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With summer vacation on the horizon, many of us are gearing up to shed those extra pounds and reveal (or, rather, rediscover) that toned body again. But with all the different diet plans, crash diets and fad diets out there, it can be hard to know what works and what doesn’t. Fortunately, we're here with some helpful advice on how you can slim down for the summer without sacrificing your health or giving up everything you love.
Go for a run
The good news is that you don’t have to embark on an intense diet to lose weight — you just have to move more and eat a little less. If you’re looking to lose weight in a healthy way over the course of several weeks (rather than a few days), start by incorporating exercise into your routine. One of the best ways to lose weight is to start running, which can burn a ton of calories. A 155-pound person can burn around 640 calories per hour of running, and a 185-pound person can burn around 772 calories per hour of running. If you’re looking for a good beginners’ running program, we recommend the C25k app, which guides you through a progressive running program so you can build up to running a 5K. You can also try HIIT workouts, which are short but incredibly intense workouts that can help you burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time.
Cut out your worst food offenders
When it comes to dieting, the first thing many people think of is cutting certain foods from their diet completely. For example, you might think you should cut out carbs altogether or go cold turkey on alcohol for a month. While you may see some immediate results from this drastic change, it’s not sustainable for the long run. What you really need to do is identify what your worst food offenders are. For example, if you eat takeout every night, you might want to cut that out completely. Or if you can’t resist chocolate, you might want to go cold turkey on that for a couple of weeks. Once the worst offenders are out of the way, you can work on improving the quality of your diet.
Try a cleanse
One of the most extreme ways to lose weight is to go on a cleanse. Although there are many different types of cleanses, the common thread is that they involve eating very very little — often, just a juice cleanse. While this might be effective in the short term, it’s not a sustainable way to lose weight. Not to mention it can also put you at risk of nutrient deficiencies. If you’re looking to try a cleanse, be sure to do your research first. Depending on which cleanse you choose, you might be depriving yourself of necessary nutrients your body needs (especially if you’re trying a juice cleanse). Otherwise, you may cause yourself serious damage.
Don’t go too extreme with your workouts
Exercising is an excellent way to lose weight, but don’t go overboard. If you’re trying to lose weight, you should aim for about two hours of exercise each week. Also, be mindful of the type of exercises you’re doing. Certain types of workouts can do more harm than good if you’re not careful. Avoid high-impact workouts like running, boxing or soccer, which can put a lot of strain on your joints. A better alternative is yoga, which is a low-impact exercise that can still be very effective. Other types of exercises that can help you lose weight include strength training and weightlifting. Avoid overly ambitious workout plans that push your body beyond its limits, as that can lead to injury.
Find more activities you enjoy
The best way to lose weight over the long term is to incorporate more healthy habits into your daily life. While exercise is an important part of healthy weight loss, it’s only one piece of the puzzle. You should also be sure to eat a balanced, healthy diet. If you struggle to make good food choices, try to find a meal plan that suits you. You may also want to consider finding a diet buddy, so you can be accountable for your diet. Other healthy habits you may want to incorporate into your life include getting enough sleep, getting enough sunlight, limiting your alcohol intake and reducing your stress levels. These smaller changes can help you lose weight in a healthy way over the long term.
When it comes to losing weight, you don’t have to go on an intense diet or start exercising for hours every day. Just make sure you’re getting enough exercise and eating a balanced diet. You should also be sure to avoid going overboard with your workouts and cleanse diets, as these can leave you malnourished and dehydrated. By incorporating other healthy habits like getting enough sleep, finding time for self-care and finding activities you enjoy you can lose weight in a healthy way.