By Abraham Tejeda
The days are getting longer and warmer temperatures are approaching. Cold nights spent with Netflix will be replaced by nights out on the town, picnics, biking, beach days, and all the other outdoor activities that are enhanced by warmer temperatures. For many, keeping in shape during the winter is a tough task, as heartier foods become staples, and the winter season provides plenty of opportunities to indulge in sweets, fatty foods, and alcoholic drinks. With the summer approaching, some of us might be noticing the inches and folds that have developed over the last few months. But you still have an opportunity to get your body beach-ready – just in time for the summer.
The first and easiest place to start is by adjusting your diet. Now it seems that every few months/years, a new dieting style becomes popular. From vegan or vegetarian to low-carb or Atkins to paleo, intermittent eating to 6 meals a day. Inevitably people jump on these diets to lose weight and are unable to stick to them. The problem is that most people fail to do an important thing: evaluate the particular diet relative to one’s lifestyle. Too many individuals see these methods as one-size-fits-all solutions, when in reality everyone has different eating preferences and should choose methods that suit their preferences to make success more likely.
If you like steak, why would you suddenly decide to go vegetarian?
You like the feeling of chewing solid food? Well then why are you trying juicing and protein shakes (many of which state on the label that they are not intended to be used on low calorie diets).
You like to eat a variety of foods? Why confine yourself to the same four or five kinds of food?
Not only will you not be able to stick to these diets, but most nutritionists/dieticians worth their certifications will tell you it is incredibly unhealthy. It should also go without saying that you should certainly consult with your doctor or a medical professional before starting any diet, whether you have any known health conditions or not.
The one characteristic that all successful weight loss plans share is that they create a reduction in calories. Simply put you must consume fewer calories than your body expends in order to lose weight. By researching dieting styles and picking one that you can commit to, you will be more likely to obtain results than if you arbitrarily select one based on what you’ve seen on TV or that a friend recommended. Some of the most effective diets suggest that one eat a variety of foods and try to focus on whole foods. A very broad suggestion I can give is to try to eat more plants. Reports and studies show that most Americans do not eat enough vegetables, particularly the non-fried and green and leafy variety. Eating more plants is not absolutely necessary for weight loss, but it is suggested to improve general health. By including more plants in your meals, you can have meals that are more filling and nutritious, yet also lower in calories than common meals.
There are a range of calorie-counting sites, apps, and devices that one can purchase to assist in weight loss goals. For many, logging their meals and/or activity is a good way to keep themselves accountable.
In order to get the greatest result from logging, it might be a good idea to figure out what your metabolic rate (i.e. the number of calories you burn in a day) is and calculate your daily calorie consumption to be below that amount. It is generally recognized that 3500 calories equate to one pound, so if you are able to eat 500 calories less than your metabolic rate for seven days, it could result in weight loss of one pound per week. Beware, though, when cutting calories. If you cut calories too low, weight loss actually stalls! Many people jump on diets of 1200 or 1400 calories and are unable to lose weight. Or if they do lose weight, a lot of it ends up being muscle loss, which results in their physiques not looking how they imagined. Some also pursue extreme exercise regimens while