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Quick tips to lose weight this month!

Tip 1: Eat it, don't drink it

Want to instantly drop a dress size? Conduct a quick inventory of what you eat and drink every day, and then remove all of the beverages not named water. Now add up the calories. If you’re like most, you’ll find that you can cut your non meal calories by more than 50 percent, according to The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. In fact, 65 percent of Americans indulge daily in calorie-rich beverages, and those drinks are oftentimes the real culprit behind your weight loss struggles—not your metabolism.

Stick to water, coffee (watch the creamers), teas, and calorie-free drinks to help keep your slim-down plan on track. And remember that any sugar drink—whether it’s soda or a fruit juice—should be considered the equivalent of a dessert.

Tip 2: How many times a day do you eat?

For the past decade, you’ve heard that you need 5 or 6 meals per day for fat loss. The rationale was simple: When you eat, your body requires energy to burn away the calories from your favorite meals. So the reasoning went that more meals would equal more calories burned. Only one problem—it’s not how frequently you eat, but rather what you eat that impacts how many calories you’ll burn during mealtime. So if you consume 2,000 calories in a day, it doesn’t matter if it’s in three, six, or 20 meals. You’ll burn the same amount of calories, assuming that the foods you eat are the same.

There’s no need to feel forced to eat more or less frequently. In an attempt to burn more calories, you might have been overeating and sabotaging your weight loss goals. It’s up to you to decide the times and frequency that work best.

Tip 3: Choose your snacks wisely

While the number of meals you consume doesn’t matter, the size of your snacks do. According to Purdue University researchers, the biggest problem with our snacking behavior is that snacks have become meals, and meals have become feasts. In the last 30 years, snack sizes have increased from 360 to 580 calories. That’s a whopping 220 extra calories per snack. And when you consider that the average woman snacks twice a day during the workday, you’re looking at almost 500 extra calories per day. In just over a week, your oversize healthy snacks can contribute to an extra pound of fat.

Tip 4: Exercise smarter

The calorie tracker on the elliptical might make running seem like a fat loss genie, but all is not as it seems. That’s because the more miles you log, the more efficient your body becomes at running and the fewer calories it burns. In other words, running may initially help you drop some pounds, but your progress will flat line as soon as your body adjusts to your exercise regimen. Plus, running long distances on a regular basis takes a physical toll (in the form of injuries, like runner’s knee), which can seriously dampen your enthusiasm. Ultimately, all that pain and boredom can cause many people to burn out and give up. Enter weight training. Just three days a week of resistance training will keep you burning calories and will offer the metabolic boost you need to slash fat. Head to the gym at least three times a week—but if possible, don’t make the cardio room your first priority.

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