A common mistake made by people who are looking to lose weight is dramatically reducing how much they eat. They think that by eating much less they will lose weight faster. That is not the right approach. What you really need to think about is increasing your metabolism.
You may lose a little weight at first if you stop eating. But then your body will assess the situation and conclude that you are starving. It will then slow down your metabolism, the rate at which you burn calories. This will stop any weight loss. You must burn off more calories than you take in.
How can this be done? Well, one of the first things you want to do is build muscle. Bigger muscles mass requires more energy to maintain. So, the more muscle you build, your body will need to keep a higher metabolic rate. Weight training is a very important part of any good exercise routine. So is a cardio workout. Not only is aerobic activity good for heart health, it will also keep those calories burning. 15 minutes of running will have a stronger impact on metabolism than will 30 minutes of walking.
You need to also pay heed to what and when you eat. Remember, protein builds muscle. This makes the weight training that we just talked about more effective and easier. Additionally, protein takes a little more work to break down. Therefore, eating protein will use up more energy. High protein foods include things like beef, pork, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy, nuts, seeds and soy.
Fiber is another nutrient that takes a little more effort for the body to break down. So, the same effect will occur: eating more fiber will raise metabolism a little. Fiber is found in most vegetables and fruits, legumes, seeds, nuts and whole grains.
When to eat? Well, for one thing never skip breakfast! Eating your first meal early will give your metabolism a kick start and help keep it going through the day. Do not be one of the many who make the mistake of passing on breakfast. And you should also consider eating several small meals during the day instead of the traditional three big ones. Five to six small meals will help maintain steady calorie burning through the entire day.
One thing to avoid is alcohol. Alcohol slows down metabolism just as it slows down the rest of the body. This does not mean you need to cut out alcoholic beverages entirely, but definitely avoid drinking too regularly or you will undo all the progress you make with eating right and exercising.
And equally importantly, do not find yourself sedentary. Find little ways to get physical activity throughout the day. For example, take the stairs instead of elevator. If you work at a desk most of the time, get up and walk around a few times during the day.