There may not be a “magic bullet,” but these five steps can increase your overall health, help you lose 10 pounds or more, and keep it off.
There is no shortage of information for a person who has a need to lose 10 pounds, 20 pounds, or more, but you have to be very careful when choosing what methods you want to try. Especially methods that promise overnight success. And while it might not be possible to achieve amazing results overnight, there are things you can do to accelerate your weight loss in a safe and effective manner, and satisfy your need to lose 10 pounds sooner, rather than later. Here are the top 5 steps you can take to speed up your weight loss:
Steps to Lose 10 Pounds – 1: Start a Food Log
Are you actually aware of what you eat throughout the average day? How much of that bag of chips did you have at lunch? All of it? Or those donuts this morning? It’s easy to just mindlessly munch when food is available. But if you hold yourself accountable, and write down everything you eat, it’s much easier to set down that second donut and practice some portion control. Not only will it help you keep track of how many calories you’re consuming, and how often you’re eating, you’ll also get insight into your other food-related patterns. How often do you skip meals, binge eat, or eat unhealthy food? Is your meal selection the same from day to day and week to week? This can all be very helpful information. A recent study found that those who keep a food journal lost twice as much weight as those who didn’t. Combined with a better diet and exercise plan, people lost an average of 13 pounds in six months.
Steps to Lose 10 Pounds – 2: Get Off the Couch!
Exercise is a key to weight loss. Studies have shown people who can spend at least 150 minutes a week engaged in moderate levels of exercise are more successful with weight loss. If 150 minutes seems like a lot, think of it this way: it’s just 2.5 hours. The average American spends twice that much time, or 5 hours, watching TV every day!
So get up, and start exercising! Take a walk, go for a short run, do some push-ups, try some cardio, just do something! If it’s hard for you to find time, you can work in a minute or two of exercise all kinds of places. CouchKiller Betty Herberger recommends 10 easy exercises which you can fit in as you have bits of time throughout your day. Do what you have to, but make sure you get in those 150 minutes each and every week, and you’ll start to see the benefits. And, once you start making 150 minutes a week, see if you can’t nudge it up to 200, or even 250. You’ll love the benefits!
Steps to Lose 10 Pounds – 3: Enjoy Eating Your Snacks!
Look, it’s not bad to snack. In fact, occasional sensible snacking can help keep you satisfied between meals. Where most people go wrong is portions. A whole bag of chips. That whole bar of chocolate. Seconds, or thirds, on that popcorn.
But instead of snarfing down the snacks, take a moment and consider this strategy for reducing your cravings, and eating less: enjoy the snack! Portion it out, and then take your time. Smell the snack, look at it, think about enjoying it. And then take a small bite. Chew slowly, savor the taste and then swallow. Then ask yourself if that satisfied your craving, or if you want another bite. If you’re up for more, take another bite, repeating the same slow, food savoring process. Continue doing this until you’re satisfied, or you finish your portion. Many people find that they’re more satisfied with the treat, and often able to eat less this way.
Steps to Lose 10 Pounds – 4: Build a Support System
It’s best to have a real-life workout buddy. Nothing keeps us more accountable than having a friend there to push, prod, and encourage us to keep at it. You may even consider joining (or starting) a local exercise group so that things don’t break down when your workout buddy isn’t available. Even better, with the online world at your fingertips, it’s often not necessary to have your workout buddies be there face to face. You can join an online group, or find a personal one on one coach online for some additional accountability and support. One study found that people who had social support were able to lose an average of 15 additional pounds over a nine-month period and drop almost 300 calories from their daily diet. And the best part? The knowledge that you’re helping your workout buddy the same way.
Steps to Lose 10 Pounds – 5: Make Sure You’re Getting Enough Sleep
Your body needs 7 – 8 hours of sleep a night. Sadly, this is a number that far too many people have a problem achieving. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 40.6 million, or 30 percent, American adults are sleeping six or fewer hours a night. So what effect does this have on your weight?
Well, one study found that women who are sleeping five hours a night or less are 32% more likely to gain weight, and 15% more likely to be obese. Another study found that even just a few nights of sleep deprivation can lead to immediate weight gain. And over at Columbia University, they found that people may eat 300 extra calories a day when they are sleep deprived. This is because lack of sleep interferes with key hormones leptin and ghrelin, responsible for regulating appetite, meaning you feel hungrier when you’re tired. So not only are proper sleep habits healthy for your body in general, but they’ll also help you lose weight.
Though there may not be a “magic bullet” or overnight method to achieve rapid weight loss, by paying attention to these five items, you can increase your overall health, fulfill your need to lose 10 pounds or more, and then keep those pounds off.