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Hit the Weight-Loss Bull's-Eye

Expert advice on how to keep your weight-loss plan on target

Is your quest to shed those extra pounds on target or way off the mark? We asked MF weight-loss adviser Christopher Mohr, Ph.D.,R.D., to weigh in on what works and what doesn't.

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On Target

Drink More Water
It'll flush away sodium, which bloats you. You'll also be less likely to down high-calorie beverages. People often underestimate how important hydration is when it comes to losing weight.

Cut Calories
You'll never lose weight until you change your diet. Americans have grown accustom to large portions at the dinner table. The bottom line is you've got to take in fewer calories than you are burning each day. Period.

Running Intervals
Ever notice how sprinters have extremely lean, toned bodies? Sure, they spend half the day training on the track, but even the average person can greatly benefit from 10-20 minutes of interval training each day. There's no better way to burn off fat.

Fill Up On Fiber
Fiber allows you to make the most of the food you eat, because it keeps you full longer than any other food. Load up on lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains every day.

Pop a Multivitamin
They can fill in gaps in your diet but don't expect them to work miracles. You still need to rely on a nutritious diet in order to maintain healthy metabolism.

Off the Mark

Skip Breakfast
The morning dash to get shower, dressed and out the door usually results in you skipping the most important meal of the day. Bad move. The meal keeps your body's metabolism stoked and burning strong throughout the day.

Light Weights, High Reps
While good for toning, this method doesn't burn much fat at all. Increasing the weight accordingly allows your muscles to work harder and burn more calories — even after you leave the gym.

Slash Carbs
An active person can't simply go without carbs. In fact, your body needs at least 100 grams a day for energy. Always remember to maintain a balance of carbs, protein and healthy fats in your diet. This gives you what you need in terms of energy, muscle growth and recovery.

Swear Off Your Favorite Foods
Anytime we want to drop few pounds, most of us immediately slash all comfort foods from our diets. The problem is you'll eventually cave, and it won't be pretty. So enjoy a treat once in a while — just remember that moderation is key.

Train, But Just Barely
Any degree of training is better than nothing at all. But you can only get out of something what you put in. Remember, losing weight isn't just a matter of going to the gym once a week. It also involves lifestyle changes. Talk a walk on your lunch break, park on the opposite end of the parking lot at stores, and do more yard work (your girl will love the new you).

Postworkout Snack
People love to reward themselves for a hard day at the gym. But, remember, many granola and protein bars are also packed with extra calories — don't cancel out all the hard work you just put in at the gym.

Load Up On Diet Snacks
Another misconception in the diet arena. Baked chips and fat-free candy are still junk food. Train your body (and mind) to think of fresh fruit and vegetables as delicious snacks. After 30 days, you'll be surprised at how you start to crave these nutritious foods.

Treadmill Marathons
When it comes to losing weight, people always put the emphasis on cardio. While running and biking is highly recommended, you still need to get in some strength training. Working those muscles is what really fires up the metabolism.

Related articles:
101 Ways to Lose Your Gut
Eight Reasons to Start Working Out
The 9 Best Fitness Apps

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