Now that winter has bid adieu, are you worried about lugging those extra pounds around? Have you been waiting for a miracle make-over that would involve you shedding all those ghastly love handles? Then it is time to stop waiting for the universe to conspire for your success and make an effort towards weight-loss yourself. It is understandable that the first step is the most difficult one on the road to weight loss; however, if the ultimate goal gets closer by just this first step, then what’s the point in hesitating? By following the simple steps outlined below, you can practically lose weight within a month in a healthy and sustainable way. Let me be quite clear here – there are diets that you can follow – for example, the Atkins Diet – that will help you lose weight in a month; but the real problem with such diets, especially those that have evolved in the West, is that they are very difficult to follow beyond a certain period of time. I mean, can you follow a diet like Atkins that virtually forbids carbs or the Ornish Diet that forbids all fats?
Lose the water weight
The biggest motivator in a weight loss regime is that first drop in weight in the initial days. Now some people respond instantly to a diet and workout regime and some take longer to achieve initial results. But if you increase your water intake and reduce water retention of your body, you can definitely lose a pound within the first 3 days itself. However, to lose this extra water weight, you must go beyond the daily prescribed intake of 8 ounces of water. The human body contains 5-5.5 litres of water at any given point. Your goal, therefore, must be to recycle your body fluids by consuming as much as 5 litre of water daily!
Load up on roughage
The next way to see fastest weight loss results is by including roughage in your daily meals. Oats, bran and green vegetables are excellent sources of roughage that cleans up your digestive tract and help you lose that bloated feeling that has been irritating you more than those extra pounds.
Keep a food journal
Hydrating your daily diet and cleaning your system daily with roughage brings the excessive weight down in the initial days of weight loss. But if you want to continue the success and stay motivated, start keeping a food journal. Dieticians recommend keeping a food journal in order to keep track of everything you eat. The idea being that our negligent eating habits make us eat more than required by our body and this in turn leads to fat gain. With a journal forcing you to record every morsel of food going in, you are likely to identify your unhealthy snacking and eating patterns.
Count your calories
An average adult needs no more than 1800-2000 calories in a day to sustain and function, depending upon body mass and height. We land up gaining weight when we consistently consume more calories than our body needs. In order to lose weight, you have to reduce your calorie intake from the daily requirement to somewhere in the range of 1300-1500 per day. If it seems tough on paper, it will be tougher in reality. However, counting your calories can transform your eating habits. In addition to switching to smaller portions of your favourite foods, you will also learn to select low calorie foods like celery or carrots by keeping a track of your caloric intake. Thus, eat lots of salads and veggies – they will fill you up, are extremely healthy and will not add too many calories.
I am not sure if you have heard of the Glycaemic Index (also Glycemic Index). The glycaemic index (GI) is a measure of how quickly blood glucose levels (that is, blood sugar) rise after eating a particular type of food. Glucose – the defining standard – has a glycaemic index of 100. Learn to eat carbs that have a low glycaemic index; that is a great way to control your intake of calories and you will also end up eating healthier carbs. You will find the glycaemic index tables on many websites; just Google the term.
Track your weight weekly
Putting in so much of hard-work and not checking your weight daily can be a big challenge. But refraining from weighing yourself daily and making it a weekly ritual only can help you stay grounded with your weight loss goals. More often than not, obsessing about your weight and not seeing the scales moving downwards daily can be a spirit dampener. However, if you stick to your health regimen and only monitor your weight on a weekly basis, you can set realistic weight loss goals and manage to achieve them as well.
Exercise 45 minutes daily
Weight loss within a month becomes that much easier if you start boosting your metabolism with 30-45 minutes of exercise daily. Experts estimate that 45 minutes of cardio or strength training 6 days a week can dramatically improve your body tone and help it to burn fat. But if you are hard pressed for time, cross training or any form of sports even 3-4 days a week can also help shed extra weight very fast.
Download that pedometer app
To further enhance your metabolism and lose weight continually, download that pedometer application in your phone that you have always avoided. Expert trainers claim that counting your steps and increasing even 1000 steps daily can improve your muscle tone and help burn than extra fat more effectively. A pedometer keeps track of your every step and shows direct result in the form of calories burnt. If this is not motivation enough to stay on your feet to lose weight, then what can be?
Sacrifice that late night comfort food
This is probably the hardest part in the quest for weight-loss, but it does work miraculously well. After a long day of curbing your cravings and working out in favour of a healthier body, biting into that little nugget of comfort food stashed away in your refrigerator becomes that much hard to resist. But research proves that late night snacks leads to maximum weight gain because of the body’s lower metabolic rate. Therefore, if you really want to get to the other side of the scale with a leaner body, sacrifice those glazed doughnuts and chocolate fudge that you enjoy so much at midnight.
Stop procrastinating due to scary goals
The biggest hurdle in the weight loss dream is that you can’t seem to figure out when to start realizing it. So stop procrastinating and get going! There will never be a tomorrow or next week or next month more right to start your health regimen than today. But remember, if you set unrealistic goals for losing weight in a month, you would never feel like starting. A healthy weight loss regimen could lead to as much as 5-6 kg of weight loss in a month. Take it one step at a time and don’t overdo the whole diet and workout routine! What is important is that you get into better shape and lead a healthier, better lifestyle than you are currently doing.
After all, slow and steady wins the weight loss race!