Are you lost in an avalanche of conflicting weight loss advice? You cannot begin any weight loss plan because you are too confused to start? The books in the bookstore and the ads on the Internet tell you to eat only animal protein, avoid animal protein, eat only fat, never eat fat, eat more fruit, never eat fruit... it is enough to make you want to stop eating altogether!
But weight loss does not have to be such a mystery. It is actually based on a very scientific principle that says it takes 3,500 calories to sustain one pound of fat, so to lose fat you simply need to "burn" more calories than you take in. So your goal should be to eat 500 fewer calories than you burn every day. Of course, the quality of those calories determines how quickly you lose weight, and how well you maintain your existing muscle mass and overall health in the process.
If you are ready to begin a healthy weight loss program that allows you to burn one pound of fat per week, simply follow these 5 weight loss tips.
1. Eat 4-5 small meals a day that total about 200-250 calories. This means you will have no trouble meeting the minimum calorie requirement of 1,000 calories per day, and should be well beneath your basal metabolic rate (the calories you burn in an average day without exercising).
2. Eat at least 50 grams of protein per day. Protein is an important part of any weight loss diet, as it keeps you feeling full and satisfied in between meals. It's best if your protein comes from lean meat such as chicken breast or fish, this will help keep your calorie count in check. Try eggs for breakfast, tuna for lunch, cottage cheese for a snack and chicken or fish for dinner, which would far exceed the minimum protein requirement.
3. Eat no more than 120 grams of carbohydrates per day, limiting sugar grams to 25 per day (15 is best). Just remember that not all carbohydrates are created equal: simple carbohydrates contain mainly sugar and are found in processed foods, while complex carbohydrates take longer to digest and keep you feeling full longer.
Complex carbs are found in vegetables and whole grains, so have a piece of whole wheat toast with breakfast or with your tuna sandwich at lunch, and plenty of vegetables at dinner. By all means, start reading food labels so your can shrink your sugar intake to the bare minimum of 15-25 grams per day. This will keep your blood sugar levels in line, which is absolutely critical to weight loss.
4. Exercise at least 30 minutes per day. If you are trying to slice 500 calories out of your day, it is unlikely you will be able to accomplish that simply by diet alone. You will lose weight much faster if you also include a daily cardio workout. Thirty minutes is enough, but try to vary the intensity of your workout by working hard for 2-3 minutes, then backing off for 2-3 minutes and repeating the pattern. By varying your heart rate, you program your metabolism to burn at a higher rate throughout the rest of your day.
5. Drink more water. And more water. And more water. If your kidneys are stressed due to dehydration, they kick their extra work over to the liver, which becomes too overloaded to provide optimum metabolic functions. So your body cannot lose weight when you are dehydrated, simple as that.
After following these 5 weight loss tips for a few weeks, you will find you have lost your craving for sugary snacks, your daily exercise will have become habit, and best of all, your jeans will fit!