1. SKIP BREAKFAST (or other meals)
When you cut calories, you will lose weight. That much is true. But skipping a meal is not the right way to do this – especially if the meal you skip is breakfast.
Much better than skipping any meal is eating more often – that’s right we said eating more often.
Here’s why… When you skip a meal or two, your body reacts by slowing the metabolism. Then when it’s time to eat, you’re hungrier and you end up eating more than your metabolism can handle.
This means that if you normally eat 1,800 calories, but then decide to lose weight by skipping breakfast and lunch but then eat 1,200 calories at dinner, your metabolism isn’t “up and running” to handle the sudden calorie load at dinner time and the extra calories get stored – as fat.
So skipping a meal or two might sound good and right for losing weight, but it is the wrong thing to do.
Much better is to eat more often – maybe 5 or 6 times per day. If you can graze on smaller portions all through the day, your body’s metabolism can handle it and nothing is sent to fat storage – provided of course that you stay within the normal calorie guidelines for your body type.
2. CUT YOUR CALORIES WAY BACK
Cutting calories is definitely the way to lose weight but if you are too dramatic about it, then your body will over-react and go into starvation mode.
If your body thinks that there is no enough food to be had, it will react by hanging on to whatever fat it can – to keep you alive all through the “starvation mode”.
What does this mean for you? Unless you are using prescription weight loss medication under doctors’ orders, you should never be eating less than 1,200 calories per day for women or 1,400 calories per day for men.
3. WALK EVERY DAY
Walk yourself thin. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
The problem is that going for a walk is a low-intensity, low-calorie effort. So while it may take some weight off if you really have lots to lose, it won’t do the job you want if you’re trying to get down to your ideal weight.
When doctors say get some exercise to lose weight, we’re talking about other higher-intensity cardiovascular activities – like jogging, swimming, gym class or pretty much anything that gets you into a sweat.
This is the rule off thumb to follow – if your exercise breaks you into a sweat and you’re doing it 3 or more times a week for 30 minutes or more, then you’re on the right track.
Of course, sweating as you walk to the pool doesn’t count!
4. CUT OUT YOUR COMFORT FOODS
Lots of people follow this strategy for unsuccessful weight loss – just cut out your worst food weakness and off go the pounds.
While you may feel good about putting yourself through the pain and suffering of denial, it sure doesn’t help take off the pounds.
Losing weight is a whole day, every day affair, not just skipping pizza or cake.
After all, when you skip your favorite comfort food, our minds work to tell us we “deserve” something else and so we reward ourselves with an extra scoop of this or that.
Even worse, if you really suffer in your denial, it quite often backfires ending up with you wanting those comfort foods so much that you break down, eat them anyway, and give up on your healthy ways entirely.
Better to stay on track with your weight loss campaign and eat just small amounts of these “special comforts” as needed each day to stay feeling satisfied and not guilty.
5. TAKE A SAUNA
Getting hot and sweaty in the sauna might seem like a good workout, but it’s not at all a weight loss solution.
What’s happening in the sauna is that your sweating and losing a lot of liquid mass otherwise retained in your body. In fact, if you weigh yourself after the sauna, you will generally weigh less – maybe even lose 2-3 pounds or more!
All that sweating might feel good and the scale might give you a good report, but none of it lasts because your body will just replace the lost water mass as soon as it can you’ll be right back where you started.
Save the sauna for a special treat after the gym, but don’t use it as a weight loss tool.
6. CUT OUT THE CARBS
Well, Dr. Atkins sure got us going on this one, didn’t he?
Just about everyone has lost weight with something like the Atkins Diet, which suggested eating mainly protein and no carbs.
The carb free diet works well, but like the sauna trick, the weight comes back on once you stop.
Staying on a carb-free diet is not permanent solution since it misses out on too many healthy foods that contain carbs but are needed by the body – like fruits and whole grains with the minerals, vitamins and fiber that your body needs.
You can try the carb-free lifestyle to lose weight like so many other people have, but your weight will almost certainly come back once you stop. (The transition from carb-free to normal can be done to permanently reset your metabolism and keep the weight off for life, but generally only under doctors’ supervision.)
The better way to lose weight is to find a balanced and healthy diet that you can live with forever.