You’ve seen all the TV ads and heard all the promises: you can lose 30 pounds in one month, drop inches in just a couple of days and fit into a smaller dress size for your high school reunion in one week.
Chances are, if you’re overweight, you probably didn’t wake up one day 30 pounds heavier than when you went to bed. It takes years of inactivity and bad food choices to gain a significant amount of weight, and it will take longer than a quick-fix weight loss solution to lose the weight–and keep it off
In our “fast results” society, finding the patience to change eating and exercising behaviors can seem daunting. The good news is, you don’t have to make big changes immediately. Just a few small tweaks to your daily routine can yield amazing results. By integrating the following ways to get fit into your life, you can develop a healthier lifestyle that will be long-lasting and liberating.
Move every day
Whether it’s walking around the block, swimming a couple of laps or even doing squats during TV commercials, getting your body moving is how to get fit. As you get more comfortable, maybe add a fitness class or DVD, or include 30 seconds of running into your daily walk–and continue increasing the amount and intensity you exercise every couple of weeks.
Fuel your body
You would never drop a Snickers bar into your car’s gas tank. Using the same idea, the foods you eat will either give your body the nutrients it needs, or drain its energy like a dead battery. Choose natural foods as often as possible, focusing on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and healthy fats. Maybe add two or three new foods each week in order to get a full-range of healthy options.
Ditch the diet soda
Artificial sweeteners found in diet sodas actually make you crave sweet foods. Plus, the sweeteners trigger the production of insulin which can lead to weight gain. Drinking regular soda isn’t much better, but having one can of pop a week at 140 calories is better than consuming zero-calorie soda several times a day. Your best option? Eight cups of water or green tea every day.
Muscle it up
Building muscle is a great way to get toned, but it also allows your body to burn calories when you’re just sitting around. Lifting weights three days a week (every other day to give your muscles a chance to recover) will reap huge benefits. There are lots of muscle routine videos on YouTube to get you started with a doable weight-lifting plan.
Don’t beat yourself up
You’re going to mess up. You’re going to give in and eat two slices of cheesecake. When that happens, enjoy the moment but then move on. If you eat healthy 85 percent of the time, a splurge once in a while won’t hurt, and it usually helps because you don’t feel deprived.