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20 Rules to Live by for Those Who Want to Lose 10 Pounds in 3 Weeks

20 Rules to Live by for Those Who Want to Lose 10 Pounds in 3 Weeks

Weight loss has become a sticky subject of confusion, conflicting information and myths. Before you know it, you’re on the crash-course diet from hell and getting no-where! Sustainable weight loss is not a fad diet or program, it’s a lifestyle. With these 20 proven weight loss tips, you can lose 10 pounds in 3 weeks. Best of all, you will set yourself up for continued progress every week!

1. The Golden Rule: Calories In vs. Calories Out

This simple fact simply cannot be overruled – to lose weight you must burn more calories than you consume.

Use tools to help track and measure your daily intake then slowly taper down. Start with 500kcal steps or lower until you observe a consistent weekly loss.

Never go dangerously low, eating much below 1200-1600 can stall your progress and harm your health!

2. Set Attainable Goals And Track Your Progress

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    Achieving each goal will help spur you on, so be realistic and start small. Here is an example of an easily achievable goal progression:

    – Lose weight each week

    – Lose 1-3 pounds per week

    – Lose 10 pounds in 3 weeks

    – Fit into size 30 jeans!

    3. Consider Skipping Breakfast

    Breakfast is commonly considered the most important meal of the day, however, it is not so when it comes to weight loss.

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    Intermittent fasting can be a useful fat-loss tool. Restrict yourself to a smaller eating window by skipping breakfast and only eating from 12-8pm. You will reduce your daily calorie intake without restricting your lunch and dinner!

    4. Drink More Water (Especially Before Meals)

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      Drinking water an hour before eating has two proven benefits for weight loss:

      5. Make Coffee Your New Best Friend

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        Coffee has received a bad reputation in the past, however, it should be known that quality coffee is rich in antioxidants and beneficial to weight loss.

        The caffeine content will boost your body’s metabolism by up to 10%, leading to a 10-29% increase in fat burning power. Take it black, with no added sugar!

        6. Make Green Tea Your Second Best Friend

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          Green tea provides a milder dose of caffeine but it is abundant in wonderful catechins. These antioxidants will work with the caffeine in a perfect fat burning harmony!

          7. Always Check For Added Sugar

          Sugar has demonstrated worryingly strong links with obesity, diabetes and heart disease (to name a few).

          But even if you do not add it yourself, you should check the ingredients of your sauces or packaged foods. Even self-proclaimed health foods can be riddled with added sugar!

          8. Cut Out Simple Carbohydrates

          Simple/refined carbohydrates are quickly absorbed, spiking your blood sugar and insulin levels in the process. As a result, you will feel hunger and cravings come back again in no time!

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          Avoid all sugar or refined grains by avoiding the following foods:

          • Cookies, candy and sweets
          • Packaged cereals
          • White bread and rice
          • Cakes

          9. Scale Down Your Portion Sizes

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            It pays to become aware of how much you are eating, exercise portion control and slowly scale it down.

            Even small reductions of 10-20% are often enough to tip the balance and trigger weight loss. Try measuring your portions more carefully and don’t underestimate the power of using smaller bowls!

            10. Keep Healthy Food On Standby for Stacks

            The power of temptation is mighty, so why not remove it completely?

            Only keep healthy snacks within reach, then you won’t be able to binge on junk food! Here are some healthy ideas to stock your cupboard:

            • Whole fruit
            • Handful of nuts
            • Hard boiled eggs
            • Vegetables

            11. Spice Up Your Life

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              Breathe new life into your dishes and reinforce your weight loss efforts with the power of cayenne pepper! Capsaicin from cayenne pepper and other spicy foods helps to ramp up metabolism and decrease appetite.

              12. Top Up Your Protein Intake

              Protein rich foods not only keep you fuller for longer but burn more energy during digestion. Studies have shown that swapping calories for whey protein supplements can boost weight loss whilst increasing lean muscle!

              Alternatively, here are a number of protein-rich food sources:

              • Lean beef
              • Skinless chicken breasts
              • Eggs
              • Salmon
              • Low-fat yogurt

              13. Balance Your Diet With Complex Carbs

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                Consuming complex carbs will produce a sustained energy release and keep blood sugar levels manageable. You can easily keep hunger and cravings at bay with these nutrient dense complex carbs:

                • Vegetables
                • Fruit
                • Brown rice
                • Wholegrains
                • Beans and legumes

                14. Forget About Fast Food

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                  Not matter how healthy it may claim to be, fast food is almost always laden with heart-clogging trans fats, excessive sugar and salt.

                  Worse yet, these meals are high in calories whilst low in nutritional value, making them a terrible choice for fuel. Before you know it, you will have broken the cardinal rule of calories in vs. calories out!

                  15. Watch Out for “Hidden Calories”

                  There’s no need to completely forgo your favorite condiments, just make sure you are aware of their true caloric impact. It’s easy to go overboard and negate much of your hard work!

                  Go easy with the following condiments and toppings, they are surprisingly heavy in calories:

                  • Mayonnaise
                  • Salad dressing
                  • Cream
                  • Cheese
                  • Butter
                  • Oils

                  16. Choose Low-Medium GI Foods

                  High GI foods sources cause sugar levels to shoot up, the resultant spike in insulin will actually encourage dreaded fat storage!

                  Check out the GI scale and choose low-medium GI foods. Your insulin levels will remain under control, you will feel fuller for longer and find it easier to lose weight!

                  17. Opt For Weight Training Over Cardio

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                    Weight training burns a significant amount of calories, keeping you strong, fit and healthy in the process. It’s more effective than cardio for body recomposition as it helps preserve essential muscle mass whilst you lose weight.

                    Studies have also shown a significant increase in metabolic rate both during and after your workout, further supporting your weight loss efforts!

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                    Choose a routine that uses compound lifts such as Presses, Squats and Deadlifts. These exercises recruit the largest amount of muscles per movement, ideal for maintaining lean muscle mass and trimming body fat.

                    18. Go Walking or Cycling

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                      Consistent small actions soon add up to big changes. For this reason, why not choose to walk or cycle whenever you can? You will burn more calories as you go about your day without the need for further diet restrictions.

                      You can burn more calories as you go about your day, without any further diet restriction. If you’re physically able there is no excuse, take the stairs over escalators and lifts!

                      19. Get Enough Sleep

                      Sleep is highly underrated for weight loss. Forget about the 6-hour minimum claim, many of us require 8-9 hours to operate at peak efficiency.

                      Both duration and quality of sleep will have a great influence on hormones that control body composition. In fact, poor sleep has shown worrying links to obesity, increasing the risk in adults by 55%!

                      20. Be Careful Of Liquid Calories!

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                        We all know alcohol dehydrates and damages our liver and kidneys. But it can also thwart weight loss efforts as an unexpected source of calories.

                        You may be surprised to know a beer can equate to 150kcal, 125kcal for a glass of red wine and a whopping 400Kcal for a single sweet Piña Colada! Instead, try sticking to tonic water with a slice of lime, your body will thank you!

                        So there you have the 20 simple lifestyle tips that will support you in achieving healthy weight loss. Adopt as many as you can and you will easily lose 10 pounds or more in 3 weeks!

                        Featured photo credit: Lecic via shutterstock.com

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                        Published on September 20, 2018

                        15 Static Stretching Exercises to Totally Enhance Your Workout Routine

                        15 Static Stretching Exercises to Totally Enhance Your Workout Routine

                        Stretching is one of those aspects of fitness that many people conveniently forget about. Perhaps you’re one of those who consider stretching nothing but a mere chore meant for ballerinas and gymnasts.

                        Well… you’re wrong!

                        Everyone needs stretching! Irrespective of your reasons for working out, be it for sports or personal fitness, one thing is certain – stretching can help you. Stretching – static or dynamic – comes with myriads of benefits – such as improvement in flexibility and reduction in muscle tightness – which ultimately allow you to go through your workout routines with greater efficiency.

                        For the purpose of this article, though, we’ll zero in on static stretching and take a look at its benefits and when it should be done. Finally I’ll cap it up by revealing 15 great static stretching exercises that’ll help keep your whole body in tip-top condition. So sit back, relax and enjoy!

                        Benefits of static stretching

                        Static stretching comes with tons of benefits that can help you to make the most of your workout routine. Some of them include:

                        1. Improved flexibility

                        Alright! Here’s the deal – if you want to perform better, flexibility is of tremendous importance, irrespective of the specific workouts you do. And luckily enough, static stretching is all you need to get all the flexibility you desire.

                        Flexibility, also known as the range of motion (ROM) around a joint, has been shown by several studies to be improved by static stretching.[1] And although the specific mechanism through which this occurs is still unclear, static stretching has been shown to greatly increase joint flexibility[2] and tissue length,[3] which work in tandem to make your workout more effective.

                        2. Decreased risk of injury

                        If you’re looking to push yourself to your training limits without coming down with injuries, then stretching will do you a great service. Research has shown time and time again, that performing the right stretch exercises pre- and post-workout greatly helps with injury prevention.[4]

                        So, how does it work? Well, think of it this way:

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                        When you stretch you literally push your joints and muscle fibers to their limit. This increases the stretch tolerance in these muscles and joints over time and the increased tolerance allows you to perform more rigorous exercises without negatively impacting your body or risking an injury.

                        3. Increased blood flow and nutrient supply to the joints

                        Another benefit of stretching is increased blood flow – and by extension, nutrient supply – to the joints and muscles of the target areas. This, in turn, improves the performance of these muscles and joints due to the availability of more nutrients, improved oxygenation and removal of metabolites.

                        For static stretching though, the mechanism of action isn’t as straightforward. When stretching statically, blood flow (capillary oxygenation) temporarily reduces due to vascular compression.

                        However, immediately after releasing the stretch, the blood flow to these areas nearly doubles the pre-stretching levels.[5] Thus, blood flow increases.

                        4. Improvement in recovery

                        If you’ve been working out for some time, then you’ve probably discovered that a rigorous workout session can leave you battling with sore muscles… for days!

                        Recovery essentially means getting rid of this soreness and returning your muscle fibres back to their tip-top condition.

                        So, how does stretching come in? See…that’s the thing, research has shown that practicing static stretching after your workout session helps to reduce muscle soreness. And while some may argue that this effect is minimal, the fact still remains that stretching does help shorten your recovery time.

                        Stretching allows tissues to be better hydrated after the induced tension is released and this encourages the inflammation and faster repair of such tissues.

                        Other reasons why you really should incorporate stretching into your workout include:

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                        • Improved relaxation
                        • Increased movement efficiency
                        • Reduction in the risk of lower back pain
                        • Reduction in muscular tension
                        • Improvement in neuromuscular coordination
                        • Improvement in balance and postural awareness
                        • Provision of relief from cramping

                        Alrighty! Now that it’s crystal clear that stretching does your body a world of good, let’s dive right into the actual stretching exercises.

                        15 Great static stretching exercises you should start doing

                        Here are some amazing exercises that will keep your body in tip-top condition and take your workout routine to the next level.

                        1. Neck stretch

                          While sitting tall or standing, place your right arm gently on the right side of your head and place the other arm straightly on your side.

                          • Slowly pull your head towards your right shoulder until you can feel the stretch on the left side of your neck.
                          • Hold for about 30 seconds before releasing.
                          • Repeat for the opposite side.

                          2. Chest Stretch

                            Stand right, with your fingers interlocked behind your back, near your buttocks.

                            • While keeping your shoulder blades together and your back straight, push your arms up behind you, until you feel the stretch in your chest.
                            • Hold for about 20-30 seconds before releasing.

                            3. Cross-body shoulder stretch

                              Stand right or sit tall

                              • Extend one arm to your front to shoulder height.
                              • Grab the extended arm with your other arm and pull it towards your chest while keeping the extended arm straight.
                              • Continue the pull until you feel the stretch in your shoulder.
                              • Hold for 30 seconds and repeat for the other arm.

                              4. Triceps stretch

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                                • Lift your arms overhead with both arms slightly behind your head and bent at the elbow.
                                • Use your right hand to pull your left elbow until you feel a stretch in your triceps.
                                • Hold for about 30 seconds and repeat for the other arm.

                                5. Biceps stretch

                                  • Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
                                  • With your fingers pointing away from your body, place your two palms flat on the floor behind you.
                                  • While your hands are steadily in place, slowly slide your butt downward toward your feet until you can feel the stretch in your biceps, shoulders and chest.
                                  • Hold for about 30 seconds before release.

                                  6. Wrist stretch

                                    • While Standing straight or sitting tall, extend your right arm forward to shoulder height with your fingers pointing towards the ceiling.
                                    • Grab your right fingers with your left hand and pull your right hand to bend the wrist until you can feel the stretch
                                    • Hold this position for about 30 seconds and repeat for the opposite arm.

                                    7. Side stretch

                                      • Stand straight with your feet hip-wide apart.
                                      • Take your right arm and reach over your head towards your left side while bending your side.
                                      • Keep bending your side slowly until you can feel a stretch on your right side.
                                      • Maintain this position for about 30 seconds and repeat for the opposite side.

                                      8. Abdominal stretch

                                        • Lie down on your stomach with your face towards the ground and your palms facing the floor as though you’re about to do a push up.
                                        • While keeping your pelvis firmly on the floor, gently push up your upper body from the ground. This should make your feel some stretch in your abs.
                                        • Maintain this position for about 30 seconds before releasing.

                                        9. Reclined spinal twist

                                          • Lie down facing the ceiling, with your arms extended to the sides and placed on the floor.
                                          • While keeping the right leg extended, pull up your left knee towards your chest, tilt it toward your right side and then drop it slowly over your extended right leg.
                                          • Keep your shoulder blades flat on the ground and you should feel the stretch around your back
                                          • Hold for about 30 seconds and repeat for the opposite side.

                                          10. Low-back stretch

                                            • Lie on the ground facing the ceiling, with your knees bent.
                                            • Hold your shins and pull up your knees toward your chest.
                                            • This should make you feel some stretch in your lower back.
                                            • Hold for about 30 seconds before releasing.

                                            11. Hip flexor stretch

                                              • Stand right in a standard lunge position.
                                              • Place your two hands on your hips.
                                              • Step out on your right foot into mini-lunge position, without your knee going beyond your right toe.
                                              • Hold for about 30 seconds and repeat for the left side.

                                              12. Glutes stretch

                                                • Sit tall on the ground with both knees bent and both feet on the floor.
                                                • Lift your right leg and cross it over your left thigh, while your left knee remains bent.
                                                • Pull both legs inwards toward your abdomen for a deep stretch of your glutes.
                                                • Hold this position for about 30 seconds and repeat with the other leg.

                                                13. Quadriceps stretch

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                                                  • Stand tall while maintaining a straight posture.
                                                  • With your left hand, grab a pole, wall or anything durable for balance.
                                                  • With your right hand, grab your right foot and pull up your heels until they touch your buttocks.
                                                  • Keep your knees close together while doing this and you should feel the stretch in your quadriceps.
                                                  • Hold this position for about 30 seconds and repeat for the other side.

                                                  14. Hamstring stretch

                                                    • Sit on the floor with your right leg extended straight in front of you and your left leg bent.
                                                    • Reach forward with your right hand and touch your right toes. This should cause a stretch in your right hamstring.
                                                    • Hold this position for about 30 seconds and repeat for the left leg.
                                                    • If you’re unable to reach your toes, try holding your shin instead but seek to go further every time you perform the stretch until you can touch your toes.

                                                    15. Calf stretch

                                                      • Sit on the ground and extend your right foot straight in front of you.
                                                      • Gently pull your right toes backwards with your right hand. This should cause a noticeable stretch in your calf.
                                                      • Hold this position for about 30 seconds and repeat for the left leg.
                                                      • If you’re unable to reach your toes, use a rope or towel to pull your toes inward.

                                                      When should you be doing static stretches?

                                                      Static stretching is great…when done correctly and at the right time. Over the years, research has shown that static stretching produces best results when done after working out or on rest days,[6] but not as a part of warm up exercises before an explosive workout session.

                                                      This is because static stretching exercises have a “cool-down” effect on the muscles and are more effective when done after the muscles are already warm.

                                                      So, does that mean you must never ever perform static stretches before working out? Certainly not! You can, but it should be kept to the barest minimum.

                                                      Dynamic stretches – that involve more movement – are generally recommended for warming up as it helps the body to prepare better for the work ahead.

                                                      The bottom line

                                                      Carving out the body of your dreams isn’t only about lifting weights and running, you need to keep your body “elastic” if you’re going to make the most of your training. And that’s the whole point of stretching exercises.

                                                      So, starting today, be sure to incorporate these static stretching exercises into your routine and in no time, you’ll find yourself recovering faster and performing better than ever before.

                                                      Just remember to keep these stretches a part of your post-workout dessert for maximum benefit.

                                                      You’ve got this!

                                                      Featured photo credit: Scott Broome via unsplash.com

                                                      Reference

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