I read a fair amount of articles/magazines/books about being healthy and losing weight. Those who've met me know I don't exactly need to lose weight, but, as they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Here's some tips:
¤ As mentioned, don't set vague goals like "lose weight." Shoot for a small, specific, achievable amount. Once you achieve it, set another small, specific amount. Keep going with it. You'll be able to appreciate your results a lot sooner, and that will keep you motivated.
¤ Don't drink soda (or switch to diet). It contains a lot of calories, and it suppresses the feeling of being "full," due to....
¤ High-fructose corn syrup. Avoid HFC as much as you can, even though it's hard; once you make a habit of looking at ingredients, you'll find it's in quite a lot of things. It's almost guaranteed to be in anything sweet that isn't sugar free. HFC suppresses leptin, which is the chemical that makes you feel full and stop eating. It's especially terrible in combination with...
¤ Fast food. Stop it. Just stop it. No-brainer.
¤ Eat smaller meals many times throughout the day, rather than a few large meals. When you eat less often, your body's metabolism slows down to conserve calories and store fat. It's an ancient survival mechanism that helped our ancesters survive long periods of famine, and thus is the reason why you exist today. However, since famine doesn't really happen to us anymore, it's something you have to work around.
¤ Eat breakfast. Same general principle as above: it get's your metabolism going.
¤ Eat on smaller plates, so the portions look bigger.
¤ Exercise for about 20 minutes a day. Part of it should be cardio, to keep your circulatory system healthy (probably the single most important thing you can do for your health) and to burn calories.
¤ The other part of the exercise should consist of resistance training. Lifting weights. Not only do you burn calories while lifting, but it helps burn calories while at rest. Pound for pound, muscle burns about 25 times more calories than fat. :: Use free weights, as opposed to machines. They'll work out auxilliary muscles as you lift, helping burn that many more calories. It will also help improve balance, coordination, bone density, etc. :: For best results, lift an amount of weight that fatigues your muscles (can barely get up the last repitition or just barely can't) within 8 to 12 repititions. :: Don't forget about proper form. Aside from just how much getting injured sucks, it will usually keep you from exercising for a period of time. It's like taking a large step backwards.
¤ If the above exercise outline is too much at this point, then walk, every day. 30 minutes a day, no excuses. Even if it's a Category 5 hurricane outside, do laps around the dining room table for 30 minutes.
Note: you can't "spot burn" fat. When someone loses weight, where is one of the first places on their body you notice it? Their face. Yet nobody goes to the gym to do face crunches. Where and in what order your body stores/burns fat is up to your genes.
"Ayla fight while alive! Win and live. Lose and die. Rule of life. No change rule." ~ Ayla (♥)