For many women, a key to living a calmer, healthier, and sexier life is learning to feel good about their bodies. And for some women, this means losing a bit of weight. If you need to lose weight, consider setting a goal of losing just 10 pounds over the next two months. Fall is a perfect time to adopt healthier eating and exercise habits, and you have plenty of time to make significant changes before the holidays. And if you’re like most women, a 10-pound weight loss would be enough to help you look and feel better – and improve your health. Plus, it’s a goal most women can achieve, if they develop and follow a plan. If you’re ready to get started, here are 10 tips that can make help you lose 10 pounds.
- Make a plan. You need something more specific than “I need to lose weight.” Set a reasonable goal (like 10 pounds over the next two months) and focus on achieving it.
- Weigh or measure food so you know how much you’re eating. An inexpensive kitchen scale really helps monitor servings and calories. Most people underestimate how much they’re eating, so use simple tools to monitor your intake accurately.
- Keep track of everything you eat. Studies show that people who monitor their food intake by recording it (on paper or electronically) lose more weight than people who don’t. Use an app like MyFitnessPal on your phone or computer, or just write it down.
- If you don’t know how much you should be eating, aim for about 1500 calories per day. Most women can lose weight on that amount.
- Eat primarily whole foods and reduce processed, packaged, and fast foods. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables, lean meat and other protein, lean dairy, whole grains, and small amounts of nuts. Eliminate or reduce fast food, restaurant meals, snack food, sodas, and other processed foods.
- Consider reducing (not eliminating) carbohydrates from grains. Some people lose weight more easily if they decrease the amount of grain-based foods (bread, pasta, cereal, etc.) they eat. I’ve found that reducing these foods dose allow me to lose weight more easily. One reason is that my carbohydrate cravings decrease after I have decreased grain carbs for a week or two. The other is that it’s easier to cut calories when I’m eatingless bread and pasta.
- Move your body every day. Regular exercise or physical activity burns extra calories, tones muscles, and helps you feel great. It’s an essential part of losing weight and keeping it off. In addition, I think that regular moderate exercise helps to control appetite and cravings. I can’t cite research to prove it, but that’s been my experience. So figure out ways to get up and get moving almost every day. For busy women that often requires figuring out ways to incorporate exercise into your daily life.
- Give your body and mind time to adapt to a new way of eating. I won’t lie to you – the first 1 to 2 weeks of a healthier eating plan can be tough. But if you can stick with it through that initial difficult period, things will start looking up. Your new way of eating will gradually become your normal way of eating, and yearnings for unhealthy foods will wane. I’m not saying you won’t ever crave cookies, but my experience is that the longer you go without eating cookies, the less you crave them!
- Organize your kitchen, shopping and food preparation in a way that makes weight loss easier. Plan meals at the beginning of every week. Make a list of healthy meals you can put together quickly and easily. Put together healthy snacks so you can grab them on the run. Prep vegetables and fruits so they’re easy to reach. And keep foods that you don’t want to eat out of your kitchen.
- Be kind to yourself. Friends, we tend to be too hard on ourselves. If you need to lose weight, you’re probably already beating yourself up. Don’t. Instead, make a plan and start working it. If you get off track, just get back on. Enlist someone who supports your weight loss efforts to help you. Reward yourself for progress. And allow yourself modest food treats so you don’t feel deprived. For example, when I’m trying to lose weight I seldom eat cookies or cake, but I do allow myself small amounts of dark chocolate as a treat.
What weight loss tips have worked for you? Please share them in the Comments – I would love to hear from you.