You might hear or read stories about people who've lost 20 or 30 pounds in two months. This becomes your motivation to achieve similar results. But you might come to the realization that weight loss is easier said than done. This doesn't mean you should give up or think you can't lose weight. You can reach your goal, but there are things you should know about weight loss.
1. Healthy Weight Loss is 1 to 2 Pounds of Fat a Week
Some people start dieting and think they'll lose 5 pounds in the first week. But you're not likely to lose 5 pounds of fat in just seven days. One pound of fat is the equivalent of 3,500 calories. If you can shed 500 calories a day, either by eating less or exercising, you'll lose about 1 pound of fat a week.
2. Stress Contributes to Weight around the Mid-section
The more stress you deal with, the harder it'll be to lose weight. Stress causes the brain to release a chemical that affects fat distribution, causing more fat around our mid-section. This is more likely to happen when dealing with ongoing stress. So while you're working toward your weight loss goals, take steps to reduce stress, such as limiting your obligations or practicing deep breathing.
3. Too Much Sodium Can Add Pounds to the Scale
If you're trying to lose weight, it's also important to reduce your sodium intake. Since sodium is found in a variety of foods, you'll need to read package labels and check nutritional information before ordering at a restaurant. Sodium causes water retention, and water weight can add as much as 5 to 10 pounds to the scale. Ideally, you should consume no more than 2,500 mg of sodium per day.
4. Skipping Meals Can Slow Weight Loss
Skipping meals might seem logical if you're trying to drop extra pounds. But skipping meals can slow your metabolism to a crawl, forcing your body into starvation mode. To keep your metabolism active, make sure you're eating every 2 to 3 hours.
5. Strength Training Helps You Lose More Body Fat
Cardio is good for weight loss. However, to speed your weight loss efforts, make sure you add strength training to your routine a few days a week. Strength training can include weightlifting, lunges, squats and other activities that tone and build muscle mass. The more muscles you have, the more fat you'll burn.
6. A Healthier Lifestyle is Just as Effective as Dieting
Dieting isn't the only way to lose weight, you can also achieve your weight loss goals by adjusting your eating habits and lifestyle. For example, practicing portion control lets you enjoy the foods you love while taking in fewer calories. Also, drinking more water during the day fights water weight and helps you feel full longer.
7. It's Okay to Indulge – in Moderation
Depriving yourself of your favorite foods is one of the quickest ways to fail at any weight loss program. Practice the 80/20 rule. According to this rule, you can eat 80% clean and healthy a day, and indulge the other 20%. If you're able to eat your favorite foods, it'll be easier to stick with a weight loss plan.
Losing weight improves your health and reduces the risk of many illnesses, such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer. But losing weight isn't an easy challenge, so it's important to recognize anything that might sabotage your efforts. What is your best weight loss trick?