If you're the type who cringes at the thought of donning a pair of running shoes and going out for a jog, you'll be pleased to know that jogging is not the only way to lose weight. Plenty of other activities can help you slim down. And since a big part of losing weight is overcoming mental hurdles, you're better off staying away from an exercise you hate. If you force yourself to start jogging, you could totally derail yourself and stop working out all together.
Things You'll Need
Count and cut calories. To lose 1 pound, you have to create a 3,500-calorie deficit -- which you can do by reducing the amount and types of food you eat, as well as by exercising. Start by writing down everything you eat every day for a week, and use an online "Calories in Food" calculator to calculate how many calories are in those foods and the average number of calories you're eating each day. Then look for ways to reduce that number. For example, you may reduce your portion sizes, cut out sweets, alcohol and high-fat foods, and replace them with quality foods such as lean meats, fruits and vegetables. Aim to cut about 200 to 300 calories from your "normal" everyday diet, resulting in a 1,600- to 2,100-calorie deficit each week.
Pick a variety of forms of cardio, and spend 30 to 60 minutes at least four days a week doing one of the things on your list. Jumping rope is an excellent choice that burns about 1,074 calories per hour for a 200-pound person. The stair treadmill is also a big calorie-burner, burning about 819 calories per hour for a 200-pound person. Other great ways to burn calories include bicycling, water aerobics, swimming, playing racquetball or basketball, or attending a taekwondo class. Anything that gets your heart beating faster and has you breathing heavier can count as cardio, so the options are really only limited by your own imagination.
Add strength training to your routine. Muscle burns calories more efficiently, so by building muscle you'll be helping yourself get rid of excess fat even faster. Do the circuit training machines at your local gym, find a buddy to join you in doing free weights such as bench presses and deadlifts, or buy a set of dumbbells and do a total-body workout at home that includes biceps and triceps curls, butterfly exercises, squats, and lunges while holding the dumbbells.
Drink plenty of water. If you're dehydrated, your muscles will feel tired and it will be more difficult to stick to your exercise routine. Not only that, but drinking enough water can actually help you lose more weight. Drinking two 8-ounce glasses of water before a meal can help you lose weight faster, according to a study conducted at Virginia Tech. As a general guideline, drink half your body weight in ounces every day.
Tips & Warnings
- Losing weight can get a lot easier when you have a buddy to join you. Find a friend who's looking to slim down and plan to work out together, or hire a trainer or weight loss coach who will be there to help you stay motivated.
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