Whether you're gearing up for a wedding or class reunion or you just want to look killer in that slinky new cocktail dress, the healthy way to lose 10 kilograms -- or roughly 22 pounds -- is with a blend of diet and exercise. You can safely shed about one-half to 1 kilo per week, so allow 10 to 20 weeks or more for all of the weight to come off. For your health, check with a doctor before starting your weight-loss plan.
A 1,500-calorie daily diet leads to weight loss for most women -- any fewer, and you're liable to get hungry and lack energy for exercise. Opt for balanced meals with whole, natural ingredients. Fill half of your plate with fresh or steamed fruits and veggies, and include a serving of grains -- preferably whole -- as well as a serving of lean protein. Grain options include brown rice, corn tortillas and whole-wheat bread or spaghetti; for protein, turn to beans, tofu, egg whites and fish. At snack time, choose fresh fruits, carrot and celery sticks, low-fat dairy and air-popped popcorn.
Shred calories for faster weight loss by engaging in aerobic and strength-training exercises, which also strengthen your heart and help keep your mind sharp. Perform 300 minutes per week of moderate cardio such as speed walking, cycling or even dancing, or 150 minutes of intense cardio such as jogging, swimming laps or playing tennis. Two or three times weekly, work on muscle-building exercises such as lifting weights, taking a power yoga class or performing crunches, pushups, squats and other body-weight moves at home. Perform 12 repetitions for each exercise, and work up to three sets.
Losing weight isn't all about work -- in fact, learning to unwind could help you shed fat more effectively. Stress leads to higher levels of the hormone cortisol, which prompts food cravings, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Cortisol also signals your body to pack visceral fat deep in your abdomen, further widening your waistline. Fight the anxiety monster with regular yoga sessions, deep breathing exercises or guided meditation.
Crash Diet Warning
You're a smart cookie for seeking healthy ways to lose the weight. Crash diets may tempt you with promises of lightning-fast fat loss, but in reality you lose plenty of muscle and water with these deprivation plans. What's more, once your body feels starved it slows down your metabolism to conserve energy. So, as soon as you start eating a normal diet again, you'll gain the weight right back -- and you may wind up heavier than when you started.
- HelpGuide.org: How to Lose Weight and Keep it Off
- GoodHousekeeping.com: Is 1,200 Calories a Day Enough?
- ChooseMyPlate.gov: What's On Your Plate?
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: How Much Physical Activity do Adults Need?
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Stress - Complications
- IdeaFit.com: Unraveling The Stress- Eating-Obesity Knot
- Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images