Parties, drinks and holiday treats often leave an unwanted reminder of the joyous season–weight gain. Many of us start the new year with a new diet to get rid of those holiday pounds. Fortunately, weight that has been gained quickly can usually be lost quickly with appropriate diet and exercise. Integrate these simple tips into your daily life and you will shed the holiday fat before Valentine’s Day.
Keep a food diary on paper or online. Write down everything you eat and keep track of the calories. Online tools can automate this process and make it more convenient. While fad diets cut carbohydrates or offer detoxification drinks, the old-fashioned way to lose weight is still the most effective. Consume fewer calories than you burn, regardless of what foods you are eating. You need a 3,500-calorie deficit to lose 1 pound and should typically aim to cut 500 to 1,000 calories per day. Women should eat at least 1,100 to 1,200 calories per day and men at least 1,800 for effective weight loss.
Choose the Right Foods
Making good food choices can help you lose weight quickly. You will feel better, have more energy and experience less hunger if you opt for filling and healthy foods. Low-fat yogurt or cottage cheese are good choices, offering plenty of calcium. Include plenty of lean protein, leafy greens, and fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet. Choose whole-grain bread products rather than white. Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water each day. Avoid alcohol, caloric beverages, added fats and processed foods.
Exercise is critical to shedding the holiday fat. Exercise, in any amount, will help you burn more calories and lose weight faster. Plan to do at least 3 hours of cardio exercise per week. You can opt for 30 minutes six days a week, one hour three days per week or 45 minutes four days per week. You can break this time up even further into several shorter sessions per day. Weight training can help tone your body and improve your overall fitness, and should be done in addition to calorie-burning cardio workouts. Adding more activity into your day can also help. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk or bike instead or driving, or opt for a Saturday hike or trip to the park instead of a movie.