I am going to tell you that changing you life style will not be easy, you may have to give up you favorite food. or turn off your favorite show to workout. But in return you will have a healthier body. Basically the secret to losing weight is to burn more calories then we take in, that is the most simple way to put it. I am going to show you ways I've changed my lifestyle to make it healthier and introduce you to tools that can help you.
Step 1: Set a Goal
Setting a goal is important for achieving anything in life. First goal you need to make is your major goal. Such as, I want to lose x number or pounds or I want to have a bmi of 23 or I want to fit in this pair of jeans. Then set how long you want it to take. Now break this up into minor goals, for example lets say you want to lose 10 pounds in 12 weeks your minor goals will be to lose 1 pound this week and so forth. Don't be afraid to tweak your minor goals. Lets say you only lost .8 pounds last week instead of 1.2 pounds that you wanted to simply change next weeks' minor goal so that it puts you back on track in a couple of weeks.
Write your current goals on a piece of paper and carry it around with you.
Write your goals in places which you will notice them often so that you will be reminded of them.
Tell friends about your goals so they can encourage you and keep you on track
Step 2: Stay Away From
This includes diet sodas and other sugary drinks. These are what I call empty calories, they contain lots of calories but do not fill you up and have little nutritional value. If you are unsure if a specific beverage fits this category just get water.
2. White Sugar
By this I mean processed sugars such as high fructose corn syrup, table sugar, and anything that ends in a "ose"
These forms of sugars are simple carbohydrates and can cause many health problems. For a list of some of these reasons go to http://rheumatic.org/sugar.htm
3. White flours and starch
Items made with white flours include white bread, most cereals, and a majority of baked goods. The flour has very little nutritional value and is made up of simple carbohydrates.
4. Red Meat
Red Meat is fine every now and then but having a cheese burger everyday for lunch should be avoided. Try to replace them with white meats such as chicken. For more ideas see the next step.
5. Fried Food
This is kinda a no brainier, food cook in fats and oils is not good for you.
Step 3: Healthy Alternatives
1. Water/Green Tea
Water, there is nothing unhealthy about that. Drinking lots of water cleanses the inside of your body. A good way to know if you are consuming enough water is to look at your urine, if it is clear you are properly hydrated, if it is dark yellow you are not consuming enough liquids. If you want some extra flavor to your water try green tea. It has important minerals and antioxidants. Remember just because the label says green tea doesn't mean that it is good for you, some green tea has sugar and other sweeteners to add flavor. The best way to avoid this is to brew it your self.
2. Natural Sugars like those found in fruit
Sugars found in fruits are better for you because they stay in you body for longer so that you have more energy and do not feel the need to eat as often.
3. Whole grains
Whole grains are complex carbohydrates so they provide more energy with out eating as much. Whole grains can also taste as good if not better than processed grains.
4. White meats and other good sources of proteins
White meats include chicken, turkey, other fowl, some people consider pork a white meat while others consider it dark. Fish is also a good source of protein while low on fat along with egg whites and oats.
Step 4: Exercise
Exercise is an important part of creating a calorie deficit and maintenance of a healthy body. Working out may or may not be the most exciting thing you've ever done so I've created a list of activities that can be fun to do and help to burn calories.
Running- This may not sounds fun but this is the simplest and one of the most effective ways of burning calories. If you don't like running alone run with a friend with similar goals or join a running club.
Swimming- Swimming is a great full body workout which can be enjoyable but still tire you out.
Basketball- A fun sport, easy to play with friends most fitness centers and gyms have a court.
Biking- Another great cardio workout you can do with friends or in a club
Speed Walking- Yes walking, if you are going fast enough and maintaining proper form you should feel it in you calfs.
Combative Sports- These might not be for everyone but some of the best workouts I've ever gotten was from wrestling and kickboxing.
Bikram Yoga- This is a very intense style of yoga usually practiced in rooms that are around 105 degrees Fahrenheit. But don't let that scare you the poses help build muscle and balance.
These fun activities can be used on their own or combined with other workouts to create an effective workout that's right for you
Step 5: Helpful Tricks
Now I am going to tell you some helpful tricks that I use to stay healthy and motivated.
1. Do everything with a partner. By this I mean find someone else who also wants to lose weight or be healthier. Everything is better with a friend no matter what it is. You can workout together or even make it a competition. See who can lose the larges percent of their body weight or who can cut the most calories out of their diet.
2. Eat more smaller meals. An example of my day's worth of meals would be
breakfast- 3 egg white scramble, banana, and orange juice
morning snack- yogurt with granola and fruit, and tea
lunch- salad and a bottle of water
post workout snack- protein bar, protein smoothie, and a bottle of water.
dinner- chicken, salad, assorted vegetables, and a slice of bread.
dessert- fruit and milk
Just because I said chicken doesn't mean to eat as much as you want. The amount of meat you eat a meal should be about the size of your fist. The first photo is governments new food pyramid even though it isn't a pyramid anymore it is a good way to judge the serving sizes for your meals.
3. When ever you have a chance to burn a few extra calories do it. Walk up a few flights of stairs instead of taking the elevator walk to the store instead of driving. There are many different ways to burn some calories through out your day.
4. Have some fun. If you are not having fun it is likely that you will quite. Find some ways to make working out entertaining. Workout while you watch tv or join a exercise class. Look around you will find something that will make your exercising experience enjoyable.
5. Below Ive attached links to some recipes that I use which are delicious and healthy
Honey Key Lime Grilled Chicken
This is a great recipe I eat it with a salad
These are a god quick dinner recipe I add some black beans for protien and change the corn tortilla to a whole wheat one. This meal covers all of your food groups.
This is a great salad to take for lunch.
1/2 cup soy milk
1/2 cup low fat or skim milk
1/2 cup raw oats
1 cup strawberries
1 tbsp peanut butter
bled it all together and it is a great alternative to store bought protein shakes.
Tasty simple salmon recipe. Requires a little forethought but is well worth it.
Step 6: Helpful Technology
For those of you who like technology such as my self I have made a list of some apps for the iphone and ipod touch that I have used to help me keep track of my calorie intakes, track my workouts, and find suggestions for new workouts. I do not know if any of these apps are available for android but I'm sure there are some similar ones out there. Also all of these are free because I was to cheap to buy the full versions.
This is the best app for weight loss. You enter in what you eat along with you workouts and it calculates your calories consumed and burned. It also creates a daily calorie budget based on your goals. It tracks your progress with bright easy to read graphs. It also has a large database of brand and restaurant foods.
This app has a large selection of individual exercises and full workouts. It helps track runs workouts. Diagrams different muscle groups in the body. The exercises are separated into different muscle groups while the workouts are separated into muscle groups and difficulty level. This is a good app for someone who is knew to working out and wants to create a diverse workout.
There are many other apps that you can experiment with but these are two free ones that I use.
Step 7: Get Off the Computer and Start.
You aren't going to get fit by just sitting there reading Instrucatables all day. Get out and get active.