1. Cut out empty calories: Cut out sodas, juice, coffee drinks, alcohol or other beverages with calories. Keep a food journal and look for lower calorie substitutes for staple foods like milk, cheese, yogurt or bread.
2. Exercise: If you already exercise, add intensity to your current workouts by adding more time, an extra day of training or by working harder. Focus on workouts that give you the most bang for your buck such as interval training or circuit training. Be careful when adding intensity to your workouts. Too much can cause an overload injury that may leave you sidelined, so listen to your body and back off if you feel pain, fatigue or excessive soreness.
- Boredom Buster 30-Minute Treadmill Workout
- High Intensity Sprint Intervals
- Fat Burning Circuit
- Cardio and Strength Circuit
- Bootcamp Workout
If you're a beginner, ease into exercise. The last thing you want is to hobble down the aisle with a pulled muscle or sprained ankle. Your body needs time to build the strength and endurance you need for frequent, intense workouts. Its best to start with a simple cardio and strength training program and plan for extra recovery days to deal with muscle soreness.
3. Drink water: Dehydration can actually cause your body to retain water. Drinking water throughout the day can help you avoid bloating and it can even help you eat less. When you're thirsty, you may mistake that feeling for hunger and eat more calories than you need.
4. Cut out the salt: Too much salt can cause you to retain water, which can pack on extra pounds.
5. Eat balanced meals: You may be tempted to skip meals or just nibble throughout the day, but you're better off with regular, balanced meals. You may even eat fewer calories overall if you eat satisfying meals that give you energy and keep you going:
- Sample Menu for a Healthy, Balanced Diet
- How to Cook Healthy, Easy Meals
- Food Switches that Save Calories
How Not to Lose Weight
- Skipping meals: You may think you'll eat less if you skip meals, but that can backfire, making you so hungry that you end up eating even more. Don't forget, if you don't eat enough calories, your body won't burn as many calories.
- Fad diets: Extreme diets promise instant weight loss, but many are unhealthy and cut your calories so low, your body may end up holding onto fat in order to fuel itself.
- Diet pills or fat burning supplements: Many diet pills and supplements also promise fast weight loss, but many don't work and they aren't regulated, so there's no way to know if you're getting what's listed in the ingredients.
- Excessive exercise Too many brides-to-be go from sedentary to 2-hour workouts to lose weight quickly. However, when you do more than your body can handle, you risk burnout, soreness and injury. Exercising for hours a day at high intensities can be just as bad as not exercising at all.