steps to sure-fire weight loss
Stuck in a rut and the scale
won't budge? Use our steps to shed pounds and stay
By Amy Goldhammer
When it comes to weight loss,
we hear the same old advice over and over again: "Eat
well and exercise." Isn't there more to it? Indeed
there is! We reveal proven ways to lose weight, keep it off
and stay healthy and motivated.
1. Eat nine servings of summer fruits and vegetables
daily. Packed with vitamins A, C and E, phytochemicals,
minerals, carbs and fiber, produce is healthy, filling, and
naturally low in calories and fat. Enjoy it at meals, snacks
and before/after exercise to stay full, feel energized and
lose weight, says Seattle-based nutritionist Susan Kleiner,
2. Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily
to stay hydrated, maintain energy and lose weight -- more if
you exercise outdoors or strenuously, says Kleiner. "To
build muscle and increase metabolism, you need to burn fat.
And you can't build muscle and burn fat if you're not well
hydrated," she says. "Drinking plenty of water
will help you feel full and keep you energized for
3. Use lowfat cooking techniques. Avoid frying and
sauteing with butter and use slimmer techniques like
steaming, baking, grilling (the barbecue is ideal for this)
4. Do at least 20 minutes of cardio four times a week.
A short duration of high-intensity activity will elevate the
heart rate for two to four hours, says Kevin Lewis, a
certified personal trainer and owner of State of the Art
Fitness in Woodland Hills, Calif. An hour of moderate hiking
burns about 300 calories; an hour of moderate cycling, about
380. Or try a new sport (in-line skating, surfing) to break
out and work muscles you don't normally target.
5. "Weight" it out. Just two 30-minute
total-body weight-training sessions a week will strengthen
and build the muscles you're working and increase your
metabolism, Lewis says. "The goal is to build lean
muscle mass, which will result in a bigger calorie
burn," he says.
6. Break it up.
Only have time for half of your usual hour-long workout? Go
anyway, or do two 30-minute workouts of cardio or weight
training during different times of the day, Lewis says.
7. Train for a marathon, minitriathlon or backpacking
adventure to take the focus off weight loss and put it
on gaining strength, speed and/or endurance. You'll lose
weight naturally if you balance your calorie intake and stay
committed to your training.
8. Ward off exercise boredom by alternating gym
workout routines, trying new machines and classes (yoga,
Spinning, Pilates, kickboxing) or heading outside for
hiking, biking, etc.
9. Listen to your body. If something doesn't feel
right -- you experience muscle cramping, develop chest
pains, become overly fatigued or winded, feel thirsty,
lightheaded or dizzy -- stop and check it out. If rest
doesn't seem to relieve your concern, talk to your doctor.
That way you can catch potential health problems early
rather than risk injury and lose all momentum, Lewis says.
10. Set a goal. Figure out why you want to shed
pounds (and whether you even need to) and make sure it's a
healthy and realistic goal, Kleiner says. Being able to say
"I lost weight!" can be just as rewarding as
fitting into your slimmer jeans.