One of the most popular questions Shape readers ask is "How can I lose 10 pounds?" And this time of year, with New Year's resolution motivation at a fever pitch, that question is even more popular. So we set out to talk with some leading fitness experts for their top ways to stay motivated to lose weight for good. Read on for their advice on how to lose 10 pounds safely and relatively easily!
10 Ways to Lose 10 Pounds
1. Track your exercise and calories. You have to get accountable, says Stacey Lei Krauss, star of the “willPower+Grace: Mile High” DVD. So write down and track what foods you eat and the workouts you do. "MyFitnessPal.com is a fantastic Smartphone app," she says.
2. Swap soda water with lemon and apple cider vinegar for diet soda. Star of the new "Get Extremely Ripped: Revved to the Max" DVD, Jari Love recommends trading your diet soda out for soda water with a little fresh lemon juice and a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar mixed in. "Lemon is great because it’s high in vitamin C," Love says. "You can also add in one teaspoon of Splenda, and you have a delicious and refreshing lemonade treat. Studies suggest that apple cider vinegar speeds up your metabolism and helps your body burn more calories."
3. Go for a walk/run three to four times a week. While walking for 30 minutes every day is great for burning calories, Olympic sprinter and certified personal trainer Samantha Clayton, says that you'll burn more calories by jogging and even more by running. "So mix up your walk by doing intervals," she says. "Increase your speed for short bursts, then recover with a slow walk. Doing this three to four times a week will help you lose 10 pounds in no time at all!"
4. Try Bikram. Ever tried hot yoga? It's a great way to allow your body to stretch and recover from weight and cardio workouts, Lei Krauss says. Not to mention that it burns enough calories to help you lose those 10 pounds. "Ninety minutes can burn 600 to 700 calories because your heart rate will be elevated due to the heat," she says.
5. Increase the incline on the treadmill. Instead of running on the treadmill with no incline to lose weight, try taking the treadmill up to a 7.0 incline and a walk, Love says. "This is a great option as running is difficult when you are overweight," she says. "Walk uphill with your arms up for two minutes and down for one minute. This will get your heart rate up as high as if you were running outside."
6. Use a side plate. Instead of using a large plate for all your meals, use a smaller one. This trick will shave off almost half the number of calories you eat at each meal, Clayton says. "An average weight loss of two to three pounds a week can be expected [by doing this]," she says. "Portion control is the key to losing weight and keeping it off."
7. Snack on veggies. Fresh veggies make a great healthy snack, saving you hundreds of calories a day when compared to unhealthy snacks like chips and candy bars. Veggies don't have to be boring either, says Lei Krauss. Swap out your veggie dip for non-fat Greek yogurt or toss cucumber slices with barbecue spices. Yum!
8. Switch to black coffee. If you are a coffee-shop regular and don’t want to give up your daily java, pick your drink wisely, Clayton warns. A medium mocha coffee averages 330 calories, yet a medium black coffee has only 5 calories, (with milk it still only has 18 calories). "Cutting out that mocha every day can add up to a whopping 2,300 less calories per week, translating to about a two-pound weight loss a week!" she says.
9. Use berries not a banana in your smoothie. Instead of using a banana in your protein shake, try one cup of raspberries. " Raspberries have eight grams of fiber whereas one banana has two grams," Love says. "Fiber helps keep you feel fuller for longer and helps you from succumbing to cravings."
10. Squeeze exercise into your busy life. Don't talk yourself out of exercise because of lack of time, Clayton says. "Set realistic goals that you can build on—one squat is better than no squats," she says. "Brushing your teeth twice a day should take you four minutes. You can do about 60 squats in that time." Burning calories while brushing your teeth now? Now that’s weight loss everyone can achieve!
And the best way how to lose 10 pounds? Be consistent with your healthy choices and workouts! Being fit isn't about being perfect or never eating a donut again. It's about making healthy choices most of the time, day after day. So embrace that healthy lifestyle to lose 10 pounds and keep it off!
Are you trying to lose 10 pounds? How are you doing it? Will you try any of these tips? Tell us all about it!