Before jumping into a diet, you must determine your ideal weight. This will be your guide on your weight loss journey. "Fast" weight loss doesn't imply that you drop 50 pounds overnight; a few pounds can take months to shed and for obese individuals, it can take years to lose the desired amount of weight. How fast you lose weight will depend on how focused you are on your diet.
Here are some simple steps to help you lose weight:
1. Before dieting, you must know how many calories you normally need in a day. If you are sedentary, multiply your weight (in pounds) by fifteen. If you are moderately active, multiply your weight by seventeen; if you are active, multiply your weight by twenty. This will give you the average calorie intake you need per day.
2. Remember to eat your fruits and veggies! You need at least five servings of them per day - doing this will put you on the right track to a healthy body, because fruits and vegetables have beneficial fibers, vitamins and antioxidants. They also fill up your stomach fast so that you don't overeat and take into many calories.
3. Monitor the quantity of food you eat. Avoid high-calorie foods and eat in small portions. A helpful tip is to chew your food slowly because this makes digestion easy on your body and you will also be less likely to overeat.
4. Don't skip meals. When you want to lose weight it may be tempting to starve yourself - but eating small amounts of food frequently can help you maintain a healthy, balanced calorie intake throughout the day. Also, your blood sugar level will be adversely affected if you don't eat often. You can even divide the standard allotment of three meals into five or six smaller meals.
5. Fresh fruits and vegetables are ideal - packaged and processed foods have high sodium and fat content. You are more likely to lose weight if you eat naturally fresh foods.
6. Don't limit your food intake too much. Go ahead and indulge yourself; eat your favorite treat. It's okay to have that slice of birthday cake at the occasional party. Just make sure to eat in moderation and use those special desserts as rewards, instead of enemies, to your weight loss experience.
7. Don't always believe everything you read on a food label. "Fat free" does not necessarily mean low calories. The same wisdom goes for foods that boast "low sugar" or "low carbs." Glance over the nutrition label - there you'll find the calorie count.
8. Try to limit the number of juices and sugary beverages you drink. Instead, drink eight glasses water a day - this flushes out your body's toxins and waste.
9. If possible, keep a food journal. This will help you keep track of your calorie intake and will be a daily reminder of the types of foods you need.
10. Don't forget to exercise! Thirty to sixty minutes of physical activity a day will ensure your health and help you lose weight (and not to mention, firm up those muscles). Weight-bearing exercises are especially great ways to burn those pesky calories.
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