For a woman, losing 20 lbs. is a realistic goal if you’re willing to change your eating habits, exercise on a regular basis and work on reducing your level of stress. Many women feel like they need to do it all, and they take on work and home responsibilities until they’re completely overwhelmed. This is a major problem, because it is one of the reasons you can’t lose weight and continue to gain weight. When you’re stressed, you body produces hormones that make you feel hungry and stops producing hormones that make you feel full. This combination leads to weight gain.
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Grab a sheet of paper and write down 10 things you can do to reduce stress when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Some should be things you can do in a couple minutes, such as take a five-minute walk or taking 10 deep breaths, and some should be things that you can do when you have more time, like taking a bubble bath or reading a good book.
Pick one of the things on your list and implement it when you feel stressed. Every day you should do at least one of the things on your list, even if you’re not stressed, to prevent stress before it even starts.
Get a small notebook that you can carry with you everywhere in your purse and start recording what you eat, noting how many calories you consume each meal. You should be eating about 1,500 to 1,600 calories per day. If you’re eating too many calories, you need to cut back on your portions and choose healthier foods like vegetables and whole grains.
Stop drinking alcohol. If you’re serious about losing 20 lbs., you need to cut back on your alcohol consumption. At the very most, you should be indulging in one glass of wine a couple times a week. Alcohol is empty calories that you don’t need to be consuming. For example, many margaritas equal the number of calories you should be eating in one meal.
Get moving at every chance you have. You need to be taking 10,000 steps each day, so buy a pedometer and track how many you’re taking. If you’re not taking 10,000 steps--which is 4 1/2 to 5 miles depending on the length of your stride, then you need to add walking into your daily routine. Walk to work, take your dog for an afternoon stroll or walk on your lunch break.
Add jogging and weight lifting into your workout routine after the first week of walking 10,000 steps each day. Jogging gets your heart rate up, which will burn a lot of calories, and lifting weights makes your body burn fat for hours after you do it.