight or have joint problems, because you can get the same benefits of running typically burning even more calories with much less stress on your joints. Try to get at least 30-40 minutes of aerobic exercise at least three or four days per week.
o Pump some iron. Resistance training, weight training, can help both sexes stay lean by building muscle and raising metabolism. The fact is, hours and hours of aerobic exercise won't help most people lose weight fast because your metabolism drops back to normal fairly quickly after stopping the exercise. If you gain muscle, however, your body's resting metabolism, (the amount of calories you burn when you're just sitting still), increases, because muscle requires a lot of calories to maintain. Studies have shown consistent weight training to raise the body's metabolism by 15%. This means an average woman might burn 200-300 more calories at rest every day! Resistance training is the gift that keeps on giving!
o It can be fun! Although you're losing weight through possibly painful exercises, it doesn't necessarily have to be a boring and painful procedure. If you want some extra motivation that will cover up the pain, get the video game Wii Fit. Built by Nintendo, this system helps you do exercises such as yoga, aerobics, strength training, and balance. If you want to work on burning calories, you can always run, but when you run on Wii Fit, it's twice as fun, because you always have a score to beat, and if you're competitive enough, it's a great way to burn the calories and get in shape.
13. Rest properly. This means not only taking at least 24-48 hours between strength training the same muscles, and taking 1-2 days off from exercising each week; it also means knowing how much sleep you need, since sleep deficiency impairs your ability to lose fat.
14. Be realistic. Don't expect a miracle. Healthy weight loss can be achieved fairly quickly, but you'll need to be patient. In addition, be sure to set realistic goals. Make sure that the weight you're trying to reach is a healthy weight for you, and keeping in mind that gaining pounds of muscle will help you lose fat, be trimmer, and look better even though you don't actually lose any weight. Your goal should be a healthy body, not a number of pounds! Everyone looks good at a different weight. A short person may look really good at about 112 pounds, but a person of a taller height would just look unhealthy. Keep yourself at a weight that makes you look good, not at a number that sounds good.
15. Make adjustments. A successful weight loss strategy based on reducing calorie intake and increasing activity can be adjusted to maintain your desired weight once you reach it. Unlike typical diets, this method is sustainable; it is a lifestyle change, not a binge-and-purge exercise. Slowly adjust your diet and exercise to include more weight training and calories, as much as is comfortable for you. If you do gain any weight back, you want that weight to be lean, toned muscle, not fat. In addition, weight training, no matter what your age, prevents muscle atrophy and can help stave off osteoporosis.
o Instead of thinking of it as losing a certain amount of pounds, think of it as being a certain weight. So if you are 145 pounds, and you would like to lose 10 pounds, think of it as being 135 pounds. This helps you think about it as a long-term goal and not just losing the weight to gain it back again.
16. Be confident. You need to believe in yourself! If you want to diet, and you know that it will make you feel better, then you need confidence. Otherwise, the temptation to cheat on your diet will make it harder, and you will not feel better when you do lose weight. Avoid temptations like chocolate, ice cream, and cookies. They may taste good, but there are other foods that taste delicious, too, without being unhealthy. You need to always encourage yourself to achieve the goals that you have set. Learn to evaluate your efforts fairly and objectively. If you fail to achieve your target for the week, find out why is it so. Is it because you have missed an exercise session? Or you have been eating junk food for one of the days? After evaluating, look ahead to next week and try your best to stick to your plan.
17. Be consistent and disciplined, and have self motivation. To lose weight effectively, you need to stick to your weight loss plan religiously so as to see results. When you think about giving up, visualize the benefits of slimming down successfully.
18. After you achieve your targets successfully, you must maintain your weight loss. You must form a way of life that is healthy for you. Make certain that you don't gain back the weight you lost by returning to your old eating habits.
19. You can simplify weight loss with a pre-planned diet, many of which involve ready-made food. Be especially cautious of and do not spend long (more than, say, a month) on a diet which involves an extremely restricted variety of foods; do not use any that involves drugs without consulting a doctor. Some involve special versions of a variety of more-or-less ordinary food.
o Preparing menus and queuing up portions of food well in advance can help you stick to a diet (by having a well-defined diet to which to stick) and avoid reminders to think about varieties of food daily, which is very helpful when trying to eat less of it. This can help you Easily Stick to and Enjoy a Diet Such As Nutrisystem or any other.