Is there an easy way to make weight loss enjoyable? It exists and only takes 8 steps.
By Chris Freytag
The formula for weight loss may be simple-take in fewer calories than you burn, and increase your exercise to burn even more calories-but oftentimes, it's easier said than done. The best way to make this formula work for you is to create solutions to your biggest challenges and find ways to make the process enjoyable. If you want to improve your results, try some of my strategies to trick yourself thin.
1. Find your favorite exercise.
I know people who jog and hate it. How long do you think they will keep that up? We aren't inclined to dive in or stick to things we despise. Out of all the forms of exercise out there, find one you just love. Get really specific. Don't just say "yoga"; instead, discover what type of yoga is your favorite. If swimming is your thing, do you prefer gym pools over a nearby lake? Or maybe you'd dread a step class but you can't get enough of Pilates. Find your favorite exercise and you just may be excited to do it.
2. Go from a scarcity to abundance mindset.
Part of why people don't stick to healthy eating is because they begin thinking and feeling like they are deprived, and then they say, "Forget this, it's too hard." Instead of thinking about what you can't have or what you shouldn't do, tell yourself you can have anything you want and you don't have to give up anything, you just can't have it all the time.
3. Splurge for one meal.
Use one meal a week to have what you want. I wouldn't make it a feast for kings, but eat what you want-even those garlic mashed potatoes. Knowing you have once a week when you can let go a little and indulge can keep you making the right decisions the rest of the week.
4. Cut back on the high-calorie healthy stuff.
Are you overeating the good stuff? I love peanut butter, but I use a dollop, not a scoop. Do you sit down with a bag of peanuts instead of eating a handful? Can you use a spritzer for your olive oil instead of pouring it? Find creative ways to eat less.
5. Connect your indulgences to your workouts.
If you slip up one day, ditch the guilt and shame and just connect your indulgence to a workout. If you slipped up big time, work out big time! If you slipped up a little bit, work out a little bit more. Remember, it's all about calories in and calories out.
6. Order a to-go box.
We all know that restaurant portions are too big for one meal. When you order your meal, ask for a to-go box. Don't wait to see how much of your entrée you eat, but put half of it in the box as soon as your meal is served.
7. Check calorie counts before you dine out.
Many restaurants and fast food places have online nutritional information that's easy to find, download and even print. Just make sure you check portions. If something contains 250 calories, that's terrific, but if it contains four servings (at 250 calories each) and you eat all four of them, not so terrific!
8. Drink water and green tea.
Water is a weight loss secret that too many people ignore. Water keeps your body working effectively and it makes you feel fuller. Keep water on hand all the time. Green tea is a great antioxidant and aids digestion. Both are leaps and bounds better than soda.
Chris Freytag is a certified group fitness instructor, personal trainer, weight management coach and Sharecare expert.
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