You've got your eye on a head-turning new dress for an upcoming event, but now comes the hard part -- losing enough weight to comfortably fit into that dress. Wish as you might, you won't experience overnight success. Instead of keeping your fingers crossed as the event approaches, spring into action by setting a realistic exercise goal, ramping up your workouts and practicing a little discipline at meal time.
Choose Realism Over Hopefulness
You might be ambitious about the amount of weight you hope to lose, but commit to being realistic to avoid disappointment. Rapid weight loss is not only difficult, but can also be unhealthy. Instead, a consistent approach is ideal. Plan to lose between 1 and 2 pounds per week. The exact number of pounds you'll need to lose to drop a dress size depends on the cut of the dress. According to "Good Housekeeping," however, dropping a dress size can require a loss of 10 to 15 pounds.
Get Ready to Sweat
You might have visions of your special dress in your head, but donning workout clothes will put you on the road to results. A weight-loss workout should include a combination of cardio exercises and strength training. Cardio exercises lead to a rapid calorie burn to help you lose fat, while strength training can elevate your metabolism. Examples of cardio include walking, swimming and soccer. Strength training, meanwhile, often encompasses weight-training exercises at the gym or body-weight workouts at home. Juggle your schedule to allow for 300 or more minutes of cardio and at least two strength-training sessions on a weekly basis.
Be Careful in the Kitchen
Beefing up your weekly exercise won't help you fit into your dream dress if you aren't careful about your diet. You don't need to adopt a diet, per se, but cutting back on the number of calories you consume complements your calorie-burning workout. The exact number of calories to cut depends on your typical eating habits and your body type. However, such strategies as snacking on vegetables instead of chips, cutting down on fried foods, avoiding soft drinks and eating smaller, more frequent meals are healthy changes to make.
Make Friends With the Bathroom Scale
Weighing yourself consistently can help you stay on track as you lose weight. Even if you've set a modest goal of losing just 1 pound per week, a National Weight Control Registry study reveals that tracking your weight daily is more likely to help you reach your goal. Monitoring your day-to-day progress allows to you take ownership over your weight, rather than just being surprised if you fall short of your goal. Plus, you might be less tempted to sneak that piece of chocolate cake if you know you have to weigh yourself the next morning.
- National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: Key Recommendations
- Good Housekeeping: Drop a Dress Size in 6 Weeks
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: How Much Physical Activity Do Adults Need?
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Cutting Calories
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: Consistent Self-Monitoring of Weight: A Key Component of Successful Weight Loss Maintenance