Every time you look down to your feet, is there a pesky belly standing in the way? Every man knows the feeling of waking up one day and realizing that you have developed the fearsome beer belly (or worse yet, the “dad bod”).
It might be a nightmare, but it could also be a reality. Sometimes, work takes up the time you used to spend at the gym. Sometimes, kids have to come first (and you cannot help but sneak a bite of some of their tasty snacks). Whatever got you here, there is always a way back to your ideal body.
In the world of weight loss, there are very few shortcuts or easy fixes. If it seems too good to be true, it usually is. Nothing is better than the “eat less, move more” shtick. However, that does not mean there are not small things you can do to aid in that weight loss.
There are plenty of minor changes you can make to your life that will add up to big weight changes. Hopefully, using some of the tips listed will help you eat fewer calories, make smarter choices about food and nutrition, and start down a road of lifelong wellness, fitness, and happiness.
First things first, set a goal.
There are a few key guidelines to keep in mind when setting a goal. The first thing you need to keep in mind when setting a weight loss goal is to be specific. “Lose weight” sounds good and all, but it is not measurable and when you hit that inevitable plateau of weight loss, you are more likely to give up because this goal was too vague.
Try something like this: “Lose ten pounds in ten weeks.” “Run a mile without stopping.” “No more drinking soda.” Being clear and specific with your goals allows you to measure your progress and success much more easily.
Aim high with your end goals but set smaller milestones along the way and celebrate your steps to success. When you have lost the first five pounds, step back and look at how far you have come, and then set your nose right back to the grindstone. A little pat on the back never hurt anyone.
Another good rule of thumb is to announce your goals. It is a lot harder to give up when people know about your weight loss goals. Posting on social media is a great way to gain accountability. Who knows, maybe you will gain a workout buddy as well!
Second, change your eating habits.
There are plenty of small changes to make in your diet to shed pounds.
- Rather than reaching for a soda late in the day, have some tea instead.
- Processed carbs are not a friend of weight loss. Decrease your intake or remove them from your diet completely.
- Get your daily recommended servings of veggies. These will aid in making you feel fuller throughout the day. They also are not loaded with calories.
- Get more protein. Lean proteins are an excellent replacement for those empty carbs from earlier. Not only will you stay full longer, but more protein changes your metabolism.
- Find some fiber. Fiber is great at absorbing water in the body and keeping you full.
- Drink your water. There are mixed reviews on how much you should be drinking every day but drinking when you are thirsty is a great place to start.
- Follow serving size recommendations. Usually, nutrition facts are right in what an ideal serving size looks like.
- And, most importantly, remember that making mistakes is human. If you fall off the bandwagon, that is perfectly okay, just make sure you jump right back on!
Third, get moving!
Exercise can seem intimidating at first, but you do not have to jump immediately into a CrossFit course or run a 5k on your first day. The only thing you have to do is more than you did yesterday. Here are some simple tips to get you started.
- Stay standing. You will always burn more calories from standing than from sitting. Stand while you are on the phone, on a break, or at any chance you get. Hopefully, this can make you more productive as well.
- Take the stairs. You have heard this before. Skip the elevator, it is not helping you. Every little bit helps, and the stairs are a great place to start.
- Walk the dog. Getting your dog out on a leash instead of just out in the backyard is good for the both of you. If you do not have a dog, ask a neighbor. Maybe you will make a new friend in the process.
- If possible, walk or bike to run errands. This is easy when the weather is nice.
- Lift weights. Weight training can build muscle which in turn changes your resting metabolism. Muscle burns more than fat.
- Intervals are your friend. Short bursts of intense activity followed by short, lower intensity activity has been proven to be a more effective workout strategy.
- Get your whole body involved. Doing full body exercises is more effective. Pushups, chin-ups, deadlifts, and squats will target more muscle groups than you think.
- Weigh yourself. Do not let that number define you. Keeping tabs on your weight is a good way to check in with yourself.
- Take before pictures. In a comparable way, it is easy to lose track of how much progress you are making since you see yourself every day. Before pictures are a good way to measure your successes.
Remember: Consult your doctor before embarking on a weight loss journey. They can give you good and helpful insight into your current health.
There are three key things to remember when trying to lose weight:
- Set specific, achievable goals.
- Be thoughtful about what you put in your body.
- Move more than you did yesterday.
With these things in mind, the world is yours! That beer belly will be gone in no time at all. The dad bod will be no more, and your favorite jeans will fit again. With these tips, you will get there.