Perhaps you are headed to the beach for a long weekend and you find yourself strapped for time to work on your abs. Maybe you’re tired of using Instagram filters and Photoshop to hide your flaws. Worry no more. We have long term solutions for your fitness woes!
Sometimes, we all just want a quick-fix solution to our problems. Unfortunately, the quick-fixes only give short term results. Instead of resorting to unhealthy fad diets and copious amounts of cardio, why not try something you can easily adapt to your way of life? Who knows, this might inspire you to start living a healthier (and sexier) lifestyle.
Here are our 12 easy solutions:
1) ALWAYS KEEP YOURSELF HYDRATED
Make sure you always have a bottle of water on hand. This will keep you from buying calorie laden sugary sodas or energy drinks. Not only do sodas and energy drinks contain hundreds of calories, they are also high in sodium and carbohydrates.
According to CNN health correspondent Dr. Melina Jampolis, drinking water should be your first response to any between-meal snacks. Because it is a zero-calorie liquid, it is the perfect drink to help you lose that extra weight and boost your metabolism.
2) SWEAT IT ALL OUT!
Many people dread the thought of cardio, especially running for long distances. Contrary to popular belief, running is not the only form of cardio out there. In fact, cardio can be any exercise that pumps up your heart rate and makes you sweat! Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Boxing, MMA, Strength and Conditioning are all hour long workouts that will help you burn calories and lose weight. Not only will you have an intense workout, but you’ll also learn valuable skills along the way.
3) TRY SOMETHING NEW
If you’ve been doing the same old workout routine for years, chances are, it isn’t working anymore. Why not try cross training? By cross training you’ll shock your body with new movements and exercises, putting your body in situations it isn’t used to. This will help you burn fat more effectively and pave the way to losing those few extra pounds.
4) DRINK COFFEE
According to a study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, athletes that drank coffee before a workout burned 15 percent more calories for three hours after exercising than those who didn’t. Caffeine is known to pump your heart rate up, giving you the energy boost that you need to push through your workout. Make sure that you stick to black coffee or coffee with a splash of skim milk rather than a calorie-rich coffee drink like a frappucino.
5) CLEAN OUT YOUR FRIDGE!
Out of sight, out of mind. Rid yourself of all the temptation in your fridge and clean it up. Throw away all the unnecessary junk food, processed food, and fattening leftovers. Replace these “objects of desire” with healthier options. Eliminate the tempting junk food from your fridge and you’ll be more likely to make better food choices.
6) PORTION CONTROL
Counting calories and macros can be way too complicated for most people. Instead of being too precise and strict with yourself, why not watch what you put on your plate. Make sure that most of your plate is filled with fiber and vitamin rich greens. The rest of the plate should have lean proteins such as grilled chicken breast or salmon.
7) GET A GOOD NIGHT’S REST
According to a study from the University of Chicago, not having a good night’s sleep could make you “metabolically groggy”. Insufficient sleep affects your body’s ability to process insulin, a hormone needed by the body to turn sugar, starch, and other food into energy. When you haven’t had enough sleep, your body will have trouble processing fat from your bloodstream and instead store it as body fat.
8) STOP MINDLESS SNACKING!
Everyone loves the ease of reaching for a bag of chips or cookies to satiate his or her hunger. Instead of snacking on junk, have healthy pre-packaged snacks on hand. Whether it’s a bag of nuts or carrot sticks, having a healthy snack nearby will help you avoid making unhealthy choices for the sake of convenience.
9) SLOWLY BREAK YOUR UNHEALTHY HABITS
Some people like eating desserts after dinner, and some people like eating desserts after and between every meal. Making a small change like deciding to have dessert only once a day could have a huge impact on your weight loss. You can also atone for your diet sins by replacing each unhealthy indulgence with something healthier—like choosing not to add extra bacon to your burger and opting for a “bun-less” burger instead. Gradual changes to your lifestyle will eventually develop into habits!
10) AVOID EATING OUT
Near almost every office is a deli, fast-food joint, or gourmet restaurant ready to satisfy your cravings. Odds are, your favorite item on the menu isn’t exactly beach-body friendly. Instead of being tempted to eat out and order a bacon cheeseburger, pack your own lunch instead. Follow solution #6 and keep your food containers colorful and well-portioned.
11) ADD VEGETABLES AND FRUITS TO ALL OF YOUR MEALS
You can add vegetables and fruits to almost anything: juice, pizza, salad, pasta, sandwiches—go crazy! Your body will thank you for keeping it fully loaded with all of the healthy vitamins and fiber. You’ll also be able to stay full longer, leaving less room for unhealthy indulgences.
12) FIT IN AS MUCH EXERCISE AS POSSIBLE
As busy as your day may seem, there is always a way to fit a quick workout into your busy schedule. You can walk and take public transportation instead of driving to work, take the stairs instead of the elevator, or even do a few sets of squats and lunges while you’re watching TV. Without even noticing it, your sporadic workouts throughout the day will help you burn a few hundred extra calories—why not give it a shot?
In the end, it is all about how much you want it. If you’re determined to get a drool-worthy body, follow as many of these 12 solutions as you can. The more you stick to your plan, the more weight you’ll be able to lose. Don’t hesitate. The sooner you take action, the faster you will see results.