With all the dieting crazes, extreme workouts and wild weight loss success stories out there, sometimes the hardest part of dropping pounds is knowing where to start. So let’s keep it simple here and think, “Lose a pound; repeat.”
A single pound, Fitness Magazine says, equates to four sticks of butter. In order to shed a pound per week, about 3,500 calories should be cut from your diet or burned by your workouts. To break this down even more, just think that you need to cut roughly 500 calories per day to melt those four butter sticks from your body forever.
Instead of giving up 500 precious calories from your diet each day, you can make smaller skinny swaps and rely on your workout to take care of the rest. There are countless combinations that result in a 500-calorie deficit, but here is a simple guide to dropping that first weekly pound.
Spend two hours making dinner for the entire week. You won’t even realize you're up on your feet (aka burning some calories) and you’ll have less on your weekly to-do list.
“Cooking food generally requires putting oil in the pan or baking dish, and the amount most of us put on can add 300 calories to a meal,” nutritionist Kylene Bogden said to Women's Health. Try an oil mister to spread a thinner layer of oil on your pans and save calories without changing a thing about your diet.
BONUS: Misting your oil for one meal can save up to 250 calories, so imagine the calories you’ll cut by trying this with each meal you prepare for the week!
Jog at a 10-minute-mile pace for 20 minutes. Can’t maintain that speed? Substitute bursts of sprints in your 20-minute walk instead.
Replace your large order of fries with a fruit-and-yogurt parfait. This is a light swap that will leave you, and your sweet side, satisfied.
Shop til you drop! Spend 1.5 hours at the mall to walk (or run, if the sales are hot) from store to store and burn an extra 11 calories for each outfit you try on.
Resist adding cheese to your breakfast and lunch sandwiches. No matter how delicious, you can avoid any food for a single day, right?
Vacuuming and dusting may not be your favorite hobbies, but they do burn calories! Do an hour of housework to complete both your daily exercise and your chores.
Try Vinyasa yoga for 35 minutes. If you're a newbie, Vinyasa is a great way to ease into yoga, as it focuses on flowing movements and breathing rather than holding poses for extended periods of time. It’s also a great way to relieve stress and tension.
TGIF! The weekend might have you craving a cocktail, but instead of reaching for a margarita, order a vodka and soda. At only 96 calories, it proves that you can still enjoy yourself while slimming down.
Jump rope for 20 minutes. Be sure to take breaks and hydrate as needed; jump rope is no joke!
Swap your normal potato salad for a mix of tomatoes, cucumber and onion with fat-free dressing.
Celebrate being one pound lighter with a 30-minute dance party! Crank up your favorite songs and break out your coolest (or most embarrassing) moves — both burn calories!
Leave behind a quarter of the food on your plate for each meal of the day or replace your typical 12-inch plate with a 10-inch size. This limits the tendency to overeat, though your body will feel just as full.