Remember that little black dress that you haven't fit into for years? Instead of letting it collect dust in your closet, make some changes so you can fit into it again. Use the following tips to shed the extra pounds and wear your treasured outfits once more.

Start Dieting

What you eat plays the biggest role in your weight. You can run 5 miles on a treadmill, but if you have a post-run meal at McDonald’s, you’re just going to cancel out all of your efforts.

Instead, you’ll want to start counting calories so that you consume fewer calories than you burn each day. For example, most women need to consume 2,000 calories a day to maintain their weight. Any more, and they’ll start to gain. However, by dropping down to 1,500 calories a day, they can start to safely lose 1 pound of weight per week.

Your diet should be well-balanced and contain lean proteins like chicken and seafood. Add in plenty of fruits and vegetables to make sure you get all the vitamins and minerals you need.

Follow an Exercise Plan

Exercising is rough, especially if you are a beginner. Try to follow an established exercise plan that focuses on different parts of your body each session. This will keep you from walking around awkwardly at the gym wondering which machine to use next. Even better, recruit a buddy to join you in your exercise efforts. If you don’t have any companions wanting to take the weight loss journey with you, look online for a weight loss support group to inspire you.

Overall, your goal should be to get active for at least 30 minutes each day. If you really want to push yourself, strive for more than 30 minutes, as researchers found that people who walk 45 minutes a day burned additional fat. Don’t have enough time in your schedule for this? Cut out one hour of TV from your day, which studies show also reduces the amount of food you consume.

Change Your Mental Outlook

Much of losing weight is simply altering your mindset. Often, people turn to food as a means of coping with emotion. When they’re stressed or angry, they might eat more food than usual. Instead of using food as a tool, turn to other methods of dealing with your feelings, like yoga or meditation.

Additionally, you need to get out of the habit of eating certain foods simply to please people. For example, if your friends are gathering at a bar and they are pressuring you to drink beer or other high-calorie cocktails, you’ll need to learn how to turn them down. Be happy with your glass of water and don’t let people pressure you into feeling guilty or angry.

Losing weight won’t be easy. However, by working hard and utilizing these tips, you’ll find that the pounds start flying off. Before long, those clothes you thought you’d never fit into again will be the only part of your wardrobe that doesn’t look saggy and loose.


Image via Flickr by ThoroughlyReviewed.

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