To lose weight, you need to combine detailed tracking of your caloric intake with a carefully selected variety of healthy foods and regular exercise. Use a calorie counting smartphone app or website to keep a detailed record of the calories you eat each day. The best calorie counting apps have databases with accessible information about the calories of most foods and recipes, and can help you track your eating over time. Choose to eat lean proteins such as chicken breast, salmon, or tofu; a wide variety of green and leafy vegetables; as well as a selection of fruits and whole grains. Swap out unhealthy fats like butter for healthy choices like olive oil. Avoid alcoholic beverages, which are high in calories, and can also stimulate your appetite. Try eating several small meals throughout the day instead of a few larger meals. This will help keep your energy levels up and prevent you from getting too hungry. Also, drink plenty of cool water to stay hydrated, which can help keep you fuller longer. Avoid juice, soda, and other sweetened drinks. It is important to reduce your daily calorie intake, but don't eat fewer than 1200 calories a day, which can trigger your body's starvation response and slow your weight loss. Also, aim for a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise each day. Depending upon your level of fitness, you can get the exercise you need by walking, running, swimming, cycling, or taking a class at the gym. Mix things up with strength training. You don't need any special equipment – body weight exercises such lunges, squats, and push-ups can all help you get toned and burn fat. Find friends or family to work on losing weight with you so that you can support each other. With consistent attention to diet and exercise, you'll lose weight in a healthy, sustainable, way. To learn more from our Dietitian co-author, like how to make a meal plan, keep reading!
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