Everyone wants to be a little healthier than they are, or at least lose a little bit of weight. These are perfectly reasonable ambitions that you should be applauded for wanting to pursue. However, it’s just as important that you go about meeting these goals in a way that is both healthy and responsible. Here are a few tips to get you started on the right path to shaving off the pounds.
Go Easy On Yourself
Now keep in mind, we’re not recommending you ever take the easy way out or skimp on your exercise; we’re talking about going easy on your expectations. Health and fitness are continuous, ongoing processes that change just as much (and as often) as you do. It can take time, patience and discipline, and it is important not to let yourself be discouraged just because you didn’t develop six-pack abs in a month. Start small with reasonable, attainable goals like losing five to ten pounds in a month. When you’re able to reach your goals, it can give you the confidence to aim even higher for the next time.
Avoid High Calorie Celebrations
You’ve been doing a great job! You’re eating healthier, cutting down on junk foods and only have pizza once every few weeks, that’s terrific. All that hard work definitely deserves a reward, but don’t wash it all that effort away with beer in celebration. The average beer (even the so-called “lite” beers) have about 100 calories each. Unless you’re planning to put in some extra sweat to burn it all off, those brews are only going to negate all of your hard work. Wine has much fewer calories, and it has been shown to have some positive health benefits in moderation. If you’re thinking of cutting down on the quantity by switching to hard liquor that’s fine, just stick to the clear stuff and avoid the darker liquors as they tend to have more sugar and more calories.
Skip the Spicy Late Night Snacks
It should go without saying that humongous snack sizes, meats, and other junk foods should be avoided before bedtime, but you should also watch out for spicy foods. While spicy foods might make you feel awesome, but they’ll kick your body’s endorphins into high gear before bed and keep you from falling asleep. Try having some tea or a little lightly salted popcorn if you’re feeling particularly hungry before hitting the hay.
Have a Scheduled Cheat Day (Just One)
It’s important to have the occasional cheat day. Few good things come from becoming embittered by your workout routine. When you’re resentful of working out or having to constantly sacrifice things you enjoy for your diet, it only makes the process all the more frustrating. Just grab a pen and pad (or use your phone if that’s easier), and schedule a specific day to treat yourself. By setting a unique time for your “cheat,” it not only requires you to show some willpower but also helps to give you a reward to look forward to after all your hard work.
Get Some Sleep
Not only does getting a good night’s rest improve your mood and general feeling of wellbeing, but most people forget how many calories your body burns while sleeping. It’s recommended that adults get seven to eight hours of sleep per day while teenagers and younger children should get a minimum of ten hours. The average person burns 0.42 calories for each pound of body weight per hour. That would mean that a 150 lb. person burns close to 60 calories an hour for close to a whopping 500 calories with a solid 8 hours.