A jiggly backside and protruding belly can make you feel self-conscious as temperatures and hemlines rise. If the thought of tackling excess flab feels overwhelming, you might look for ways to jump start your weight loss without workouts. The benefits of exercising are tremendous and eventually you'll want to add cardio workouts into your weight loss plan as you begin to gain confidence and lose weight with other lifestyle changes.
Reduce your daily calorie intake to jump start your weight loss. Track how many calories you eat in a normal day by writing down everything that goes into your mouth. Use your preferred resources for determining and tracking calories, for example, look up foods in a reference book, an online database or a mobile application and log the information in a handwritten or online food journal. This will provide you with a starting point so you know what calorie range to work with to lose weight.
Cut your calories by 250 to 500 each day. If you normally eat 2,000 calories per day, this will put you in a range of 1,500 to 1,750 calories per day. Since one pound equals 3,500 calories, an accumulated deficit of 3,500 calories will result in the loss of one pound. Don't consume less than 1,200 calories each day because doing so can slow down your metabolism and place you at-risk for nutritional deficiencies.
Eat five to six small meals throughout the day to keep your energy levels up and prevent the temptation to eat unhealthy vending machine or fast foods due to hunger. Consume lean sources of protein, fresh veggies and fruits, whole grain foods and low and nonfat dairy products.
Include foods that keep you full so you don't find yourself scrounging for unhealthy snacks. Enjoy eggs, broth-based soups, low-fat Greek yogurt, heart-healthy avocados and oatmeal. Avoid alcohol, low-fiber boxed cereals and cookies and crackers as these foods offer little nutritional value and can leave you feeling hungrier.
Slow down and pay attention to your body while you're eating so you know when you are beginning to feel full. Cancel your membership to the Clean Plate Club; you can wrap up your leftovers and use them the next day for a convenient workday meal. Refrain from activities that promote mindless eating, such as eating at the kitchen counter or in front of the television or computer.
Drink eight to 10 glasses of water each day to prevent dehydration, which can mask itself as hunger.
- MayoClinic.com: Which is Better for Weight Loss -- Cutting Calories or Increasing Exercise?
- UCLA Center for Human Nutrition: Reducing Caloric Intake
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Common-Sense Strategies to Long-Term Weight Loss
- Centers of Disease Control and Prevention: Healthy Weight -- It's Not a Diet, It's a Lifestyle!
- Glamour: Healthy Eating for Weight Loss -- 8 Foods That Keep You Full
- Shape: 30 Ways to Burn 100+ Calories without Even Trying
- American Council on Exercise: 6 Ridiculous Fad Diets and Why You Should Avoid Them
- UCLA Recreation: Tips for Food Journaling
- There are plenty of other ways to burn calories without working out. Rake leaves in the yard or work in your garden. Walk or bike to do nearby errands instead of taking the car. Scrub that dirty bathtub or put your favorite tunes on and dance the flab away.
- Before you jump start your weight loss with a new eating plan, see your doctor to make sure it is the right one for you.
- Aim for a safe rate of weight loss, which is 1 to 2 pounds per week, to prevent the weight regain that often occurs after rapid weight loss.
- Fad diets can be tempting, especially when you're anxious to lose weight and are lured in by magic bullet promises. But these types of diets can lead to nutritional deficiencies and they often lead to weight gain and then some once you go off the diet.
Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.