Losing weight, whether for health reasons or for improving your self-confidence and physical appearance, can be a difficult change to implement into your lifestyle. Fortunately, losing weight can be a manageable process with the right information. Here are some tips to help you through this process.
Eat Healthy Meals
Weight loss can be attributed to exercise along with healthy eating, but what you put in your body is a larger part of this ratio. Experts have determined that your diet makes up 80 percent of your weight loss results, and exercise makes up the remaining 20 percent of your efforts. This is because it is easier to eat less and create a caloric deficit than to take in the calories and try to burn them off afterwards. For example, you would need to run seven to ten miles each day to burn enough calories to lose just one pound each week, and the damage that would do to your body would not be worth it.
Eat regular meals throughout the day, supplementing with healthy snacks between each meal. Be sure to eat breakfast, as this gets your metabolism going early on in the day to help your body burn more calories. It can be helpful to use a smaller plate for your meals to help you control your portion sizes. This also can help you not feel like you are being shorted on your portions, as visually your plate will still look full.
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, which are high in fiber and can help you feel full longer and are great for snacks. Also, you can eat grains and breads as long as you focus on whole grains, such as whole wheat bread and pasta. Whole wheat grains take longer for your body to break down and help you to feel full for longer.
Get Regular Exercise
Exercising is also an important part of losing weight, as it boosts your body's metabolism each day so you burn more calories overall. Health experts recommend that you aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day. This can include activities such as washing your car, walking the dog, riding your bike, or jogging. This can also include strength training with weights or with resistance bands.
When strength training, it is recommended to focus on all major muscle groups at least two times each week. Make sure you use enough resistance on each muscle group that you tire the muscle, but don't cause muscle failure. The more muscle your body has, the more calories it will burn throughout the day.
Watch What You Drink
As you are working on losing weight, what you take in as fluids is just as important as the foods you eat. And water is important for your body's health, as approximately 60 percent of your body's weight comes from water. It can also be common for you to confuse thirst for hunger and eat a snack instead of drinking more water. As a guideline, it is recommended for women to drink 11.5 cups of fluid each day and for men to drink 15.5 cups of fluid each day.
Along with drinking plenty of water each day, also watch how many drinks you take in containing caffeine. Although caffeine can help give you energy during workouts and as you are limiting your caloric intake, it can dehydrate you, as it is a diuretic. As a guideline, you should drink extra water each day if you consume caffeine. This will balance out your body's needs for fluid and keep your metabolism functioning properly.
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