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How to Lose Weight and Keep it Off for Good

November 24, 2010

By Tara Zimliki

As a certified personal trainer and owner of Tara’s Boot Camp, I teach people every day how to maintain healthier lifestyles and lose weight, no matter what their age or fitness level. By making healthy food choices and doing quality workouts weight loss will come much easier than you expect. Over the years, I’ve learned what works to lose pounds and kick them to the curb for good!

Try these strategies to lose weight, get fit and feel great:

  • Drink 8-12 glasses of water.  This will help eliminate bloating, suppress your appetite, and increase metabolic functioning.  Note: Water consumption should be increased in hot climates or during vigorous exercise. Bonus tip* Drink cold water throughout the day. Research shows by drinking 8 glasses of cold water a day you will burn an additional 70 calories (because your body has to use energy to heat up water throughout day).
  • Listen to your MD.  You should notify your doctor of your physical activity and any other changes you are making.  Also, heed the old adage, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”  Apples are packed with soluble fiber (which helps to lower cholesterol), vitamin C, and water, so you will feel satisfied and you will eat smaller meals in the day.  Bonus Tip* Slice up an apple and spread organic peanut butter for a longer lasting appetite suppressor and some protein!
  • Eat All your Greens. Mom’s advice holds up well—veggies come with plenty of benefits.  By eating raw vegetables you will be more satisfied, as they’re full of fiber and water.  This will also help you to eat fewer calories in the day and help you reach your weight loss goals.  Bonus Tip* Make vegetables the main focus of every meal so you will not forget to eat the broccoli left in the steamer.  By making vegetables the star of every meal you’ll find getting five servings a day is a cinch!
  • Exercise with quality, not just quantity.  Depending on your fitness level, it is more important to do more intense, higher quality workouts than a whole lot of lower intensity workouts.  If you are just starting out, try to get in three 45 minute to 1-hour workouts a week. Work your way up to intermediate (4 days) and then advanced (5-6 days).  Your goal is to get beyond beginner level so you can burn the most calories per hour. Fitness bootcamps give an optimal calorie burn and are usually taught by a certified personal trainer. You will see more results than doing a slower fitness program. Bootcamps usually meet 2-3 days per week.  Advise the trainer of your fitness level so they can adjust the program to your level. This also holds true when running (higher oxygen consumption and so higher calorie burn) as compared to walking (lower oxygen consumption so lower calorie burn).  When choosing the fitness routine to burn calories and shed pounds, make sure to choose a fitness program that works with your fitness level.  This will help prevent injuries and keep you motivated with a workout that is achievable for you. Whether you are a beginner or advanced make sure all exercises are performed with proper form to prevent injury and get the maximum benefit out of each exercise.

Bonus tip* Help a friend work to their weight loss goals by joining forces.  Join a workout program together or even start a weekly walk.  Make fitness goals a team effort so you will be even more motivated!

  • Stay Positive.  Research shows that by maintaining a positive attitude you are more likely to reach and surpass all goals (and this includes weight loss)! If you are watching the scale creep down pound by pound be proud of your accomplishment, don’t dwell on where you want to be.  By keeping your chin up and staying positive you will stay on the healthy road to weight loss success! Bonus Tip* Write a positive note at the start of every day on a Post It on your computer (or somewhere you will look at during the day) and be reminded all day of your goals and successes.
  • Keep Weight Loss Fun.  As you head in the right direction keep your weight loss journey fun and exciting by trying new healthy recipes, having fun in your fitness programs, and rewarding yourself with motivating non-food-related items such as a massage or a facial. Train to get out for the next 5k and motivate and inspire people around you to begin their weight loss journey too! Remember: believe and you will achieve all of your goals. It is all within you!  You have the power to reach your weight loss goals, get healthier, and have more energy!  Make that change in your life today and begin your weight loss journey to a better, healthier, and happier you!

Tara Zimlik is a fitness expert, 16-time marathoner, local mom, and founder of Tara’s Boot Camp in Branchburg and Flemington, New Jersey. She has competed and trained with top athletes at the University of South Carolina, where she was awarded a full cross-country scholarship. Tara has a B.A. from Rutgers University and specializes in fat loss and nutrition.

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