If you know you should exercise, drink lots of water and eat a healthy diet to lose weight and get in shape, why don’t you? So many people today are at least 20 pounds overweight, and that leads to a host of health problems. Too many times the words exercise and diet develop a knee-jerk reaction which actually leads to fat and weight gain and an unhealthy lifestyle.
But thoughts of burning fat, losing weight and getting fit do not have to paint a negative picture. The good news? By following these top 10 weight loss and fitness tips for women we list here, you can return to your natural, healthy body weight while becoming fit and burning fat.
1) Never Put Your Body Into Starvation Mode
As a woman, you have a predisposed problem that Mother Nature has given you concerning muscle mass. Women simply have more fat and less muscle than men. This is a fact of nature, but does not mean you can’t do something about it.
The simple fact is, as a woman you have a much lower resting metabolic rate than a man. This means that starting out, your body will burn fewer calories than a similarly sized male. This also means that with fewer muscles you destroy fewer calories with the same amount of exercise than a man does. Feeling cheated? Well, unfortunately, your body is also the process of evolution that allows you to store fat better than men as well.
The key here is to avoid extremely low-calorie diets that put you into starvation mode. This makes it much more difficult to burn calories and lose weight, and you will find yourself tired and out of shape.
2) Share Your Next Meal
Why not share your meal the next time you eat out? It is no big mystery that the portions most Americans and many others around the world receive at restaurants and diners deliver much more food than you need. When you share an entrée with a friend or spouse, there is still more than enough food to fill both of your bellies. And if you decide to have a dessert, why not split it as well?
Too many women today equate being stuffed with being full. Not only will you feel better and less bloated after your next meal out when you share it, your pocketbook or purse will be healthier as well. This sharing tip can also apply to purchasing DVD fitness classes and exercise programs online. Share the cost, and then share the information. You also get double the motivation without double the price.
3) Add These Foods to Your Diet
Begin using creative ways to add foods to your diet, rather than removing them. Growing up your parents taught you to never use four letter words, and unfortunately “diet” is often looked upon as a bad word itself. But your diet merely refers to those foods and liquids that you consume on a day-to-day basis. Find some way to add 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables to your daily diet. And understand that a serving refers to 1 cup of fruit or 1/2 cup of dried fruit.
The same applies to vegetables, and though that may sound like a lot of food, spread out over a day it is very easy to add these healthy foods to your diet. This also helps you meet your fiber goals, and fresh fruits and vegetables fill your belly and make you feel more satisfied and full. Over 200 respected clinical studies have also identified the proven disease prevention capabilities of vegetables and fruits.
4) Ask Yourself Whether You’re Really Hungry
Michelle May is a medical doctor and author of the book “Am I Hungry?”, which preaches that you should be asking yourself that question the next time you think about eating. We mentioned above that you may just need a glass of water to tide you over until your next meal.
But sometimes, human beings also eat because they have been programmed to do so at a specific time of day. The old logic stated that you should have a large breakfast around 7 or 8 AM, followed by a large lunch between noon and 1 PM, and that you should end with your third meal, a dinner sometime between 7 PM and 9 PM. If you catch yourself eating just because it is a specific time, or if you are subconsciously about to chow down for some other reason, ask yourself, “Am I really hungry?”
5) Drink More Water
Drink plenty of water as well as other unsweetened, calorie-free beverages. There are always handy little rules that are so easy to remember concerning healthy weight loss and fitness strategies. And this one is so simple to implement. Hop up on the scale and find out your current weight. If you weigh 160 pounds, you want to shoot for ingesting at least 80 ounces of water every day.
Just remember, drink half of your body weight in liquid ounces of water and other non-sweetened, low-calorie and calorie-free beverages. This improves your digestive function and raises your metabolism, also helping to detoxify your system.
And all of those wonderful, natural functions lead to fat burning weight loss and better overall fitness. Cynthia Sass, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, says that hunger can be confused with thirst. And that can turn to you taking in extra calories when a refreshing glass of ice cold water would suffice.
6) Get Outside and Walk
Get up and out, and go for a walk. Sometimes human beings tend to overthink things. Getting out of your cubicle or computer chair, and off of your couch or cozy recliner, is literally the first step towards walking away the weight. Doctors and fitness experts used to believe that intensive running was required to burn a decent number of calories.
But countless fitness professionals and experts like Diane Virginias, a certified nursing assistant out of New York, have come to understand that a few minutes of walking does wonders for your body. You can get out and enjoy whatever season you are currently experiencing.
And if you complain that there are no sidewalks in your area, you can park further away from your work entrance, hike in the safety and environmentally comfortable surroundings of your local mall, and join local charity walks to get moving. Your heart and hips will thank you.
7) Understand Your Hormones
Women have hormonal problems that men will never suffer from. Especially for those women who have had children, and women after a certain age, estrogen levels drop and metabolism slows down drastically. We mentioned above that women are predisposed to lose muscle and gain fat much more easily than men.
This is especially true as your hormones change in accordance with your age. As women reach the age of menopause, they tend to have less energy and exercise less. Force yourself to walk at least 30 minutes a day as many days as possible, join a yoga or dance fitness class with a friend, and generally ramp up your activity on a daily basis to help you lose weight and stay fit.
8) Cut Down on Night Time Snacks
Be extra careful about your choice of nighttime snacks. This sounds like a no-brainer. Everyone knows that you should not have a huge bowl of ice cream or a sleeve of chocolate chip cookies late at night.
But for many women, this is one of the only times of the day where they have a little time to themselves. The kids are in bed, your spouse is asleep, and you are mindlessly watching TV or reading the latest thriller. This can create what American Dietetic Association spokesperson Malena Perdomo calls “eating amnesia”.
You unconsciously continue to shovel the calories into your mouth, defeating whatever fitness efforts you made during the day. Keep your calorie count to 100 on your nighttime snacks, or even treat yourself to a cup of no-calorie, decaffeinated tea instead.
9) Start Your Day With Protein
To drop weight and get fit, eat protein during breakfast or your first meal of the day. You also want to eat some protein at every meal. This is because your mind and body is actually satisfied by protein more than it is by unhealthy fats and carbohydrates. This just could be your new secret weapon in weight control.
University of Illinois protein researcher Donald Layman is a PhD who points out that high protein and moderate carbohydrate diets offer excellent potential for weight loss. He recommends healthy protein foods like nuts, beans, cheeses and yogurt.
10) Change the Way You See Exercise
Use new terminology. Don’t call it “working out”. Don’t think of your fitness efforts as “exercise” and you will enjoy them more. Magic diet pill commercials talk about fitness, working out and exercising as if they are dreaded activities to be avoided at all costs. But magic diet pills are unhealthy, and possibly deadly, and they just simply do not work as a part of a healthy lifestyle.
Playing disc golf, taking hikes with your friends and family, bike riding and chasing your dog around your backyard are all as effective at helping you lose weight and maintain fitness as exercises and workout sessions which may instantly trigger negative feelings and thoughts.
You don’t have to do all of this at once. Work on a different area each week to incorporate them into your routine, and you will find yourself feeling better, looking better, and losing weight!