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Most people honestly do not know how to diet the right way. They try different dieting techniques “as seen on TV” or new pills that appear in ads. There is nothing wrong if you do not know how to diet. It is a hard regiment to accomplish correctly and it takes time to discover what works for you. I am here to hopefully help give you some tips on how to lose weight and gain muscle in a healthy way.
1. Exercise and Diet!
First, you cannot just expect to exercise and lose weight if you are eating anything and everything in sight. This works vice versa as well. Exercise and dieting go hand-in-hand and are BOTH needed for weight loss and/or muscle gain. Even if you can just find time to do some small amounts of exercise for 30 minutes a day, that will help. Or an hour at least three times a week if that sounds more appealing. Pick a routine that works for you and stick with it! Make sure you work to keep on a schedule and make time for your workout 🙂
2. Healthy or Not?
It is extremely helpful to know what grocery items are just tricking your mind into believing they are healthy and what items are actually healthy for you. I personally enjoy the “Eat this, not That!” Book series which specifies what items are actually good for your body (http://www.eatthis.com). Amazon has those books for affordable prices and they will help explain reasons why one thing is healthy over another.
-For instance, “Fat-free” does not always literally mean fat-free. To be fat-free, an item just has to have less than 0.5g fat PER SERVING. If you get a box of “Fat-free” cookies and the serving size is one, then it may not actually fat-free after that one cookie.
Always check the Nutrition Facts and view the fats, carbohydrates, sodium, and sugars. These are what you do not want to go overboard on. It will depend on what you are trying to do with your body (lose/gain/maintain weight) as to what amount of each you should be aiming towards. Then look at the Ingredients list. The item that is most abundant in the food will be labeled first. Make sure it isn’t a sugar or additive that is mostly going into your body!
3. Green is Good
Broccoli, spinach, lettuce, celery, kale, etc. These vegetables are what you can eat as much of as you want without it being bad for you. You can’t overload on these unless you overeat and make yourself sick. They are beneficial to you and won’t give you the sugars and fats that cause you to gain bad weight! Say it with me “Green is Good!”…however, green candies or cookies are deceiving, but I think you understood my point of this section.
This is one of the hardest tasks for me personally and for many others out there. Do NOT eat when you are just bored. Five meals a day, three bigger sized meals and two snacks, is healthy. The problem is deciding what to eat for those two snacks. Fruits and Veggies are two good snack groups with a little peanut/almond butter. Others are yogurt, honey, nuts (almonds, unsalted peanuts, cashews), hummus and veggie sticks or homemade healthy chips. One of my favorite snacks is grapes with cheese, but you have to make sure not to go overboard on the cheese. If you get hungry later at night, celery with peanut butter is an excellent snack that will not slow down your metabolism as you sleep like salty or sugary snacks would. There are other healthy alternative snacks as well that may not be mentioned. Consult the “Eat this, Not that!” book or look online to be sure your snacks are truly healthy.
5. Five Meals a Day
If you try to do five smaller meals a day rather than three huge meals, then this will help speed up your metabolism. It will also help re-wire your brain so that you are not as hungry between meals. You still get your breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but you also get two snacks (explained in number four) as well! This is a win-win situation for your physical and mental health!
This is THE MOST important factor in trying to lose weight and keep a fast metabolism. Do not let yourself get dehydrated. Work to get 8 8 oz. glasses a day. I struggle drinking water so I labeled a gallon of water with goal times to drink by and carry that around with me. It is hard to ignore your water when it is an extra weight on your arm. Try to get in a daily schedule of drinking a glass of water right when you wake up before you eat. This will start up your metabolism and clean your insides.
7. Start the Day off Right
Eat breakfast. This, along with water, helps get your metabolism started. Try egg whites, oatmeal, yogurt, fruit, and/or granola bars. If you can, eat a decently sized breakfast. If you are running late for work, school, or another event, at least take an apple or granola bar with you. Leave out bacon, pancakes, waffles, and biscuits with gravy. These are the items on the breakfast list that cause weight gain. If you start off your day with something full of carbohydrates and sugar, then your brain will wire to crave those types of foods for the rest of your day. If you have a craving for pancakes, try making homemade protein pancakes. If you have a craving for bacon, try turkey bacon. It helps to find alternative options to your cravings rather than just giving in to them.
8. Using Correct Workout Form
If you are not used to exercising or do not know how to do it correctly, I suggest using Pinterest or YouTube to find workout ideas for different parts of the body. If you know someone who lifts regularly, ask them to help you sometime. It is more important to do exercises correctly rather than adding heavy weight. I love lifting heavy weights, but I care more about getting my form corrected than I do about going up in weights. Make sure you get cardio in as well. Do not just work one part of the body, work all parts. You can actually cause your body harm if you just focus on one area. For instance, if you love working legs, but you only work quadriceps and do not know how to work hamstrings, then you can cause areas to tighten up or even snap in severe cases. I put this on the dieting list because wrong form means you are not getting proper exercise which will not help you lose/gain the weight you want to.
Protein is needed for weight gain more than weight loss, but is important to both. If you are trying to gain healthy weight, than add more protein to your diet (You can buy protein for shakes or you can get it from chicken, fish, nuts, and certain vegetables). If you are trying to lose weight, make sure you get a healthy amount of protein in your body, but you do not have to eat as much as the weight-gainers.
10. Enjoy Your New Healthy Body!
Getting to your goal look is hard work and time consuming. It is not something that can happen over night with a simple pill. So when you reach your goal, enjoy it! Strive for your form of perfection. Do not focus on what other people tell you perfection is, if you are happy, that is what matters! Love your body and treat it well!
11. BONUS: It is OKAY to Have a Cheat Snack
It is okay to cheat here and there. As long as you don’t go overboard and eat a whole pizza, then this is fine. I would say one or two cheat snacks a week is okay, but if you can go longer without cheating that is better 🙂
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