July 23, 2009

Shape shares 10 terrific weight loss and workout tips, to help you to shed pounds, keep them off, and stay motivated.

Weight loss tips # 1. Eat produce.

You should be getting nine servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Packed with vitamins A, C and E, phytochemicals, minerals, carbs and fiber, produce is healthy, filling, and naturally low in calories and fat. Enjoy it at meals, snacks and before/after exercise to stay full, feel energized and lose weight.

Weight loss tips # 2. Hydrate.

Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily to stay hydrated, maintain energy and lose weight--more if you exercise outdoors or strenuously. You need to burn fat to build muscle and increase metabolism, and you can't do that if you're not well hydrated. Drinking plenty of water will keep you energized for exercise and help you feel full.

Weight loss tips # 3. Use low fat cooking techniques.

Avoid frying and sauteing with butter and use slimmer techniques like steaming, baking, grilling (the barbecue is ideal for this) or stir-frying for your low fat cooking.

Workout tips # 4. Get your heart rate up.

Do at least 20 minutes of cardio four times a week. A short duration of high-intensity activity will elevate the heart rate for two to four hours. An hour of moderate hiking burns about 300 calories; an hour of moderate cycling, about 380. Or try a new sport (in-line skating, surfing) to break out and work muscles you don't normally target.

Discover even more workout and weight loss tips from Shape that put you in the driver's seat and in charge of your own weight loss.

Workout tips # 5. "Weight" it out.

Just two 30-minute total-body weight-training sessions a week will strengthen and build the muscles you're working and increase your metabolism. Building lean muscle mass will result in a bigger calorie burn.

Workout tips # 6. Break it up.

Only have time for half of your usual hour-long workout routines? Go anyway, or do two 30-minute workout routines of cardio or weight training during different times of the day.

Workout tips # 7. Take on new challenges.

Train for a marathon, mini-triathlon or backpacking adventure to take the focus off weight loss and put it on gaining strength, speed and/or endurance. You'll lose weight naturally if you balance your calorie intake and stay committed to your training.

Workout tips # 8. Mix it up.

Ward off exercise boredom by alternating gym workout routines, trying new machines and classes (yoga, Spinning, Pilates, kickboxing) or heading outside for hiking, biking, etc.

Workout tips # 9. Listen to your body.

If something doesn't feel right-you experience muscle cramping, develop chest pains, become overly fatigued or winded, feel thirsty, lightheaded or dizzy--stop and check it out. If rest doesn't seem to relieve your concern, talk to your doctor. That way you can catch potential health problems early rather than risk injury and lose all momentum.

Overall weight loss tips # 10. Set a goal.

Figure out why you want to shed pounds (and whether you even need to) and make sure it's a healthy and realistic goal. Being able to say "I lost weight!" can be just as rewarding as fitting into your slimmer jeans.