Your Simple Guide to Losing 20 Pounds

Your Simple Guide to Losing 20 Pounds

The trend in our culture is toward gaining a pound or two every year. This is one trend that you shouldn't follow. You can easily stop this trend and maintain your weight by cutting a mere 100 calories from your diet each day. If you want to reverse the trend and lose weight, you'll need to cut closer to 500 calories a day. Those calories shouldn't all come from your diet however.

Cutting 250 calories from your diet each day combined with burning 250 calories through exercise is a great way to get the pounds off and keep them off. This calorie deficit will add up to approximately one pound of weight loss per week. This is a healthy range that ensures your body won't slip into starvation mode, which in turn actually slows your metabolism. Small changes can add up to big results.

Modify your diet:
Go for greens. Starting your meal with a healthy salad is a great way to sneak in more veggies and guarantee that you eat less junk later on. Be sure to top your salad with protein.

Dip rather than drizzle. Try dipping your fork into a small bowl of dressing rather than drenching your salad in it. This ensures that you still get the great taste with significantly fewer calories.

Double up on appetizers. Appetizers are naturally smaller portions than full blown meals. Pair a small appetizer with a soup or salad.

Graze. Eating pre-portioned snacks guarantees fewer calories than trying to keep track of what you've eaten out of the box or bag.

Get Moving:
Multi-task. If you have to spend long periods of time on the phone, walk and talk at the same time. You can burn calories while burning through your to-do list.

Skimp on sweet stuff. The average cup of coffee boasts only 9 calories. It's all the syrups, sugars, milks, and creams that pack on the pounds. Go basic with your brew.

Go nuts. Nuts are a heart-healthy snack loaded with vitamins and healthy fats. But remember, all you need is 1/4 of a cup, or about a handful a day.

Shake a leg. Who says you have to sit and work. Try to complete as much work as possible standing up. You'll burn more calories per hour.

Get Your Beauty Rest:
Snooze and lose. Inadequate amounts of sleep increase a hormone called cortisol, which turns on a primitive survival response to eat more carbs. Get your zzz's.

Pound the protein. Protein is essential for building lean muscle mass, which translates into more overall calories burned throughout the day.

Track it. Writing down your workouts helps your keep track of your progress and your goals.

Daily dose of dairy. Dairy products are loaded with metabolism boosting protein. Snack on yogurt, cheese, milk, or Kefir.

Drink up:
Hydrate. Hydration helps ward off hunger and keeps your cells functioning at optimal levels.

Ward off the whites. Steer clear of white flours and refined sugars. These are full of empty calories that pack on pounds.

An apple a day. Eat an apple before dinner. Filled with fiber and water, apples can help you feel satiated longer.

Play. Redefine exercise to make it fun. Get outside and chase your kids around. Explore the playground as your new gym.

Breakfast of Champions:
Never skip breakfast. This key meal stabilizes your blood sugar throughout the whole day. Skipping breakfast makes you more likely to pig out later.

Better bread. Choose bread with whole grain ingredients to ensure more filling fiber.

Satisfy your sweet tooth. Eat a small handful of candy so you don't feel deprived and attack a whole bag later.

Brush up. Brushing your teeth after meals makes you less likely to continue snacking after you're full.