If you’re on a path to weight loss, things can get sticky at times. You might feel like you’re alone in your challenges, you may feel discouraged, and you could even feel like giving up at one point. Those are all totally normal feelings! To help you stay in line with your goals, here are some of the absolute best weight-loss tips out there. Get ready to take notes.
1. Do More Strength Training
It’s easy to get stuck in a routine of solely cardio, but strength training is the ticket that will help you reach your weight-loss goals even faster. Building the extra lean muscle will help you shed more fat in the long run. Don’t worry — you won’t get bulky!
2. Set Realistic Goals
Too often people set goals for themselves that are too lofty. For example, you might tell yourself you’ll go to the gym every single day after work this week. Or you promise yourself you won’t eat any carbs unless it’s Sunday. These big unrealistic goals are extremely difficult to reach, and when you don’t get there, you feel disappointed and feel like tossing in the towel entirely.
Instead, set small attainable goals, like working out three times this week, or making yourself a healthy breakfast instead of picking something up on the way to work. You’ll set yourself up for success, which will only encourage you to work harder in the long run.
3. Give Up Calorically Dense Drinks
Drinks such as soda, sweetened tea, and sugary cocktails are packed with excess calories that aren’t doing you any favors in terms of weight loss. Find beverages that are better suited to your needs, like unsweetened tea, kombucha, clear alcohol, or just straight-up water.
4. Do More HIIT Cardio
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is one of the most effective workouts for shedding fat and burning calories. Not only does this kind of workout burn major calories during the session, but it will help you burn more calories throughout the day. Consider trading in all your long cardio sessions for quick HIIT bursts of cardio, like this bodyweight workout.
5. Create Daily Self-Care Practices
What you eat and do at the gym is only part of the weight-loss equation. Make sure you’re sleeping enough every night and you’re keeping stress at bay. Whether it’s taking a long, hot bath when you get home from work or journaling every morning, find a few daily self-care practices that will help you feel your very best mentally and emotionally.
6. Choose Fats Wisely
Hate to break it to you, but oil is the most calorically dense food out there. Just one tablespoon is generally more than 100 calories, and those tablespoons can add up quickly when you’re cooking or eating out. You might want to consider limiting or eliminating oil from your diet, at least for a few weeks so you can cut out unnecessary calories and feel clear-headed. Instead choose to get your fat from nutrient-rich sources like ghee, avocados, and nuts.
7. Eat More Vegetables
You’ve heard this a thousand times, but eating more greens is a surefire way to get healthy fast. Vegetables are packed with all kinds of nutrients and vitamins that will help you feel your very best. Plus, they’re low in calories and full of fiber.
8. Steer Clear of Processed and Packaged Foods
Even if it says “healthy” or “vegan” on the package, don’t be fooled. Processed food is processed food — and it’s not good for you. Rather than opening up a bag of granola or potato chips, consider going into the kitchen and grabbing some whole, natural foods, such as roasted pumpkin seeds or an apple and peanut butter. The more you train your body to eat whole foods, the faster you’ll reach your weight-loss goals.
9. Try to Work Out in the Morning
Studies show that people who exercise in the a.m. work harder than those who work out during other times of the day. Which certainly makes sense considering how exhausted you feel after a long day at work. Try to go to sleep earlier so you can wake up earlier in the morning and squeeze in a workout. Even if you go for a brisk walk around the block, you’re going to reap the benefits.
10. Use Portion Control
There’s no need to completely eliminate any food from your diet, but rather than eating whatever is in front of you, practice portion control. This will allow you to enjoy the foods you love most, yet also stay in line with your goals. Learning how to count your macros is a great way to know how you should divvy up each meal and snack.
11. Drink Lots of Water
A lot of the times, when you think you’re hungry, you’re actually just thirsty. Make sure you’re drinking enough water every single day, which will help you stay full for longer and prevent you from eating out of boredom.
12. Don’t Quit!
Most important, don’t give up. Even when things get tough and you may have a little slip-up, you don’t have to quit entirely. Stay on your path and stay focused. Elicit support from friends and family if you need to. You need all the help you can get!