The lure of fast food and our increasingly stressful yet still too-sedentary lifestyles have made losing weight a crucial issue for many to deal with. When we begin to consider losing weight, we want it to be over in a minute—we think that after months or years of sitting around we can get fit in a week. We all know that its not realistic, but we keep reaching for that quick fix. It's time to realize that it's often a long haul losing weight and keeping it off—realistic weight loss and fitness goals are where you need to start. To set these goals, its important to assess where you are fitness-wise and then determine where you want to be. Make a list of incremental steps to reach those goals and start out slowly. To be a real loser, be realistic—you'll last longer and maintain better fitness over rime. A proper diet and regular exercise go hand-in-hand and a person needs both to have complete success. For those who are over-whelmed as to where to start, the approach should always be a slow and gradual one until you can expand your exercise program to where it becomes a daily routine.

Get Moving

The secret to maintaining an exercise regimen is to start with those activities that are enjoyable—like walking jump-start your metabolism—muscle will burn fat faster and cardio afterwards keeps the burn going more consistently. Get up and walk around. If there are stairs in the building, take a break and go up and down those stairs as many times as you can. For successful weight loss, begin expanding this activity to doing an extra set every few weeks. As you lose weight, you'll find you can get past the 'plateau effect' by intensifying the exercise through walking up, and then running down the same stairs. The third and last level is to run up and down the stairs, establishing a strenuous cardio routine and eventually achieving your desired weight loss.


The Right Food Choices

Know which foods are better replacements for bad ones. Read labels religiously for hidden fat, sugar and salt content—all these will pack on calories. When deciding between two similar products always pick the one with the fewest ingredients, as this usually means fewer chemicals, additives and preservatives all which serve to add unneces-sary calories to your diet and sabotage your weight-loss attempts. Replace white flour, bread, pasta, sugar and rice with whole grain or whole wheat products. Instead of having a white potato, opt for a sweet potato instead. Although calorie counts may be the same amongst similar food types, whole foods contain more nutrition and fibre.

Weight Resistance

Even though cardio exercises have always been touted as the big calorie burners, weight resistance actually revs up the engine a lot quicker. Working out 10 to 20 minutes with weights before a cardio session will help burn calories more efficiently and jump start your metabolism

Setting realistic weight loss and fit-ness goals boils down to determining where you are right now and where you want to be. Divide that large goal into manageable objectives and keep track of your progress. Above all else, don't think of your weight loss and fitness regime as a program that will be over one day—it works best if you make it a lifetime lifestyle change.

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