With my sister's wedding quickly approaching and mine only 8 months after hers, I am finding myself rushing to lose as much weight as possible so that I look good in not only my bridesmaid dress, but also my own wedding gown. I came across this great article that offers some great ideas for losing weight quickly and safely. It contains some awesome ideas that do not involve crazy diet tactics like liquid diets and all those other fads that we all know do not work.
1. Consume between 500 to 1,000 fewer calories than you burn daily. This is typically between 1,500 to 1,800 calories for most individuals. If you live a more sedentary lifestyle, try eating about 1,200 calories each day. GO NO LOWER THAN 1,200 CALORIES EACH DAY!!! If you go lower than this you are putting yourself at risk and you will not be getting the nutrients your body requires on a daily basis.
2. Cut back on sugar, alcohol (easier said than done between being in college, bridal showers, bachelorette parties, and weddings), refined flours, and liquid calories. What does this mean? Choose fruit instead of cakes or cookies for dessert, drink water instead of soda, choose to eat your chicken in a salad instead of processed white bread, limit your alcohol consumption. If you find it difficult to give up soda and other sugary beverages, check out my list of fruit flavored waters posted earlier on my blog.
3. Focus on foods with high nutritional content such as lean protein, green veggies, whole grains, and fresh fruits. Avoid fatty dressings, sauces, and toppings.
4. Pay attention to portion sizes. With every restaurant serving four to five times the recommended portion these days, this is an area to lose control. Try to stick to 2-3 ounces of lean protein, 1/2 cup whole grains, and 1/2 cup of veggies per meal. Vary your choices to expose yourself to a wider array of nutrients.
5. Snack once or twice each day. Each snack should be no more than 200 calories. Choose items like low-fat milk, plain nuts, fresh fruit, whole wheat crackers, low-fat cheese, or cut up veggies.
6. Add more physical activities to your day to burn extra calories. To achieve this I have started taking the stairs more, parking farther away from school and stores, and taking walks after dinner.
7. Aim for 250 minutes of vigorous activity each with. This amounts to about 50 minutes a day for five days each week. I like to get this time in my taking brisk walks, Zumba, Insanity, jogging, biking, or swimming laps. Set aside one day for your body to rest.
8. Perform resistance training at least two days a week to build lean muscle and accelerate metabolism. Do 8-12 reps of each exercise for each muscle group. Be sure to use weights heavy enough to fatigue your muscles by the end.