Weight-loss pills, fad diets and plastic surgery to reduce body fat are not only risky and costly, but they're often short-lived. If you don't integrate long-term, healthy lifestyle changes, you're bound to gain the fat back. Rather than resorting to potentially dangerous methods to reduce body fat, make regular exercise and a sensible, healthy diet part of your life. When you lose weight sensibly, you'll enjoy the benefits without suffering from overexertion, injuries or feelings of deprivation.
Create a daily deficit of 250 calories to lose 1/2 pound per week. Although the Weight-Control Information Network states that you can safely lose up to 2 pounds per week, losing just 1/2 pound per week is easiest because it requires minimal adjustments to your diet and daily routine.
Clean up your diet to reduce the number of calories you're consuming. Small changes can have a big impact. Swap out unhealthy, high-calorie foods for healthy, low-calorie alternatives. For instance, drink water instead of alcohol and soda, and snack on fruits and veggies instead of cookies and chips. Emphasize reduced-fat dairy, fruits, whole grains, veggies and low-fat protein.
Perform 30 minutes of moderate cardiovascular exercise on five days of the week to burn calories. According to Harvard Health Publications, a person who weighs 155 pounds can burn 167 calories by walking at a speed of 4 mph, 220 calories by bicycling or rowing, and 112 calories by playing volleyball. Exercise with a friend, and find activities you enjoy so you start looking forward to working out.
Incorporate more physical activity into your daily lifestyle to promote caloric burn. This can compensate for skipped or partial cardio sessions or result in additional weight loss with minimal effort. Chores around the house such as mowing the lawn, washing the car or vacuuming the floor can promote caloric burn. Away from the house, you can take stairs instead of elevators, or park farther from your destination and walk the rest of the way.
Lift weights for half an hour on two or three nonconsecutive days of the week. Harvard Health Publications states that someone who weighs 155 pounds can burn up to 112 calories per session. Equally important, strength training prevents the loss of muscle tissue when you lose weight. Compared to fat, muscle tissue burns more calories even when you're at rest. Perform 10 repetitions of 15 exercises that target your large muscle groups. For instance, do dumbbell lunges and squats, bench presses, crunches, overhead presses and bent-over rows. As you get stronger, gradually increase the weights or add more repetitions or sets.
Sleep for seven to eight hours every night to control hunger-regulating hormones in your body. According to Harvard School of Public Health, lack of sleep stimulates hormones that trigger hard-to-control cravings for weight-loss-sabotaging foods. Additionally, being awake longer also gives you more time to eat.
Split your 30-minute cardio workout into three 10-minute sessions over the day if you can't do an entire session at once.
Consult a doctor before changing your diet or beginning a new exercise routine, especially if you've been inactive or have an injury or health condition.