Let me make something clear: This story isn’t about juicing, shakes, cutting out entire food groups, or jumping on the next popular quick-fix diet. The tips I list here are tried and true guidelines proven to help you tone up and trim down. I’m sure you’ve heard some of these before, but I thought it would be handy to list them all here, in one place, for your easy reference. So without further ado, here are my five favorite no-fail weight loss tips:
Drink water: The cardinal rule. Often people confuse thirst with hunger, so making sure you have a full glass of water nearby is a surefire way to curb your appetite. Always, always, always consume one glass before dinner to help you prevent yourself from overeating.
Add interval training: You may think slogging through a steady-paced, hour-long cardio routine will help you drop pounds, but there’s actually a better way to torch calories: Substituting long cardio sessions with shorter workouts punctuated by high-intensity bursts. There’s really not much to it. If you’re a runner, add a set of 45-second sprints to your route, jogging a minute between each to recover. Biking and jumping rope can provide fun intervals in the middle of a workout, as well. And it’s really worth it: Studies have shown that you burn more calories using this method versus steady cardio.
Add resistance training: Again, this one really changes the game. Cardio does torch calories, but to truly accelerate your weight loss, add weights to your workout. Lifting weight—or even your own body weight—raises your metabolism up to 24 hours after a session and helps build muscle. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn at rest. So burn more while sitting, people! Shoot for resistance training three times a week.
Get enough sleep: When we’re sleep deprived, we’re more prone to making poor choices, so getting enough zzs is really one of the cornerstones of weight management. When you’re feeling fully rested, you generally enjoy better mornings and have the energy you need to start your day off right. Hormones that regulate appetite are disrupted when you lack sleep, so your desire for junk food goes up. And the more you exercise, the better you’ll sleep!
Eat fresh, not processed: Clean, unprocessed foods are the best choices for a healthy life and slim waistline. When you skip packaged foods, you cut down on your sodium and get lots of essential vitamins and minerals. And hey, skip the sugar! Fresh strawberries are delicious and sweet enough without it. When you’re grocery shopping, try to keep yourself to the perimeter of the store, as most aisles in the center tend to contain the processed stuff.