So you need to drop a few pounds for beach season, huh? Unfortunately, you simply can’t commit to giving up all the yummy foods and drinks that you’ve become accustomed to, and you’re taking a no diet approach to losing weight. Well, no need to fear. There are still plenty of ways to effectively lose weight without worrying about that evil, four letter word (in case you don’t know what word I’m referring to, it’s spelled D-I-E-T). The following no diet suggestions will help you lose weight, while still allowing you to eat what you want.
Helpful Suggestion #1: Traditional Cardio Workouts
There are so many cardio workouts that I could literally write a book on cardio workouts (if not an entire series). For now though, I’ll briefly list a few you can do indoors and outside.
- rowing machine
- stationary bike
- an exercise class like spinning or stepping
Classes are especially motivating — you’ll be sweating with a room full of people so slacking off is next to impossible. Finally, if you want to go the cheap route, you can find a plethora of free exercise videos online.
- hiking (especially effective with a pack for added weight)
- jump rope
The best part about exercising outdoors is that you can try something different every time, keeping things fresh and fun. For instance, next time go jogging with your dog, or try swimming at the beach.
It doesn’t really matter what kind of workout you choose. You can even do different types of workouts on different days. The important thing is that you commit to working out regularly and then DO IT. Of working out occasionally is better than nothing, but if you really want to lose weight, try to do some kind of cardio at least 3 times per week.
Helpful Suggestion #2: Sports Cardio Workouts
Bored with jogging? Workouts don’t need to be work! Just about anything that increases your heart rate significantly can be considered cardio exercise. There are tons of sports you can play that are just as effective at dropping pounds. Although any kind of sport will work, team sports are recommended for two reasons:
- They are a great way to meet new people.
- You’re more likely to play on a regular basis, because you know the rest of the team is counting on you.
There are plenty of adult leagues you can join at your local park district, community center, or health club.
The most popular team sports for women that also provide excellent cardio workouts are:
- ultimate frisbee
- field hockey
Of course team sports take a lot more organization. If you want to get a sports cardio workout with a partner, you can play:
- ski or snowboard
Helpful Suggestion #3: Eat in Moderation
While you don’t need to go all out with a diet, consuming certain foods and drinks in moderation will be a huge help in losing weight.
First, there’s portion control. In Pre-1960’s America, eating “healthy” was virtually unheard of. Yet, very few Americans were overweight back then. The reason? The portions back then were half the size (or less) than the average servings we eat today. As a general rule of thumb, one serving is about the size of your fist. If what you’re eating is healthy, like a fruit, vegetable, or lean meat, have a few portions if you want. If it’s anything else, limit yourself to one portion. Soft drinks, sugary fruit juices, and beer are also full of unneeded calories. If you must drink these, limit yourself to one, small glass.
The more you limit your consumption of the really bad stuff, the better (ie, pastries and rolls, cookies, candy, soft drinks, and fried foods). In addition to taking smaller portions, try to limit yourself to eating these foods only a couple days a week.
If you can’t bear to eat both smaller portions AND limit the junk food to a couple days a week, then so be it. At the very least, follow one of these guidelines. Just remember, the less saturated fat, calories, and cholesterol you eat, the faster the pounds will fly — especially in combination with regular cardio exercise!