Losing two pounds per week is the best target for beginners because it’s a healthy weight loss goal. Losing too much weight could shock your system while losing less than two pounds might not have any effect. This number is also achievable based on what others have attained. Although you can choose to aim higher to lose more pounds and in lesser time, two pounds is the easiest to maintain. You’ll see results gradually and won’t be discouraged easily.
Here’s what you can do to steadily lose two pounds every week:
1. Eat the right mix of food
The healthiest diet consists of proper portions of lean proteins, healthy fats and whole grains. All of these foods will satisfy your hunger and give you the nutrients your body needs to function smoothly. The best lean proteins include poultry and fish. You can also get healthy fats from fish and fruits like avocadoes. Whole grains and vegetables are highly recommended as well to take the place of carbs in your diet, as well as provide fiber. Your body needs fiber for improved digestion.
2. Indulge in a rest day every few days
Although you’ll be on a strict diet and exercise regimen most days of the week, choose one day where you can consume more calories or more carbs than usual. This helps your body recover whatever energy it lacks. At the same time, it prevents your body from becoming either immune to your diet or overwhelmed by deprivation and then plateauing at a certain level. It’s also easier to stay on your diet program if you give yourself a break once in a while.
3. Savor your food
When you savor your food, you will be eating more slowly and avoiding too much intake of air which can lead to gas problems and bloating. This also gives you better control over your serving portions and enhances awareness of the amount of food you are actually eating. This means that once you feel full, you need to stop eating. Eating too fast delays the sensation of fullness from reaching your brain, meaning you continue eating because you don’t realize right away that you’re already full.
4. Drink more water
Water satisfies our bodies and helps us feel full. This supports your weight loss, letting you feel fuller longer and more easily so that you eat less food. It’s also important for cleansing our bodies of toxins and improving waste removal. Instead of different beverages, caffeine or soda, aim to drink the recommended minimum of eight glasses of water per day.
5. Avoid preserved food
Aside from unhealthy synthetics used as preservatives, preserved food contains a large amount of either salt or sugar to extend its shelf life. Over-consumption of salt leads to fat being stored in the body and puts you at risk for heart disease. Too much sugar, meanwhile, can contribute to health problems like obesity and diabetes. Other foods you should stay away from or minimize are processed food and refined carbohydrates such as white bread and pastries.
6. Burn more calories and maintain a specific total calorie count per day
When it comes to weight loss, the general principle you should keep in mind is that you have to maintain a specific total calorie count per day, which means you need to lose any extra calories that you eat. If, for instance, you’re eating a total of 2,000 calories per day, and you’re aiming to retain only 1,000 calories, then you’ll have to lose the extra 1,000 calories either by making changes to your diet or burning the calories through exercise.
7. Measure your daily calorie intake and calorie loss
To maintain a specific calorie count per day, you first need to learn how to track the calories you’re eating and burning per day. You should calculate the calories you consume per snack or meal and how much total calories you’ve had for the day and then gauge how much calories you’ve burned through exercise and subtract this amount from the total calories you’ve eaten. This will give you your total calorie intake per day.
8. Stick to slow and steady progress
It’s better to lose weight slowly but consistently than to use an aggressive form of dieting and exercise which will be harder to maintain the longer you keep it up. Although a reduced calorie diet and intense exercise can lead to results faster, it may also put you at risk for extreme and unhealthy weight loss and starvation and it may even push your body into gaining more weight.
9. Use weight or strength training to lose fat and build muscle
It’s not enough to simply lose fat; you also need to build muscle to give your body a lean, toned physique. Weight lifting is a good way to replace your fat with muscle and increase your strength. Even after hitting your target weight, continue your strength training program to sustain the muscle mass you’ve achieved and keep the weight off.
10. Engage in aerobic and cardiovascular exercise
Any form of exercise that increases the heart rate and utilizes several muscle groups will burn fat more quickly and keep your heart healthy, lowering your potential for heart disease, as well as improving your overall health. Exercise for 30 minutes at least five times a week. For maximum results, alternate weight lifting with cardiovascular training such as walking, jogging, cycling and swimming.