Let’s face it: treadmills can get pretty boring. Oh, sure, everyone loves having a visible six pack. It’s the process of getting it that people can’t stand. Running and cycling are (obviously) great ways to lose weight, but, if you’ve decided they’re just not for you, here are some tips on how to lose weight quickly, and change your lifestyle so you can keep those pounds off.
Monitoring Your Caloric Intake
Now, before you start to freak about how ridiculous it is to “count calories,” take a second to think about how you got into this mess. You consumed a certain amount of calories (let’s say 3000, for example) and used less than you consumed (1620 being the average amount people burn per day). Those extra calories had to go somewhere, so they got stored as body fat and led to your weight gain.
Here’s the deal: losing weight is simple. Not easy, but simple. All you need to do is burn more calories than you take in. This is known as being in a caloric deficit. The actual deficit will be different for everyone, depending on what your weight loss goals are (as well as how soon you want to lose the weight). To figure out what your caloric deficit should be, check out FitWatch’s free calculator.
Unfortunately, it’s pretty hard to do that if you don’t know how many calories you’re actually consuming every day. So, as silly as it might seem, the first step to losing those extra pounds is to take control of your calorie intake. By keeping an eye on your calorie count for the day and then using that knowledge to get yourself into a calorie deficit, you’re bound to lose weight.
As if that wasn’t enough, counting calories also has the added benefit of forcing you to be more aware of what you’re eating. Frankly, most people eat the junk they do because they don’t realize how bad it is for them. That slice of pizza might be delicious, we’re not arguing with you there, but maybe you’ll think twice about having it once you figure out how many calories it has.
At this point, you’re probably wondering how on earth you’re going to figure out how many calories are in one slice of pizza. It’s not like that slice is going to have a nutritional label on the bottom of it. Fortunately for you, WebMD actually has a calorie calculator you can use (for free, of course).
Lifting Weights: How to Raise Your Resting Metabolic Rate
So, if you’re like most people, you’ve probably been taught that you need to lose weight before you tackle the whole “building muscle” thing. You should sue whoever taught you that since, in reality, lifting weights is one of the best things you can do if you’re looking to drop those few extra pounds.
Nearly everyone has heard about how naturally-skinny people have fast metabolisms. Essentially, this means that their body burns through calories much faster than most people’s do. Now, if you’re looking to lose that weight, you should make like the skinny guy and speed up your metabolism.
Fortunately for you, it’s been proven that strength training can increase your resting metabolic rate by about 7.7%, according to a study at the University of Maryland. So, if you get your workout done in the morning, your metabolism will be spiked all day. If you’re looking to burn more calories per day, it’s time to get yourself in the weight room, preferably the minute you get up from bed.
When it comes to the actual exercise, focus on completing heavy-resistance exercises and minimizing rest between sets. If you’d normally take 3 minutes between sets, try to get your rest time down to the 1-2 minute range. Keep in mind that while your body weight might not lower immediately — or might even increase, since muscle is denser than fat — your levels of body fat should start to decrease.
Still not convinced? Well, here’s some food for thought: burning more calories per day means you can consume more calories and still maintain a caloric deficit (aka: you can eat more if you lift weights).
Ditch the Booze… For Now
For some people, this will end up being the hardest part of the entire weight loss plan. Forget about people who rely on alcohol’s sedating effect. These days, alcohol’s a social drink that can be almost impossible to avoid.
While we could sit here all day and talk about the negative effects of alcohol on the body, there’s really only one reason you should avoid it while trying to slim down. Alcohol is the first thing your body wants to get rid of it is poison, after all). So, while your body is burning the alcohol in an attempt to get it the hell out of your body, it can’t burn fat. If you need a runner-up when it comes to reasons to skip booze though, consider this: “drunk you” is less inhibited than “sober you,” which means you’re more likely to make poor decisions, which means you’re more likely to have that slice of pizza (or three) at the end of a night out than you usually would.
Once you’ve reached your ideal weight, feel free to incorporate alcohol back into your diet. But if you’re focused on losing weight, you’re going to need to cut out everything that gets in your way.
Have you lost mad weight and kept it off with your own tried-and-true methods? We’d love to add more tips to our arsenal, so let us know in the comments below.