15-Point weight loss incentive plan

Fitness - how to's

If you really want to lose weight but have no idea how to start, fear not. Below is a 15-point incentive plan that will hopefully help you on you way.

1. Before you do anything get a clear definition of what weight loss means to you. How much weight do you want to loose? Are you trying to loose weight for a special occasion? Is a toned look your goal? Getting specific, but being realistic, about what you want to achieve is the first step to weight loss success.

2. This next step is probably the most important step you can take and that is – do it. It is so easy to find excuses to get out of taking this step. You can claim you haven’t go the time, that you are so confused with all the conflicting advice out there, that you don’t know where to begin. The list is endless. But the only person you are fooling is yourself. So just begin. Do anything to move your body a bit more, or eat an apple instead of a biscuit at lunchtime. It may be a small step but it’s a start.

3. Try to put together a plan of action that will achieve your goal. Be true to yourself. Don’t plan something that is impossible for you to achieve but on the other hand once you have made a realistic plan, stick to it.

4. Try to focus more on the other benefits of weight loss more than I must shed 5lbs this week. As the weight falls you will probably feel healthier and more energetic and suffer less aches and pains. These are the real benefits of weight loss and if you start to feel this way then enjoy it. By concentrating less on the actual weight loss and more on the way you feel, the process will run smoother.

5. Don’t try to do everything at once, instead try making one small change a week. If your exercise routine is to walk for 10 minutes three times a week then the following week, try walking for 15 minutes. Or do four10 minute walks instead of three.

6. Walking is one of the best forms of exercise for someone who is overweight. Its natural, so it’s easy and most people can do it. But try to walk as briskly as your body will allow and eventually aim for 30-45 minutes three to five times a week.

7. We have just been talking about exercise, a word that sends shivers down most sedentary people’s spine. However, there is no getting away from it, exercise is crucial for weight loss, but it needn’t be as daunting as you may think. To begin with just try to increase the activity you do each day. Take the stairs instead of the lift. Do a few lunges while you are vacuuming. Walk to the shops instead of driving. Play with the kids. Make the activities fun.

8. When choosing an activity it is really important that you enjoy it.Try doing something new, an activity that you hadn’t considered before such as Tai Chi, Pilates or something really daring like rock climbing. You might surprise yourself.

9. There is one exercise that can make the difference between mediocre weight loss and exceptional weight loss and that is weight training. If you are female weight training will not turn you into a muscled freak, that’s a myth but it will achieve a fit toned body that you desire. It also increases your lean body mass, which can boost your metabolism for longer. So even when you have finished your workout you can still be burning calories and loosing weight. Cardiovascular exercise alone cannot achieve this. Therefore weight training should be obligatory to any weight loss programme and a pair of dumbbells is all you need to get started.

10. Each week endeavour to add a new fruit or vegetable to you eating plan, and try to eat two portions of fruit a day.

11. Try not to think negatively all the time such as I mustn’t eat that piece of junk food. Instead try to think of the healthy food and snacks that are on hand.

12. It is very easy to read about high carbohydrate diets, high fibre diets and all the other diets out there and get caught up in all the details. The simple way around this is simply use your common sense to guide your actions. Most of us know what foods are good for us and which ones are bad.

13. Don’t try and do everything overnight, make the changes gradually. Try keeping a record of what you eat and the amount of physical activity you do on a week-by-week basis. Monitor this and make improvements where necessary.

14. One of the biggest things you can do when starting out on a weight loss programme is to enlist the support of your family, a friend or a personal trainer. Knowing you have this support is wonderful for your motivation. Its also helps when things start to feel tough, which they inevitably will at times.

15. The whole idea is to forget about short-term fixes, which are much harder to follow and concentrate on a healthy lifestyle and the long-term benefits. So the key factors to weight loss are, eat sensibly by keeping fat intake low but include quality protein and complex carbohydrates. Eat fruit, vegetables and nutritionally packed foods along side cardio exercise and gentle weight training.

Finally, real success comes when a plan becomes routine, so start NOW.

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