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25 Simple Weight-Loss Tips You Shouldn’t Overlook

25 Simple Weight-Loss Tips You Shouldn’t Overlook

We all know that weight loss is only sustainable with a lifestyle change. Try to incorporate these tips into your daily habits, and watch the pounds melt away.

1. Weight vs. fat: know the difference!

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    Image Credit: All Things Healing

    Remember that while a pound of fat and a pound of muscle weigh the same, muscle takes up a lot less room in your clothes. Don’t be afraid to gain muscle weight. Adding more muscle will also raise your metabolism and keep your body-fat percentage low.

    2. Throw out the scales.

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      Don’t be so attached to a number. Instead, measure your BMI and take measurements with measuring tape. Scales can often be deceiving. For example, if you are dehydrated, you may see the numbers drop, but you haven’t really lost any fat. Instead, base your success on measurements and how well your clothes fit.

      3.Check progress weekly rather than daily.

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        Weekly check-ins provide a more accurate picture of your actual progress. If you check your weight or measurements daily, you may become discouraged at the lack of progress. Set weekly instead of daily weight-loss goals to keep on track.

        4. Not all calories are created equal.

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          Image Credit: Fat Free With Me

          You will lose more weight if you eat three 70-calorie eggs instead of a candy bar, even if the calorie count is the same. The eggs will regulate insulin and not cause your blood sugar to spike. The extra protein will also help keep you feel full longer. The candy bar will do the exact opposite and can cause you to pack on the pounds. It’s not just calories in and calories out, it’s the kind of calories you put in and how your body processes them that helps you reach your weight-loss goals.

          5. Understand the science of metabolism.

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            Image Credit: Runners World

            Realize that our BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) and your RMR (Resting Metabolic Rate) are different when it comes down to the numbers. Your BMR is truly your metabolic rate if you just slept all day. Your RMR is your metabolic rate if you laid in bed, but ate meals, and had small activities like moving around your home. Calculating your RMR is probably a more realistic base platform when you’re trying to look at calories burned. Once you have this information, you can better calculate your total caloric loss when adding in exercise and meal plan information.

            6. Apps can help you keep track of food intake.

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              Many apps help you manage your meal plans and exercise. These apps also help you network with other people and create accountability. My personal favorite is myfitnesspal, simply due to its ease of use. Also, the fact that you can scan the UPC codes of items that you are eating to automatically pull them up is quite handy. However, there are many apps out there. Just find one that works best for you, and use it as a tool to manage your diet.

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              7. Buddy up!

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                Having someone else keep you on track is key. It can be a trainer, family, or friends. Just knowing that someone else is going to ask you about your meal plan or exercise goals often helps you to resist temptations and procrastination. Even better, having a workout partner who will meet and work out with you will further ensure success.

                8. Intensity matters more than time.

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                  Slogging away on that treadmill for an hour at an easy walk may not be your best option for losing weight. One study found that obesity odds decreased by 5% for women and 2% for men for every additional minute of high-intensity exertion.

                  9. Eat whole foods over processed food.

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                    Your body understands the chemistry of real food and utilizes it much better. However, when you add processed foods into the mix, you usually are adding more sugar, sodium, chemicals, and refined carbohydrates. Keep your diet to whole, unprocessed foods, and you should see a huge difference in your waistline.

                    10. Reduce your sugar intake.

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                      Eating too much sugar impacts upon your insulin levels. Insulin unlocks your cells to allow sugar to enter. However, if more sugar enters your cells than is needed, the excess energy accumulates as fat.

                      11. Don’t drink your calories.

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                        Carbonated beverages are often loaded with sugar. Those “empty” calories can add up quickly, without giving you the satisfaction of being full.

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                        12. Don’t neglect weight training.

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                          Adding muscle, through activities such as weight training, increases your metabolism and fights fat. Lifting weights also helps to strengthen your bones, improve balance, and regulate your blood sugar.

                          13. Remember small habits, and small plates, add up.

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                            Smaller plates often equal smaller portion sizes, thus reducing your daily caloric intake. Try swapping out your regular dinner plates for a smaller design.

                            14. Get plenty of sleep.

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                              If you don’t feel rested, you may be tempted to turn to sugary snacks to get your through the day. There is a strong connection between sleeping disorders and weight gain. So make sure to turn in at a decent time and make sleep a priority if you are trying to drop pounds.

                              15. Reduce stress.

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                                During stressful periods, many people turn to food to help them cope. Try to use other forms of stress reduction, such as exercise or meditation, to help you manage life’s difficulties.

                                16. Always have healthy snacks available.

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                                  If “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” this could not be more true than in the case of diet regulation. Not having healthy snacks around can certainly cause the pounds to pile on. Most refined foods also have that extra perk of being convenient: you just open a box or bag. Plan ahead and have healthy snacks available to reach for instead of junk food when you don’t feel like putting energy into food prep.

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                                  17. Reduce how often you eat out, and eat at home more.

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                                    Average American households spend 40% of their food budget on eating out. One study found that each meal or snack eaten outside of the home increases the caloric intake by 134 calories. While it is possible to eat out and stay healthy, most people do not choose healthy foods when they eat their meals outside of the home.

                                    18. Allow yourself a cheat day.

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                                      If you feel constantly deprived, you may give up on your goals. It’s OK to cheat every now and then if it helps you stick to your healthy lifestyle for the long term. Moderation is key.

                                      19. Reward yourself with activities or clothes instead of food.

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                                        While you may have grown up getting ice cream as a reward, you can move away from that now. Instead, get a pedicure, buy yourself a present, or go out with friends. You don’t have to add extra calories to your day to celebrate.

                                        20. Cut out commercials; they make you want junk food.

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                                          Time in front of the TV usually doesn’t include a lot of calorie burning, unless you put it in front of a treadmill or are doing an exercise video. Food commercials are everywhere, and they are designed to make you want to eat. If you limit your TV time, you will find your snacking will often be limited along with it.

                                          21. Don’t have junk food accessible.

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                                            If it’s not in your house, it takes a lot more effort to go get it. Clean out your cupboard, fridge, and freezer of all the foods that will sabotage your weight-loss goals.

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                                            22. Don’t be afraid of healthy fat.

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                                              Contrary to the low-fat movements of the past, healthy fats do not cause weight gain. Don’t be afraid to eat coconuts, avocados, or nuts. Eating whole, natural foods in their raw form will help fill you up without adding on the pounds.

                                              23.  Have heart-to-hearts with your saboteurs.

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                                                Do you have that friend who brings you donuts on a bad day? Does you spouse bring a potato chip bag to bed? Get them on board with your weight-loss goals, and tell them to bring you an apple instead.

                                                24. Write down your goals.

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                                                  Sometimes, just the act of writing down your goals helps you maintain them. Make sure to put your goals in a place where you can see them every day. It will help you stay committed during the weight-loss journey.

                                                  25. Stay hydrated.

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                                                    Often, our body will send signals that we are hungry when we are actually dehydrated. Drinking plenty of water will help you feel less hungry throughout the day. If you do get hit with a snack attack, try drinking a large glass of water first and waiting about 30 minutes. You may find all your body needed was a little hydration.

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                                                    Last Updated on August 15, 2018

                                                    7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

                                                    7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

                                                    Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

                                                    Video Summary

                                                    Why is it important to train up our core strength?

                                                    There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

                                                    This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

                                                    Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

                                                    In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

                                                    One Exercise, multiple benefits

                                                    There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

                                                    By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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                                                    When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

                                                    Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

                                                    In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

                                                    What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

                                                    What will happen when you start doing planks every day

                                                      1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

                                                      Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

                                                      • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
                                                      • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
                                                      • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
                                                      • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

                                                      2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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                                                        Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

                                                        Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

                                                        3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

                                                          Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

                                                          4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

                                                            Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

                                                            A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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                                                            A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

                                                            On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

                                                            5. You’ll improve overall balance

                                                              Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

                                                              6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

                                                                Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

                                                                7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                                                                  Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                                                                  How to hold a plank position

                                                                  1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                                                                  2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                                                                  3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                                                                  4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                                                                  5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                                                                  6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                                                                  7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                                                                  Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                                                                  Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                                                                    How to improve your plank time gradually

                                                                    1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                                                                    2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                                                                    3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                                                                    Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                                                                    Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                                                                    You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                                                                    • Prolapse
                                                                    • After prolapse surgery
                                                                    • Pelvic pain conditions
                                                                    • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                                                                    • Previous childbirth
                                                                    • Overweight

                                                                    Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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