Like most Americans, this probably isn't the first time you've tried to lose weight. But experience isn't always a good thing. You may have picked up some habits along the way that are actually making it harder.
Maybe you've crash-dieted before. But this time, demand results that last. It will take longer, but it's worth it. What ultimately makes the difference is finding a plan you commit to for life: not a diet, but a way of eating that's delicious without undermining you.
Or maybe you think that dieting means drinking calorie-free soda and eating sugar-free cookies and fat-free potato chips? Not true.
Research shows that the particular diet you choose isn't all that important, as long as it's safe, it’s OK with your doctor, and it cuts down on calories. What matters is whether you can stick with the changes you make, and layer in exercise to help keep it off for good. It starts with flipping your thinking from "diet" to "lifestyle."
"The more muscle you have, the more calories you'll burn, even when you're resting or sleeping," says Wayne Westcott, PhD, an instructor of exercise science at Quincy College. "Resistance exercise has also been shown to improve blood sugar control and reduce insulin resistance."
To reap all these benefits, Westcott recommends lifting free weights, using weight machines at the gym, or working out with resistance bands at least twice a week. Yoga and other activities that use your own body weight also count. Have a trainer show you how to do the moves. Keep doing your usual aerobic activities (such as walking or swimming), too.
You will not bulk up. You're training your muscles to your advantage.