Losing those last five, ten, or fifteen pounds is something many of us aspire to. However, while we start our weight loss journey with great enthusiasm, the main challenge is staying committed to our healthy goals and staying motivated on tough days.
It’s easy to fall back into old habits and lose sight of our goals. To prevent that from happening, follow these science-backed, ironclad, time-tested strategies to help you achieve your weight loss goals and maintain your progress. If you follow these tips consistently, you can definitely see yourself losing 20 pounds in no time.
1. Track Your Activity
We’re living in the golden age of fitness trackers—and tech that targets your health and wellbeing—so give yourself an edge by picking up something that will give you reliable data about your progress. You’ll be able to set data-based milestones (a few pounds lost, for instance), and you can reward yourself for your effort as you see your progress improve.
2. Embrace The Weight Room
You don’t have to transform into Ah-nold to reap the benefits of free weights or machines. The truth is, you need to perform some type of resistance exercise to build muscle. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn at rest and the better you’ll fee about your transforming body.
3. Drink Coffee
No longer thought of as a vice, coffee has been shown recently to help you live longer, protect your liver, and even ward off diabetes. The caffeine is also a great way to make your workouts livelier and enjoyable by providing you with an extra jolt of energy. Just limit any additions of dairy or sugar for maximum benefits.
4. Get Into HIIT
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a must-add workout routine when trying to shed pounds. The protocol pairs burst of intense, all-out effort with more moderate exertion to ramp up calorie burning and torch fat. The modality has also been linked to extending life by rebuilding cells and keeping diabetes away by improving insulin sensitivity.
5. Stand Taller
Hunching over your desk all day, stuck in your chair, has been found to be detrimental to your health and cause weight gain. Standing up regularly throughout the day, even if you aren’t actually engaging in sweaty exercise, triggers your brain’s internal scale and tamps down appetite. Constantly sitting screws up how your brain interprets your weight, which may lead to overeating.
6. Know Your Fiber
Fiber is a hard-to-digest carb found in fruits and vegetables and whole grains. Studies have shown that the more fiber you get in your diet, the lower your weight. Aim to get about 38 grams of fiber a day, because it will make you feel fuller more quickly and for longer, staving off hunger pangs.
7. Move More
Standing up at work, taking the stairs, going to the gym, walking the dog an extra mile—these all add up to your daily calorie-burning deficit and, over time, will help you shed weight. After all, science is telling us that keeping your muscles twitching.
8. Cut Out Processed Food
If you haven’t heard by now, processed foods (basically anything that comes in a box or package) aren’t good for you in the long run. Compared to whole foods—fruits, veggies, nuts, whole grain, meat, seafood—they are packed with refined sugar and white flour and other additives and preservatives that can contribute to weight gain. Limit consumption and don’t buy them.
9. Dump Sugar
Sugar has now replaced fat as the No. 1 reason why Americans are unhealthy and overweight. Fat was wrongly maligned for years, leading to “low-fat” and “reduced-fat” products that had sugar added to make them taste better, but too much sugar has been found to increase risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, obesity, and diabetes.
10. Cut Alcohol
If you are serious about weight loss, you should cut out booze. It’s calorie dense, affects fat burning, and can melt away any inhibitions against eating bad food or chowing down late at night. If you would like to drink, stick with two glasses of a clear liquor mixed with seltzer and a lime or lemon at each session.
11. Eat More Lean Protein
Protein is key for maintaining muscle, especially as you begin to lose weight. And if you are exercising, you must get in proper protein levels to fuel the processes that lead to building muscle, so go for a protein with less fat like lean cuts of beef (flank, sirloin, tenderloin) and pork (loin chop, tenderloin), plus seafood, fish, and poultry.
12. Make Room For Cheating
Some of the best weight loss motivation is a little wriggle room. Totally cutting yourself off from comfort foods or snacks that you crave is not a good move because it increases the chance you will overdo it the next time your will breaks and you load up on chips. Make sure you have one meal a week where you can eat whatever you want as a good psychological break from your weight-loss journey.
13. Cut out Fried Food
This should be one of the first foods you need to pretty much totally drop from your diet. They are OK for cheat meals, but you’ll soon find that fried foods won’t agree with your newly healthy constitution. Fried foods are saturated with oils high in calories and trans fats and are known to increase risk of developing heart disease and diabetes, and offer little nutritionally.
14. Consider Going Low Carb
Yes, low-carb diets are the latest weight-loss fad, but they work. Cutting carbs is a simple and effective way to create a healthier diet that will lead to weight loss. (Though more hardcore versions, like the ketogenic diet, can become unsustainable over time for most people.)