Billions of dollars are spent annually on weight loss products targeting those who want fast results. But real weight loss takes time and should never be the result of a quick fix. Building muscle means feeding muscle, and burning fat means losing fat. Forget about fad diets and dietary supplements, and bring your attention to the real solutions of looking and feeling great, common goals in today's health- and image-conscious society.
Eat breakfast. After an overnight fast, the body needs energy from food to jump start your metabolism. Eat a combination of protein, complex carbohydrate and a healthy fat each morning. Example: oatmeal topped with nuts and a banana.
Be active. When you participate in physical activity, you burn calories and fat. The more intense the activity, the more fat you burn, and the easier it is to keep your weight under control. Aim for 30 to 60 minutes most days of the week. But you don't need to set aside major chunks of time. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk during your lunch break. Do jumping jacks during commercials.
Refuel with protein. Protein is one of the body's main building blocks for muscle. Have a protein source at each meal and snacks. Examples: eggs, peanut butter, chicken, fish, beans, milk, yogurt and cheese.
Avoid bad fats, and add good fats. When the body doesn't use fat for energy, it's stored in body cells, causing those unwanted fat pockets. Bad fats contain saturated and trans fat and are most commonly found in food like butter and red meat. Aim for good fats, including monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, found in food like avocados, olive and canola oils and fish. Another way to decrease fats is to eat grilled, steamed, boiled and poached foods that use little or no fat as part of the cooking process.
Stay hydrated. Hydrating purifies the body. Water is best; it cleanses and removes toxins, fills our cells and suppresses appetite, which can lead to burning fat and fueling muscle. Drink at least four to six glasses of water each day, and eat an abundance of fruits and vegetables.