Tuesday, May 5, 2015

51 Scientifically Backed Ways to Lose 25lbs

You really want to lose 25 pounds now?
Shedding 25 pounds can make a drastic difference in the way you look and feel. That’s for sure. Nonetheless, it’s no easy feat.
But fret no more. Today’s post is a long and exhaustive list of my best tips and science-backed practical tactics to help you shed weight fast.

51 Ways to Lose 25 Pounds

Speed up your weight loss results with these awesome 51 strategies:

1. Prioritize Exercise

Exercise, whether it’s running, weight lifting, cycling, you name it, is the backbone of an effective weight loss plan. However, for the exercise to be part and parcel of your life, you gonna have to prioritize it; otherwise, you will be skipping the workouts, achieving no consistency.
Therefore, you have to find what type of exercise works the best for your lifestyle, then stick to it by committing to work out at least three to four times a week.
Action Step
Put your runs and workouts in your datebook and schedule them the way you schedule an important work meeting or family event. Give your training schedule the priority and the urgency it calls for, and you will achieve staggering consistency.

2. Develop Healthy Habits

When it comes to losing weight and keeping it off for good, building long-life healthy habits is the way to go. Sustained weight loss is all about building and developing healthier habits. They are the backbone of optimum fitness and health.
However, changing habits is tricky, and trying to change them all overnight is the recipe for failure.
Action Step
Don’t try to change your life overnight. Instead, adopt the gradual approach by changing one habit at a time.
Here are 3 simple steps to follow:
  • Start small and set clear and concise rules for a set habit.
  • Build a ritual around the new habit,
  • Then stick to the ritual for at least a month.
That’s enough time for it to turn into a habit and become a part of your new lifestyle.
For example, if you‘d like to eat more vegetables, then add at least three different veggies to your menu each day.

3. Run your Butt Off

Running is one of the best exercises that can help you lose weight and keep it off for good. In fact, I got into running because I was overweight and wanted to slip down and get into a better shape.
I started running for 15- to 20-minute three times a week, and along with some dietary changes, I lost more than 30 pounds in 3 months and had tons of energy and vitality. Not bad.
I love running and can talk about the subject all day long. But when it comes to losing weight, running is just one exercise among many. To speed up your weight loss effort, incorporate at least three weight lifting sessions a week into your exercise program.
Strength training boosts metabolism levels for hours after you have stopped and can also help you build muscles—key for a leaner and sexier body.
Action Step
Add at least three strength training workouts per week into your training program. Do total body exercises such as squats, deadlifts, burpees, push-ups and pull-ups. These exercises recruit a lot of muscles and can crank up calories burn like nothing else. Free weights are an option too.

5. Exercise in the Morning

According to study, people who exercise first thing in the morning tend to stay more consistent with their training routines, helping them lose the extra pounds and maintain a healthy weight for the long haul. Not only that, study also found that people who exercise first thing in the morning workout harder than those choose to hit the gym or the running field later on in the day.
Action Step
If you really want to be consistent with your running and exercise routine, I strongly urge you to do it in the early morning, before the rest of the world—especially your children—start waking up.

6. Set Realistic Goals

Setting unrealistic goals—by believing that you are entitled to the fast results advertised on late night commercials—is the recipe for disaster.
In fact, I can’t see anything worse than setting unrealistic goals when it comes to losing weight and getting in shape.
Those late night commercials do more harm than good. Unrealistic goals will only slow you down and hinder your progress. And they are also a true source of pain and setbacks, and frustration. I can go on and on about the futility of impractical goals…
Action Step
Get your head out of the clouds and set small, attainable weight loss goals. Set the right goal—think small, achievable benchmarks, like losing a pound a week—and you will be setting yourself for success. However, if you want to learn more about goal setting, be sure to check out The Fitness Expert Next Door. That’s an awesome book that will teach you everything you need to know about the subject.

7. Build the Habit of Exercise

Running a couple of times every now and then is not the best approach for losing weight. In fact, it’s counteractive and the recipe for chronic sore muscles and disappointments. We, humans, are defined by the habits we build.
For most of the time, we are bound to repeat 99 percent of our physical and mental patterns from one day to the next, which is a double-edged sword since you can choose to build healthy habits, and vice versa. I learned this while readinThe Power of Habit. This is, by far, the best book you can read about habits and how powerful they are.
Action Step
Build a regular exercise routine of at least three sessions a week, then do your best to stick with it for 4 to 6 weeks, which is enough time to help you build the habit of regular exercise into your life.
Do whatever you can to keep the exercise building process kicking and alive. Run, bike, swim, hit the gym, do Yoga, even, just walk. The more active you become, the stronger the exercise habit becomes. So don’t limit your choices here.

8. Dodge Injuries

Injury can stop you in your tracks—especially if you are doing any sort of high impact exercise such as running.
And truth be told, there is nothing worse than a runners knee or Achilles tendinitis—two notorious running injuries—in the middle of a fat loss resolution. As a result, make pain-free and injury-free exercise your main goal, especially if you are starting out.
Action Step
Approach your exercise plan with a beginner’s mind, build it up slowly and listen to your body for any signs of trouble and pain. Back off, even call it a day, when you feel something wrong—that usually happens when you are pushing it too far, or when you are skipping proper recovery between hard workouts. 

9. Walk More

If you are really out of shape or have some medical condition that makes high impact exercise out of the questions, then WALK. Walking is a great low impact exercise that can help you lose weight and get in shape. Walking briskly for at least 45 minutes a day—that’s about three to four miles depending on how fast you are—can help you shed more than 30 pounds in a year as long as you are keeping your calorie intake in check, according to a Duke University study.
Action Step
Go for daily 45-minutes walk at a brisk pace, and feel free to add a few jogging bouts whenever it’s possible.

10. Exercise at the Same Time Each Day

Regardless of the time you choose to exercise at, working out at the same time, day in and day out, can help you stay consistent and build the exercise habit into your life. Clarity is king and can always help you stay more consistent and focused.
Action Step
Choose a specific time of the day, my bets are on the 6 to 7 am and do the exercise.

11. Keep Track of the Food you Eat

Knowing what you are eating, and most specifically how much calories you are taking in, is one of the most powerful tools when it come shedding weight. Although keeping track of every calorie you take in may seem time consuming, but it’s worth the effort.
According to research, people who keep track of everything they consume can lose up to twice as much weight as those who don’t keep a food diary. Tracking your calorie intake can help you shed light on the darker aspects of your diet habit and know for sure where you are falling short, and when you are starting to get off track.
According to the study by the University of North Carolina, people typically tend to consume roughly an extra of 110 calories per weekend day, mainly from fat and alcohol.
Action Step
Keep tabs on your daily eating habits. Keep track of your daily caloric intake by either using a journal, a food log or one of the many Smartphone apps that you can download for free.

12. Plan in Advance

According to Dutch researchers, planning your responses to hunger and figuring out ways in advance to stay on track can help you shed the extra pounds faster. People who wrote list of “if,… then” statements (“If I’m hunger at 10 a.m, then I will have a handful of nuts as a snack) shed more pounds and stayed consistent with their diet regimes better than those who didn’t have a plan of action in advance.
Looking ahead and coming up with solutions for hunger in advance can help you prevent poor food choices when you have a weak moment and/or when you are too hungry (and stressed) to think straight.
Action Step
Plan healthy snacks for your weakest and troubled times, and keep switching them up every few weeks. You can also make a list of those bad timings where your diet tends to take a turn for the worst, then come up with healthier safe plans. For example, if you overeat on dinner, then have a snack before you sit for the meal.

13. Fill Up on Veggies

When it comes to the right foods for weight loss and optimal health, vegetables should be a staple on your daily eating menu. Veggies score high on fiber, valuable nutrients and water, all of which will help you shed weight without starving yourself to death.
Plus, consuming a lot of veggies increases the amount of fiber in your diet, helping you feel full for longer. So you can consume large portions of veggies without loading on calories or worrying about gaining weight.
Action Step
Stock up your kitchen with all kinds of vegetables. The more the colors the better. 

14. Fill Half of your Plate with Vegetables

The importance of veggies is a no brainer. However, when it comes to actually eating more veggies, most people fall short.
Action Step
Fill half of your plate at every meal with vegetables of your own choosing, then fill the other half with lean protein and whole grains. This is the most practical advice that can help you load up on veggies, and will definitely help you curb craving and feel fuller for longer.

15. Remove the Junk

One of the best ways to help you steer clear of junk food is to purge your kitchen (and house) from any food that’s not “weight-loss friendly”.
By declaring your living area junk-food free, you will be less likely to give in into late night temptation and have better control over your cravings. So set your environment for success.
Don’t rely on will power since it’s really limited, and after a stressful day at the office, your will power will be dry as a bone.
Action Step
Clean your kitchen and get rid of any food that lead to weight gain, like cake, ice cream, or any other food that scores high on sugars and processed ingredients.

16. Cook at Home

I know. I knooooow. This one is tricky especially if you are not a good cook (or don’t cook at all). However, according to study, people are more likely to consume more calories when eating out, than when having a meal at home. Why?
Well this shouldn’t a surprise.
Most restaurants serve portions that are typically larger than the recommended healthy dietary guidelines, and are often laden with sugars, sodium, refined grains and fat. It’s called marketing and big tasty meals (at a relatively low price) get more customers.
So don’t be another dumb consumer.
Action Step
Cook your meals at home and you can save up to a thousand calories a day, plus it’s good for your wallet too.

17. Snack Smart

Unhealthy snacking is one of the main culprits in weight gain. Nonetheless, if you tend to snack a lot, then at least do it right and you will be shedding the pounds instead of gaining them. The right snacking approach can help you prevent hunger pangs, which usually leads to overeating and a plethora of unhealthy eating habits.
Action Step
Snack on healthy and natural food choices such as carrots, raisins, nuts, almonds, seeds and limited amount of dried fruit. The more natural, the better. Just make sure not to overdo it. Eating a handful is enough. It’s a snack, not a meal, so be moderate and plan your nibbles in advance.

18. Feel Real Hunger

Emotional eating—eating out of frustration, stress, nervousness or boredom—is one of the hallmarks of unhealthy eating; the sort that leads to weight gain.
Therefore,you ought to learn how to differentiate between real physical hunger, and the kind of food cravings you get when you are stressed out and tired. Many a person with weight problems confuses the two all the time.
And the majority of people, mainly in the industrial world where food is plenty and starvation is not a concern, have forgotten what physical hunger feels like.
Action Step
Only sit for a meal only when your stomach rumbles and you feel really hungry. And before you reach for a food, ask yourself whether you are doing out of real hunger, or you are just trying to satisfy some emotional need. You are not as hungry as you think, most of the time.

19. Don’t Skip Breakfast

It’s a classic mistake made by people who don’t know better. They assume that by skipping breakfast they would cut calories intake, helping them, theoretically, to lose more weight. But the truth is that skipping breakfast is not a good practice.
Although there is no current scientific study that proves or disproves the importance of breakfast for weight loss (to the best of my knowledge anyway) I think you should never skip breakfast. If you skip your breakfast, then you will be more likely to binge later on, whether via unhealthy snacking or overeating on your lunch.
Action Step
Stick to a healthy daily breakfast with plenty of protein—think eggs—and healthy fats.

20. No Liquid Calories

Coke, soda, sweetened ice tea and other sugary drinks have to go if you want to lose weight fast. Your typical 20-ounce soda can pack roughly 250 of empty calories and more than 70 grams of sugar, depending on the brand of course. And most specialty coffee drink and smoothies pack about 300 to 500 calories, and that’s without adding the whipped cream to the count.
So it’s really a true recipe for weight gain. So if you drink a couple per day, you are ingesting lots of extra calories, roughly 500 calories more. And by kicking out the soda habit, you will be saving, literally hundreds of calories a day.
Action Step
Stick to calorie-free drinks like water or hot tea with no added sugars. You can always add some taste by adding lemon, lime, cucumber or mint, to your drinks.15297719041_091cae3325_z

21. Run on an Empty Stomach

When you run on an empty stomach, your body is more apt to use up fat as the main source of energy since glycogen stores are more likely to be depleted after 7 or 8 hours of fasting during the sleep time—unless you are a somnambulistic eater.
Action Step
Wake up at least an hour earlier than normal, lace up your shoes then go for a run. Sure, this can be hard at first, but it’s the worth the sweat. Just build the habit and never give up. 

22. Do Intervals

Long, steady-state cardio can help you burn fat and get in shape, but to speed up the process, up the ante by doing intervals. Study after study have shown that intervals—usually referred to as high intensity interval training, or HIIT— burn more fat than slow-to-moderate intensity cardio training. Not only that, they can also metabolism levels through the roof—meaning you will be burning calories at a higher rate for hours after working out.
Action Step
Add at least a couple of interval running sessions into your training routine, and make sure to space them out with at least 48-hour of recovery to avoid injury and overtraining. Start with 30-seconds sprints, followed by one minute of recovery, repeating the process 6 to 8 times. Do also Tabata protocol workouts; pull sleds, rope jumps, or best of all, CrossFit WODs. 

23. Buddy Up

According to study, people who exercise with a training buddy or in groups work out harder and achieve more consistency with their training routine, which is a good thing. Not only that, exercising with a spouse, a friend, or a coworker, can also increase accountability, motivation, and training enjoyment.
Action Step
Ask your best friend, spouse, co-worker, or the guy (and gal) at the gym to be your training buddy. You can also find plenty of opportunities on online forums, social media and local sports clubs. Don’t be shy.

24. Go Short

To stay consistent with exercise in the hectic times we live in today, the one long hour workout is not always an option. But that’s no excuse because, in those cases, 15 minutes may be all you need for a powerful workout.
In other words, a short workout is better than none In fact, according to study from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, people how lifted weights for no more than 15 minutes three times a week boosted their metabolic rate and were able to stay consistent with their training schedule 95 percent of the time.
Action Step
In case you are running short on time, go minimalist. Do a short workout whether it’s lifting weight, a sprint session, or walk up and down the stairs for 15 minutes.

25. Chew Slowly

According to study, eating slowly and mindfully can help you eat less, and enjoy your meals more. If you eat too fast, chances that you are going to take in more than your body needs since it can take up to 20 minutes for your stomach to figure that it’s full. Therefore, when you are eating too fast, you are not giving your brain enough time to send a signal to the brain that it’s full.
Action Step
Take your time when you are sitting for a meal. Chew slowly and savor every bite you take.

26. Use Smaller Plates

Plate sizes have changed drastically over the past hundreds of years. In fact, waists and plates size have increased in a proportional manner. And according to study, the smaller the plate, the smaller the portion you are going to consume.
Therefore, opt for smaller plates—anything in the 7 to 10 inches—instead of the bigger plates—12 inches and above. Opting for smaller plate will trick your brain into believing you are eating more. This, in turn, will cause you to consume less calories. Do this and you will end up eating less and feeling fuller with the same amount of food.
Action Step
On your next meal, opt for a size-appropriate bowl or plate. So opt for smaller plates, bowls, glasses and silverware. So swap your bigger plates for smaller and more appropriate-size plates. You are going to consume at least 20 percent less and save up hundreds of unneeded calories each day.

27. Snack before a Big Meal

If you are worried about overeating on your next meal, then a snack can come in handy. If you fill up your stomach with a healthy snack choice, you will be taking the edge off your hunger pangs and eating less when the meal comes in.
Snacking before a meal can reduce hunger, increase feeling of fullness, helping eat less come meal time. Doing this will help eat a realistic amount without indulging or overeating.
Action Step
Grab an apple or any other fruit or vegetables that scores high on fiber and have it before a large meal.

29. Eat Often

To the best of my knowledge, there is no scientific study that proves that eating 5 to 6 smaller meals a day can lead to better weight loss results, but this is something I tried and I believe it’s a helpful strategy.
According to theory, by eating 5 to 6 mini meals throughout the day, your body will burn fat much more effectively. And according to my experience, this can also prevent hunger pangs and making bad food choices.
Action Step
Instead of eating three large meals a day with long stretches of times in between, aim to consume 5 to 6 mini meals of roughly 200 to 400 calories each every three to four hours.

30. Sit Down to Eat

Eating on the run is the signature move of every person running a busy life schedule. But daily errands, whether it’s work or family related, should not be an excuse to indulge in this bad eating habit. Eating on the move is mindless grazing. It leads to overeating and munching on bad food choices since there is no attention paid to what is being consumed.
What we eat while standing up tends to be more “grab-n-go” food, which for most part tends to fall in the bad eating choices category—think sugar rich drinks and candy bars. If you have no option other than a grab-n-go food, then at least reach for a healthy choice, such as an apple, healthy yogurt or peanut butter.
Action Step
Take a sit whenever you are eating. And stop eating in the car, train, bus, on the phone or while walking. 
31. Drink Water
Not only staying well hydrated is vital for good performance and optimal health, drinking plenty of water can also help you eat less and shed weight fast. According to study, drinking water before a meal can assist with weight loss and portion control.
Consuming plenty of foods that score high on water, like most vegetables and some fruits, can help you feel fuller for longer, helping ward off unhealthy eating and cravings. Plus, according to study, drinking cold water can also speed up metabolism and hinder cravings for sugar beverages like soda and juice.
Action Step
Stay well hydrated throughout the day and make sure to gulp in at least a glass of water before you sit for a meal

32. Eat Natural and Real food all times

Consuming highly processed foods is a big contributing factor to weight gain. So when it comes to the foods you eat, get as close to nature as possible and opt for a diet filled with natural, nutrient dense foods.
When you consume this kind of natural, and unprocessed foods, you will be providing your body with more nutrients and other valuable ingredients, which means it will be well fed and fulfilled longer.
Action Step
Eat clean at all times. This means opting for foods that are minimally processed. The more natural, the better. Opt for foods that rich with nutrients such as vegetables, fruits and healthy protein like fish, chicken and bean at every meal.

33. Eat plenty of Eggs

I think that eggs are an eggs-ellent choice. Here are some reasons why. According to study, people who eat eggs on a regular basis lost more weight and had slimmer waistline than those who didn’t. In fact, having eggs with breakfast has been shown to reduce hunger and food intake, compared to breakfast containing bagels, according to study.
Eggs are full with lean, satiating protein that will keep you feeling full for longer. And that’s not the end of story. Eggs have many benefits that go beyond weight loss. They score high on choline—key dietary nutrient and other valuable nutrients. They also score high on healthy fats and lecithin.
Action Step
Add eggs to your meals—especially breakfast. Two to three whole eggs a day should be enough.

34. Have a Cheat Day

You shouldn’t be expecting perfection from yourself—especially when you are tackling a hard and elusive issue like weight loss.
Therefore, you should really loosen up from time to time and have a cheat day. Please keep in mind that having cravings is OK as long as you don’t let them control you and state your diet terms. Acknowledge your cravings and pick a time of the week to satisfy them without compromising your resolution. As long as you are making a conscious choice, you are in a good place.
Action Step
Pick one time block a week, preferably a Sunday evening, and relax your strict dietary rules. Go at it and eat whatever you want. Satisfy all of your cravings and desire.

35. Make your Diet Public

There is nothing more scary and humiliating than the prospect of public disapproval. Therefore, to have leverage on yourself, make your diet public by telling as many people as you can about the healthy choices you are intending to make.
Not only that, by telling your spouse, friends, family members and coworkers about your diet goals, you will increase your accountability, and even get some support. It’s really motivating when you know that your close social circle is waiting on you and you don’t want to fail them down.
Action Step
Take your weight loss goals and broadcast them via social media websites like Facebook and Twitter. I strongly urge you also to post “before and after progress pictures”, as well as your daily eating menus, and workouts. Write also about some of the inner demons, frustrations and problems you are facing.
5203054115_ff9db92ea5_z36. Ease the Stress
Stress and fat gain go hand in hand. If you’re stressed all the time, your body goes through a catabolic (or breakdown) phase, making it harder to burn fat or add muscle mass. On the other hand, if your body is well recovered—especially between hard workouts— you burn fat more efficiently and add muscle mass easily.
That’s what’s known as the anabolic (or building) phase. 
Prevent exercise-related stress by incorporating the right recovery strategies such as ample sleep, nutritious diet, plenty of rest between each workout.
Plus, try also to eliminate other stress-triggers from your life, especially relationship conflicts, work-related stress, and the notorious “grey-zone”.

37. Eliminate Distraction

Nowadays we live in a world full with distractions. Our attention is being pulled to all direction at all times. We can’t stop texting, chatting, surfing the net, and seems like we are attached to our cell phones, laptops, etc. And this attachment is taking a toll on our waistline. However, if you are serious about your weight loss effort—exercise and diet wise—you have to give it your full attention and focus.
Action Step
Next time you sit for a meal or go for a workout, toss your phone away, turn off the TV and get your mind focused on the task at hand.

38. Use the Glycemic Index

Over the years, the Glycemic index has proven itself a practical tool for me. In fact, according to research, opting for a diet that’s low on carbs, not fat, is the best way to shed weigh and keep it off for good. And the Glycemic index is a really useful ranking tool to help you judge which food should stay on your menu and which should go.
Foods ranking high on the Glycemic index—over 70—are usually loaded with sugars and starch—think rice, potatoes, bread, pasta, flour-based food, and most processed foods. Therefore, since they score high on sugar, they boost blood sugar level quickly after consuming them, triggering a signal that floods your body with insulin, leading to hunger pangs and other health issues.
Action Step
Avoid any food that ranks above 70 on the glycemic index, making veggies and greens the bulk of your menu, and eating fruits in moderation.

40. Don’t Eat in Front of the TV

Getting sucked into your favorite show will force you to lose track of how many calories you are taking in, thereby making you less aware of the nutrition choices you are making on the spot, leading to mindless eating.
In fact, people who eat while watching TV, consume, on average, about 300 more calories than those who don’t chew in front of the tube, according to a study by the University of Massachusetts. In other words, TV is the catalyst to mindlessness and mindless easting.
Action Step
Next time you sit for a meal, turn off the TV (and the other distractions) and put your mind on the task at hand. You will enjoy your foods more that way and end up cutting at 300 calories a day, which is always a good thing.

41. Add Protein to Every Meal

Protein is key for muscle growth and proper workout recovery, but what most dieters don’t know (or simply ignore) is that protein is also vital for weight loss. Here is why. Protein can help you feel satiated for longer, thereby helping you prevent cravings, unhealthy snacking and overeating.
Protein also slows down digestion, helping feel fuller for longer. And it’s also key for burning the fat without losing the muscles. According to study, to optimally protect your muscles as you shed the fat, you need to add protein to each meal.
Action Step
Add protein to every meal throughout the day—especially breakfast or immediately following a run or a workout. Some of the best sources of protein include eggs, fish, chicken and grass-fed beef.

42. Set a Kitchen Curfew for 12 Hours

If you are like most people, then the kitchen is the place where you have most of your meals (and snacks). Well, unless you are hiding snacks all over your house, then you need to REAALLY stop doing that. Late night snacking—the post-dinner problematic sweet tooth—is a source of great worry, and weight gain.
Most dieters are tempted to sprint to the kitchen after dinner’s done, looking for a snack to satisfy those late night cravings. Nevertheless, by setting a regular kitchen curfew, you will be saving up hundreds of empty calories from late-night snacks. According to a study by the University of Texas, late night snacking significantly boosts the total number of calories you take in.
Action Step
After dinner, and after finishing off with the washing and wiping, get a piece of masking tape and place it across your kitchen doorway, and declare your kitchen off-limits. Stop late-night eating and save up 300 or more calories a day. That’s the equivalent of 30 pounds a year.

43. Personalize your Plan

Not all workouts are created equal. Not all diets are created equal. And not two people are alike. Everyone is different and responds differently to different diets and workout routines. A weight loss program that worked for me, or for your best friend, may not be the best thing for you.
Therefore, as you are making changes in your life, keep in mind that nothing works a 100 percent of the time. And that sometimes you have to create your own, specific, weight loss plan.
Action Step
Go through all of the exercise and nutrition materials and tips you can get your hands on, pick the best advice, then develop a personalized program for you, based on your own fitness level, body type, personal affinities, and weight loss goals. You have to take all this information and make it work for you.15764478910_fca2964d2a_z

44. Step Away From the Scale

Although it’s vital that you weigh yourself on a regular basis, relying on the scale as the ultimate measuring stick is not that effective. In fact, in some cases the scale can lie and be a source of great stress and frustration. The scale is particularly unhelpful if it’s making you feel bad.
Action Step
Weigh yourself only once a week, and keep in mind that numbers on the scale are not that accurate. So monitor your progress (or lack thereof) by taking before and after photos during your weight loss journey.
By using pictures to keep tabs on your progress, you will have more clarity on where you are heading.

45. Get Plenty of Sleep

Lack of sleep can lead to overeating and weight gain. In fact, according to research from the University of Chicago, sleep deprivation can make you snack more, leading to overeating and weight gain.
According to the researchers, subjects who only go roughly 5 ½ hours of shut-eye had more snacks during the day. Not only that, proper sleep is also key for brain function, recovery, athletic performance and maximum overall health and well-being levels.
Action Step
Optimize the time spent tucked under the sheets, aiming for at least 8 hours of high quality uninterrupted sleep during the night’s time.

46. No Alcohol

When it comes to fat loss, alcohol can be a great hindrance. Alcoholic drinks are jam-packed with sugars and carbs that will compromise what you have worked so hard to achieve in a heartbeat.
Action Step
Do your best at cut down on your alcoholic drinks. In case, you had to drink, do this: go for your first one, slip gently, and then switch to a club soda with lime on your following order.

47. Reward Yourself Occasionally

When you hit a major mile-stone—whether it’s shedding 10 pounds or being able to run for 30 minutes without much huffing and puffing—reward yourself for the victory. Treat yourself to something you savor and enjoy doing (or having).
By doing so, you will make the process of weight loss something you are looking forward to, which can help you with consistency and adding some fun to your weight loss resolution—we all know that losing weight is hard work, and can turn sour if you don’t find ways to make it more fun.
But please don’t reward yourself with food (unless it’s your cheat meal day). If you reward yourself for every pound you shed with a big box of chocolate, you will only be compromising your resolution and setting the stage for failure and disappointment.
Action Step
Do something you enjoy. Go watch a movie, or get a new pair running shoes, a manicure, a massage, have a date, read a fiction book you enjoy, a hot bubble bath, or binging on Game of Thrones or any other show you may like.

48. Monitor your Progress

You cannot improve on what you can’t measure. This is a true maxim whether you are running your own company or trying to shave off some pounds. Therefore, be sure to track your progress—or lack thereof—throughout your training program.
Action Step
On your weight loss journey, keep track of the following:  Body measurement—especially around the waist and other troubled areas,  bodyweight, body fat percentage, your exercises and workout plans, your daily calorie intake, your energy levels, etc.

49. Get the Support you Need

As noted earlier, the people you surround yourself with can have a great impact on your results. Hence, make it a cardinal rule to only rub shoulders with supportive people, cutting away negative individuals from your life once and for all. Having an accountability program is vital for weight loss success because it can provide you with the tools you need to gauge success, find solutions to problems, and motivates you as you move forward.
In addition, having people showing you their support every step of the way is a great way to help you stay consistent. If you surround yourself with the wrong folks, you will sabotage your weight loss goals. In fact, anyone who does not support you shouldn’t in your tribe. Get rid of them and your body (and mind) will be forever grateful.
Action Step
Surround yourself with like-minded people who understand what you are going through, and may also have similar fitness visions. If you find it hard to enroll friends and/or family members in your mission, then sign up for weight management course, or participate in weekly support group meetings for as long as possible.

50. Be your Own Coach

The most successful and motivated people in the world are self-driven and self-motivated. They learned how to be their own coach—especially when all the odds are stacked against them and no one believed in them and in their visions. Sure, outside help from family members, friends, even a health professional, is vital, but try also to tap into your inner coach. In the end, you are the one at the frontline, fighting every battle along the way.
Action Step
Take a deep look inside of your mind and heart and try to find what motivates you the most. It could be a vision of healthier body, being a role-model to someone else, or just feeling good about yourself. Whatever motivates you the most, find it, clarify it, hone it, and let it work for your advantage.  

51. Eliminate the All-Or-Nothing Mentality

This is one of the classic mistakes I see many people make when they are trying to lose weight.
The all-or-nothing type of a mentality can only lead to stress, unrealistic goals and a painful burn and crash at the end. And people who think this way quit at the first slipup.
Therefore, keep in mind that success is not all white or black, and that mistakes are a part and parcel of the process. You can’t go anywhere without making a mistake or two (or more!).
Action Step
Instead of fretting and losing sleep over the mistakes and the weak moments you are going to encounter, try to look onto the bright side by evaluating your slip-ups, assessing what happened, learning from them, and making the right changes.

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