Lounging in front of the TV while snacking on chips and soda isn't going to reduce your weight. Although working up a sweat and changing your eating habits might sound like torture to your predominantly sedentary self, they can help you lose weight. With some effective changes that can still be enjoyable, you'll lead a more active, healthy lifestyle that will make you feel better and look better.
Makeover Your Eating Habits
Small dietary adjustments can promote weight loss without too much effort on your part; you just have to choose healthy, low-calorie foods, and eat them. Veggies, whole grains, low-fat or fat-free dairy, lean protein and fruits should be staples in your diet. You can keep excess calories at bay by drinking 2 cups of water or eating a salad or broth-based soup before each meal. This can take the edge off so you're not overindulging in the main course. Also, having pre-cut veggies and a low-cal dip on hand comes in handy during cravings for unhealthy snack foods.
Have Fun with Cardio
Cardio burns calories and helps you lose weight; aim for at least half an hour of cardio a day, five days a week. Although the sound of this might have you rolling your eyes, you can split workouts into two 15-minute sessions during the day. By doing exercise that you enjoy, it might be less of a burden, and you're more likely to stick with it. For instance, use a stationary bike or treadmill while watching TV, go ice skating or swimming, play group sports, work out with a buddy, dance to loud music or play tag with the kids. Even chores around the house, such as vacuuming, mowing the lawn, washing the car and shoveling snow, can burn calories.
Strength Train during Commercial Breaks
The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention favors strength training on at least two days a week. You don't even have to leave the house to accomplish this; you can exercise during the commercial breaks while watching your favorite TV show. Get off the couch and pretend to sit back down to perform squats that work your legs, or do walking lunges around the room. Get on the floor and do some crunches and pushups; pick up some heavy books or water bottles and use them for resistance during biceps curls and lateral raises.
Snooze to Lose
Just because you're lazy doesn't mean you should sacrifice sleep, as getting seven to eight hours of sleep each night can prevent weight gain. Harvard School of Public Health states that lack of sleep affects hunger-controlling hormones in your body, making you end up with cravings for fatty, unhealthy food during your waking hours. When you give in to these cravings, you can gain weight. Also, if you lack sleep, it means that you're awake longer, and have more time to eat and sabotage your diet.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Healthy Eating for a Healthy Weight
- EatingWell: Lazy Ways to Shed Pounds
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: How Much Physical Activity Do Adults Need?
- Helpguide.org: Easy Exercise Tips
- Harvard School of Public Health: Obesity Prevention Source: Sleep