You may be carrying around a bit of extra weight that you’d like to lose, either from your last pregnancy or from not keeping up with a diet and exercise routine. Perhaps you are a bit softer around the middle than you’d like to be. You don’t have to make drastic changes to your diet in order to lose those extra pounds or to tighten up your love handles. A few small, daily changes are all you need to lose a few pounds.
Cut Out Drinks With Calories
If you cut out 100 calories a day from your diet, you can lose about 10 lbs. a year, according to Katherine Zelman of WebMD. An easy way to eliminate 100 calories from you daily diet is to stop drinking sweetened beverages. A 12-oz. can of soda such as Coke or Pepsi has 140 calories. Replace that daily can of soda or glass of juice with water. If you need your water to have a bit more zing, try plain or flavored seltzer water. You can also squeeze a lemon or lime into your glass of water to give it a zero-calorie flavor boost.
Cut Back on Other Extras
Next time you are at the movie theater and the concessions clerk asks if you want butter on your popcorn, just say no. Your body and taste buds won’t miss the extra fat. Halve the amount of dressing your pour on your salad, and skip the gravy over your mashed potatoes. Try spreading fruit preserves instead of butter or cream cheese on your toast or bagel. You may not notice these small changes in terms of taste, but slowly but surely the pounds will start to fall off.
Think about what you normally do after dinner, and then think of a way you could increase your activity level. If you like to watch television right after eating, perhaps you can watch television while jogging in place or on a treadmill or while jumping rope. If you like to sit on your porch after meals, you could replace that sitting time with a brisk 15- or 20-minute walk around your neighborhood.
Vacuuming, sweeping the floor and doing laundry are all great ways to burn a few extra calories. It may make the chore take longer, but try bringing folded laundry upstairs one pile at a time. Walking up and down stairs is great exercise. You can also spend time on outdoor chores such as washing your car, mowing the lawn with a push mower or gardening to help shed extra weight.
Add Abdominal Exercises
It sounds awful, but you need to do some sit-ups in order to work your oblique muscles and lose those flabby love handles. Lie on your back, and bend your knees with your feet flat on the floor. Place your hands behind your head so that your elbows stick out on each side. Sit up, using your stomach muscles to lift yourself off the ground. Twist from your oblique, bringing your right elbow to your left knee. Lower yourself back onto the floor and repeat, sitting up and twisting so that your left elbow touches your right knee. Start by doing about 15 sit-ups a day, and increase the number as your abdominal muscles grow stronger.
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