The key to weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight is to properly balance the calories you take in with the calories you use up in physical activity. This does not mean you should exercise more and starve yourself. “Fuel” in the form of food is required to grow and strengthen your muscles. Exercise without enough fuel puts a body in starvation mode, in which your body starts to store fat and you don’t gain muscle. This would halt your progress toward weight loss or muscle gain.
Here are some tips if losing weight is your goal.
- Pump up your exercise program by getting more exercise whenever possible.
- Keep a journal in which your write down EVERYTHING you eat and drink, along with the calories. Food journals are great tools that allow you to see where small changes within your diet will benefit your overall health.
- Maintain an exercise log.
- Instead of thinking about dieting, make a lifetime commitment to eat foods that are low in calories, fat, and suger, and high in fiber.
- Work on managing stress so you don’t respond to it by overeating.
- Set realistic short- and long-term weight-loss goals, and plan nonfood rewards for meeting each of them.
- Drink plenty of water daily. Many people feel hungry when they’re actually thirsty.
- Try to eat protein with every meal and snack. Proteins help you feel full longer than carbs.
* Remember that weight gain in the beginning of an exercise program is a good sign that you are eating enough calories to support muscle building. Muscle weighs more than fat and muscle burns more calories than fat.