If your goal is to drop a few pounds, start slowly and find a way to enjoy it

Realistically, any weight loss program will take time. If anyone promises you something different, if they talk about shedding pounds and dropping dress sizes in super-quick time frames, don’t listen to them – they are not being completely honest with you.

Find a weight loss programme that you enjoy and follow it accurately for 30 days. See what results follow. If it works, great! If not move on to something else. In the meantime check out these tips to get you started today.

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Tip #1: Walking

If you can set aside 30 minutes every day to enjoy a short walk, you will be strengthening your legs and your heart while burning calories in the process.

Tip #2: Use a mini cycle

These portable little exercise units offer the look of bicycle pedals set up on a metal bar. With a min cycle, you can pedal at your desk, on the couch or anywhere else that you can comfortably set and reach the pedals.

Tip #3: Walk or take the stairs instead of an elevator

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This is a great weight loss exercise without even noticing the extra effort. Something as simple as a few extra steps every day can go a long way where weight loss is concerned. The next time you go to the store, park as far as you can from the store, so you push yourself to increase the walking distance.

Tip #4: You don’t necessarily have to cut out all of your favorite foods, but you should eat them in moderation

For instance, simply limit your intake to one candy bar or, if you are being really careful, a miniature candy. Practice portion control to enjoy your favorite foods and still lose weight.

* Please consult a registered dietitian for a meal plan that suits your specific needs.

Tip #5: Make time for a short daily exercise routine

Individuals who set a routine are much more likely to stay with it and find success than those who simply exercise whenever they have time. The goal to successful weight loss is to make time.

Tip #6: Sleep well

Sleep deprivation can alter your appetite hormone, increasing cravings for sugar and have a significant impact on your waistline.  In addition, a good night’s sleep will help you recover energies spent during the day. An adult body needs between 6-8 hours of daily sleep.

For a sweet night’s sleep, try not to have a heavy meal for dinner and aim to finish the meal between 6pm and 8:30pm. Try not to drink too much liquid after dinner, you do not want to wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and then get your sleep interrupted.

Avoid caffeine consumption like coffee, sodas, tea or chocolate about six hours before bedtime. Caffeine is a stimulant that activates your nervous system and can keep you awake.

If you are a smoker, first and foremost you should seriously consider quitting. Not only is smoking bad for all aspects of your health, nicotine is another stimulant that can keep you awake.

Good luck with your weight loss, and remember – keep it simple, keep it sustainable and keep it fun.

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